THE RSPCA is asking pet owners to be cautious after two cats have died from suspected antifreeze poisoning in Redditch.

At this stage it is not known if it happened accidentally, or whether someone purposely fed them the antifreeze.

The two black and white cats, which were brothers from the Paddock Lane area, were found by their owner to be unwell on the morning of Thursday, March 20.

The one-year-old cats were taken to the vets but unfortunately nothing could be done to help them and they sadly had to be put to sleep.

The RSPCA is now asking owners to keep an eye on their pets and for the public to ensure any antifreeze is securely stored so cats cannot access it.

RSPCA Inspector Mark Lewis said: ‘We would like to ask everyone in the area to keep an eye on their cats’ wellbeing.

"Cats only need a fingernail of antifreeze in their system to feel suffer from kidney failure and even death.

"Antifreeze can come from leaky car radiators or even from water features in people’s gardens.

"At this stage we do not know if this is an accidental incident or deliberate but in the meantime we would ask for everyone in the area to check where they keep their anti-freeze and make sure it is secure and out of the way of cats."

Signs of antifreeze poisoning can be seen anything from 30 minutes after a cat has ingested the chemical, although it can be two or three days before signs of kidney failure are seen.

The signs of antifreeze poisoning can include one, or several of the following: vomiting, seeming depressed or sleepy, appearing drunk and uncoordinated, having seizures, difficulty breathing, increased thirst and increased urination

Anyone who suspects that their cat has been poisoned, they should take it to a vet immediately and if possible they should take a sample of what the cat has eaten or drunk, or the container.

Poisoning a cat deliberately is a criminal offence. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, the maximum penalty for those found guilty of this offence is up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £20,000.

If anyone has any information about suspected antifreeze poisonings they can contact the RSPCA in confidence on 0300 1234 999.

To help the RSPCA text HELP to 78866 now to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).