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VIGILANCE: family cat put to sleep due to anti-freeze poisoning

Two cats side by side, one of which died from antifreeze poisoning cat-sad
© Tina Chirgwin – Facebook

Pet owners across the UK have been asked to remain vigilant after a spate of suspected poisonings claims the lives of four cats in Essex. Although unclear whether the incidents are related or deliberate, the RSCPA and other shelters say protection is more effective than treatment.

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 03/09/2019, 13:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:42

Clacton and Frinton Gazette today reported on the case of Bunny, a three-year-old cat that tragically lost its life due to what a vet believes was anti-freeze poisoning.

Bunny’s owner Tina Chirgwin from Great Clacton noticed in the morning Bunny’s failing health. Writes the Gazette, Ms Chirgwin noticed how the cat was “unusually grumpy and withdrawn.”

In the afternoon she started being sick but it was like a foam,” said Chirgwin. “In the space of ten minutes it was like she was drunk, stumbling about and wouldn’t respond.”

By the end of the day, Bunny had been put down. She had suffered irreversible kidney failure.


Missing! Please look out for our girl who didn't come home last night. She is micro chipped and was wearing a pink...

Posted by Tina Chirgwin on Monday, November 12, 2018

An RSPCA spokesman said,“This is an upsetting incident which has resulted in the death of a much-loved family pet.

We would ask everyone in the area to check where they keep their pesticides and chemicals and make sure they are secure and out of the way, making sure anti-freeze lids are shut tightly or cleaning up any spillages may save an animal’s life.”


Whether or not Bunny’s death was caused deliberately remains to be seen. Earlier in the year the RSPCA advised owners to remain vigilant after three cats belonging to a family in Colchester died of an apparent poisoning.

Cats (and dogs) are tempted by antifreeze because it tastes sweet. More often than not they will encounter puddles of it beneath cars. Anti-freeze bottles left uncapped are particularly tempting. But to drink just small amounts of antifreeze can cause death: the chemicals contained within the fluid are fatally toxic to the cat's brain, kidneys and liver.

Some symptoms of antifreeze toxicity include nausea and vomiting, dizziness, tremors, twitches and increased urination. If you suspect your cat has come into contact with anti-freeze or any other chemical substance, you should take it to your nearest vet.