City warns of toxic cat roaming the streets after chemical vat accident

City warns of toxic cat roaming the streets after chemical vat accident
Toxic cat sparks health scare in Japan

The people of Fukuyama, Japan, have been issued a warning to avoid an "abnormal-looking" cat on the loose, and have been urged to call the police if spotted.

According to the South China Morning Post, the cat in question had fallen into a tank of highly toxic chemicals (molten chromium) at the Nomura Plating factory over the weekend.

Alarm bells were raised when a staff member discovered a trail of yellow paw prints across the car park, prompting them to check the security footage.

To their horror, the feline was spotted entering the factory the night before. It climbed onto a sheet covering the vat before sadly plunging into the chemical, said to be kept at 50 degrees celsius.

Hexavalent chromium is often used in plating. Swallowing the liquid is said to cause inflammation of the throat and internal organs and can cause rashes on the body and eye irritation. If left untreated, it can cause blindness.

Officials went on to urge residents to avoid the cat if they came into contact with it.

Residents were reportedly furious at the company for not having security measures to stop animals from getting into chemicals.

One unnamed official said: We are taking the complaints seriously and will take thorough measures to prevent such incidents from happening again in the future."

"The incident woke us up to the need to take measures to prevent small animals like cats from sneaking in, which is something we had never anticipated before," a spokesperson for the company said, according to the AFP news agency.

At the time of writing, no sightings have been reported of the cat.

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