Another two cats have been shot in the rural Rotorua village of Mamaku adding to a spate of cat shootings which started late last year.
Despite one being shot in the face and another in the leg, this time the two felines survived.
Previous victims, such as "guide cat" Sox and Booboo the hi-fiving cat, died from their injuries.
The SPCA is investigating and seeking clues from the public about who is on the loose with a firearm.
Animal welfare inspector Talia Jenkins said the shootings appeared to all be related.
"The latest cat was also shot with a [high-powered] slug gun and the slug pellet appears to be the same as the slugs used in previous shootings.
"The previous cat was shot in the leg and had to have it amputated. She has since recovered from her ordeal and is doing well with three legs."
Jenkins said the latest shootings were "well within the vicinity" of the others.
The slugs have shattered bone and caused extensive internal trauma to the pets.
Jenkins said the cat shot in the head was lucky to survive, but still needed specialist care.
"The bullet entered the cat's head just above his right eyebrow, the cat is incredibly lucky to have kept his eye. There was a lot of bruising and swelling from the injury and the cat had to remain at the vets on fluids."
The SPCA does not yet have valid leads of inquiry.
"The police are aware of the case. Someone in the small community of Mamaku must know something. We urge that person to come forward."
Mamaku Residents and Ratepayers' Group spokeswoman Wendy Roe said the behaviour was unacceptable.
"Someone's walking round with a gun and that's a concern for anyone in the community whether they're a pet owner or not."
Mamaku resident June Farndon was distraught when her pet Sox was shot in November.
"Sometimes the littlest feet leave the biggest footprints in your life," she said at the time.
Farndon described the shootings as a "criminal act and sadistic, unwarranted violence".
"He was not a nuisance cat or a wandering cat. He was known and loved in the area... There'll be no more pet cats for me. I can't go through this again."
Another, Booboo, was also shot and dumped in the village in September.
At age 10, he learned to do high fives and sit on request.
"He was really friendly, very cuddly, was quite vocal. He would talk a lot," owner Belinda Walker said last year.
She also raised concerns about gun use in a residential area, and the dangers to people, especially children.
"Obviously something is really terribly wrong with them [the culprit]."
The SPCA said Mamaku cat owners should take extra steps to keep their "fur babies" safe.
These included keeping them inside where possible, keeping them to routine and ensuring they were home at mealtimes, checking them regularly for injuries, even very small holes which can be caused by slug guns.
If you have information:
- Contact the Rotorua inspectorate on 07 349 2955
- All information will be treated confidentially