A Rotorua cat owner thought someone was playing a prank when she discovered an arrow shot straight across her beloved cat's spine.

Now, she has no money left for food and bills for the next two weeks after she footed the $230 vet bill to remove the arrow which shattered in her cat's back.

Alison St resident Chantelle Gillette said her tabby cat, Sativa, appeared to be shot intentionally on Wednesday night .

The 24-year-old daycare and afterschool care worker said Mangakakahi was a good neighbourhood and she had never had any issues with her animals before.

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She said she did not have children, meaning her pets were like her babies.

"People don't understand. They say, 'oh it's just a cat.' But that's my baby."

"She's an innocent creature who doesn't deserve any of this."

Gillette was about to jump into bed on when she saw Sativa sitting on the bed near her pillow.

"I just saw a puddle of blood. She wasn't moving and there was an arrow straight through her, in one side and out the other."

"She could barely move."

Gillette did not believe her eyes at first.

"I thought my partner maybe thought it was funny to put one of those joke headbands on the cat."

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But the reality of the situation quickly sank in.

"I just broke down. I had a panic attack and dropped to the floor," she said.

"I had no idea what to do in that situation and called the vet at 12am."

She believed Sativa now had nerve damage as she could not move one of her paws but the arrow had "thankfully" just missed her spine.

"We could see her spine through one of the exit wounds when they [the vet] took the arrow out."

"It was shocking."

Gillette said Sativa was normally a happy, but quiet, cat.

"She doesn't usually go close to people, but she'll come to you if she wants a pat.

"Hearing her cry was so heartbreaking on the ride to the vet."

Gillette believed someone had shot at Sativa when she was sitting on a fence or roof due to the arrow's angle.

The vet bill totalled around $230 and meant Chantelle had to dig out all of her grocery money and some of her power bill money - and that's only the first vet bill.

"That's me for another fortnight - no food, no power bill money."

She had not yet reported the incident to the police and hoped to warn others of the incident.

The police have been contacted for comment