A Hamilton-based couple are devastated after their cat Snowy was brutally shot three times, leaving bullet wounds near her jaw, eye and ear.

Snowy the cat came in to her owners home on the outskirts of Hamilton late on Saturday night and jumped on their bed.

A woman close to the couple, who did not want to be named, said when they touched the young cat they discovered she was wet - and when they turned on the light, they discovered blood.

The pair rushed her to the vets and the next day she was assessed at an emergency clinic and booked to see a specialist. "Early Monday morning they got the awful news, that Snowy had been shot three times," the family friend told the Herald.

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"There were bullet fragments lodged in near her ear, her jaw, her eye. Some are only millimetres from where they would have certainly killed her."

The cat went into surgery this morning, when vets would work on her eye, nose and jaw.

The consensus was that one of the bullets had shot through her nose and across her teeth roots before coming out of her eye.

She may need future surgery on her jaw and teeth.

The woman said: "Despite this, she still purrs whenever she sees her owners, and tries to reach them through the cage for smooches," she said.

The couple's son has set up a Givealittle page to help with Snowy's vet bills, which were estimated to be $5000.

"Snowy will need surgery to remove her eye, treatment to get lead fragments out of her system, and an extended stay at the vet," the page read.

"Despite her injuries she's still friendly and battling to get through this, so putting her down doesn't seem right."

The owner's son said if more money was raised than what was needed, it would be donated to Crazy Cat Lady Cat Rescue, where Snowy was adopted from.

The page had raised just over $5000 since it was set up yesterday.