A HEARTBROKEN animal lover is pleading with motorists to be extra vigilant after three cats, including her own, died after apparently drinking antifreeze.
All three animals died after suspected antifreeze consumption in Stanley, County Durham.
It is not thought the deaths were the result of malicious poisoning, but rather were accidental, as the sweet taste of antifreeze is known to be tempting to cats.
Vets are asking anyone with antifreeze in their garage or garden shed to keep it out of reach.
Heartbroken Dianne Cunningham, of Coquet Gardens, South Stanley, had to have her cat Tyrion put down after the two-year-old tabby became seriously ill.
Louise Allmark, of Value Vets in Stanley, immediately suspected antifreeze ingestion, put Tyrion onto a drip and then had him moved to a veterinary hospital in Newcastle. But it was too late to save Tyrion as he had suffered kidney failure.
Mrs Cunningham, a nursery nurse and mother-of-two, said: “He came in last Monday and wasn’t very well.
“Later that night he started crying like a baby and jumped onto the bed next to me and slept all night. He could hardly walk the next morning, was drinking constantly and was in horrendous pain.
“It has devastated us as a family and the house is so quiet without him. I go into the garden and expect him to come running with his tail up. His paw prints were on the window sill and I broke down when I had to wash them off.”
Two other Stanley cats have recently suffered the same fate. One died and another, a tabby and white female named Boo, had to be put down.
Mrs Cunningham said: “I don’t want anybody else to go through this and I would urge anyone who has antifreeze to be cautious. Please wipe up if you spill any and keep it out of reach of pets.”
Ms Allmark said: “Antifreeze is very sweet tasting but causes tremendous suffering if ingested, so we would urge people to be extremely cautious.”
Anyone who suspects a cat has ingested antifreeze should contact a vet immediately, as early treatment improves the animal’s chances of survival.