As some of us will have seen our first sprinklings of frost this week, this post is a reminder to be really careful when using antifreeze. Ethylene glycol, the toxic component of antifreeze, is sweet and tasty to cats (and indeed all animals), but most often fatal if ingested and if not treated immediately. Any spills can be picked up on paws and then ingested when grooming or by drinking from contaminated water. Even the smallest amounts can cause kidney failure and death.
Early signs that your cat may have ingested antifreeze include vomiting, drooling, loss of coordination and unsteadiness, seizures and difficulty breathing. Prompt vet treatment is essential, but sadly recovery is not always guaranteed.
Prevention is key! Watch your car for any leaks of water coolant or brake fluid and clean up immediately. Be careful to avoid any spills when using antifreeze, and always make sure it’s stored well away from pets. Always dispose of waste product containing ethylene glycol properly. Best of all, seek alternatives, where possible, that don’t contain this toxic ingredient to keep our feline friends – and all animals – safe!