RSPCA inspectors are appealing for help finding the owner of a white cat that was shot on Friday morning.
The injured moggy was found on Plumtree Avenue in Bewsey and taken to the vets.
The woman who found the cat initiallly thought she had been injured in a road accident but after an x-ray it was found the cat had been shot in the chest and the pellet was embedded in her shoulder.
Vets have confirmed the air gun pellet damaged a nerve which has caused paralysis in her front right leg and said the cat’s future is now looking 'uncertain'.
Inspector Louise Showering said: “This poor cat must have suffered a great deal of pain from being shot and was probably trying to make her way home.
“I want to hear from anyone who knows who shot this poor cat, it was a really cruel thing to do and has caused very serious injuries which she may not recover from.”
The number of airgun attacks on animals in Cheshire reported to the RSPCA has increased over recent years.
In 2012 there was five reports, nine reports in 2013 and in the first seven months of this year there have been 10 complaints already.
Under the Animal Welfare Act, if someone is caught deliberately using an air weapon to injure an animal they could face a £20,000 fine and/or up to six months in prison.
The white adult cat is being currently being cared for at the RSPCA animal hospital in Manchester where she is being given pain relief and kept comfortable.
Inspector Showering is keen to trace the cat’s owners as she is not microchipped.
She added: “She is a lovely little cat who is probably someone’s much-loved pet and I would really like to hear from her owners."
Anyone with information about the air gun attack or who owns the cat can call 0300 123 8018.
To help the RSPCA investigate cases like this text the word HELP to 78866 (texts cost £3 plus one standard network rate message).