Warning to keep cats indoors as three more die in suspicious circumstances

Cat owners are being told to keep their pets indoors after a spate of poisonings left two dead and another fighting for its life.

Three animals, all from the Shephall area in Stevenage, were rushed to vets after they were found weak and sick on Saturday night.

Great Ashby veterinary surgery where they were taken confirmed that one had died, one was put down and another is being cared for by nurses. Anti-freeze poisoning is the suspected cause.

Nicola Taplin lost her “lovely, friendly” ginger tom Dappy, who was put to sleep after seizures and kidney failure.

“I found him lying in the pouring rain, limp. He was taken to the vets after having a seizure. Sadly he didn’t respond to treatment, had more seizures, and needed to be put to sleep after his kidneys were left badly damaged,” she said.

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She added: “The vet said that she thinks it may be deliberate as the other two cats arrived with the same condition, all from Shephall, on the same night.

“The police have been called but there may not be sufficient evidence to take action against anyone as yet. People around this area need to be aware of this and I was told to keep my other cat indoors. I wouldn’t want anyone to see their beloved pet go through the pain and suffering I saw my poor Dappy go through.”

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The poisonings come just weeks after three cats with similar symptoms from the Bedwell area had to be destroyed

John Burnapp, manager at Great Ashby vets, said: “We cannot be certain whether it is anti-freeze poisoning, but when it’s a young cat with kidney failure it is likely.

“It does happen from time to time. It’s something that goes in spates. It might not be intentional – someone may have left anti-freeze out or spilt some. It’s sweet and animals will lick it up. It can cause problems in dogs too but they won’t lap it up like cats. Cats will go for it if they find it, dogs won’t.

“Its effect depends on how much they have had – it can be catastrophic.”

He added that anti-freeze must always be kept in a sealed container and anyone carrying out winter preparations on their car should clean up any spillages.

Herts Police urged anyone with information about the poisoning to contact officers on the new non-emergency number 101.

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