A timid cat has been severely injured after being shot twice in Market Weighton.
Charity Caring for Cats is appealing for information following the air-gun attack on the feral cat.
X-rays of the large ginger and white male show the animal had been shot in the head twice. One pellet hit the left eye, causing severe damage and abscess, which has had to be removed by a vet. Two shattered teeth have also had to be extracted.
The charity became involved when a concerned resident on Bedale Road in Market Weighton asked them to help trap the cat after noticing it was injured. The animal was a familiar visitor to the person’s garden, frequently scavenging for food.
A spokesperson for the charity, which prioritises the rescue of homeless stray and feral cats, said: “It is a callous individual who can shoot a defenceless animal like this. It has suffered greatly with these terrible wounds over a long period. This cruelty is also not likely to be an isolated incident. We dread to think how many other cats or wildlife have been victims and not survived.
“The two pellets are still embedded in the cat’s skull and jaw bone as they cannot safely be removed. This tomcat has probably only survived because of his size and the higher bone density of unneutered adult males.”
The spokesperson added: “The victim cat is unneutered, has no microchip, and is very timid. His age has been estimated at two to three years. The cat will continue to receive veterinary care at the charity until well enough for a new home.”
Rose Atkin, the charity’s co-founder, commented: “We want responsible cat owners in the Market Weighton area to be aware of the potential danger as a number of pet cats are said to be missing. We are talking to both the local police and the RSPCA about this and are urging anyone with information to come forward.”
Air-gun attacks on cats, other small animals and wildlife are not uncommon. The RSPCA regularly receives reports from vets and pet owners all over the country.
The Caring for Cats spokesperson explained: “There are steps owners can take to minimise the risk to their outdoor cats. We always say cats should be kept indoors from dusk till dawn when most accidents and mischief happen. In high risk areas we would also advise installing cat-proof fencing or building a secure garden enclosure. We provide recommendations on our website (www.caring4cats.org) and have leaflets at our homing centre. In certain areas we would only recommend a cat as an indoor pet.”
Anyone with information about the air-gun attack is asked to call Caring for Cats on 01430 872612.