Cats are said to have nine lives and a long-haired tabby is proving just that after surviving four air gun shots to its head and neck.
Cosmo was handed in to a Cats Protection adoption centre after he was found straying in Petworth and was initially taken to Woodland Veterinary Centre in Midhurst for treatment.
Within a week of arriving at the Haslemere adoption centre, a lump was seen forming on the right side of Cosmo’s head and the cat became lethargic, with the pupil of one eye enlarged.
An X-ray revealed not just one air gun pellet in need of removal, as suspected, but four pellets, all in the head and neck area.
Cat care assistant Joe Campbell said: “Little Cosmo is such a sweet and loving boy that you really wouldn’t have thought he had anything wrong with him.
“It is believed that the pellets had been migrating which may have caused the delay in symptoms emerging.
“He’s now back with us again after his operation and is doing really well, although a little bald around his ears.”
Appeals to find Cosmo’s owner when he was first found did not have any response but the centre has already had some interest in the tabby and Joe hopes to be able to find the furry friend a loving home within a week or two.
Cats Protection is calling for licensing laws for air guns in England and Wales to help protect animals.
Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s head of advocacy and government relations, said the charity estimated at least three cats were killed or injured by an air gun attack each week.
She said: “These attacks cause immense pain and suffering to cats, like Cosmo, and as cats try to hide their pain it can be difficult to know the exact cause upon initial examination.
“Shootings of cats also result in anguish for their owners and fear in their local communities for the safety of people and pets.”
The charity’s petition for air gun regulation is at www.cats.org.uk/airgunspetition