A Barnstaple woman has called for cat owners to be vigilant after someone is thought to have cruelly injured her cat’s tail, leading to a double amputation.

The X-ray of Tiggy's damaged tail, which would most likely only have been caused by a human deliberately pulling it.The X-ray of Tiggy's damaged tail, which would most likely only have been caused by a human deliberately pulling it.

Tiggy, a Maine Coon cross, went missing for two days before dragging himself home to Liz Smith at Whiddon Valley in excruciating agony.

The four-and-a-half-year-old cat was rushed to the vets where X-rays showed a huge gap in his tail bones but no crushing or tissue injury, showing it had been pulled or he may have been swung by his tail.

They had to amputate part of his tail and then a week later the rest had to be removed due to the flesh dying, leaving him with no tail and Liz with a £2,000 bill.

In his extreme pain the normally docile cat also bit Liz’s son, leading to a four-hour visit to A and E after the vets.

Tiggy the cat with his once luxurious tail before it was severely injured and had to be amputated. Picture: Liz SmithTiggy the cat with his once luxurious tail before it was severely injured and had to be amputated. Picture: Liz Smith

Liz, who is unable to work due to ill health, was left with large vet bills that she was able to pay thanks to emergency loans from friends and family.

She has launched a Go Fund Me page to try and repay the loans and help with any future treatment Tiggy may need.

Tiggy went missing on the evening of Monday, September 7 and came home on the Wednesday – Liz is still stunned by the cruelty and has urged anyone who thinks they heard or saw anything to report it to the police.

She said: “Never in my entire life did I think it would happen to Tiggy because he’s such a beautiful cat.

The stump left to Tiggy the cat after two amputation operations following what appears to be deliberate injury to his tail by someone in the Whiddon Valley area. Picture: Liz SmithThe stump left to Tiggy the cat after two amputation operations following what appears to be deliberate injury to his tail by someone in the Whiddon Valley area. Picture: Liz Smith

“He is just so loving and gentle, it’s just absolutely cruel what they have done to him, to put it bluntly. Somebody has got to be really sick to hurt an animal.

“Now he just sits at the top of the stairs and he looks so depressed.”

She said she had heard of another cat at Newport that had gone missing and returned with injuries ‘that don’t add up’ and warned other cat owners to be watchful.

She said: “People just need to be aware, I would not want them to go through the trauma and the heartache I have for these past couple of weeks.

“Somebody surely knows something; someone would have heard him crying because he was literally howling in pain.”

A police spokesman said: “We received a report that a pet cat had been injured in the Lower Moor area of Whiddon Valley, Barnstaple, sometime between 7pm on Monday,September and 7pm on Wednesday, September 9.

“It is believed the cat could have had its tail pulled, been swung around or hurt with a trap.

“If any similar incidents have not been reported to police, we would urge people to do so in order for us to gain a clearer picture and to assist us in investigating and preventing any further incidents.”

If you saw or heard anything between September 7-9 in the Whiddon Valley area, please call the police on 101, or email 101@dc.police.uk, quoting crime reference CR/076873/20.

If you would like to donate towards Tiggy’s vet bill, please go to https://www.gofundme.com/f/xc7qw-help-tiggy .