Police are warning members of the public to store antifreeze away during the winter months, after a vets’ practice in Warminster dealt with two suspected cases of feline poisoning.
Cats are attracted to the taste and smell of anti-freeze, with just two teaspoons of the liquid – which contains lethal ethylene glycol – enough to kill a cat unless treatment is sought within 60 minutes.
A cat owner from Queens-way, Warminster, reported that their pet had died from drinking the liquid last month, after taking it to Harris Hill and Gibbons veterinarians in Warminster.
PCSO Elizabeth Harms-worth said: “Now winter is upon us, people are using antifreeze in their vehicles. Some cats are attracted to antifreeze and like to drink it.
“I would ask that people are careful and store antifreeze securely in closed containers.
“Also, intentionally leaving out antifreeze in order to cause harm to an animal may constitute a criminal offence.”
Harris Hill and Gibbons in Silver Street, Warminster, confirmed it had recently dealt with a couple of cases where cats were believed to have been poisoned after drinking antifreeze.
Vet Vicky Lenthall said: “It is something we see more of when it gets colder and we recently had a couple of cases that were suspected to be caused by antifreeze.
“Sometimes you do get people leaving it out on purpose and if we get a number of cases, then the police will get involved, but some don’t realise what happens when just a small amount is spilled.
“A cat only has to walk through antifreeze and lick its paws to become ill. They are drawn to its sweet taste and smell, but it causes kidney failure if they eat it.
“People just need to take care not to spill any antifreeze and to mop it up if they do.”
Veterinary nurse Jill Warner, from The Beeches Veterinary Centre in Melksham, added: “It’s just a case of being aware of how dangerous antifreeze is for cats. If anyone is concerned that their cat has eaten any they should get it checked out immediately.”