It is a sad fact that, with the arrival of winter comes an increase in the number of cats poisoned by antifreeze.
Most antifreeze solutions (often used in cars in the winter) are based on a product called ethylene glycol. Ethylene glycol is very toxic to all animals when ingested, causing rapid and frequently fatal injury to the kidneys.
Cats are particularly susceptible due to their specialised metabolism. Cats only need to drink a teaspoon or less of antifreeze for it to cause serious illness and even death. So a curious lick or two from a small spillage could be enough to cause serious poisoning.
International Cat Care (iCatCare) has produced a free poster warning of the dangers of antifreeze to cats. This can be used to raise awareness of this issue and provides advice on keeping cats safe.
The poster can be downloaded for free HERE
It can also be ordered from the iCatCare shop and a hard copy sent to you for a postage fee HERE
Clean up any spills immediately, no matter how small, and make sure pets cannot access the area until it is clean and safe.
Never add antifreeze to garden water-features or ponds. Always keep antifreeze in clearly labelled, robust, sealed containers, away from pets and their environment. Always dispose of antifreeze safely and responsibly. Contact your local authority for advice.
If your pet shows any of the following signs take them to a vet immediately:
- Increased urination
- Increased drinking
- Lethargy (being abnormally sleepy)
- Appearing drunk and uncoordinated
- Seizures (fitting)
- Abnormally fast heartbeat
- Very fast, shallow breathing
The sooner veterinary treatment is received, the better their chances of survival. If left untreated pets can suffer, and will die.
Help International Cat Care to raise awareness of this serious risk and keep cats safe this winter.