A cat found covered in oil has been rescued by the RSPCA – and has been named Diesel after his ordeal.

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The RSPCA received a call from a concerned member of the public who found the black-and-white male cat smelling very strongly of fuel in Price Street, Birkenhead.

RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes said: “Poor Diesel was covered in some sort of oil, which left him very unwell.

“The only way to get this oil off him was to completely shave off all his fur and give him a good wash. On top of this, he was underweight.

“We don’t know how he came to be covered in oil, whether it was deliberate or the result of an accident, and there is no way of telling. What we do know is it was a lucky escape for him. Diesel seemed like the right name for him after what he went through. It just goes to show that as an RSPCA inspector, you never know what sort of jobs you have to deal with day-to-day.IMG-20160317-WA0000.jpg

“If this was a deliberate act, then I urge anyone who knows anything about it to contact us in complete confidence on 0300 123 8018.”

Kay Hawthorn, manager of the RSPCA’s Wirral branch, where Diesel is currently being cared, said: “Diesel now has a special cream to sooth his skin and is doing well. Thankfully, he has got a new home waiting for him already, which he will go to when he is fully recovered.”

When a cat is exposed to a petroleum-like substance, it can result in a severe physical reaction called petroleum hydrocarbon toxicosis, which can cause vomiting, confusion and fever, among other symptoms. If you think your pet has been near a petroleum-like substance, contact your vet immediately.

The RSPCA is a charity and we rely on public donations to exist. To assist our inspectors in carrying out their vital work please text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (Texts cost £3 + one standard network rate message).