PET owners have been warned to keep an eye on their cats as winter continues.

Cherrydown Vets in Essex has warned about the potentially fatal dangers antifreeze has on pets, particularly cats.

The ingestion of antifreeze can lead to kidney failure in cats.

Felines are more at risk in the winter months when the product is being used regularly.

The main cause of kidney failure is ethylene glycol toxicity, which can be found in many household products such as screen wash, brake fluid, coolants and some types of ink.

Clinical director of Cherrydown Vets, Laura Axten said: “When it’s cold, cats can look for shelter in sheds and garages, which is where many of us store our bottles of antifreeze.

"We advise pet owners to ensure their animals don’t have access to areas where these products are stored

“Time really is of the essence when it comes to antifreeze poisoning in cats.

"The earlier you spot the signs and seek help, the greater their chance of survival.”

The signs owners should look out for are pets walking as if they are drunk, urinating lots or not at all, increased respiratory rate, seizures or drinking lots.

For anyone concerned about their pet showing these symptoms or who knows their pet has come into contact with the toxin, they should visit the vet immediately.

In 2014 and 2015, a number of cats in the Dovercourt and Harwich area had to be put down after ingesting antifreeze.