Symptoms of antifreeze poisoning in animals

Leonard Hotchkiss and one of his cats.
Leonard Hotchkiss and one of his cats.

A man who lost two cats after they were poisoned with antifreeze has welcomed discussions in parliament to control the deadly substance.

Leonard Hotchkiss spoke to the Advertiser in September after seven cats were poisoned in three months – including two of his own – in the Norman Street area of Cotmanhay.

He said his much-loved cats Timmy and Butch digested anti-freeze, as it has a sweetness which appeals to animals.

At the time he commented: “I don’t know why someone would do it. It’s heartbreaking I can tell you.”

But now, amid news that 22 cats were poisoned in Calverton, Nottinghamshire, Sherwood MP Mark Spencer brought the issue to Parliament on Tuesday.

Mr Spencer, who has a cat called Parsnip, said: “If [these deaths are] malicious then that is a very serious criminal offence. People are genuinely worried. They don’t want to let their cat out in case they don’t see them again.”

The issue to be debated is the ‘control of antifreeze products and protection of animals’.

Leonard said: “I am fully behind this. It is a very serious issue and I’m glad that it has been discussed in parliament.

“I’m not sure if it will be possible to regulate the sale of anti-freeze, but I hope that a resolution can be passed to either remove the chemical that attracts cats or to put something else in the product which ruins the taste for them.”

Antifreeze contains ethylene glycol which forms crystals inside the animals, damaging kidney tissue and causing 
kidney failure.

As the Advertiser went to press the result of the debate had not yet been released.