Cats in Burton Latimer poisoned by anti-freeze

Claire Villette's cats William and Gingerbread
Claire Villette's cats William and Gingerbread

A distraught cat owner is warning other people to be aware of the dangers posed to felines by the use of anti-freeze and de-icing liquids.

Claire Villette’s pet felines Gingerbread and William died after being poisoned earlier this month.

Just two days after the death of Gingerbread, who was two-and-a-half years old, four-year-old William was taken to the vets. Claire was told he would also have to be put to sleep.

The mum, who lives in Pioneer Avenue, Burton Latimer, has posted leaflets through neighbours’ doors to try to let them know their actions may be inadvertently poisoning animals.

She has requested that people clean up spillages of de-icer and not to use anti-freeze in water features, in case they spill out only for cats to drink up the liquid.

Claire said: “I have got three children and we are distraught.

“It’s cost me more than £200 [in vets’ fees] – that’s not an issue but if people are made aware of what’s going on it might make a difference to somebody else.

“It’s not the money – we have lost our pets and we have got a cat here pining for her brothers.

“She is walking around the house looking for them because she has never been here on her own.”

Claire insists she is not blaming anyone for what has happened, adding: “I don’t know whether it has spilt out on to the road or whether somebody has done it maliciously.

“I wouldn’t like to think they have – I know people around here and they are not like that.”

She hopes her warning will bring the issue to others’ attention, adding: “I would hate for someone else to go through what we have been through.”

In December, Nottinghamshire MP Mark Spencer drew Parliament’s attention to the matter, telling colleagues that anti-freeze contained a product which tastes sweet to small animals but which is extremely toxic, adding: “The moments between consumption and death are very traumatic for the animal.

“It is one of the worst ways in which a pet can lose its life.

“The trauma that that causes families and individuals, particularly families with small children who have become attached to the family pet, cannot be overstated.”