Mystery illness kills hundreds of cats in the UK [Video]


  • A rare illness killed at least 330 cats in the UK. 
  • The rare illness has been linked to cat foods that have been recently recalled.
  • Investigations reveal that a small number of the recalled products contain a toxic compound.

A rare illness has killed at least 330 cats in the United Kingdom. The fatal illness is being linked to toxins in cat foods that have been recently pulled out of the market. 

According to the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) in London, the condition, called feline pancytopenia, occurs when the levels of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets rapidly decrease. RVC said at least 528 cases of feline pancytopenia have been reported as of August 2, with a 63.5% mortality rate among the reported cases. 

In late May, the RVC raised the alarm about the increase in these cases. Experts have yet to officially identify the cause of the deaths, while the RVC and Food Standards Agency in the UK (FSA) are looking into several cat food brands as part of their investigation of the case. Cat foods from the brand Sainsbury and Pets at Home were already recalled in June. The FSA said the recalled cat products may be linked to the outbreak of the illness. 

In a statement, RVC revealed that they are still collecting data from practicing veterinarians, as well as testing food samples as part of their ongoing investigations. The agency said it shared the results of its investigation with the FSA.

Fold Hill Foods, the manufacturer of the dry cat food brands that were recalled, told ABC that after it learned about the potential link between the cat deaths and the food, it “issued a voluntary and precautionary recall of selected cat food products”. 

According to a Fold Hill Foods spokesperson, the FSA has said there is no conclusive evidence to confirm a link between the cat food products and the illness but expressed their cooperation to the investigation.

On July 16, the FSA said in an update that they found mycotoxins “in a small number of samples of recalled cat food tested to date.”

RVC explained that some kinds of fungi naturally produce mycotoxins. These fungi can grow on different crops and foods under warm and humid conditions, said the RVC.

However, the FSA clarified that mycotoxins, do not, in themselves, indicate they are the cause of feline pancytopenia.

Regulators are still investigating the case and will conduct wider testings to check for any possible toxins in cat food products. 

Both Sainsbury and Pets at Home have said they support the investigation. 

There are currently no reports of feline pancytopenia in the U.S. 

Pet owners should ensure their cats are not using the recalled products. The FSA says to contact a local vet if you’re concerned about your pet’s wellbeing. 

Source: MSN

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