The RSPCA is appealing for information after a cat was found without any CLAWS.
The young male moggie, named Rinder, is believed to have been de-clawed – classed as an illegal mutilation in the UK.
He turned up in a couple’s garden in Kirton last Tuesday and they quickly became concerned for his welfare and called the animal charity.
RSPCA inspector Becky Harper, who went along to collect him, said: “He was bedraggled, matted and skinny.
“When I first saw him I thought he was an old cat, due to his appearance, but he is clearly a young, entire male.
“The couple gave him a little bit of tinned casserole meat and when he came back for second and third helpings they knew his thin condition wasn’t due to a lack of appetite.
“What is very strange is that an exam at the vets revealed he has no claws on any of his feet.
“Sometimes when cats are involved in traffic accidents some of their claws get broken or scuffed, but there was no sign that he had been injured in any way and the fact that they were all were missing leads me to believe someone may have de-clawed him.
“We don’t know if he has been badly neglected and then dumped on the main road, or whether he has been straying for a while and, since he has no claws he has been unable to hunt and care for himself.
“It’s a bit of a mystery how such a friendly young cat has ended up in such a sad state.”
The grey and white long-haired cat – who RSPCA staff have named after Strictly’s dancing judge – was taken to the vets and checked over.
He had no microchip and scales showed he weighed just 2.1kg – around half of what he should.
An examination also revealed that he had badly matted fur, ear mites and fleas.
He is now being cared for by the RSPCA East Lincolnshire branch and will be available for rehoming once he is fit and healthy.
Inspector Harper added: “Rinder is so affectionate and lovable and, with some TLC, he should be ready to find a new home soon.”
• The RSPCA is a charity relying on donations to exist. To assist inspectors in carrying out their vital work text HELP to 78866 to give £3 (texts cost £3 plus one standard network rate message).