The RSPCA is appealing for the public to stop using glue traps to catch rodents after a cat had to be put down when he was caught in four of them.
The black and white cat, named Miles by charity staff, was found trapped in an alleyway in Cricklewood Lane, north London, last month.
Miles was stuck on four glue traps, which are sheets of cardboard, plastic or wood coated with a non-drying adhesive to trap mice and rats.
When the RSPCA arrived, they found the traps stuck to his legs and underneath his body.
He had a large infected wound on his leg, his tail had been damaged and his hind legs were stuck together.
The traps had also ripped off parts of the cat’s fur.
RSPCA Inspector Nicole Broster said: “This poor cat was in an extreme amount of pain from his horrific injuries and he was very scared and frightened.
“This is the worst glue trap incident I have ever seen and dealt with.”
Miles was taken to the RSPCA Harmsworth Hospital for treatment and to have the traps removed, but after his condition deteriorated rapidly he was put to sleep.
On top of his extensive injuries, it is thought the cat may have ingested some of the glue while trying to free himself.
Ms Broster added: “I find the use of glue traps horrendous and completely unnecessary.
“People sometimes use them to deal with problems caused by animals like rats and mice but they are cruel and cause awful suffering.
“Other animals and non-target species also become victims – in this case poor Miles.”
Anyone with information about who set the traps is asked to call the RSPCA appeals line on 0300 123 8018.
The RSPCA is calling for an end to the use of glue traps, adding that if they must be used, it should only be by trained professionals.
Scientific officer for the charity Evie Button said: “We’re opposed to the manufacture, sale and use of all glue traps because they cause unacceptable suffering and are totally indiscriminate in what they catch, ensnaring wild animals like birds and even pets.
“Glue traps may seem like an effective way to catch rodents without killing them, but they come with very serious welfare issues and subject those animals unfortunate enough to get caught to horrific suffering.
“Even the way they’re designed to catch animals – by sticking their limbs to the board as they cross it – inflicts pain and distress.”
The charity is asking anyone who sees glue traps on sale to the general public to contact them, so the RSPCA can ask the retailer to withdraw the stock.
Glue traps are currently legal to use but if an animal suffers unnecessarily due to poor use or through failing to release or kill the animal, an offence may have been committed.