A VETS is warning cat owners not to feed their felines certain types of dry food as they could prove fatal.

Highcliff Veterinary Practice, based in Brantham, is urging cat owners to contact the surgery if their feline appears unwell after eating AVA, Applaws or Sainsbury's own brand dry food.

A statement from the practice said: "There are rising cases of pancytopenia (low red blood cells) in cats being reported, which can be fatal.

"As a result of this, some cat foods are being recalled.

"If you have been feeding your cat dry food that is sold under any of the below brands, please stop immediately: AVA, Applaws and Sainsbury’s own brand.

"If you have been feeding your cat one of these brands, and your cat appears unwell please contact us for more advice."

Sainsbury’s and Pets at Home are among the retailers recalling dry cat food over a potential link to an outbreak of a rare and fatal disease in cats.

The Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Defra are advising cat owners not to give their pets food made on behalf of the brands by manufacturer Fold Hill as a precaution.

It follows more than 130 cases of feline pancytopenia, an illness that can often be fatal in cats, since April, the FSA said.

Pancytopenia is a rare condition where the number of blood cells (red, white and platelets) rapidly decrease, causing serious illness.

The FSA said the current outbreak of pancytopenia was potentially linked to specific cat food products.

A Government spokesman said: “Working with the Royal Veterinary College, the Animal Plant and Health Agency and other Government departments across all four nations of the UK, local authorities and the pet food supply chain, we are investigating a possible link between specific cat food products and feline pancytopenia. There is no definitive evidence to confirm a link at this stage.

“No unsafe cat food has been identified but the manufacturer and brand owners affected, based on investigations so far, are taking the precautionary action of recalling and withdrawing cat food products that have been linked to affected cats."