Warning over cat antifreeze threat
The RSPCA is urging the public to be aware of the dangers posed to cats by antifreeze.
Hundreds of cases of antifreeze poisoning have been reported to the society in the last few years.
Now the RSPCA is appealing to the public to take extra care when using the product after five cats died in Norwich on December 30.
The cats named Spike, Rabbit, Sprinkles, Cookie and Theodore, all belonged to Andrew Thompson and his family.
It is thought all five had swallowed antifreeze.
Mr Thompson said: "Our other three cats and our neighbours' cats have all been fine, but we think the antifreeze must have been nearby as they never go far from home.
"It was so upsetting for us and our children to see the cats suffer in the way they did and I just hope that people will be more careful if using antifreeze."
The chemical ethylene glycol, found in some household brands of antifreeze, has potentially lethal consequences when ingested by cats, which seem to enjoy the taste of it.
Dr Kerry Westwood, RSPCA scientific officer for companion animals, said: "Many of us are not aware of just how toxic antifreeze is so it's really important that we all take care when using, storing and disposing of it. It could save an animal from an incredibly painful death."
In 2007, the RSPCA took 41 calls regarding antifreeze poisoning. By 2009 this had gone up to 259 and by November last year, 248 calls had already been taken