Cat owners in Heswall and Gayton in the Wirral are being advised to keep their pets indoors after a spate of poisonings claimed three lives in less than a week.
The cats, who all lived in the Downham Road and Milner Lane area, all died of antifreeze poisoning, under identical circumstances.
“Our cat only had the symptoms of eating something wrong – lethargy, loss of appetite – but rather than recovering from these symptoms, he became less and less responsive,” a bereaved owner told the Globe Wirral.
“By the time we acted it was too late for the vet to help us.”
They warned: “If your cat is in this area and starts showing these symptoms, it might be worth getting them checked out by a vet.
“We don’t know at this point if this was accidental – a spill – or anything more sinister, but three cats in a few days is a bit too much,” they added.
According to the RSPCA, most people are unaware of the danger to pets from antifreeze poisoning.
Consuming even the smallest amount can cause kidney failure and death, especially in cats.
Antifreeze poisoning in cats can show up 30 minutes after eating it, but it may be two or three days before you notice signs of kidney failure.
Symptoms to look out for include vomiting, looking depressed or drowsy, appearing drunk or uncoordinated, seizures, and difficulty breathing.
If left untreated, antifreeze poisoning can cause pain, suffering, distress and ultimately death, the animal charity warns.
He adds that owners should never “watch and wait” and asks pet owners to contact a veterinarian immediately if they think their pet has been poisoned.
Pets die every year from accidental poisonings caused by antifreeze spills and leaks, as well as car cooling water leaks, and with winter approaching, it’s important to be vigilant with these harmful substances.
The RSPCA advises pet owners to regularly check their car for cooling water leaks, and to store, use and dispose of toxic substances carefully.
The news comes after a poll released in May found that a quarter of pet owners are happier to see their pet than their partner after a busy day.
Of 2,000 pet owners surveyed, 73% said they consider their pet part of the family, with 40% even giving them a designated spot on the couch.