According to vets, Sharon Gilder’s 18-month-old tabby cat, Bambit, is just lucky to be alive.

Shot with what is believed to have been an air gun, the vet was unable to retrieve the pellet that caused the injury, as this would have caused even more damage.

Sharon said: “Our family are absolutely devastated by this. We hope that this was an accident and that no other pets are in any danger.

“However we wanted to raise awareness of what has happened and to highlight the dangers and harm caused when air guns are used, in an open environment.”

The incident – which took place around the Camp Lane area of Beaudesert – has been reported to local police who are monitoring the situation.

Anyone who saw or heard anything unusual or suspicious in that area between 4.30pm and 7.30pm on Thursday 18th October should call police on telephone number 101, and quote incident number 137 2510.