WHITEHAVEN resident Sky Cox and her family have been left distraught after their beloved pet cat, Benny, died from poison.

His death follows a number of other feline deaths in the area, with the RSPCA issuing advice about what to do in a suspected poisoning following the incidents.

On December 30, the family said that Benny was let out as normal, but he returned home and begun frantically meowing and acting out of character. He ate and drank normally, but the next day he seemed unstable on his feet. 

His behaviour at home did not match up to poisoning, they said. There was no vomiting, seizures, or lethargic breathing, he was just dizzy and fatigued.

By day three, Ms Cox considered going to the vets, but after Christmas, her family were strapped for cash. She was offered support by her friends, and the next day she went to The Vet Whitehaven.

Ms Cox said: "I was extremely emotional taking him in as he was now struggling to drink and eat. He had a health check and his kidneys felt swollen.

"We spoke about the next steps, and I took him home to discuss this with my partner, Kris. Benny appeared to be making some progress, drinking a bit better, jumping up and down, and wanting to sit in his favourite spot."

However, the results of the blood tests showed that Benny's kidneys were failing due to poison in his system, and further intervention would not save him.

Ms Cox said: "My partner called and they confirmed that the poison levels were so high that the machine couldn't grasp them, some being so high that it was at human standards."

She said the levels of poison indicated that it was possibly not accidental.

"He had to then book him in that day for us all to say goodbye to spare him any more pain."

Whitehaven News: Benny with his sister, PumpkinBenny with his sister, Pumpkin (Image: Supplied)

Ms Cox and her family have been left distraught. She said: "He was a silent boy but very present. We feel a deep hole in our home."

She posted a message into the Mirehouse Matters page on Facebook and multiple people said their cats had suffered the same fate.

Sarah Morris told the Whitehaven News: "I lost all three of my cats due to anti-freeze poisoning. I tried to save them at the vets but it just couldn't be done. We never found out who was responsible."

Cassie Telford said her cat Jet was returned home wobbly and would not eat or drink. He sadly later passed away.

An RSPCA spokesperson said: “We are always very concerned to hear about suspected poisoning in pets and we are so sorry to hear this poor lady has lost her beloved cat Benny - our heart goes out to her."

“It is beneficial to confirm which poison is responsible to increase the chance of locating the source so other pets and animals in the local area can be protected.

“It is always difficult to determine if cases are accidental incidents or deliberate, however poisoning an animal deliberately is a criminal offence under the Animal Welfare Act.

“Signs of poisoning can be seen anything from 30 minutes after an animal 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 several of the following:

  • Vomiting
  • Seeming depressed or sleepy
  • Appearing drunk and uncoordinated
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty breathing

“If you suspect that your pet has been poisoned you must take it to a vet immediately. If possible, you should take a sample of what they have eaten/drunk, or the container.

“If someone believes someone is deliberately poisoning their pets we would urge them to report to the police or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999."