Cat falls into vat of deadly chemicals, puts Japanese city on high alert

A security camera feed from a factory in Japan captured an alarming sight – a cat scampering away covered in toxic chemicals. The cat had apparently fallen into a vat containing hexavalent chromium at the Nomura Plating factory in Fukuyama city, Hiroshima prefecture on Sunday night. Its orange-yellow footprints trailing from the container prompted the company to contact authorities.

Hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium 6, is a highly dangerous substance that can cause severe skin and eye irritation, lung cancer if inhaled, and even death if ingested. Workers handling the chemical at the plant wear protective gear. While the cat's condition and whereabouts remain unknown, city officials fear it may have died from exposure. They warned residents, especially school children, to avoid any cats appearing ill or abnormal and to report sightings to authorities.

From The Washington Post:

The cat's whereabouts and fate remain unknown. The city's environmental team has said the cat may be dead, but have asked that "any sightings of a cat with abnormalities should be reported to city officials or the police, and people should absolutely not touch it," Asahi Shimbun reported.

Authorities advised local primary schools to tell students not to approach any cats that appeared ill or abnormal, according to Nippon TV News.

On social media, many Japanese cat lovers expressed sympathy for the animal. "The cat that fell in the chemical tank must be so uncomfortable and in so much pain right now," one person wrote. "Covered in sticky liquid, it's probably trying very hard to clean itself by licking the toxic substance and getting more and more unwell."

See also: Cats put on lockdown in Germany