The RSPCA has told members of the public to be ‘vigilant’ after a pet cat was shot with an air rifle in High Wycombe.

In the afternoon of Sunday, March 3, Paws the cat was roaming in the Caver Hill area of the town when later on that evening, his owners, Peter and Aroona Smith, heard the animal ‘howling in pain’.

The moggie had also been sick and was struggling to urinate.

The married couple managed to get their pet into a vet first thing Monday morning [March 4], where x-rays discovered a pellet had blocked the cat’s bladder.

Following surgery to remove the bullet, Paws spent several nights under surveillance before returning home.

A volunteer from the RSPCA said: “The owners contacted us after they had taken him to the vet as a scan and surgery were being recommended.

Bucks Free Press: The bullet that was found in Paws' bladder at the start of MarchThe bullet that was found in Paws' bladder at the start of March (Image: NQ)

“They were not financially able to pay the whole cost of this.

“The South Bucks Branch have a welfare and neutering service where we can support owners in this respect.

“We also advised them to contact the police regarding this incident.

“We were pleased that Paws successfully came through the surgery and is now back home recovering.

“The incident is extremely worrying, and we would ask pet owners and parents to be vigilant in the area and report anything suspicious to the police.”

A spokesperson for Thames Valley Police also added: “We received reports of a cat being fired at with an air weapon at some stage on Sunday 3 March in the afternoon.

“The incident occurred in the region of Caver Hill.

“Anybody with any information on the incident is asked to call Thames Valley Police on 101, quoting reference number 43240102040.

“The investigation has been filed, pending further information coming to light, and can be re-opened should any significant information be provided to the force.”

Both Peter and his wife Aroona have adopted several cats in the last few years and at the time of writing, they are housing four felines – two boys and two girls.

But the attack on Paws has made the couple anxious about this happening to their animals again.