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Simple steps to keep cats safe following recent spate of suspected poisonings

19 September 2018

Simple steps to keep cats safe following recent spate of suspected poisonings 

Lichfield cat owners are being urged to keep a close eye on their pets following a spate of suspected poisonings in the Trent Valley area.

Cats Protection’s Lichfield & Tamworth Branch has been alerted to a number of cases where cats, including those being looked after by the community, are thought to have been poisoned over recent weeks. 

Volunteers from the branch have since issued a few simple measures that can help keep cats away from danger and enjoying life. As well as encouraging cats to stay close to home they recommend the following:

Keep substances secure. Poisonous substances often found in the home or garden, such as insect and pest killers, antifreeze and disinfectants should be kept securely. 

Remain vigilant to possible acts of cruelty.
If you suspect somebody is acting suspiciously towards cats in the area, report your concerns to the local police and/or RSPCA, along with any descriptions and car number plates you may have noted. If there is a local Neighbourhood Watch, make them aware and inform your neighbours that there may be suspicious activity taking place. 

Ensure cats are neutered, vaccinated and microchipped.
Neutered cats are less likely to roam, lowering the risk of car accidents and less likely to fight and contract serious diseases, which are spread by saliva. Microchipping offers a safe and permanent method of identification, while ensuring cats are vaccinated will protect against parasites and diseases. 

Sue Hocknell, Welfare Team Leader at Cats Protection’s Lichfield & Tamworth Branch, said: “Sadly, we hear too often of reports where cats are being poisoned, becoming injured or of those that have strayed. Following these guidelines and remaining vigilant can help keep cats safe and enjoying themselves throughout the year.”

The Branch is working to trap, neuter and relocate community cats that are currently seeking shelter in certain areas of Lichfield to help reduce the number of unwanted cats and kittens. 

An RSPCA spokesperson said: “We have been made aware of suspected antifreeze poisoning of cats in the Lichfield area. This must’ve been incredibly upsetting for the owners. Deliberately poisoning a protected animal like a cat or a dog is an offence and carries a maximum sentence of six months in prison and/or an unlimited fine. We would urge anyone who has any information about what happened to contact the RSPCA’s appeal line in complete confidence on 0300 123 8018.”

Anyone who thinks their cat is showing signs of poisoning, including lack of appetite, vomiting, diarrhoea, breath difficulties and seizures, should seek veterinary advice as soon as possible. A full list of plants that are hazardous to cats can be found on International Cat Care’s website www.icatcare.org

For further advice and information on cat welfare-related issues please download http://bit.ly/CatSafeAdvice or for more detail http://bit.ly/CatSafeGuide alternatively call Cats Protection’s National Information Line on 03000 12 12 12.

More information about the work of Cats Protection’s Lichfield Branch can be found at: https://www.cats.org.uk/lichfield and to contact the branch, people should call: 0345 371 2741.

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For media enquiries please contact the Media Office on 01825 741 911 or email Media.Office@cats.org.uk