The owner of a local cattery has issued a warning to pet owners after losing one of her kittens to the fatal Pancytopenia disease.

Pancytopenia is a condition in which a person or animal’s body has too few red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Each of these blood cell types has a different job in the body. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body. White blood cells are part of your immune system and help fight off infections.

It emerged last month that there was a recall on some brands of cat foods sold by major retailers such as Pets at Home and Sainsburys.

Belleayr cattery owner Kristina Macauley lost one of the kittens last month to the fatal disease.

She is now on a mission to make sure that as many cat owners as possible know about the disease and how to spot signs of it.

She said: “Our beloved kitten, Belle Ayr White Cloud (aka Mia) passed away on June 17 after a week-long brave battle with Pancytopenia. She was fed on the recalled Applaws kitten food for two months alongside a different brand wet food.

“She became lethargic on the Wednesday and was immediately taken to the vets the following morning, expecting she needed antibiotics for some kind of infection only to be told she was unlikely to survive once they ran her blood tests.

“After that she was admitted to RVC hospital with a poor prognosis.

“She tried her best to hang on but she started to struggle to breathe. We have been left in shock as she was only nine months and was an amazing kitten.

“She was smart, playful, inquisitive and very loving and adventurous. She had a loving family and we still can’t believe she has actually gone.

“I want to raise awareness over this deadly disease and over 500 cats have been diagnosed with the illness which causes depletion of both white and red blood cells, leading to bleeding, anaemia and clotting problems and making them more susceptible to infection.

“Cat owners should look out for fatigue and fever as symptoms”, Kristina warned.

In a statement the Foods Standard Agency cautioned: “If you have bought any of the products listed on our website, you should stop feeding them to your cat.

“If you have bought an AVA product you should contact Pets at Home and if you

have bought Appslaw product you should contact Sainsburys”.

A Facebook group raising awareness for the condition has gained support from over 12 thousand members, sharing stories and similar experiences, which can be found at Pancytopenia in Cats Awareness UK (P.C.A).