Cat owners in Flint have been warned to be vigilant following a suspected poisoning incident over the Christmas period.

RSPCA Cymru was contacted by the owner of Gizmo – a black and white domestic shorthair cat – after it was thought that he had been poisoned by antifreeze just before Christmas in the Bryn Onnen area in Flint.

GizmoThe cat was taken to a local vet on Christmas Eve after he became unwell with the vet confirming acute renal failure. Sadly he deteriorated rapidly and was put to sleep by the vet to prevent any further suffering on Boxing Day.

RSPCA inspector Jenny Anderton said: “The vet wasn’t able to confirm antifreeze poisoning, but as Gizmo had acute renal failure – and given his age – we believe the most likely cause would be a toxin, such as antifreeze or lillies.

“Our heart goes out to Gizmo’s owner who has lost their beloved pet – and for this to also happen over the Christmas period is just devastating.

“We don’t know if this incident was accidental or deliberate but we are urging anyone with information connected with this incident to contact the animal welfare charity’s inspectorate appeal line 0300 123 8018.

“This incident has come at a time of year where many people use anti-freeze and similar solutions due to the freezing weather. We’d urge local cat owners to be vigilant and cautious and to understand the signs of 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.

Jenny added: “It is always difficult to determine if cases are accidental incidents or deliberate, however poisoning an animal 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 an unlimited fine. Signs of poisoning can be seen anything from 30 minutes after an animal has ingested the chemical, though it can be two or three days before signs of kidney failure are seen.”

Accidental poisonings from spills/leaks, as well as leaking water coolant from cars happen every year, leading to pet death. RSPCA Cymru advise people to regularly check their vehicles to ensure it isn’t leaking water coolant. It is also advised to take care storing, using and disposing of antifreeze and water coolant. Most accidental deaths are avoidable.
Always keep antifreeze in clearly labelled, robust, sealed containers, away from pets and their environment.
Clean up spills immediately, no matter how small. Ensure pets cannot access the area until it’s clean and safe.

For more information on poisoning please visit: https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/cats/health/poisoning

This winter, the RSPCA expects to rescue thousands of animals from neglect, cruelty and suffering. Already this Christmas we received more than 44,000 calls to our cruelty line but the calls to our rescue line are not stopping so neither will we. To help our rescue teams continue to reach the animals who desperately need us this winter, visit www.rspca.org.uk/xmas and Join the Winter Rescue #JoinTheRescue