A family have spoken of their distress after their beloved cat Tiddles returned home with ten slash marks across his head.

Fran Brown, 46, of Northumberland Park, Northumberland Heath, described how the black and white moggy was left traumatised and covered in a black oil like product after coming home on Wednesday evening.

Tiddles, 14-years-old, was rushed to the PDSA Pet Aid Hospital in Thamesmead and looked at by an out-of-hours vet Neus Candela. Ms Brown, who works as a senior office administrator in London, said: ""We were just all in the kitchen standing around chatting when Tiddles came in.

"I didn't realise anything was wrong until I saw a strange black substance on the laminate floor which was dripping off him.

"I looked closer and he looked like he had been covered in oil.

"We rushed him to the PDSA to get him cleaned up straight away."

When Tiddles had been cleaned up Neus noticed the slash marks across his head and broke the news to Ms Brown and her partner Dave Hullett.

Ms Brown added: "It is just terrifying to think that people are going around doing this kind of thing to cats.

"The slashes across Tiddles' head are just shocking. I can't believe anyone could be cruel enough to do this to a defenceless cat.

"We just want to raise awareness and let people know that this is happening in our area."

Miss Candela, who has worked as an emergency vet for ten years, told the News Shopper she had never seen injuries before like those inflicted on Tiddles.

She added: "Thankfully the cuts were superficial and we didn't have to use any stitches.

"There is no doubt that at least two people have held Tiddles down and used a blunt blade to make these slash marks across his head.

"They were definitely inflicted by a human and not by another animal.

"He was an old cat but luckily he was ok in himself and after we had cleaned him up we sent him home.

"This was pure cruelty and has been done just for fun, it was the first time I have ever seen injuries like this in my time as a vet."

Ms Brown said she had informed the police and RSPCA of the incident.