Warning to cat owners about poison deaths

Mark Rouse with Rascal and Jackie Morton with Cuddles
Mark Rouse with Rascal and Jackie Morton with Cuddles

Vets have warned pet owners to stay vigilant after a number of cats were poisoned.

A surgery in Irthlingborough has said it has seen a number of incidents involving cats being poisoned by anti-freeze.

The owner of Healers Veterinary Centre, in Irthlingborough, Dr Mate Toth, said: “We had one [cat] hospitalised and two outpatient cases recently seen in our practice. We have also had numerous phone calls regarding deceased cats seen in the same neighbourhood.”

He added that pets, particularly cats, die quickly after ingesting anti-freeze and owners should remain vigilant of their cat’s behaviour.

One pet owner in the town has lost two cats in the past couple of weeks to anti-freeze poisoning.

Mark Rouse, of Allen Road, Irthlingborough, said: “It is not the nicest way to start the new year and my other half has taken it particularly badly.

“The hardest part is not knowing whether this was an accident or not.

“Our cats, Cookie and Bruno, could easily have drunk anti-freeze by accident, or it could have been on purpose. I suppose we’ll never know.”

Dr Toth said most owners report their cats appear to be drunk, with vomiting, excessive salivation, depression or even seizures other symptoms.

He suggested people should familiarise themselves with the symptoms so they can act as quickly as possible.

He added this is usually a problem in the winter months as cats appear to be attracted to ethylene glycol, a poisonous ingredient in anti-freeze.

He added: “Although many people sometimes believe it may have been caused by another person being malicious, this is usually not the case and since the cats tend to venture underneath cars they find themselves with easy access to any spills.”

Dr Toth said cats treated within three hours normally have a good chance of survival but ingesting the poison leads to kidney failure, which can limit what a vet can do.

Owners whose cats show these symptoms should contact a vet immediately.

The RSPCA said it has been informed of four suspicious deaths in the Irthlingborough area, but the cause of these deaths is yet to be confirmed.