A New Malden family were left devastated after their cats were repeatedly shot with an air gun and suffered horrific injuries.

Ray Cottee, who lives with his family on Muybridge Road in New Malden, told the Comet they and their two cats had been left traumatised after an unknown assailant targeted the cats on more than one occasion with what police believe to be an air rifle.

The cats — Stan and Margot — appear to have been shot with air rifle pellets, and sustained serious injuries that required surgery at a significant emotional and financial cost to the family.

The Met Police confirmed they had investigated the incident, as Mr Cottee offered a cash reward for anyone who had information on what happened — the shooter's identity is still unknown.

Wimbledon Times: Stanley after surgeryStanley after surgery

The New Malden resident described the family's ordeal in detail during a conversation with the Comet.

"In January this year me and my family were all out for the day, when we came home we noticed our youngest cat Margot limping.

"My daughter and I took Margot to the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) to find out that she had been shot with a pellet gun. Margot had the pellet removed by the RSPCA," Mr Cottee recounted.

Worse was to come, as the family soon found out their other cat had been shot and sustained even more severe injuries.

"Our older cat, Stanley did not return that night for the first time ever and didn't come back for the next two days and two nights — when we found her we could tell straight away she had been been shot and injured.

"We took Stan to the RSPCA. She had also been shot with the same gun and her thigh bone was completely shattered," Mr Cottee said.

Wimbledon Times: Stanley after surgeryStanley after surgery

He added that Stan had to undergo intense surgery at the vets, and required pins in her leg to save it from amputation.

What is more, the vet's bill for treating the cats cost the family £1,000, Mr Cottee pointed out.

After the Met Police listened to their testimonies following the first incidents, the family had reason to believe their cats were no longer under threat.

The opposite, in fact, turned out to be the case.

Stanley was shot again last week while Mr Cottee and his wife were on holiday, sustaining another traumatic wound from an air gun pellet.

Wimbledon Times: The pellet removed by vets at the RSPCAThe pellet removed by vets at the RSPCA

"On Sunday when we came back from holiday we both noticed that Stanley had a mark and blood on her back.

"We took her back to the RSPCA to confirm that she'd been shot the pellet is still in her back.

"The vet who we saw wasn't 100 per cent sure whether to take the pellet out this time as he didn't want to cause more damage to the nerves and considering Stanley's history," Mr Cottee said.

Responding to a request from the Comet, the Met Police confirmed they were investigating the shootings after paying the Cottee's a visit at their New Malden home.

"Police were called to a property in Muybridge Road, New Malden, on July 29 to reports a cat had been shot with a pellet gun.

"Officers attended on July 30 and it was reported that a cat had suffered pellet wounds to her back, believed to have been caused by an air rifle...The incident is believed to have taken place on July 28.

"Any witnesses or anyone with any information about this incident is asked to contact police on 101, quoting CAD 3019/29JUL," a spokesperson for the Met said.

Mr Cottee meanwhile is hoping to discover the identity of the shooter himself and has offered "a cash reward" for anyone with information "that leads to a conviction."

Wimbledon Times: Stanley and Margot at the Cottee family home in New MaldenStanley and Margot at the Cottee family home in New Malden