A heartbroken family from Long Sutton have lost two cats to antifreeze poisoning within the space of three weeks.
Both Bengals and four-and-a-half-years-old, Deedee and Rufus are believed to have eaten antifreeze or water coolant on their daily travels around the Church Green area of Long Sutton.
Owner Alex Lopes said Rufus died before he could be taken to a vet’s for help and then Deedee became ill a few days ago.
Deedee was suffering so much with kidney failure she had to be put down by a vet at the weekend.
Alex (35) said: “My eight-year-old son, Morgan, is absolutely devastated.”
The mum says another cat has died in the last two weeks from nearby Lancaster Drive and is questioning whether the pets were targeted.
She said: “I am just thinking do people have an issue with cats going into their gardens because they poo or something?”
Vomiting is one of the early signs of antifreeze poisoning and Alex discovered Deedee had eaten beans, something she was never given at home.
Alex says antifreeze causes terrible suffering for cats.
Although dying, Deedee was fighting for her breath and her life to the last. “It was heartbreaking,” said Alex.
The incidents have been reported to the police and the animal welfare charity, the RSPCA.
The RSPCA says deliberate poisoning of cats can be a criminal offence with a maximum penalty of six months in prison and/or a £20,000 fine.
But the animal welfare charity says accidental poisonings happen every year with spills or leaks of antifreeze/water coolant.
The charity says to keep pets safe you should:
• Always keep antifreeze in clearly labelled, robust, sealed containers away from pets and their environment
• Clean up spills immediately, no matter how small, and make sure pets cannot access the area until it’s clean and safe
• Always dispose of antifreeze and water coolant responsibly, contacting your local council for advice
Pet owners who suspect antifreeze poisoning are advised to seek immediate help from a vet.
• Appearing drunk and uncoordinated
• Seizures (fits)
• Difficulty breathing
The charity says: “The sooner your pet receives veterinary treatment, the better their chances of survival.”