Heartbroken family have had six cats poisoned in just three years
A family has had to deal with the loss of six beloved pet cats after they were poisoned over the course of just three years.
Kerry Ridgment moved back to Callington, where she was brought up, in 2018 with her family, cats and dogs.
However, since moving, six of her cats have returned from the outdoors presenting the same sequence of symptoms including vomiting, being unable to walk, seizures and kidney failure. Each time, Kerry, mother of three and expecting a baby, had to make the difficult decision to put them to sleep.
Pheonix, two years old, was their sixth cat to be put to rest last night (March 19). Kerry said: “I feel so helpless and distressed, it is devastating for my children. My five year old daughter, Madison, thinks we’re going to die whenever we get ill because that is all she has seen happen with our cats.”
Blood tests conducted by the vets confirm the cats were being poisoned by weed killer or antifreeze. However, due to difficulty in proving where it is coming from, Kerry says that the RSPCA or the police have not been able to prevent it reoccurring.
“The RSPCA handed out leaflets to neighbours advising on what chemicals they should or shouldn’t use in their gardens but it’s clearly not enough. I’m worried about all the other wildlife out there- the birds and the squirrels. It’s a horrible, slow way to die and without an owner putting them down they must be dying in so much pain," she said.
After their first cat, Jesse, was put down in 2019 at just 11 months, Kerry tried her best to stop her cats from leaving the family’s garden and becoming exposed to the poison. However, inevitably, she was not been able to limit their roaming entirely.
She is now safeguarding her remaining pets in her daughter’s bedroom because she doesn't want to risk them becoming ill, especially with the accumulating cost of the vet fees. Kerry said: “It’s really difficult trying to keep them safe and inside while I have young children-it’s just not realistic but I can’t risk letting them get out.
“It’s making me feel trapped here and unsafe- if someone is doing this maliciously then what’s to stop them doing it to my dogs next? I’m now watching people and wondering who it could be.”
By using a tracker attached to Pheonix, Kerry says the poison must be somewhere within her estate as he didn’t travel far from the house before returning seriously ill. The family’s cats are not the only ones to be affected and other neighbours have also reported having to put down their healthy cats as result of the same symptoms.
“Noone has listened to me for the last three years- I just want to warn people so we can try to stop this before any other cats or animals die.”