A NEW Forest family have been left horrified after their beloved cat was left mutilated following a “barbaric” attack.

The Nicholson family have told of their horror after discovering that their pet cat, Beans, had been shot in the head with a 15mm steel ball.

The 10-year-old cat has been left with a horrific injury and a fractured skull following the attack on November 27 and vets were forced to remove his eye.

It is believed the metal ball was shot from a slingshot or small cross-bow type device.

Daily Echo:

The family from Bartley are now appealing for help to find the perpetrator.

Beans had come “staggering” home on Friday evening and his owners discovered the tabby cat had sustained a serious injury to his head.

Beans was rushed to Seadown Vet and he was taken in for emergency surgery.

During the surgery, they were forced to remove his eye as it could not be saved.

But they were stunned to find a 15mm steel ball buried in Beans’ skull.

Daily Echo:

Peter Nicholson, Beans’ owner, told the Daily Echo: “He was incredibly lucky to have survived as he had also sustained a fractured skull in the mindless attack.

“We live in a small village in the New Forest and cannot believe how someone could want to shoot, and clearly try to kill someone’s pet.

“Whether you love cats or hate them, there can be no excuse for such a barbaric and cruel act. The matter was reported to the police and the RSPCA who are both keen to receive any further information if anyone can shed any light on who may have perpetrated such a horrible act.

“This person must be stopped before they injure, or kill another pet or even a cause harm to a person.”

Fortunately, Beans was able to return home and is now on a slow road to recovery.

A spokesperson for the RSPCA said: “We hope that Beans is making a good recovery after his ordeal. It is very distressing to think that people take pleasure in causing such horrific injuries to defenceless animals.

“Cats and wildlife are sadly more susceptible to these incidents simply because they are out in the open with no one to protect them.

“We’d encourage anyone with information about the person who did this to contact us on 0300 1234 999.”

A spokesperson from Hampshire Police confirmed they are aware of the incident.

They said: "We can confirm that an incident was reported to police at 1.36pm on Sunday 29 November after a cat was attacked with a small marble or steel ball near to Chinham Road.

"The incident occurred sometime between 9pm and 9.20pm on Friday 27 November, with the cat suffering significant injuries as a result.

"Anyone with information is asked to call 101, quoting 44200461683. Alternatively, you can contact independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111."