Feline Pancytopenia update

Update – December 2021

The current situation on the outbreak of Pancytopenia is that the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) have official records of 565 cats affected by pancytopenia, however this is only a proportion of animals known to have been affected nationally. The RVC managed to develop a way of treating the cats that reduced the mortality rate from 98% at the start to 67%. Still a horrid high level of deaths but a good treatment plan is now known and communicated to all vets.

Visit RVC for further updates, information, FAQs and research

Pet food recall in response to an increase in cases of feline pancytopenia

For information and advice regarding the Royal Veterinary College (RVC)’s investigation into the increase in cats presenting with pancytopenia and the associated cat food recall, visit Cats Protection website

Cat food has NOT been proven to be the cause of pancytopenia, so what is happening to our cats? To read this article and for more information visit VetsHelpDirect 

In summary, the Food Services Agency (FSA) released a statement after testing of foods that were recalled to say that no link could be proven between those foods and the outbreak. The Royal Veterinary College, who dealt marvellously with both treating cats and kittens and with developing treatment protocols, research and testing, have said that they are writing a scientific paper which will be published to give their insights into the outbreak and its causes.

There is an understanding that compounds known as mycotoxins (toxic compounds produced by moulds) were found in the recalled foods however these compounds are found in other foodstuffs and in this case they were not above levels that have previously been considered “acceptable”. We cannot speculate on what the RVC paper will say – its currently being peer reviewed and will be published in the new year and as soon as it is published to the general public we will share and link it.

As for the food producers who all had their products produced at the Fold Hill Foods factory in common to the affected cats:

  • Pets At Home were almost universally lauded by affected owners – they paid for testing and treatments with very little bureaucracy and have put money into research on mycotoxins. They will not use Fold Hill Foods to produce their products until they know 100% where the problem came from. As we are supported significantly by Pets At Home we are so pleased to have seen them go above and beyond on an issue that affected our charity and adopters directly.
  • Applaws have said that they will no longer use the manufacturer to make their foods. They also supported affected owners well.  
  • Sainsbury’s issued no statements on their own label foods recalled and refused to state who makes their own label foods. They support some affected owners. 
  • Amazon – though not directly involved we do have to say they were very good about refunding the costs of affected foods purchased through them.

Purina Felix As Good As It Looks (AGAIL)

There has been a separate concern voiced by cat and kitten owners about Purina Felix As Good As It Looks cat food which occurred at the same time as the pancytopenia outbreak which caused some confusion and concern. We would like to stress that the issue with Felix is NOT linked to pancytopenia and absolutely no link has ever been found or suggested. 

For more information please visit this article

HAWS kittens Arwen and Maia

If you wish to revisit the story of what happened in particular to the kittens adopted from us, an interview was conducted by My London News with both the adopters of Arwen and Maia and with our foster carer, Miss Skimbleshanks and this contains more links to resources.

For happier news, see news of Leo and Nala