The RSPCA has issued a list of signs to look out for after a local cat died of suspected anti-freeze poisoning.
Darlene, a 3-year-old cat belonging to Jane Richardson and her 17-year-old autistic son, died of kidney failure brought on, it is thought, by poisoning.
Both were left in shock, with the teenager especially devastated because of the bond he had with his pet.
A vet from Priory Veterinary Surgery in Nottingham Road, Ilkeston, said: “I’m not sure why someone would want to do this. Perhaps they have a genuine dislike of cats or a cat has been making a mess in their garden.
“We cannot say for certain that this cat died from anti-freeze poisoning, but foul pay cannot be ruled out.”
There have been other cases of possible anti-freeze poisoning in the area recently.
The RSPCA said owners should look out for the following symptoms in an unwell cat:
• Appearing ‘drunk’
• Difficulty in breathing
• Increased thirst and urine.
If apparent, the cat should be taken to a vet straight away.
Poisoning is a criminal offence under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 punishable by up to six months in jail or a fine of up to £20,000.