The RSPCA is investigating after two cats died from poisoning in Saffron Walden.
Lolly, a tortoiseshell female, and Boo, a ginger-and-white female both deteriorated and died within 24 hours of each other at their home in Winstanley Road earlier this month.
The three year-old sisters were taken to the vets after both of them suddenly became unco-ordinated and seemed unwell, and blood tests confirmed they had ingested antifreeze which had caused their deaths. Sadly, so much damage had been done that they were put to sleep on 11 February to prevent further suffering.
Owner Steve Heynes said: “Lolly was the first to show signs of acting a bit strange, and being unwell, but we didn’t know what was wrong at first.
“Then when Boo deteriorated very quickly the next day, we knew it must have been something they ingested – and we rushed them straight to the vets. We have all been so heartbroken to lose both cats at the same time – and worried for our other two cats, who don’t tend to venture as far and have not shown any suspicious signs so far.
“It is difficult to know for sure where the antifreeze came from but it was a very cold spell, so I like to think it was a tragic accident rather than anything intentional.”
RSPCA inspector Lucy Brennan said: “My heart went out to this family – it was just so upsetting for them to lose both of them at the same time.
“At this stage we do not know if these were accidental incidents or deliberate but in the meantime we would ask for everyone in the area to check where they keep their pesticides and chemicals including antifreeze and make sure it is secure and out of the way of cats. People should check their car radiators for leaks too.
“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.
“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.
“We are urging anyone who has any information about this to please contact the RSPCA’s appeal line in complete confidence on 0300 123 8018.”
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. Find more information and advice here
To help the RSPCA carry out their vital work please text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message)..