Cats killed in poison spree

Michelle and Steve Kitching with Sophia and the surviving cat Bailey
Michelle and Steve Kitching with Sophia and the surviving cat Bailey

A series of mystery cat killings have left neighbours horrified.

Four cats have died and another is missing, believed dead, after the much-loved pets were poisoned with anti-freeze at Countess Way in Euxton, near Leyland.

An investigation is now underway, as residents believe the deaths are deliberate.

Residents and cat owners Ali Lang, Steven and Michelle Kitching, and Ben and Louise Hardman all live next to one another on the road. The neighbours and were shocked to discover that all of their cats were suffering from uncharacteristic symptoms. between May 4 and 13

Four of their pets, Sabrina, Skittyt, Taz, and Jasper, died within a week of each other.

Another, Oscar, is missing.

Vets have confirmed the deaths are all consistent with anti-freeze poisoning.

Taz was the much-loved pet of Steven and Michelle, Jasper belonged to Ben and Louise, and Sabrina and Skitty were the pets of Ali.

Talking on behalf of her neighbours, Michelle, 34, said: “Our cats started acting strange and disorientated.

“I thought that Taz had been run over, because he couldn’t move his back leg, and he couldn’t put one paw in front of the other.

“Our other cat, Bailey, keeps looking round for him.

“We all think it is too much a coincidence to be an accident – it seems a bit strange.

“What the anti-freeze does is make the cat’s kidneys shut down.

“We are neighbours, so we talk – we don’t know if this is happening anywhere else as well.”

Michelle got Taz from the rescue centre when he was just five months old.

He naturally became a big part of the family and the loss has left Michelle’s three-year-old daughter Sophia devastated

All the neighbours are now urging pet owners to keep their cats inside, to prevent them from going through similar distress.

Vet nurse Danielle Crook, who works at Pinewood Veterinary Practice, on Crown Street, Chorley, explained: “There are different stages to anti-freeze poisoning.

“The first stage that the owner should look for will start showing within 30 minutes to 12 hours.

“The cat may be vomiting, have uncoordinated limbs, be showing weakness, urinating, but be drinking quite a lot as well.

“The second stage will come between 12 to 24 hours. The cat will have heavy breathing, it’s not going to be eating, it will go into a coma and be suffering from depression.

“The third stage is between 24 to 72 hours. This is where the renal system will just stop working.

“The cat will still be vomiting, it will be urinating all the time.

“Anti-freeze poisoning basically attacks the nervous system and the renal system, and cats are attracted to it because of its sweet taste.

“If your cat is showing symptoms, get it to the vet as soon as possible.”

The Neighbourhood Policing Team has been made aware of the deaths and is currently investigating the case.

- If cats are being affected by poisonings in your area, then e-mail Rebecca Cohen on or ring 01257 264911.