Cat food sold at Pets At Home and Sainsbury’s recalled over safety concerns


A pet food company is urgently recalling cat food as watchdogs warn of a possible connection to an outbreak of a potentially deadly feline illness.

Fold Hill issued a recall notice for products sold at Pets At Home and Sainsbury’s.

The recall notice affects cat food products from brands Ava and Applaws and was issued on Tuesday evening as a voluntary and precautionary measure.

The company is investigating a possible connection between cats eating their food and feline Pancytopenia, a condition in which the bone marrow fails.

The Food Standards Agency, Food Standards Scotland and Defra are now advising cat owners not to feed their cats specific cat food products, according to a statement issued Wednesday.

There have been over 130 cases of feline pancytopenia, an illness that can often be fatal in cats, the (FSA) has warned.

Pancytopenia is a very rare condition where the number of blood cells (red, white and platelets) rapidly decrease, causing serious illness.

“This current outbreak of pancytopenia is potentially linked to specific cat food products. As a result of this, a product recall has been issued which details the affected products,” the FSA advisory said.

A government spokesperson said: “Working with the Royal Veterinary College, the Animal Plant and Health Agency and other government departments across all four nations of the UK, local authorities and the pet food supply chain, we are investigating a possible link between specific cat food products and feline pancytopenia. There is no definitive evidence to confirm a link at this stage.

“No unsafe cat food has been identified but the manufacturer and brand owners affected, based on investigations so far, are taking the precautionary action of recalling and withdrawing cat food products that have been linked to affected cats.”

The spokesperson continued: “There is no evidence to suggest this outbreak of feline pancytopenia presents any risk to human health.”

A spokesperson for Fold Hill said: “We are voluntarily recalling the dry products we manufacture for the brands detailed in the link below as a precautionary measure.

“We are supporting an investigation by the food and veterinary authorities into a possible safety issue affecting cats.”

They added: “If you have bought any of the above products as detailed above, do not feed them to your cat.

“Instead check if you have bought the affected products and batch codes and the use-by and best before dates and write down the batch code for reference at home and return the products to the store for a full refund with or without a receipt.”

Full list of products being recalled

  • Ava Kitten Chicken 300g
  • Ava Kitten Chicken 2kg
  • Ava Adult Chicken 300g
  • Ava Adult Chicken 2kg
  • Ava Adult Chicken 4kg
  • Ava Adult Fish 2kg
  • Ava Mature Chicken 7+ 2kg
  • Ava Mature Chicken 7+ 4kg
  • Ava Senior Chicken 12+ 2kg
  • Ava Sensitive Skin & Stomach 1.5kg
  • Ava Weight Management 1.5kg
  • Ava Hairball 1.5kg
  • Ava Oral Care 1.5kg
  • Ava British Shorthair 1.5kg
  • Ava Persian 1.5kg
  • Ava Maine Coon 1.5kg

For Applaws products, any packs with a best before date of December 2022 to best before date June 2023 and a site reference code of GB218E5009 are affected.

  • Applaws Cat Dry Chicken 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg
  • Applaws Cat Dry Chicken & Salmon 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg
  • Applaws Kitten Dry Chicken 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg
  • Applaws Cat Dry Chicken & Lamb 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg
  • Applaws Cat Dry Chicken & Duck 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg
  • Applaws Cat Dry Ocean Fish 350g, 1.8kg and 6kg

All batches and before before of the following Sainsburys’ products are affected.

  • Sainsburys Hypoallergenic Cat Complete Salmon 800g
  • Sainsburys Hypoallergenic Cat Complete Chicken 800g.

Advice for cat owners
The FSA has issued important advice for cat owner worried about their pets.

It says: “Pancytopenia is a serious, but usually very rare disease. If your cat is unwell and has been fed any of the cat food listed in the product recall, you should seek immediate advice from your vet.

“If your cat’s usual food is a product affected by the recall, use an alternative cat food brand.

“If your cat was being fed a product affected by the recall for a medical reason, discuss with your vet what alternative food would be best to switch to. This will help to avoid your cat becoming ill as a result of ceasing to feed the listed food.”