The RSPCA is appealing for information after a cat was shot with a crossbow bolt which went right through into his body.

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It was not initially obvious what was wrong with the cat – until an x-ray showed the six-inch bolt inside his body, which had gone in by his left hind leg.

It is believed that the incident happened near to the cat’s home in Balfour Road, Kingswinford, at around 9pm on Sunday (7 May). The nine-year-old male cat had to have emergency surgery to remove the bolt and is now recovering back at home after a two-day stay at a vets.

Rachel Butler, spokesperson for the RSPCA in the West Midlands, said: “It is very concerning that someone has deliberately targeted an innocent animal like this. Thankfully, the cat will be OK, but he has been through a horrible ordeal.

“We are appealing for anyone with information to contact us in complete confidence on 0300 123 8018.

“Unfortunately, attacks like this are not as rare as we would like. Cats and wildlife are more susceptible to these incidents simply because they are out in the open with no one to protect them.

“We’d also like to remind people that anyone caught deliberately harming an animal can be up to six months in prison and an unlimited fine if found guilty under the Animal Welfare Act.”

Vet Lisa Apted, who treated the cat at Connaught House Veterinary Hospital in Tettenhall Road, Wolverhampton, said: “The cat was brought into us by his worried owners after he came home but was unable to jump up onto a surface like he usually would.

“Upon examination, the cat had a small circular wound present at the back of his leg, and when I felt his leg I could feel the point of a crossbow bolt poking out just above his kneecap. An x-ray showed there was a crossbow bolt in his body, and we operated immediately to remove it.

“He was in shock and in a lot of pain, but the bolt luckily managed to miss a lot of vital structures. Had the bolt been on the inside of his leg, he could have suffered nerve damage – but luckily this did not occur.”

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.)