A CAT owner was left distraught when his beloved cat got caught in a snare trap near to his home in Egerton.

Russell Walton heard his long-haired Bengal cat Simba cry out in pain on Tuesday evening - a sound he describes as 'sickening'.

Fortunately the snare was too big to trap Simba's neck and instead got stuck around his stomach. The animal's thick coat managed to protect his skin.

The incident happened at around 11pm on July 20, in the area of Cox Green Road.

He said: "I went outside to call him in and I could hear this awful noise - it was sickening - I thought that he'd maybe been attacked by a dog. It was so loud my neighbour heard it too.

"Simba appeared from the bushes after 30 seconds later and I noticed his belly was close to the ground which was strange.

"He was covered in leaves and twigs, not unusual for a long-haired cat, but when I was removing them I noticed this wire caught round his stomach, it was like a noose.


The snare trap made of heavy duty wire

The snare trap made of 'heavy duty wire'


"It was quite big so he'd been able to get his head and front paws through, however it was tight around his belly. I think he must have panicked.

"There was some bruising but luckily no blood. Tufts of hair were missing - I think long haired cats can release hair if they're trapped by a predator.

"He kept panting and grunting, I managed to get it off him and he was very quiet. The next day he didn't eat much, didn't go out and he wouldn't let me rub his belly.

"My friend is a veterinary nurse and she advised me to keep an eye him. By Wednesday evening he seemed to be back on his food so hopefully there were no internal injuries. "

The incident was reported to the RSPCA and Russell wants to warn other pet owners in the area.


Simba was caught in a snare trap in Egerton

Simba was caught in a snare trap in Egerton


Russell added:"I'm just stunned that somebody would do something like this. It's a heavy duty wire and it would take some strength to set it up, this wasn't just something made by a kid.

"It could've been a lot worse - what if it had got his neck and I'd found him dead on my doorstep? I can't bear thinking about it.

"We don't have any problems with rabbits and foxes round here so I don't know why it was set up. It's just disgusting and I want to make sure other owners are aware.

"Simba has helped me get through lockdown. He's such a friendly cat and doesn't cause any trouble, so this has really shaken me up."

An RSPCA spokesperson said: “This sounds like a very distressing incident and we are pleased to hear the poor cat was not seriously hurt despite his ordeal

“There are strict legal conditions on setting certain types of traps and if they are not set in the right way non-target animals, like this cat, can get injured or even killed. If this happens the person setting the trap could potentially be committing an offence.

“The RSPCA is opposed to the manufacture, sale and use of all snares - which are sadly legal to catch certain wild animals - and any trap which causes suffering.

“Snares can’t distinguish between animals and it is thought that many snared animals are not the intended species.

“Anyone with information about who set the snare should call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018."