Cat owners in Tonypandy have been warned to be vigilant following fears of a double cat poisoning in the local area.
Two male cats – named Albus and Tigger – had to be put to sleep on veterinary advice, after returning home on Wednesday morning (6 February) with symptoms consistent with poisoning.
Both cats were vomiting, and drinking a lot of water. They had very pale gums – and were wobbling when walking. Vets felt it was highly likely that the cats had been victims of anti-freeze poisoning.
It is not known whether the deaths of Tigger, a grey domestic cat, aged around nine, and Albus, a two-year-old domestic tabby cat, were caused by a deliberate poisoning or they were a tragic accident.
However, RSPCA officers have warned local cat owners to be vigilant, and urged anyone with information connected with this incident to contact the animal welfare charity’s inspectorate appeal line.
The poisonings come at a time of year where many people use anti-freeze and similar solutions, and comes amid a cold spell of weather in the local area.
An empty sachet of cat food was found in an alleyway near to the home where Albus and Tigger lived, on Morton Terrace in the Tonypandy town.
RSPCA inspector Simon Evans said: “Our thoughts are with the owners of Tigger and Albus at this sad time. To lose cats in this way is horrendous.
“We know both cats returned home on Wednesday (6 February) in a very bad way, and vets later indicated that anti-freeze poisoning was the most likely cause.
“Anyone with any information related to this incident is urged to contact our inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.
“Cat owners in Tonypandy should be vigilant and cautious after this suspected poisoning.
“Vomiting, a depressed or sleepy demeanour, appearing drunk or uncoordinated, seizures, and breathing difficulties could all be symptoms of a cat being poisoned.
“Anyone fearing their cat may have been poisoned should try and remain calm, move the cat away from the source and contact a vet straight away. Potentially hazardous substances – like antifreeze – should also be used and stored responsibly, and safely away from curious felines.”
Rory Campbell-Carden, owner of Albus and Tigger, added: “I was immediately concerned as both cats were behaving very strangely. Their characteristics were polar opposites to how they normally are.
“One cat doesn’t usually talk at all – but was making a lot of noise, and was completely off his food despite having a very good appetite.
“Both had very similar symptoms, and the vet was very clear it was poisoning.
“I’ve since noticed some suspicious things – including an empty sachet of cat food in the alley-way near our home. But it’s also the time of year a lot of people are using antifreeze for their vehicles; and we just can’t be sure how this happened to the cats.
“I just want to remind people about the importance of getting their cat to a vet as soon as possible if they suspect something like this may have happened, or they notice any odd behaviour.
“I’ve been knocking on doors in the local area to warn people, and hopefully this RSPCA appeal will help too.”