Is an anti-freeze cat killer stalking Gloucester?
COULD a cat killer be on the loose in Gloucester?
Owners are terrified that more cats may die after seven were killed by anti-freeze in the Linden area.
While mystery surrounds how they came to drink the lethal substance, all seven cats showed similar symptoms of fitting and kidney failure.
Police are refusing to rule out foul play and vets said while the deaths might be accidental, there could be something more sinister happening.
Three of the poisoned cats belonged to Cecil Road resident Donna Robertson, 41, who first noticed the symptoms on Saturday. She took them to Stephen Crickmore Veterinary Practice where Chivers, five, was put down the same day. Two days later, Toulouse, two, followed.
"It is devastating," said Donna, whose third cat Butler, also two, is now on the mend.
"It all happened so quickly and it doesn't seem real that they are not around anymore.
"I thought it was just my cats affected at first but I knocked on my neighbour's door and she was in floods of tears because the same thing had happened to her cats Archie and Flintoff."
Chris and Bethany James, of Granville Road, lost four-year-old Charlie the cat on October 31.
Bethany said: "It was a total shock to us to see him so ill as he was the happiest, liveliest cat. We are frightened to let our other two cats outside because we don't know where the poison came from."
Vet Stephen Crickmore admitted his first thought was that someone may have killed the cats on purpose. "It does happen," he said.
"Equally it may have been that somebody drained anti-freeze from their car and forgot to clear it away. It only takes a dose as small as a teaspoon to kill a cat."
Another victim was Lucky, who was taken in as a stray by Lauren Redding when she moved into Granville Road last year. She found him dead in an alleyway outside her home.
"Lucky had just started to trust us and settle down. All the neighbours knew him."
Gloucestershire Constabulary said the matter was being investigated by the RSPCA.
A spokesman said: "A PCSO has made reassurance patrols as residents are understandably upset and worried."