St Albans vet says there could be a cat being shot every month

Russell Welsh, the vet who treated a Marshalswick cat last month.

Russell Welsh, the vet who treated a Marshalswick cat last month. - Credit: Archant

A St Albans vet has said there could be as many as one cat being shot every month in the city.

Often people do not even realise, as the cat doesn’t show the agonising pain it is in.

Russell Welsh treated a Marshalswick cat, Billy, who was shot with an air pellet last month.

He said: “There are probably a lot that get killed that you do not see.

“I think I see between five and ten a year, so there is probably one every month.

Mr Welsh said it is difficult to detect the pellets unless you get your cat x-rayed.

He said: “If your cat is unwell, it is possible it could have been a pellet.

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“Unless you x-ray them, you do not know if they have been shot.

“When Billy came in, we thought he had been run-over by a car.”

According to Mr Welsh, the biggest thing for a cat to get over when it has been treated for a pellet wound is shock.

In Billy’s case, the pellet had broken his hind leg, meaning it had to be amputated.

He said: “The good thing about cats is they do extremely well with three legs, after a period of adjustment.

“I have seen several cats lose eyes, as the cat turns to the person, who will aim for the eye.

“When a cat is outside, it is at high risk of being attacked, by dogs, by other cats, or hit by a car.

“Young cats do remarkably well, but it can take four to five months to heal.”

Owners’ also have to recover from the shock of seeing their pet maliciously injured.

Mr Welsh said: “It is the shock of seeing the cat all shaved, and with stitches.”

Mr Welsh hopes the publicity around Billy shows people the danger cats are facing.

He said: “Hopefully this raises awareness. It’s mostly kids who do not realise the damage they have caused.

“They are severely hurting these animals.”