Warning to cat owners as three die from antifreeze

Lesley MacKenzie with kids Ethan and Erin
Lesley MacKenzie with kids Ethan and Erin
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CAT owners are being urged to be vigilant after three cats from the same street died in a week from antifreeze poisoning.

There are fears the pets could have been harmed deliberately and police have confirmed they are investigating.

Post mortem results have established two of the animals died after consuming antifreeze, which is lethal to cats, while another is suspected to have died after coming in to contact with the substance.

All of the cats belonged to owners in Cairntows Close, Craigmillar, where fears are rife the pets were targeted.

Lesley Mackenzie’s cat Poppet, who was only a year old, was put down on Saturday after the black and white moggy ingested the liquid.

Carer Lesley, 40, who lives with supermarket worker husband Kevin, 39, daughter Erin, 10 and nephew Ethan, 10, said: “Someone is doing this on purpose. Some people in the street have stopped letting their cats out – I’m worried it’s going to happen again.”

The symptoms of antifreeze poisoning include nausea and vomiting, depression and a wobbly, uncoordinated or drunken-appearing gait.

Even the smallest amount, which has a taste that appeals to cats, can lead to kidney ­failure and death.

Lesley said the latest deaths follow a spate of poisonings in the same street last winter in which three animals died.

She said: “It’s a horrific way for a cat to die. I noticed Poppet was staggering. In fact it sounded like he fell down the stairs – like he was drunk.

“We took him to the emergency vet but it was too late, he didn’t improve. Poppet was a lovely placid cat, he looked a bit like Jess from Postman Pat and I think that’s why my daughter loved him so much. This is not the sort of thing that two 10-year-olds should be witnessing happening to their loved pet and I hope that no other neighbour has to go through what we have in the last 24 hours.”

SSPCA Senior Inspector John Toule said: “Post-mortem results have confirmed that two cats from the Cairntows Close area died as a result of antifreeze poisoning. We have also received a report another cat from this street has died from suspected poisoning. Without other evidence we can’t say whether the poisonings were deliberate or accidental but there is obviously a source nearby.

“It may be that someone has simply spilled some antifreeze while servicing their car or cleaning their garage, but we also have to consider that someone could’ve left this substance out in to cause animals harm.” A Lothian and Borders Police spokesman said: “Inquiries are ongoing in to the death of three animals, two of which died after ingesting antifreeze and another cat which is suspected to have consumed antifreeze.”