TWO kittens suffered vile abuse after climbing their owners’ Christmas trees, a charity has revealed.
One pet was badly beaten and then dumped in a wheelie bin where it survived for four days before being rescued.
The terrified animal was so hungry it ate a piece of string inside the bin which almost killed it.
Another kitten had part of an ear cut off with scissors after it clambered up the Christmas tree at its home.
Both incidents happened in Edinburgh in the days after Christmas according to the charity, Fife Cat Shelter, which is now caring for the animals.
The charity described the abuse as among the worst they had seen but said prosecutions were unlikely because both sets of owners now flatly deny ever having owned the kittens.
A 17-week-old kitten, since renamed Prince by the charity, was found dumped in a bin after his owner bragged they had “beaten the crap” out of him for playing with Christmas decorations.
Kat Mitchell, who works for Fife Cat Shelter, based in Kelty Bridge, said the incident happened on Boxing Day at a property in the Muirhouse area of the city.
A neighbour, who overheard the owner boasting in a pub four days later, rushed home to find Prince inside the bin.
Mrs Mitchell said string was wrapped tight around his tongue and had passed through his stomach and into his intestines.
Surgery was needed to remove the 2ft length of string, which has caused internal scarring.
Vets hope Prince will make a full recovery and it is hoped the charity will be able to find a new home soon.
Malcolm Leitch, from Oak Tree Vet Centre, Edinburgh, said: “When we first saw Prince he wasn’t doing well and had a very sore stomach but he was still trying to play.
“At the time we were very concerned about Prince’s outlook as he was so small and thin but he this week he has been doing very well so I don’t think he should have any on-going problems.”
A second kitten,renamed Alex, was rescued from his former home in Edinburgh on Hogmanay after he had one of his ears cut off with scissors.
The youngster, thought to be the same age as Prince, had also been climbing the Christmas tree when his angry owner attacked him with a pair of scissors.
Mrs Mitchell said: “His neighbour rescued him when they heard his screams through the wall and brought him to us.
“The top of his ear had been cut off with scissors and is now notably shorter with jaggy edges.
“He has since been rehomed to a lovely, new family and is settling in very well.
“It’s remarkable that both cats still have beautiful, loving natures and are going to make brilliant pets despite their horrific starts in life.”
Mrs Mitchell added that it was unlikely anyone would be prosecuted for either cats abuse as both were rescued by members of the public rather than an official body.
She said that when police and the SSPCA visited, both owners flatly denied ever having owned the cats.
Rhona Gordon, founder of the charity, said: “I was horrified when I heard about the abuse these two kittens had suffered. They’re two of the worst cruelty to cats cases we have seen in a long time.
“After the initial horror wore off, my mind immediately turned to medical attention for them.
“Sadly cruelty to this level is becoming more and more common because people can get pets whenever they want, despite not being able to look after them.
“We’re pleading with people to think very carefully before they buy into a pet because more situations like this are arising because families simply cannot cope.”