Scottish cat owners warned to be ‘extremely vigilant’ after spate of poisonings in Midlothian

Inspectors have yet to establish whether the incidents - in which one cat has died - are deliberate

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The Independent Online

Scottish cat owners have been warned to be “extremely vigilant” after a spate of poisonings in the last month left three animals ill and a fourth to die a “slow, horrible and painful death”.

An investigation has been launched by the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), which said it is unable to confirm whether the poisonings were deliberate.

All four of the incidents have taken place around Fifth Street in Newtongrange, Midlothian, and Scottish SPCA inspector Emma Phillips said the proximity and timing of the reports was “concerning”.

“The most recent incident took place on Monday (3 March) and the cat involved sadly died,” she said. “The vet who examined this cat said it showed advanced, untreatable symptoms associated with poisoning and we are now in the process of having a post mortem examination carried out on the body to confirm the cause of death.

“Meanwhile we are urging local cat owners to be extremely vigilant while we investigate this matter.

“Although we can't confirm what type of poison has been used, in our experience the most common source is antifreeze.

“Animals which have consumed this substance will display a number of symptoms including vomiting, lethargy and in the latter stages, head-shaking and coma, which ultimately results in renal failure and death.”

Ms Phillips said owners whose cats appear unwell should seek immediate veterinary treatment, and asked that anyone with information call the SPCA’s Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.