Pet owners in Wilberfoss village near York warned over spate of cat poisonings

Lily was one of a number of healthy cats found dead. Credit: RSCPA

Pet owners are being urged to stay vigilant after a spate of suspicious cat deaths in a Yorkshire village.

The RSCPA is investigating the deaths of two cats feared to be the latest in a series of deliberate killings in Wilberfoss near York.

RSPCA inspector Beth Boyd said: "These incidents appear to have been going on for a long time, but there seems to have been a spike in them at the moment.

"These are young, healthy cats who are turning up dead in their own gardens - it is horrendous."

The latest cats to have died were Natasha Hardman's pets, Narla and Cash. They were found dead within 24 hours of each other on 27 June.

Narla, left, and Cash were found dead in their owner's back garden. Credit: RSPCA

Neither cat was visibly injured, but they were drooling saliva, a sign of poisoning. It comes after Natasha lost two other cats in suspicious circumstances.

She said: "In the 11 years I have lived here around 15 cats have dropped dead without explanation."

Natasha later discovered the cats' mother, LuLu, walking in front of her home with a piece of meat covered in a blue powder, suspected to be rat poison. 

Cats have been found carrying pieces of meat covered in a suspicious blue powder. Credit: RSCPA

Inspector Boyd said: "One neighbour says she has lost three cats in the last two years, one was never found and the other two turned up dead in her garden.

"Another neighbour told me over the space of 20 years six of her cats had turned up dead and she recalled around 12 cats dying suspiciously in a two-week period about four years ago.

"It does appear that someone is targeting cats in this area of the village. A large number of healthy cats have turned up dead in their own gardens with no visible injuries."

The RSPCA is urging owners to look out for signs of poisoning, including vomiting, uncoordinated movements, seizures and breathing difficulties.

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