An Eastbourne cat owner is urging others to have their tom cats neutered after her own pet was attacked and later died.
Ruth Henson says in view of the fact many families would have bought a cat for Christmas owners should take responsibility for their animals and get them neutered and innoculated to protect other cats in the neighbourhood.
She spoke out after her seven-year-old pet cat Mr Pippy had to be put to sleep shortly before Christmas after being attacked by a neighbour’s cat which had not been treated.
She believes another cat in the area may have caused Mr Pippy so much stress he developed an intestinal tumour.
“This particular cat turned up in a neighbour’s garden one day and they took him in,” said Ruth, who lives in Garnett Drive, Ratton.
“But they did not get him neutered or health checked over a period of several years although he presented as visibly disease ridden.”.
“He was emaciated and his coat in very poor condition. He attacked Mr Pippy, who was neutered and inoculated, several times and I was concerned that infections might be transferred as the inoculations don’t offer total protection.
“Sadly, this could well have been the case and my cat died.”
Ruth said on more than one occasion neighbours had seen the other cat chase her own pet and a vet said the injuries showed he had been running away. He needed a £250 operation.
“It seems clear that the attacks from the Tom cat led to Mr Pippy’s illness, which proved fatal for him as well.
“I really feel that cat owners should be made aware of the pain to the animals and distress to the owners when they don’t have their cats neutered and inoculated. This other cat could have, and maybe has for all we know, infected many other cats and left other owners equally distraught.”
A spokesperson for Cats Protection said it recommends kittens are neutered at around four months and is the best way to deal with unwanted pregnancies and prevents some cancers and infections.