A CAT which cheated death after being shot with an air rifle is the sixth feline victim from the same road in 12 years, worried residents have said.

Three-year-old Edie was shot in Swinbrook Road, Carterton, on Friday, the pellet missing her heart by centimetres.

Owner James Mills said he felt the shootings must be linked and said he wanted the culprit to finally be caught after more than a decade of shootings.

The 35-year-old said: "On Friday, I saw that my cat was limping and so I picked her up and saw a circular mark on her shoulder but I thought nothing of it as she tends to get into fights quite a lot.

"When I took her to the vets, they had to pull out a great deal of hair from the wound and they turned to me and asked if there was any chance my cat had been shot.

"When the X-ray came back it showed that she had, in fact, been shot and that the pellet had narrowly missed her heart by a few centimetres.

"All I thought was that we need to catch whoever is responsible before they do it again."

Edie underwent an hour-long operation and vets successfully removed the pellet from her shoulder but Mr Mills said he feared for other cats on the road.

He said: "When Edie came out of the operation she looked as if she had been butchered, it was very scary.

"We have another cat called Mico, who is a pedigree Siamese, and I'm worried that something is going to happen to him too, or any of the other cats around here.

"This road has a history of cat shooting and I'm aware of six incidents that have been reported since 2004.

"It needs to be stopped."

Mr Mills lives nine doors down from Damien Beale, whose cat Sebastian was killed after being shot on four separate occasions, while his other cat Peanut was shot twice in 2006 but survived.

Mr Beale, an aircraft engineer, said: "My dad was popping into our house to check on the cats while we were away and saw a mark on Sebastian, but at first we didn't realise what was wrong.

"Sebastian's breathing was heavier and it was a few weeks after we got back that I kept feeling this bump, like Peanut had when she was shot.

"I took him to the vet and an X-ray showed the pellet. We couldn't believe that he'd been shot I can't understand what sort of sick person would do this."

RSPCA inspector Lauren Baily said the charity had received eight reports of animals shot with air guns in Oxfordshire in 2014, seven in 2015 and two so far this year.

She said: "This is an awful incident which is extremely upsetting for the Edie’s owner. Fortunately Edie survived but this could have had a very tragic outcome.

"We do not know for sure how this happened but we want to make sure that no other animal has to go through this again."

Those found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal could face a maximum six-month prison sentence and a fine up to £20,000.

If you have any information call Thames Valley Police on 101.