Cat ‘lucky to survive’ air-gun attack after pellet found in neck

Bobby the cat was shot with an air gun pellet. Photo by Maria Scard.
Bobby the cat was shot with an air gun pellet. Photo by Maria Scard.

A cat that was shot in the head with an air-gun was misdiagnosed for two weeks as having a cat bite.

Matthew and Lousie Ellis from Durrington took their cat Bobby to an emergency vet after they noticed a wound behind the feline’s ear.

An x-ray revealed the air gun pellet lodged in Bobby's neck.

An x-ray revealed the air gun pellet lodged in Bobby's neck.

But it was only when they went for a six-month check-up two weeks later that vets at Cats Whiskers discovered the pellet lodged under the skin.

Owner Lousie said she was shocked at the results of the x-ray.

She said: “I’m still in shock now to be honest because he doesn’t go out far. To think that it’s someone that lives quite close probably, that’s really upsetting.”

She added that her five-year-old daughter, Emily, had been very upset when she found out about Bobby’s injuries.

Bobby has since had the pellet surgically removed and has made a full recovery. Lousie said she had warned her neighbours on Vancouver Road who have cats to be careful.

She said: “We can’t keep him indoors, he’s not an indoor cat, that would be cruel, but it has made me very wary of letting him out. I don’t know what kind of people would do this.”

Staff at Cats Whiskers said Bobby was lucky to survive the shot, which could have hit any number of vital regions in his neck. Without treatment, the wound would have likely worsened to an abscess and caused Bobby further stress.

Vetinary surgeon Amanda Nicholls said: “Where the bullet was, it was really close to its skull, so I think someone was attempting to hit the cat in the head and kill it.

“Unfortunately it had to go through a surgical procedure to get it removed.”

She added that the incident was ‘worrying’ but very unusual in such a residential area. Vet nurse Vicky Dalton-Placzek had seen similar cases before but not for several years. Dr Nicholls said it was the first air-gun shooting she had treated since she opened the specialist cat practice.

She added: “We think it’s really important that all cats are checked regularly, certainly a minimum of six months, so we can pick up on problems that owners may not have noticed.”

The incident follows a spate of attacks on cats in the Guildford area involving air rifle injuries.

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