Cat left an hour away from death after ‘eating pet food linked to urgent recall’

A healthy and happy two-year-old cat was an hour away from death after eating pet food which has since been urgently recalled following a string of worrying cases.

CharlieBoy Stubbs’ owners Gary and Yasmin were shocked when they finally discovered the reason for his near-death experience after thinking they may have been somehow to blame.

The Food Standards Agency and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs have now warned cat owners to immediately stop using brands by manufacturer Fold Hill Foods as a precaution.

The warning comes amid an outbreak of feline pancytipenia – an illness often fatal in cats – with more than 130 cases of the rare disease reported since April.

Pancytopenia is a rare condition where the number of blood cells (red, white and platelets) rapidly decrease, causing the animal to become seriously ill.

CharlieBoy Stubbs had exactly these symptoms, but no one could identify the cause.

Speaking to the Mirror, owner Gary, a teacher from Slough, said: “He was a healthy cat, he woke up and we gave him some food for breakfast, but when we came home from work at 5pm it was like he was a different cat.”

They rushed him to the vets, where he was given antibiotics under the assumption he had some sort of infection. He then puss picked up for a few hours.

But when symptoms returned, Gary and Yasmin returned to the vets and were given the devastating news that CharlieBoy Stubbs should be put to sleep.

Desperate for an alternative, they were told they could try a blood transfusion at an animal hospital half an hour’s drive away. When they arrived it was touch and go whether CharlieBoy Stubbs would survive.

Gary added: “They saw him and said he didn’t have long left and they gave him a blood transfusion immediately. “

CharlieBoy Stubbs, who has his own Instagram page, spent the next two weeks in intensive care and is still not out of the woods.

But what his owners didn’t know was the food they’d taken with them to give him a sense of home may have been what was making him ill.

He was still being fed his AVA cat biscuits, which Gary said he loved, throughout his stay.

It wasn’t until they received information from the veterinary hospital that the cause could be what he was eating that things suddenly made sense.

Gary added: “We love this cat, he’s not even three years old. To find out it was the food that was hurting him, we are fuming.

“The hospital had no idea, we had no idea, we were worried it was something we had done as we had just moved and thought it might have been something in our new home that had affected him.

“We were so stressed, we really thought we were going to lose him and we were worried that it was our fault.”

A government investigation, involving the Royal Veterinary College and the Animal Plant and Health Agency, together with authorities across Britain and the pet food supply chain, has been launched to to investigate a possible link between specific cat food products and feline pancytopenia.

And since the first recall, a second batch of products have now been added to the list.

A government spokeswoman said: ‘”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.

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

The recalled products are:

Applaws Cat Dry Chicken

Pack size: 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg

Batch code: NA

Best before: All date codes

Applaws Cat Dry Chicken & Salmon

Pack size: 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg

Batch code: NA

Best before: All date codes

AVA Adult Mature Chicken 7+

Pack size: 2kg and 4kg

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

AVA Senior Chicken 12+

Pack size:2kg

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

AVA Sensitive Skin & Stomach

Pack size: 1.5kg

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

AVA Weight Management

Pack size: 1.5kg

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

AVA Hairball

Pack size: 1.5kg

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

AVA Oral Care

Pack size: 1.5kg

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

AVA British Shorthair

Pack size: 1.5kg

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

AVA Persian

Pack size: 1.5kg

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

AVA Maine Coon

Pack size: 1.5kg

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

by Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Recipe complete dry cat food with Salmon 1+ Years

Pack size: 800g

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

Applaws Kitten Dry Chicken

Pack size: 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

by Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Recipe complete dry cat food with Chicken 1+ Years

Pack size: 800g

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

Applaws Cat Dry Chicken & Lamb

Pack size: 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

Applaws Cat Dry Chicken & Duck

Pack size: 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

Applaws Cat Dry Ocean Fish

Pack size: 350g, 1.8kg and 6kg

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

Applaws Cat Dry Senior Chicken

Pack size: 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

AVA Kitten Chicken

Pack size: 300g and 2kg

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

AVA Adult Chicken

Pack size: 300g, 2kg and 4kg

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

AVA Adult Fish

Pack size: 2kg

Batch code: All batch codes

Best before: All date codes

Products under Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Recipe range and Pets at Home’s Ava range are being recalled, Fold Hill Foods said.

Applaws products, which are sold by Amazon and other pet food shops, may also be unsafe.

Fold Hill Foods said ensuring pet safety was its priority and added the recall was the “safest course of action” until an exact cause has been identified.

General manager Ben Mankertz said: “As cat owners ourselves, we fully understand how upsetting and stressful this situation is for families and although diet has not been confirmed as the cause, we would prefer to act now to ensure the absolute safety of cats.”