A STRAY ginger cat shocked staff at a Carlisle animal charity after they found it had been shot.

Staff at Oak Tree Farm, on Wetheral Shields, discovered the abandoned cat - named Aslan.

The eight-year-old had been living as a stray for over a year after his owners moved away and left him behind in their garden.

Neighbours fed and looked out for him, but the cat continued to try and get back into his old home.

Following several attempts to get inside the home, the concerned neighbours got in touch with Oak Tree to help him find a new family.

After arriving at the Carlisle charity, the team noticed that Aslan had a bad breath smell around his head, similar to halitosis.

A day later, Aslan developed a runny nose and was sneezing, and staff noticed a slight bulge on the left-hand side of his nose.

The staff sent the cat to be assessed at Eden Veterinary Centre, who put him under anaesthetic and carried out an x-ray, which revealed a foreign object inside his nose.

And to the surprise of the vets, an air-gun pellet was removed from his left nostril.

Aslan's condition has improved following the surgery, but vets suspect the scar tissue in the left nostril has blocked it, meaning he may only be able to breathe through his right nostril.

But the news doesn't seem to be hampering his enthusiasm for life and search for a loving new forever home.

Caroline Johnson, general manager at Oak Tree said: “Aslan is an extremely affectionate and loving cat. We were truly shocked to find an air-gun pellet lodged in his nasal cavity and by the cruelty that he has suffered. Sadly his story is not uncommon.

“We receive several calls every year where owners have relocated and left their pet behind.

"Once stray, previously-owned cats can become vulnerable to attacks by other animals or targeted as victims of antisocial, cruel human behaviour.

"We thank Eden Vets so much for their help in finding the shotgun pellet, extracting it and for their ongoing care and support for Aslan.

"We are so pleased that Aslan is recovering well and look forward to helping him find his forever home where he can get the love and comfort he so deserves.”