Cat owners are urged to be cautious after an animal in March died from antifreeze poisoning.
The female tabby cat was from the Station Road area and was first found by her owner to be unwell on March 5. She was rushed to the vets but unfortunately nothing could be done to help her and she died a few days later.
Although it is not known where the antifreeze came from, the RSPCA is asking owners to keep an eye on their pets and for the public to ensure any antifreeze is securely stored so cats cannot access it.
RSPCA Animal Welfare Officer Kathy Hornig said: “We would like to ask everyone in the area to keep an eye on their cats’ wellbeing.
“Unfortunately cats don’t need a lot of antifreeze in their system to feel suffer from kidney failure and even death.
“At this stage we do not know if this is an accidental incident or deliberate but in the meantime we would ask for everyone in the area to check where they keep their anti-freeze and make sure it is secure and out of the way of cats.”
Antifreeze has a very distinctive sweet smell, which is attractive to cats, if people can smell this on their cat and see that their fur is wet we would advise them to take their cat straight to the vets.
Signs of antifreeze poisoning can be seen anything from 30 minutes after a cat has ingested the chemical, though it can be two or three days before signs of kidney failure are seen.
The signs of antifreeze poisoning can include one, or several of the following:
• Seeming depressed or sleepy
• Appearing drunk and uncoordinated
• Difficulty breathing
• Increased thirst
• Increased urination
If you suspect that your cat has been poisoned you must take it to a vet immediately. If possible, you should take a sample of what the cat has eaten/drunk, or the container.
Poisoning a cat deliberately is a criminal offence. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the maximum penalty for those found guilty of this offence is up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £20,000.
If anyone has any information about suspected antifreeze poisonings they can contact the RSPCA in confidence on 0300 1234 999.