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Pets at Home recalls food after cats 'collapse'

Cat head Image copyright AFP

Pets at Home is recalling AVA dry cat food after three cats became ill.

The pets "exhibited symptoms of sudden collapse, fitting, widespread twitching and general unsteadiness" the firm said, after consuming the biscuits from their range aimed at senior and neutered cats.

The level of thiamine (vitamin B1) in the cat food was much lower than the recipe specified.

Pets at Home said customers would be given a full refund.

"An investigation has revealed that, in the four affected products, the level of thiamine (vitamin B1) was much lower than we had specified," the company said in a statement.

It added that the symptoms displayed by the three cats identified were "not the classic symptoms of thiamine deficiency".

Image copyright Pets at Home
Image caption Four products in the AVA range are being recalled

The product being recalled is dried food or "kibble" designed for older cats and neutered cats kept indoors. The rest of the AVA range was safe to use, the company said. The AVA range is manufactured in the UK and sold exclusively at Pets at Home.

The Food Standards Agency, which is also responsible for pet food labelling, said a notification had been sent to vets to alert them to "the atypical symptoms potential for thiamine deficiency".

A spokesperson for Pets at Home, Brian Hudspith, said it was important to alert vets as well as customers because thiamine deficient cats would usually present with quite different symptoms, including stiff limbs and the head falling onto the sternum.

"Rather than the more typical cervical ventroflexion (head falling onto the chest) associated with thiamine deficiency, in the three cases we saw the predominant clinical signs included sudden collapse, fitting, widespread twitching and general unsteadiness on their legs, which began suddenly after 4-6 weeks of being on the diet," he said.

The three cats identified are all stable and recovering, he said.

The company advised customers to dispose of the contents and return the packaging to Pets at Home stores for a refund.

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