FIVE cats dead in one Wigan street in a week

Tilly at just six-months-old
Tilly at just six-months-old

A spate of poisonings has left five cats dead in a Wigan street in the space of week.

Cat owners in Aspull are “scared to death” of letting their cats out following a disturbing trend which has seen a number of pets poisoned on one street.

Charlie, 18, had been fit and healthy his whole life

Charlie, 18, had been fit and healthy his whole life

Claire Gibbons, who lives on Balcarres Avenue, has had two cats died in the space of six months, both who were “fit and healthy”.

Tilly, a six-year-old female cat, fell ill just over a week ago. Claire rushed her to the vets only to be told that she would not recover.

“The vet quickly examined her,” she said. “He said her heart rate was very slow and she was suffering a lot. I found out through Facebook that a lady two doors up from me, her cat had died just before Tilly. Another lady’s cat has died too, she lives directly opposite me. It’s worrying to think someone could have possibly been doing this to the cats. It’s just too much of a coincidence to be an accident.”

Claire also lost her 18-year-old black cat Charlie in January, but assumed it was due to old age. Unfortunately it was not until Tilly’s untimely death that Claire realised the symptoms were very similar.

It’s worrying to think someone could have possibly been doing this to the cats. It’s just too much of a coincidence to be an accident

Claire Gibbons

The RSPCA is investigating the incidents on Balcarres Avenue and has released details of the symptoms for cat owners to look out for. A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “It is extremely concerning that so many cats have been reported as dying from poison in the same area of Wigan in the last week. We are now in the process of making enquiries and would urge anyone with information about this to call us, in strictest confidence.

“We do not know for sure if these were accidental incidents or deliberate but in the meantime we would ask for everyone in the area to check where they keep their pesticides and chemicals including antifreeze and make sure it is secure and out of the way of cats. People should check their car radiators for leaks too.”

Another Aspull resident, Andrea Thompson Rogers, contacted the Post about her fears as a local cat owner. “I work for a cat rescue in Blackpool but live in Aspull and have cats myself. I’m scared to death. I’m going to talk to the police about it.”

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

The signs of poisoning can include one or more symptoms including vomiting, seeming depressed or sleepy, appearing drunk and uncoordinated, seizures, and difficulty breathing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018 and reference Inspector Susie Micallef.