Thugs are thought to have attempted to castrate a family cat.

Sonic, aged nine months, was rushed to the vet who had to operate to complete the neutering.

Owner Jo Haward, of The Spinnakers, St Lawrence, said he had spent the night outside and returned home injured the following morning.

Staff at Church View Veterinary Clinic in Southminster operated on Sonic and found the wound was very neat, unlike what they would expect from a fight or injury.