Distraught Creswell mum's warning after beloved cat dies from antifreeze poisoning

A cat owner is warning people to be vigilant after her pet died from antifreeze poisoning.

Sunday, 15th December 2019, 11:45 am
Updated Tuesday, 17th December 2019, 3:47 pm
Five-year-old Priya, with Bagheera in happier times.

Vets found antifreeze in Bagheera’s blood after he fell ill suddenly, and sadly had to be put to sleep.

Now his owner Laura Jayne Fletcher, 34 from Creswell, is warning cat owners to be vigilant.

She said: “I was preparing for the school-run and could hear Bagheera being sick but he looked okay. I stroked him and thought ‘oh he’s been eating grass again’ but didn’t think much of it.

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Bagheera 'wasn't even two-years-old' when he passed away.

“On December 4 he began being violently sick and I called the emergency vets, and took him straight to PDSA Veterinary Care in Sheffield - crying and comforting him throughout the journey.

“Bagheera had the regular checks, but I knew something wasn’t right, the vets told me he was dehydrated and I asked if there was a possibility that he had been poisoned.

“The vet took some blood and I cradled Bagheera in my arms. They gave him some fluids and told me they hoped it was just a simple 24-hour sickness.

“I had not been home half an hour before they called and I knew it was bad news - the vet told me my suspicions were right and with his next breath told me that they had found antifreeze in his blood.”

Laura’s children, Liam, 14, five-year-old Priya, who used to ‘push Bagheera around in her pushchair’, and three-year-old Ollie-Jay told their mum ‘they didn’t want him to die and begged the vets to help him’.

Laura added: “He wasn’t even two-years-old, but the vet explained that unfortunately no matter the cats age, the outcome was the same.

“Bagheera’s kidneys were badly damaged and there was nothing more they could do. I was mortified to hear that nothing could be done and I made the decision, with a lump in my throat, and asked the vet to put him to sleep to stop his suffering.

“I asked if the poisoning could have been done on purpose but unfortunately I’ll never know.

“Bagheera is a very much loved cat and my children are devastated. It affects us as a family and I hope that no one else has to suffer losing a pet the way we lost Bagheera.

“My advice is to keep your cats inside, my other two don’t go out anymore. This is something we will never forget. I’ve decided to have Bagheera cremated and he should be back with us just before Christmas. In spirit I know he will be here.”

A spokesperson for RSPCA Chesterfield and North Derbyshire branch said: “This is a very upsetting incident which has resulted in the death of a much-loved family pet.

“We would ask everyone in the area to check where they keep their pesticides and chemicals and make sure they are secure and out of the way. Making sure antifreeze lids are shut tightly or cleaning up any spillages may save an animal’s life.

“Pet-owners are asked to be vigilant and keep an eye on their cats’ well-being - if they are showing symptoms of poisoning, take them for veterinary treatment immediately.

“Signs of poisoning can be seen anything from 30 minutes after ingestion to two or three days. This can include some, or all of the following symptoms: vomiting, seeming depressed or sleepy, appearing drunk or uncoordinated, seizures and difficulty breathing.”