A Wellington couple are reeling at an act of "senseless violence" after their beloved family cat was shot with a slug gun.
Brooklyn man Phil Lewis said they first noticed their 13-year-old cat, Fluffy, "wasn't her normal self" on Wednesday last week.
"She wasn't eating or using the litter tray and was reluctant to move about," he said.
In the morning she had not improved, so Lewis and his partner took her to the vet, where it was eventually discovered Fluffy had been hit in the bowel with a pellet from a slug gun.
Fluffy had to have surgery to removed a section of the bowel and remains on an IV as she recovers.
Her owners are still anxiously waiting to hear if she will pull through, as they were told she was not yet "out of the woods".
"At this stage her recovery is still uncertain," Lewis said.
"She still has a long way to come before she can get back here, she's currently on an IV.
"We are hoping that she improves rapidly but she is battling possible infection whilst recovering from the shooting and surgery, as well as being a mature cat."
After the surgery, the couple contacted police and filed a report.
They believe the shooting happened in the evening on Tuesday, August 13.
Fluffy spends most of her day inside and only goes out for short periods of time.
Lewis said they were "upset and saddened that someone out there would do this to any animal, let alone a friendly cat like Fluffy".
They are scared knowing she is not yet recovered and safely at home.
"If it wasn't for this senseless act, she would be at home with us comfortable and happy."
He urged anyone with information about the attack to contact police or the SPCA.
"No animal should have to go through this suffering, it is a senseless act of violence towards an innocent family pet," he said.
Lewis expected the vet bills to be in excess of $2000.
They were not willing to put her down, saying though she was an older cat they were not ready to give up on her so quickly.
"It's not an age-related reason for her being in the vets, she shouldn't be there at all."
An SPCA spokeswoman said there had been several reported and investigated incidents of cat shootings over the past 12 months.
"We ask anyone who witnessed this incident, has further information about this incident, or anyone in the surrounding area whose cat has been injured in a similar way to please call SPCA and lodge an animal welfare complaint," she said.
"Shooting an animal and causing it suffering in this way is an offence under the Animal Welfare Act."
Depending on the result of an SPCA investigation, an inspector would consider charges of ill treatment or reckless or wilful ill treatment of an animal.
Police confirmed they were investigating the incident.