CONCERNED pet owners are calling on the police and animal welfare charities to spring into action following a spate of cat deaths caused by antifreeze.

Mortimer residents have reported seven feline fatalities to Thames Valley Police and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) since March, while two have been reported in the last week alone.

Lynne Skelton, of The Bevers, Mortimer, lost two kittens when the problem first started and is becoming more and more suspicious that the incidents are not a coincidence, with fears of a potential cat killer rising.

She said: "The RSPCA and police took no action at all when we first reported it. A total of seven cats have all died in the same way this year.

"Some action needs to be taken by the appropriate authorities, as this is more than mere coincidence and there are a lot of upset and worried pet owners in the area.

"Antifreeze is fatal to them. When my cats were killed I reported it to the police and we managed to raise some awareness through social media.

"We would appreciate it if the police of RSPCA could come and talk to people to reassure them."

Her daughter Cheryl Liversuch had to have two of her mum's cherished pets put to sleep in March, while the neighbour's cat was also rushed to the vet, but did not survive.

Several cat owners are now being forced to keep their feline friends indoors for fear that people are either deliberately killing the animals or using antifreeze without realising the potential threat.

A spokesman for the RSPCA added: “It is very concerning that there has been several reports of cats dying from suspected poisoning in the Mortimer area.

“The RSPCA understands this must be heartbreaking for the owners involved and we will continue to look into these incidents.

“It is very important that we ask pet-owners to be extra vigilant. We ask everyone in the area to keep an eye on their cats’ wellbeing and if they are showing symptoms of poisoning get them veterinary treatment immediately.

“At this stage we do not know 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 and make sure it is secure and out of the way of cats. People should check their car radiators for leaks too.

“Anyone who has information which could assist the RSPCA in its investigation should contact the appeal line on 0300 123 8018."

Thames Valley Police has been approached for comment.