A Wigan mum has blasted as “sick” louts who laced a sponge with antifreeze, killing her pet cat.
Lisa Boyle was devastated when 18-month-old Charlie died after ingesting the poison and is now warning others to be extra vigilant as she claims other residents in the area have lost their cats in similar circumstances.
The 39-year-old, of Poolstock, said: “Charlie had been out and came in, acting like he was drunk.
“He had no co-ordination and kept falling over. He was like that for a couple of hours and then started vomiting out a green sponge-like substance. His pupils were wide and he was fitting.
“He then passed away in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
“At first we thought he had a 24-hour bug, as my other cat had been ill, but sadly this was something different.
“We realised it was antifreeze because he was vomiting up a sponge and that is how it is used to kill cats. People soak it in antifreeze and cats are attracted to it because it is sweet.
“Charlie is more of a house cat and doesn’t stay out long, so he would not have gone far.
“A few other people living around the Kipling Avenue area of Poolstock have been affected. One of my neighbours’ cats died and they believe it was poisoned and since I posted a warning on Facebook, other people in the area have informed me of their cats being poisoned.”
Lisa, who has two children, aged 16 and 18, said Charlie’s death was particularly distressing as her other cat, Bubbles, got run over last week.
She said: “It has been a sad couple of weeks for us. We are all devastated.
“We took Charlie, a tabby, in when he was six weeks old after he had been dumped somewhere.
“My friend found him and we rescued him. He was a big part our family as he was a house cat so was always with us.
“We now only have one cat, Alex, who is devastated also as she wanders around meowing looking for Charlie.”
Lisa is now urging people to be extra vigilant.
She said: “I can’t believe someone would do this. I think this needs to be taken more seriously. I called teh police but they said it was an RSPCA matter. The RSPCA said that cats do wander off and eat things of interest, so I want to make people more aware.”
Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include vomiting; seeming depressed/sleepy; appearing drunk and uncoordinated; seizures (fits) and difficulty breathing.
Signs of poisoning can show 30 minutes after ingestion. It can be two/three days before signs of kidney failure are seen.
The RSPCA warns that poisoning cats can constitute a criminal offence.
Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 the maximum penalty for anyone found guilty is up to 6 months imprisonment and/or a £20,000 fine.
If you suspect your cat has been poisoned you are advised to seek veterinary attention immediately and where possible bring along a sample of the poison.