X-ray from Shaw's Vet Hospital of an air rifle pellet in a cat.
X-ray from Shaw's Vet Hospital of an air rifle pellet in a cat. Contributed

Just shocking: family's pet cat tied down, shot three times

A SUFFOLK Park family's pet cat was most likely tied down when it was shot on its neck and head three times with an air rifle.

Veterinarian Dr Roslyn Fitzgerald from Shaw's Veterinary Hospital in Ballina said she had never seen anything like.

"In my career of 35 years I've often seen a cat with a pellet in it. But this one had three pellets from the neck up," Dr Fitzgerald said.

"How do you do that without lining up the cat?"

>>Anyone who witnesses animal cruelty should contact the RSPCA online or by phoning 1300 CRUELTY (1300 278 358).

Dr Fitzgerald said the year-old long-haired domestic cat was most likely ambushed during the night after it had been let out.

When the cat returned, the owners discovered an open wound on its head with a pellet protruding.

After removing the pellet, they discovered a peculiar lump on the cat's neck and decided to take it to the vet.

It turned out to be a pellet that had entered the cat's neck and travelled 4cm down towards its chest.

"The one on the neck could move, and that's the most critical one because it could actually move into the chest cavity," Dr Fitzgerald said. "And that would be the end of the cat."

Dr Fitzgerald said judging by the x-rays, the pellet appeared to be pointing downwards.

"It's like they've strapped the cat up and had a shot at it," she said.

A pellet was on the back of the cat's head. Fortunately, it didn't penetrate the skull.

Dr Fitzgerald said the cat should make a full recovery.

She said pet owners should keep pets inside at night as such incidents most commonly occurred at night.

She said a good way to train cats to stay inside overnight is to have food out for them at night but not in the day so the cat will be hungry and return in the evening.

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