Cats die from anti-freese poisioning

Two cat owners spoke of their shock after their beloved pets died from antifreeze poisoning.

Two cat owners spoke of their shock after their beloved pets died from antifreeze poisoning.

The RSPCA and Natural England made an appeal for information after three cats from Carleton Rode, near Attleborough, suffered kidney failure as a result of the suspected deliberate poisonings.

The warning came after two of Melanie Forrer's cats died within two days of each other in January and her neighbour, Emma Callaghan, suffered a similar loss last month.

Miss Forrer, who lives in Flaxlands, Carleton Rode, on Monday said she feared for the lives of her other felines after Harry, four, and Kitty, two, were rushed to the vets suffering from renal failure on January 22 and January 24. Another of her animals, Fluffy, a 12-year-old tortoiseshell-coloured cat, has also been missing for the past month.

Miss Forrer, who has lived in the south Norfolk village for the last 10 years, said she was 'really worried' that her other two cats might suffer a similar fate.

'It is a quiet and sleepy village and I have never known anything like this to happen. It is devastating to see young and fit cats suffer like that. Although Harry was used to roaming for miles, Kitty didn't know the area and would never venture far away. Fluffy, also went missing on March 8, so I am desperately worried that he has also been poisoned,' she said.

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Mrs Callaghan, whose 18-month-old tabby cat, Mr Bojangles, was found twitching and crawling along the floor of her home on Tuesday March 10, said: 'It was so distressing to see him like that and he was in a huge amount of pain. I find it very sinister to think that someone could be deliberately causing animals so much distress.'

Ed Blane, east team leader for Natural England, which carried out post mortems on Mr Bojangles and Kitty, said he suspected that foul play was involved.

'If there had been an accidental spillage, the deaths would have occurred close together. However, as one cat died weeks after the others, it is very suspicious. This is also a rural area, where there are no usual sources of antifreeze such as mechanics or industrial users.'

'Victims can die a slow and agonising death and we urge anyone who suspects poisoning of any domestic or wild animal to contact us immediately to help put an end to such a dangerous and damaging practice,' he said.

A spokeswoman for the RSPCA said that antifreeze would taste sweet to cats, but even a small amount could prove fatal. Anyone found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to animals could face a maximum six month prison sentence/�20,000 fine, she said.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Insp Caroline O'Riordan at the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. Suspected poisonings should also be reported to the Natural England on 0800 321 600.