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Well-meaning owner accidentally kills cat with paracetamol

Wednesday, 10th October 2012

The dangers of feeding your cat the wrong medicine have been spotlighted by an owner's fatal decision to give her animal paracetamol in order to treat a painful limb.

Claire Pritchard, 45, gave her cat Midnight a quarter of a 500mg tablet in a bid to ease its pain after she saw it limping.

Tragically the two-year-old feline was poisoned by the drug, which is only suitable for humans, and died soon afterwards.

Despite immediately calling the RSPCA and subsequent attempts by vets to keep Midnight alive, Ms Pritchard has since been prosecuted under the Animal Welfare Act 2006, and pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the animal and not catering to its needs. She received a two year conditional discharge and must pay £280 of court costs.

"A cat cannot digest paracetamol the same way a human can because it doesn't have the same enzyme that is required, so it just packed up it's internal organs," stressed Graham Hammond, a spokesman for the RSPCA.

Owners are advised to check with their vet before administering cat medicine.