Four fatal cat poisonings prompt urgent pet safety warning

Four fatal cat poisonings prompt urgent pet safety warning

Police have issued an urgent pet safety warning after four fatal cat poisonings stunned the Swindon area.

Though the exact cause of death is currently unknown, the cats are said to have experienced symptoms of frothing at the mouth, seizures and being cold.

Wiltshire Police has opened a joint investigation with the RSPCA, and issued a warning to pet owners in the Emerald Crescent area of Blunsdon St Andrew.

PCSO Danielle Hindmarsh said: “Four cats have died in tragic circumstances, which has been incredibly upsetting for their owners.

There were around 11 million owned cats in the UK in 2022, according to figures from Cats Protection.


“These deaths have taken place in the last few days and we are working with our partners to get to the bottom of it.

“Please rest assured that we are taking these incidents incredibly seriously and we are appealing for anyone who has information about what has happened to come forward.

“Cat owners should be vigilant about their animals where possible and consider purchasing GPS collars which are readily available online to monitor the movements of their pets.”

The first cat to exhibit symptoms reportedly fell ill at 11:30pm on Friday night.

Betty, who lived with her owner Kate Blackford, 43, was rushed to the local emergency Vets Now practice where she had to be put to sleep.

Kate told the Swindon Advertiser: “I went to the back door and she was making awful noises, heavy breathing and her tongue was hanging out, she started to fit.”

When Kate got home at around 2am in the morning, she received a message from neighbour Sarah Jane-Webb, 33, asking her to help look for her cat, Chase.

Unfortunately, Chase is thought to have also succumbed to the poison, though Kate could not confirm his symptoms.

Down the road, another neighbour, Harri Thompson, 31, woke at 7am to find her cat unwell in the garden.


Harri said: ‘”She was frothing at the mouth, freezing cold, and her paws were bent back so she was walking on her wrists.

“I then got a call at around 11.30 from the vets to tell me that her ribs had been broken and that they didn’t think she’d been hit by a car.”

Sadly, Nala also passed away.

A police spokesperson said: “Cat owners in Blunsdon St Andrew, North Swindon, are being asked to keep a close eye on their pets following a series of poisonings in the area.

“We have received reports of a number of incidents in which cats in Emerald Crescent have been poisoned and sadly died.

“We have started an investigation and are working closely with our partners at the RSPCA to work out what has happened.”

Anyone with information that could assist the investigation is encouraged to contact the police on 101 quoting reference 54230085242, or to report information anonymously, call Crime Stoppers on 0800 555111.

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