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Winter Warning to Cat Owners About the Chilling Dangers of Anti-freeze

21 January 2016
Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

UK - As freezing temperatures hit the UK, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home are warning pet owners about the widely unknown chilling hazards behind anti–freeze.

Ethylene glycol, otherwise known as anti-freeze, is a chemical commonly used during the winter to prevent freezing and is frequently used in car radiators, screen washes and de-icers, as well as in garden water features to stop them freezing over.

Cats seem to be attracted to the taste of this chemical which can prove deadly if they ingest it.

At Battersea we take in over 3,000 cats every year, many of whom are strays or cats who like to roam freely outside where anti-freeze could pose an even stronger risk. Cats and especially kittens merely need to lick a small amount of this toxic liquid for them to become seriously ill or worse. Any animal should be taken to the vet immediately if they may have come into contact with anti-freeze.

There are anti-freeze products on the market that are safer for animals and we strongly advocate the universal use and retail of these products which do not contain ethylene glycol to safeguard against future harm and distress for pets and their owners.

Battersea’s Head of Cattery Lindsey Quinlan, says: “‘Anti-freeze poisoning sadly kills an average of 50 cats a month in this country and with the forecasted plummeting temperatures we are urging cat owners to be aware of the following symptoms in their moggies, which can occur within 30 minutes of anti-freeze ingestion:

  • Vomiting
  • Appearing sleepy and disorientated
  • Drinking more than usual
  • Seizures
  • Faster breathing rate
  • Going to the toilet more frequently.

Lindsey continued: “Anti-freeze poisoning is lethal and the faster you can get your cat treated, the better chance it has of surviving. Battersea are calling on all manufacturers of anti-freeze to make their products without the chemical ethylene glycol. It would take little to make this change, but it would have a huge effect on the safety of cats across the country.”

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