Bristol woman devastated after autopsy proves her cat Gizmo was poisoned with antifreeze

Gizmo was found dead from anti-freeze poisoning in September and his owner believes it was deliberate. Credit: Nicola Loughnane

A pet owner from Bristol has been left devastated after a £400 autopsy proved her cathad been poisoned by antifreeze.Nicola Loughnane from Withywood said her cat, Gizmo, was found foaming from his nose and mouth and later died.

She took the pet to a local vet to try to find out what happened. Mrs Loughnane said, “I paid £400 for an autopsy at the vets only to find out that he was poisoned by antifreeze.“My cat was just a year old and in perfect health, had a shiny coat and sparkly eyes - so there was no reason for him to pass away.”

Mrs Loughnane says she had received threats that Gizmo would be poisoned. Credit: Nicola Loughnane

Mrs Loughnane believed foul play was involved in her beloved pet's death and claimed she had received threats four weeks earlier that Gizmo would be poisoned for allegedly messing in a nearby garden.She said: “More than one cat has died of antifreeze in the space of a few weeks - with mine being the first. These incidents are occurring weeks apart, this is not just a one off thing- I've heard of at least four cases about this now."The mum added, “This is either somebody being very careless with antifreeze, somebody who has a leak out there or someone who is deliberately putting antifreeze out for the local cats."

Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, it is a criminal offence to poison a cat. The maximum penalty is up to six months in prison and/or a £20,000 fine.A spokesperson for Avon and Somerset Police said: "We received a call from a cat owner on 26 September to say their pet had died and she believed it had been poisoned."House-to-house and CCTV enquiries were carried out. However, there was no evidence which determined how the cat died or showed that its death was as a result of any criminality.”

Why is antifreeze so bad for cats?

If you are topping up your car with anti-freeze for the winter, do wipe up any spills to protect the local cat population. Credit: PA

Vets Now, which has a clinic on Zetland Road in Bristol said, "The active ingredient of antifreeze, ethylene glycol, is rapidly absorbed into the body after drinking.“Within hours it causes severe kidney damage which is very difficult to treat. In one report involving 25 cases, 96% of those affected died.“The first sign you see may be that your cat is very quiet and still, there may be vomiting and wobbliness or falling over as if drunk. This may progress to having a fit, and kidney pain as the kidneys start to fail.“Antifreeze is sweet, so cats like the taste. But a lethal dose is reported to be around 1 to 1.4 ml per kg of bodyweight. That means just one 5ml teaspoon could be enough to kill a cat."