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Antifreeze Poisoning – In memory of Rupert the Cat

Rupert the Cat

Rupert the Cat

Updated 22 March 2014, please read and share this article including the update information from Calder Vets  in Yorkshire, UK, at the end of the article.


We lost our poor we Rupert, our young cat, today (8th February 2014). He was beautiful and one of the friendliest cats we have met.

As a companion animal, Rupert was a vital part of our household, as it was a constant companion for someone with a chronic long-term illness.

It is with a very heavy heart we had to say goodbye to Rupert as he was poisoned and died, we don’t know if it was accidental or deliberate, but the vet staff suspect it was due to ethylene glycol (antifreeze).

Antifreeze is toxic to all life and can kill humans as well as pets.

The poison caused total and complete renal failure. Rupert died within 48 hours, some cats can last longer but it is a cruel and uncomfortable fate.

We obtained medical assistance quickly after a sudden onset illness and he received pain medication quickly but this brings us no comfort now because we do not have our Rupert at home with us now. 

It appears that poisoning by antifreeze is quite common as cats are attracted to its “sweetness”.

Some precautions.

  • If you maintain your vehicles at home please ensure all liquid products are stored correctly and that any spillage are immediately and appropriately cleaned.
  • Do not just wash them down into the gutter or storm water system.
  • Check under your vehicles to see if overflow of radiator liquids are on the ground and clean appropriately.
  • Keep all pets away from work areas.
  • If you suspect that an animal has consumed this poison, get immediate medical assistance, do not wait.
  • If your pet is looking “off-colour” or is in pain, get help.

Here is a link to more information about antifreeze poisoning

The staff at Humanimals in South Dunedin  have been fantastic and their care of Rupert in his last hours was exceptional their communications with us have been sensitive and caring. Please use their services if you are in Dunedin, we highly recommend them.

Paul S Allen



Here is information about Antifreeze Poisoning in cats from UK vet Calder Vets. Please read and take note.

Winter Pet Care Advice: The Dangers of Antifreeze Poisoning in Cats

Photo from Calder Vets UK

Stuart Cooke, veterinary surgeon and managing director here at Calder Vets, said: “Most of us have antifreeze to hand in the winter months ready to de-ice our cars following an overnight frost.

“But many people don’t realise how toxic the substance can be to cats. When it’s cold, cats can look for shelter in sheds and garages, which is where many of us store our bottles of antifreeze. As the latest cold snap draws in we’re urging people to keep their antifreeze out of cats’ reach.

“Unfortunately the scent of antifreeze is enticing to cats, but if they ingest it, it could kill them. I am urging cat owners to watch out for the symptoms of antifreeze poisoning in their pets.” 

Please continue reading here … Calder Vets

Paul S Allen

Further update (22 March 2014)

We now have a new feline friend adopted from SPCA Otago in Dunedin, NZ.  She is a one year old female shorthair tabby/tortie.

Let me introduce you to Misty the Magnificent

Misty the Magnificent

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