A ROSYTH mum believes her family’s cat was deliberately poisoned with anti-freeze.

Stella the tabby died a painful death on Saturday, June 9. An emergency vet tried to save her but the solution had already started to shut her organs down.

The SSPCA said they have seen a "significant rise" in cat poisonings in recent months and have warned owners to stay vigilant.

Given the time of year, many locals believe this act was deliberate.

Owner Lisa Hemphill, of Peasehill Brae, said: “We arrived home and on the front porch there seemed to be some frothy vomit lying there.

“We started calling for the cat straight away but she was nowhere to be seen, which was strange because she always stays close. When she did come back she was all disorientated, her eyes were rolling and she was tumbling over herself.”

Stella was taken to the vets and given oxygen. Tests later revealed she had anti-freeze in her system and after several hours of treatment, her organs began to shut down.

“It was 4am at this point and the vet said that they were going to have to put her to sleep,” Lisa explained.

“You should have heard the noises she was making – it was awful to watch.

“The vet tried their best but it was too late.

“She would have been in so much pain and it’s horrible to think that someone would deliberately do that to an animal.”

Lisa said her six-year-old son was devastated by Stella’s death, especially after their previous cat was knocked down by a car just a couple of years ago.

“He’s been bringing back pictures of her from school and sobbing so it’s absolutely heart-breaking,” she said.

“It’s hard to explain to a little boy why this has happened.

"I think people think they’ll do something just to deter cats away from their garden but people need to realise how much pain they’re going to put that animal through.

"Our dog, Barclay, is lost without Stella too and keeps going out to look for her.

“Lots of people in the area say that a lot of cats have gone missing in the last couple of years and some have been poisoned. Somebody obviously hates cats.”

Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn said: “Unfortunately, we have seen an increase in cat cruelty with a significant rise in cat poisonings. Cats are often victims of cruelty due to their free roaming and friendly nature.

“Poisoning can also happen accidentally so we advise people to be especially careful during the winter when they are using anti-freeze to prevent poisonings caused by spillages.

"We would urge cat owners to be vigilant and anyone who witnesses anything relating to animal cruelty should call our Animal Helpline on 03000 999 999.”