*Photo provided by RSPCA.

An elderly cat from Hastings is having to have her tail amputated after getting serious injuries, which vets believe were caused by her being swung by it.

The RSPCA said it’s believed Patch’s tail had been swung so hard it caused a fractured vertebrae, severe nerve damage and loss of use, and as a result will now have to be amputated.

The animal charity said her owner, who does not wish to be named, believes the incident would have happened on Friday, October 13 in the Freshwater Avenue area of the town.

Patch, 14, was reported to be acting out of character, did not want to eat and was reluctant to go outside.

The owner then continued to monitor her over the weekend, during which time she did not want to be touched and the tail began to hang limply, before the damage was found when she was taken to the vets.

RSPCA inspector Alison Edwards said:

“It is awful to think that someone has deliberately swung a cat by their tail in what is a clear blatant act of animal cruelty.”

The charity said Patch is now on antibiotics and painkillers and is due to have her tail amputated this week.

Anyone who may have information as to what happened is asked to contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018.