A CAT was severely injured after being shot through the stomach by an air riffle.

Obi, a one-year-old grey cat, was found in a very bad way at his Cysgod-Y-Bryn home in Colwyn Bay.

Vets found that Obi had been shot through his stomach with a pellet gun, and the bullet had gone onto snap the cat's left back leg.

The shooting took place on either the evening of June 13, or the morning of June 14. Obi was later transferred to a veterinary surgeon in Runcorn for an operation where his broken leg was held into place with an external frame and pins.

Obi has since recovered well from his surgery but his owners have been fearful to let him out in case a repeat incident occurs.

His leg has also become infected, so his treatment continues with a course of antibiotics.

The RSPCA, who were contacted, said it "beggars belief" that someone would target an innocent animal in this way - and continue to call for more regulation linked to the use of air weapons and rifles.

RSPCA inspector Mike Pugh said: "It's been a really tough year for so many of us - but with communities rallying around one another, it beggars belief to think someone has been spending their time taking pot shots at innocent pets like poor Obi.

"We're relieved to hear his surgery was a success and he has made good progress in recent weeks - but this has been a horrible experience for Obi's owner Hayley.

"Sadly, RSPCA officers all too often deal with incidents where cats and other pets have been shot by air weapons and rifles. We continue to support better education and a thorough explanation of the law for users.

"The RSPCA is really eager to find out what happened to poor Obi - and would urge anyone with information about a cat shooting in the local area to contact our inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018."

Hayley, Obi's owner, added: "Obi came home at 8.30am on June 14 in a really bad way - so we know something happened to him that morning or, more likely, the night before.

"Amazingly, Obi had somehow got over our fence and in through a back window, and made his way upstairs. He was crying in pain - and his leg looked like it was hanging off. I was so worried - and initially thought he had been run over. It was obvious his leg was badly broken.

"When vets told us they had found a metal bullet embedded in his thigh, I just couldn't believe it; it doesn't make any sense why anybody would want to do that to an animal. Sadly, the bullet had caused a large amount of damage.

"Obi has recovered really well from his operation - though we've been very worried about letting him out again after what happened. His mobility and balance have gradually returned, but his leg recently became infected, so his treatment is ongoing through antibiotics. But we are just so relieved he is going to be okay."

Anyone with information about the shooting has been urged to contact the RSPCA's inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018.