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Contaminated cat food

If your cat has or suffered from feline pancytopenia after eating contaminated food, you may have a claim.

How can we help?

In June 2021 Fold Hills Foods recalled several hypoallergenic cat food products because of safety concerns. At Leigh Day, we’re helping owners achieve justice if your pet was affected.

With the help of safety lawyer Michelle Victor and her team, we’re investigating a group claim on behalf of cat owners whose pets have developed feline pancytopenia.

Recalled foods identified as having a potential link to the disease, include:

  • Applaws Dry Cat Food
  • Pets at Home AVA
  • Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Dry Cat Food

The full list of foods affected can be found on the Foods Standards Agency website

What is Pancytopenia

Pancytopenia is a very rare condition where the number of platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells rapidly decreases. Symptoms can vary, but can include lethargy, loss of appetite, bleeding, pale gums and bruising.

Pancytopenia is a very serious condition and is often fatal, so customers are advised to stop feeding the recalled products to their cats immediately and to contact a vet if their cat is showing any symptoms.

Feline pancytopenia is often fatal, so it’s advised you stop feeding at risk products to your cat(s). If your cat demonstrates any such symptoms, you should contact a vet.

What is the contaminated cat food claim about?

Several hundred cat owners approached our product safety team to investigate a potential claim after pet food was linked to cases of feline pancytopenia. Leigh Day have successfully recovered hundreds of thousands by way of damages for cat owners whose cats have become ill or passed away.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Royal Veterinary College (RVC) have investigated this issue and although it was first thought no link could be shown between the food and the illness, RVC studies in 2023 concluded: “The findings of the investigation propose a link between high concentrations of trichothecene T-2/HT-2 mycotoxins (both poisonous substances, produced by fungi) in many of the tested food samples from recalled batches of cat food – amounts much greater than that recommended by the European Commission.” New research from the RVC identifies insights into the cause of the 2021 outbreak of a serious feline condition.

While there’s no way to compensate the emotional heartbreak or loss of companions, we resolve to find answers for the hundreds affected.

If your cat has become ill, died, or passed on the disease, you may be eligible to claim against the pet food manufacturers.

Who can join the contaminated cat food claim?

To join the group action claim against the pet food manufacturers, you need proof that you purchased potentially contaminated cat food and that you or your pet became ill as a result.

Navigating events like this can be confusing. At Leigh Day, we can assess your eligibility to join the claim by completing an online form. We may then request any supporting documents, such as:

  • Confirmation of payment for the pet food
  • Confirmation of payment for the vet bills
  • Proof of diagnosis
  • Vet records
  • Confirmation of losses

If more than one pet was affected, you may issue a claim for each of them.

Cat owners need to be assured that pet food on sale will not put their cat at risk of disease. The stories we have been hearing from distressed pet owners are truly disturbing and we are making investigations with a view to bringing a claim against the relevant pet food manufacturers. We encourage other cat owners who believe their pets may have been similarly affected to get in touch.

Michelle Victor, leading product safety lawyer

How much could a contaminated cat food claim be worth?

The total pay-out of a claim considers several factors. These can vary on an individual basis.

For example, if a cat has not died but requires heavy financial support due to blood work, steroids, or antibiotics, there may be considerations to help recoup monetary losses. Fatal events carry their own considerations, and so may the breed of cat or the impact of its passing.

Each claim varies based on individual circumstances, so estimates may differ, but we will fight for a justified conclusion. A claim will also raise awareness of this disease and call to answer any manufacturers whose products inflicted suffering on pets and pet owners across the UK.

How do I join the contaminated cat food claim?

Enquire about joining the group claim and register your interest by filling in our cat food claim form. You will need to provide your:

  • First and last name
  • Current address
  • Email address and telephone number
  • Date of birth

Alongside this, we may request some product information, such as:

  • The name and type of pet food
  • Who purchased the food
  • When and where it was bought

Finally, we may need some details about your pet, their condition and any financial losses incurred, alongside any proof you can provide – which we can guide you through.

Why choose Leigh Day?

A leading firm

At Leigh Day we don’t shy away from tackling power institutions, such as governments or big businesses. Our track record for taking on large claims on behalf of individuals comes from the deep-rooted desire to give everyone access to justice.

Group claims

Often, a problem faced by one is a problem faced by many. Group claims allow us to build stronger cases and seek justice for more victims. They benefit from knowing they are not alone, which helps sufferers come to term with what happened, build confidence in their case, and fight together.

Social justice

At the core of our firm is a shared belief in ensuring everyone has equal access to justice. This belief incorporates into our relationships with our staff, service providers, local community, and clients.

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Pet food in possible link to cat deaths may lead to legal claims

Cat owners whose pets have been affected by illnesses linked to recalled dry cat food have approached law firm Leigh Day for help.

Register your interest

If you have purchased any of the recalled cat foods and your cat developed feline pancytopenia, you can register your interest and a member of our team will be in touch.

Cat Eating

Documents we need

We will need information about your pet, including details of any costs you have incurred. For example – copies of vet bills and pet food receipts.

Vet And Cat

Submit your information

Fill in our form to register your interest and our team will be in touch.

Filling In An Online Form

Contact the team

Michelle Victor


Michelle is a leading consumer rights lawyer and head of the food safety team in London

Food safety Inquests Medical devices Personal injury Product safety Environment

Angela Bruno

Senior associate solicitor

Angela is a leading product safety and consumer rights lawyer. She also co-manages the food safety team at the London office.

Medical devices Food safety Inquests Environment Product safety Personal injury

Joanna Thompson


Joanna is a member of the product safety team

Product safety Personal injury Consumer law Brain injury Spinal injury Environmental law Medical devices

Recalled food brands include, Applaws Dry Cat Food, Pets at Home AVA, and Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Dry Cat Food. More specifically, recalled cat foods include:

  • 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
  • Applaws Cat Dry Senior Chicken, 400g, 2kg and 7.5kg
  • AVA Adult Mature Chicken 7+, 2kg and 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, 1.5k
  • AVA Kitten Chicken, 300g and 2kg
  • AVA Adult Chicken, 300g, 2kg, and 4kg
  • AVA Adult Fish, 2kg
  • by Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Recipe complete dry cat food with Salmon 1+ Years, 800g
  • by Sainsbury’s Hypoallergenic Recipe complete dry cat food with Chicken 1+ Years, 800g

Find more details, including batch codes, on the Food Standards Agency website.

If you believe contaminated food caused the development of feline pancytopenia in your cat, you may be eligible to claim for compensation. It’s important you have proof of your purchase, and a diagnosis or receipt from your vet to improve your chances of success when proceeding with a claim.

There have been hundreds of cases so far, affecting individual grown cats, as well as litters. If you want to enquire about joining the group claim, register your interest with our cat food claim form.

The amount of compensation you may secure depends on the individual factors of your case, including but not limited to:

  • Ongoing costs of care – including for blood transfusions, steroids, tablets and more
  • The age of your cat
  • Severity of the infection
  • Any further financial losses
  • Emotional distress or suffering caused

As this is a new claim, there is not currently a baseline to work from. While nothing can cover the suffering endured by you or your pet, Leigh Day will work tirelessly to secure the best possible result.

Start the process today and register with our cat food claim form.

Currently, it’s too early to give a definitive timescale. There are many considerations, but our claims team will update you with every new development.

Some considerations will include:

  • How quickly the manufacturers respond
  • If they decide to defend the allegations
  • Whether the claim goes to court
  • Expert reports and investigation

If you’ve noticed any symptoms of feline pancytopenia in your cat and believe it could be a result of feeding them potentially contaminated cat food, you may be entitled to compensation.

Even if you’re uncertain, you can submit your interest here with our cat food claim form. The form walks you through the information needed to submit, and one of our team members will contact you about the next steps.

We anticipate that most clients will proceed with a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), also known as a “No Win, No Fee” agreement.

If your case is successful, then most of your legal costs will be paid by your opponent. However, we are entitled to up to 25% of the compensation.

Clients are not required to make any up-front payments.

Completion forms may take 24 to 36 hours to process, not including weekends. If the time has passed, don’t hesitate to contact us via our customer response form, or get in touch with us by phone

For more information, visit our Contact us page.

As this is a recent claim, no payments have yet been issued while the case is ongoing. However, the more voices that come forward, the stronger the claim becomes.

Leigh Day partner Michelle Victor advises that pet owners whose cats had been impacted by feline pancytopenia and tuberculosis could have a claim against pet food manufacturers linked to the diseases. A statement on food.gov.uk advised customers to stop feeding the recalled products to their cats.

With the advent of food recall, and several pets suffering the same symptoms, there is a strong basis for a claim.

Currently, there is no ongoing claim for contaminated dog food. If you believe your dog has been affected by faulty goods, there could be a potential case in the future, depending on the number of cases.

There was a recent recall of natural instinct products, which may be contaminated with salmonella.

There have been claims against pet food manufacturer Natural Instinct, due to concerns of products being contaminated with salmonella. Additionally, there are reports that cats became infected with tuberculosis, passing it onto their owners.

Pet owners whose cats have been impacted by pancytopenia or tuberculosis could also have a claim against pet food manufacturers.