Andrew Kay, 45, told Sky News that the deaths of ragdolls Bell and Blue left a “real hole” in the lives of his children after the animals allegedly succumbed to pancytopenia.
More than 130 cases of the rare disease, which causes rapid decline in blood cells, have been recorded since April alone, as the Royal Veterinary College announced it would investigate the ‘peak’.
Large retailers including Sainsbury’s and Pets at Home recall dry food items, manufactured by Fold Hill Foods, on links to the epidemic as a precautionary measure.
The product list, released on Wednesday, has since been updated to include more items on Thursday.
The Food Standards Agency and the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have warned cat owners not to feed the affected products to their pets.
No unsafe cat food has been identified, but Fold Hill Foods and retailers have acted “on a precautionary basis,” a government spokesperson said, adding: “There is no definitive evidence to confirm a link to this stage ”.
Mr Kay says he fed his cats every two nine months with Applaws Cat Dry Chicken – one of the products feared to have been contaminated – which is also stocked by Amazon.
Both cats were put to sleep in May.
Bell was the first to hurt, becoming listless and suffering from diarrhea, which was treated with antibiotics, said Mr Kay, a chiropractor from Essex.
“She seemed to straighten up a bit but then got worse, she started bleeding around the gums,” he told Sky News.
“Then she started to adjust and have seizures, she fled like my daughter said.
“She was bleeding inside and couldn’t clot, and had strokes. “
A vet offered to perform a blood transfusion but unfortunately could not save Bell.
Blue, although more “robust” than his companion, fell badly shortly after.
“It was obvious he had the same thing as Bell,” Mr. Kay said.
“The vet asked if the cats could have come into contact with toxins.
“After talking to vets, they say that if they had been exposed to toxins, we suspect it could be the food. “
We have updated a product recall to include additional batches of cat food. This is a voluntary update by the manufacturer.
The booster is due to a potential link to pancytopenia, a serious disease in cats.
For more information and details of the affected lots: https://t.co/ueNxGSg4So pic.twitter.com/mFk4VWJ2xJ
– Food Standards Agency (@foodgov) June 17, 2021
Mr Kay said the experience was devastating for his wife Shanaaz, their Max, 12, and their daughter Maya, 10.
“The kids were very tolerant as horrible as it was, and it was horrible.
“It left a real hole, a void in our family, we lost two members of our family.
“We had another ragdoll, Charlie, who got run over this year, so Bell and Blue were going to be our pets forever, we were going to raise them.
“But it wasn’t meant to be. “
Now, the family has vowed not to have any other pets until the cause of the outbreak is determined.
Dozens of cat owners have expressed concerns on social media – many claiming their pets died after eating potentially contaminated products.
Sky News has contacted Fold Hill Foods for comment.
In a statement, the company said on Wednesday: “As cat owners ourselves, we fully understand how upsetting and stressful this situation is for families and although diet has not been confirmed as the cause. , we would prefer to act now to ensure the absolute safety of cats. “
You can find the complete and updated list of recalled products here.