A WOMAN accidentally killed her cat after giving it paracetamol to treat a limp.

Claire Pritchard gave Midnight a quarter of 500 milligram tablet twice over two days after noticing it was limping.

The drug is poisonous to cats and Midnight died despite treatment.

She was prosecuted by the RSPCA and admitted causing unnecessary suffering and failure to protect the cat from suffering.

The 43-year-old from Mandale Road in West Howe was given a two-year conditional discharge.

Poole Magistrates Court also ordered her to pay £280 in costs.

RSPCA Inspector Graham Hammond, inset, told the Echo afterwards: “Mrs Pritchard said the cat came home and she noticed she was limping.

“She thought it may have been knocked over by a car.”

She gave the cat a quarter of a 500mg tablet followed by a second quarter the following morning.

The cat later collapsed and a family member called the RSPCA asking for help.

She was put on a saline drip to combat dehydration and boost her energy levels but died from organ failure.

Pritchard told the RSPCA she thought cats could take paracetamol because she believed she had seen her mother do it as a child.

“That could have been a cat medicine,” said Insp Hammond, adding: “This case is a warning to other people. She had the use of the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals which is a free service but chose not to use it.

“This cat needlessly died because she administered a substance that is poisonous to cats.

“A cat cannot digest paracetamol the same way a human can because it doesn’t have the same enzyme that is required.

“If you suspect your animal has got an injury refer it to a veterinary surgeon every time.”

The incident occurred between June 19 and 21 this year. Read our interview with Claire Pritchard