A WREXHAM man was horrified to find that a feral cat had been poisoned with a substance that caused chemical burns to its digestive system.

James Dobbins, of Cheshire View, said members of his family helped look after the animal by feeding it.

But poison consumed by the cat left it in such an appalling condition it had to be put down by a vet.

Mr Dobbins said: “It had been in absolute agony, bleeding from the mouth. The only humane thing to do was for the cat to be put to sleep. I was told it had been poisoned. I can’t understand how anyone could be so cruel as to do something like this.”

Mr Dobbins said there was a group of feral cats near his home whose numbers had been dwindling and he feared they may be falling victim to a deliberate poisoner.

“Initially there were about 10 of them, but I think now there are only about two or three left. A little while ago we took in some of the kittens to look after them.”

Mr Dobbins said the cat was found in such a bad state that it could barely move. As a result it was possible to get hold of the animal without it trying to escape and take it to the vet.

Mr Dobbins said as far as he could see the cats which were left appeared to still be in a good condition, but his family were deeply concerned for their safety.

Denis Callanan, a partner at the Gatehouse Veterinary Centre in Borras, said that as well as ulcerating the tongue of the cat, the poison would have caused chemical burns in the animal’s digestive system. Putting it to sleep was the only humane course of action.

A spokesman from the RSPCA said: “The poisoning of a cat can constitute a criminal offence. Under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 the maximum penalty for anyone found guilty of this offence is up to six months imprisonment and/or a fine of £20,000.”