A Luton family is distraught after two pet cats died within a week of each other due to suspected poisoning.
The RSPCA hasn’t ruled out that the poisoning was deliberate and is appealing for information after six-month-old Luther passed away – and just a week later his sister Bella suffered the same fate.
Luther came home on October 29 and was sick, he then deteriorated and the following day his family noticed he was very lethargic and rushed him to the emergency vets.
After trying to save Luther the decision was made by the vets to euthanise him. Due to his symptoms the vets concluded he had been poisoned, most likely with anti-freeze.
Just a week later on November 5 Luther’s sister Bella came home with the same symptoms and also had to be euthanised – the same vet concluded she was also most likely poisoned.
Owner Tony O’Connor, of Wharfedale, said: “When we took Luther to the vets we expected him to have been involved in a cat fight – poisoning never even crossed our minds. It was such a shock, and to have lost two cats in a week has been devastating.
“We really want to urge people to be careful about where they are storing items such as anti-freeze as we wouldn’t want any other cat owners to have to go through what my family have gone through.
“It’s been horrible for everyone – so if anything good can come out of this we just want to raise awareness to help others.
“Also to reiterate to owners that if you think something has happened to your cat it’s important to get them to a vet as quickly as possible.”
RSPCA inspector Stephanie Law said: “It’s very strange that both cats fell ill within one week of each other and both on a Saturday.
“We don’t know if they were harmed deliberately or whether someone may have left something out over a weekend that they could have accessed.
“Worryingly, poisoning is not uncommon and cats are naturally inquisitive. However, we cannot rule out the possibility that this could have been a deliberate act of cruelty, so if anybody has any information I would ask them to call the RSPCA in confidence on 0300 123 8018.”
The RSPCA recommends that if a pet owner is concerned that their pet may have been poisoned, they should contact their vet immediately.
Signs that your animal could have been poisoned vary and can include any of the following: depression, lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, breathing, difficulties, appearing drunk and uncoordinated, twitching or seizures.
People should be careful when putting down any substances which are potentially poisonous to ensure that other animals are not affected and that substances are stored appropriately and properly disposed of, rather than dumping them on a roadside or in a park.
For more information, please visit: http://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/general/poisoning
To help the RSPCA investigate cases like this text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).