The RSPCA is appealing for information after a pet-owner lost two cats to suspected poisoning on the same day in Northwich.
Smokey, aged eight, and Ozzy, aged eighteen months, died on Wednesday 15 June after they both suffered from symptoms consistent with ingesting a poisonous substance.
Their owner Victoria Gannon, of Wessex Drive, in Rudheath, said Smokey, a British blue crossbreed, first showed symptoms when he was sick. Victoria said: “Usually if Smokey is in the living room and someone walks in, he will move to a quieter room in the house. But on this occasion, I saw the sick in the hallway and found Smokey in the living room – but he did not move. I knew something wasn’t right straightaway.
“We got him straight to a vet, who said that it looked like there was something toxic in his system. I was shocked. We left him at the vets so more tests could be carried out. When I got home, I called my other three cats in from outside. Ozzy usually comes running in, but this time he was at the back of the garden meowing in an odd way.
“When I got him inside, he walked ten paces then collapsed – he was staggering around like he was drunk.”
Ozzy, a Bengal cross, was also taken to the vet, where Victoria got the devastating news that both cats had likely ingested a toxic substance. It is not known what has poisoned them in such a fatal way, but the RSPCA is urging anyone with information to come forward.
RSPCA inspector Cara Challinor, who is investigating, said: “We are very concerned that two cats from the same household have died from suspected poisoning on the same day. We would like to ask everyone in the area to keep an eye on their cats’ wellbeing and if they are showing symptoms of poisoning get them veterinary treatment immediately.
“Anyone who has information on the incident should contact the RSPCA’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018.”
Both cats were so unwell they had to be put to sleep that same day. Victoria said her and her two children have been left devastated by their deaths, adding: “I have never been in this position before. I have had to sit down with my children, aged five and ten, and talk to them about death. It has been heartbreaking.”
“Since they died, one of my other cats – Bella – has been crying, she doesn’t seem the same. Bella is Ozzy’s biological sister and she is really missing him.
“The vet said that it is likely to have been antifreeze that they ingested, although it has not been confirmed. I have put up flyers in the area to warn people as I don’t want anyone else to go through this.”
Signs of 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 poisoning can include one, or several of the following: Vomiting, seeming depressed or sleepy, appearing drunk and uncoordinated, seizures, and difficulty breathing
If you suspect that your cat has been poisoned you should take it to a vet immediately. If possible, you should take a sample of what the cat has eaten/drunk, or the container.
The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3. (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message.)