A cat owner has launched an online campaign to get people to use pet-friendly anti-freeze after her cat was poisoned.
Lucy Stevenson, 34, was devastated when six-year-old Harry died the weekend after Christmas.
She explained: “Harry had come in on Boxing Day and was acting a bit strange but my other cats had been poorly so I put it down to that, but then he got worse.
“There was nothing the vet could do and he died on the Saturday after Christmas.
“He was such a lovely pet and the oldest of all my cats. I really miss him.
“The blood tests showed it was definitely anti-freeze that had killed him.”
Harry had been out in the area near to Lucy’s Norman Street home, Ilkeston.
Since his death she has not let her other cats out for fear that the same may happen to them.
More than 150 people have joined the Facebook page created by Lucy called ‘Campaign to make Ilkeston and surrounding areas safer for our pets’.
She said: “I set up the group because I had not really heard of the anti-freeze thing before so I want to make people aware of it.”
Yvette Rowntree, veterinary surgeon at Ambivet Ilkeston, said that once an animal has taken in the liquid there’s not a lot that can be done.
She explained: “What anti-freeze, screen wash and brake fluid does to animals, and in particular cats, is really nasty.
“Things to look out for include vomiting, wobbliness, animals being generally unwell, they might have fits, heavy breathing or irregular heart rates.
“These symptoms kick in anything between 30 minutes and 12 hours after it has been ingested but unfortunately, even if owners spot them early, it is usually 100 per cent fatal.”
She warned that as temperatures drop cases increase.
She added: “Anti-freeze has a sweet taste to animals so they drink it and of course when it is freezing outside it is the only liquid cats will find so they do drink it.”