UPDATE: The Foods Standards Agency (FSA) has been unable to confirm a link between the recent pancytopenia outbreak and the recalled brands of cat food manufactured by Fold Hill Foods. As a result, we understand Fold Hill Foods is working with its local authority to take steps to resume production.
While tests and analysis to date have not found a causative link to the pancytopenia cases, investigations are ongoing and we will provide an update once we have more information.
Cats Protection recognises the distress this illness has caused in recent months and we extend our sympathies to owners who have been affected. We are here to support owners who are concerned about the health of their cats and will continue to update this page relating to this issue.
We urge all cat owners to contact their vet if they have concerns about their pets.
Vets at the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) launched an investigation after noticing an increase in cats presenting with pancytopenia, a severe reduction in all major types of blood cells. The spike in cases began in May and since then vets across the UK have been gathering data from affected cats to try to establish a cause. So far, over 500 cases have been identified.
Based on initial evidence from the RVC, certain cat foods manufactured by Fold Hill Foods were recalled. Recently, the FSA has said that it had not established a causative link between the outbreak and the products made by Fold Hill Foods.
Pancytopenia is a rare bone marrow condition where the number of blood cells (red, white and platelets) rapidly decrease, causing serious illness.
Cats with this condition may seem more tired than usual and may go off their food. One of the first more specific signs is bleeding from the mouth, nose, or bowel. In very severe cases, excessive blood loss can lead to collapse.
The FSA initially recalled a number of pet food products manufactured by Fold Hill Foods.
Now the FSA has confirmed that, following a full investigation, no causative link between Fold Hill Foods and the pancytopenia outbreak has been found.
Please contact your vet so they can examine your cat and discuss further investigation as necessary. Vets that are treating affected cats have been asked to get in touch with the RVC by completing a survey to help them investigate the condition.
The FSA and RVC will continue looking into possible causes of the outbreak, including reasons other than food. They have not ruled out the possibility that the cat food could still be responsible.
Please contact your vet so they can gather some details from you to ascertain whether your cat will need to be seen. You can also contact the product manufacturers for brand specific questions. Further details can be found here.
The RVC is updating their news page regularly as more information becomes available.
Information correct as of 27 August 2021