Monday 3 February 2014

RSPCA Cymru is urging cat owners to be extra vigilant following the deaths of three cats in Milford Haven over the weekend from antifreeze poisoning.

Although at this stage it is not known how the cats came to ingest the antifreeze, people who use it are being asked to make sure they dispose of it responsibly and clear up any spillages.

It follows a spate of similar incidents in the county in July 2013 when a number of cats died from antifreeze poisoning in the Haverfordwest area.

RSPCA Inspector Keith Hogen said: “It is possible that people were simply unaware of the potential hazards to cats when they poured the antifreeze away.

“Similarly we cannot rule out that this was a deliberate act of cruelty and would ask anyone who has information to this effect to contact us immediately.

“Whatever the circumstances we want to warn all cat owners of the dangers of antifreeze poisoning.

“Unfortunately the taste of antifreeze is very attractive to cats and ingesting just the smallest amount can lead to kidney failure and death.”

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:

— Vomiting

— Seeming depressed or sleepy

— Appearing drunk and uncoordinated

— Seizures

— 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 this incident or any related incidents in the area, they are urged to contact the inspector’s information line on 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for Inspector Keith Hogben. All calls will be treated in confidence.

To help the RSPCA investigate cases like this, you can give £3 now by texting HELP to 78866 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message)