A devastated cat owner has warned pet owners to be careful following a spate of poisonings in Thornton.
The RSPCA is investigating reports of several animals dying after eating something in the Woodland Avenue and Gordon Avenue areas of the town.
And at least three cases have been reported to police in recent weeks.
Heartbroken Kathryn Peart, whose three-year-old Jesse died, said: “The poison had destroyed the inside of his mouth and tongue, making it impossible for him to eat or drink.
“I don’t know if it is accidental or deliberate, but either way I need to know so we can stop another family being devastated in this way.”
The mum-of-two, who has lived in Longton Avenue for just two months, said Jesse fell poorly after returning home from the Woodland Avenue area on Sunday.
The 35-year-old took him to Moy Vets after he became lethargic and unable to walk more than a few steps.
She said: “The vet confirmed he had been poisoned with anti-freeze. I had to have him put to sleep because he was in so much pain.”
The cat’s death has devastated Kathryn’s two young girls, Grace, 10, and Fozia, seven, who have been crying themselves to sleep, and she hopes that, by speaking out, further deaths can be avoided.
“I just want people to be careful,” she added.
An RSPCA spokeswoman said: “Losing a much-loved family pet like this must be very upsetting and distressing for the owners.
“At this stage we do not know if these were accidental incidents or deliberate but we would ask everyone in the area to check where they keep their pesticides and chemicals, including anti-freeze, and make sure it is secure and out of the way of cats.
“People should check their car radiators for leaks too. We would also like to ask everyone in the area to keep an eye on their cats’ well-being and if they are showing symptoms of poisoning get them veterinary treatment immediately.
“Signs of poisoning can be seen anything from 30 minutes after a cat has ingested the chemical, though it can be two or three days before signs of kidney failure are seen.”