Up to 25 cats may have been poisoned by anti-freeze in just over a week.
It is believed a possible serial pet killer is targeting the animals in the MK41 area of Bedford, where it has been confirmed that ten have died or fallen ill in seven days.
In one road, Maskell Drive, three felines have died and a further two are said to be unlikely to survive.
Last Sunday Sue Bower and her partner Paul Maxam’s cat Barney became ill and when they took him to a vet a toxicology report confirmed he had been poisoned by the chemical, which is known to be fatal to the animals.
Ms Bawer, who lives in Maskell Drive, said: “We are absolutely devastated, Paul rescued Barney a few years ago and it is horrible for us to see him like this as he’s only about five years old. He doesn’t really move much anymore.
“The vet said there was a one in 100 chance that he will live.
“We have a kitten as well, Poppy, and luckily he is too young to go outside yet but we’re afraid to let him out in case the worst happens.”
Louise – whose surname we are withholding – who also lives in the street, said her cat Muppet was put down by the vet on February 24 after the poison caused him to slip into a coma.
She said: “One of my other neighbours told me one of his cats had also died and the other was very ill.
“Someone else also found a dead cat in their garage but no-one seems to know who it belongs to.
“I know some people don’t like cats but to do something like this is terrible.”
Vets in the area, including Vets4Pets in London Road, Acorn House in Linnet Way and Scott Veterinary Clinic in Goldington Road, confirmed that the cats they had treated had suffered from anti-freeze poisoning.
The practices claim ten cats had become ill from the same area but with many people attending an out-of-hours vet over the weekend numbers could be much higher. However, three other sources have told BoS that the number of pets that have been poisoned is believed to in the mid-twenties.
A member of staff from Vets4Pets, Bedford said: “There is a problem in this area, we have had four in the past week.
“If it is being done deliberately it is disgusting and those doing it should be strung up.”
An RSPCA spokesman said: “At this stage we do not know if these deaths were accidental or the type of poison which may have been involved.
“But sadly many cats do die as a result of digesting anti-freeze and we would renew our plea for the public to take extra care when using the product.”
Bedfordshire Police confirmed that they had received a report from a member of the public concerned with animal safety.
Anyone with any information, should contact the police on the nonemergency number 101 or the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.