A Staveley family’s pet cat had to have a front leg amputated after getting its paw caught in an illegal gin trap.
Little Lauren Littlewood, nine, found 13-month-old Inca cowering in pain underneath a hedge in the garden of her Beck Nook home last Friday morning.
The black and white cat had been missing for two days and is believed to have struggled home, hauling the trap with it. She was in a shocked and exhausted state when discovered.
“My youngest daughter saw her out in the garden and came in screaming saying that the cat had a mouse trap on her foot,” said mother-of-three Sharon Littlewood. “The cat was in agony. Her leg was all gnarled up in it. My husband (Dave) could not get it off. The vet had to take her leg off with the trap attached.”
Veterinary nurse Caroline Anderson, of the Oak Hill Veterinary Group, Lake Road, Windermere, said: “The cat was obviously quite shocked. She had not lost a lot of blood but what the trap had done was that it had completely taken off the paw.
“The trap had cut off the blood supply for some time and there was no way that we could recover that leg. We had to amputate right up to the shoulder otherwise it would have dragged the leg.”
RSPCA inspector Alan Green said he believed that the gin trap may have been set nearby because young female cats did not wander far from home.
“This poor cat went through absolute agony and appears to have dragged the trap with it,” said Mr Green, who pointed out that gin traps have been illegal since 1954 and anyone using or owning one faces a £5,000 fine or six months in prison.
Mr Green said the RSPCA had dealt with two cases of cats getting caught in gin traps last year, and he appealed for information about this incident.
Mrs Littlewood said Inca was making a full recovery although at times she forgot that there was a leg missing and fell on her face.
“It’s just so cruel. I can’t believe that people can ever use something like that. It could so easily have been a child that stood on it. If a child had put its hand in it, it would have taken its fingers off.”