Natural Instinct’s raw cat food gave two cat owners tuberculosis via their cats

Natural Instinct’s raw cat food gave bovine tuberculosis (bTB) to two Bengal cats.

Michael Groves and Roxy
Michael Groves and Roxy who died from bTB. Photo: Times newspaper
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Natural Instinct’s raw wild venison cat food has been implicated in giving bovine tuberculosis to 50 cats and at least two of their owners, two of whom are Bengal cats living with Gillian Groves and Michael her husband in Dumfries, Scotland.

Natural Instinct’s is a luxury cat food costing about £4.50p for two daily portions. This is far more expensive than the typical dry cat food diet. The 50 cats in question are almost all pedigree, purebred cats. I suspect that their owners wanted to provide them with the very best quality cat food.

This particular raw cat food is made from wild deer shot in Britain. The supplier of the venison is approved by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The carcasses were deemed fit for human consumption by Defra inspectors.

Natural Instinct have contacted the customers involved telling them to return or destroy the meat. They said:

“[We continue] to follow every food standard, hygiene regulation and best practice to produce raw pet food.”

The product is sold to thousands of owners as a healthier alternative to standard Food. However, research by Edinburgh University veterinary scientists investigated why 50 cats in 30 homes had developed bovine tuberculosis. Their results produced excellent circumstantial evidence of an association between this particular raw cat food and infections with bovine tuberculosis.

Two owners, Gillian Groves, 35, and Michael her husband, living in Dumfries, Scotland have suffered the anxiety and great difficulty of dealing with their two Bengal cats who both became infected. One of them, Amber, is being treated on a very long course of antibiotics but Roxy has died. Both Gillian and Michael have put off plans to start a family because they are frightened that they are also infected. They face £7,000 in veterinary bills.

Natural Instincts have recalled the offending cat food and it is being destroyed.

The professor of feline medicine at Edinburgh University, Danielle Gunn-Moore who did research on this said:

“Raw meat diet could be good the cats, in theory, but there is a clear risk of infection so checks are vital. It’s not just bTB – there is also a risk of toxoplasmosis, salmonella and other pathogens.”

Comment: We have to conclude, that the root cause of this dire problem is this government department. Raw cat diets are the best diets for cats in my view but clearly high standards are required and in this instance a government department failed.

Transmission of bTB: “Infected animals spread the disease mainly through coughing and sneezing. Bacteria are released into the air and inhaled by other animals in close contact.” – UK government

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