AN ANIMAL welfare charity has found a loving home for a terrified male cat who was found as a stray in Helensburgh.

The Scottish SPCA was contacted by several local residents after black cat J, formerly JJ, was spotted numerous times in the town.

The most recent sightings showed J had a wound to his neck that looked like it needed immediate attention.

Scottish SPCA animal rescue officers attended and found J to have an abscess on his neck. He was taken to the vet and he was so stressed he had to be sedated to be examined.

J was also found to have fleas and worms and his coat was very matted. As he was not neutered, he had been fighting with other cats in the area and had multiple minor injuries including tears to his ears.

J was very scared and nervous around new people and the staff at the Dunbartonshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre had to be careful not to cause him any stress when cleaning his enclosure or feeding him.

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Now he’s settling in to a new life with Jess McKechnie, from Thornhill near Stirling, who had been looking for a pet after her previous cat passed away suddenly from cancer.

Jess said: “We were told that J was still quite timid and it wouldn’t be a walk in the park when he came home with us.

“He had obviously been in a house as he was litter trained and knew the cat flap was for him. I think he must have got lost or kicked out of his previous home.

“When he first arrived home and we let him out of his carrier, he shot straight out and slid across the floor looking for somewhere to hide.

“He found a safe haven in one of our bedrooms where he camped out so we left food and water there for him which he would only take when nobody was around.

“I would leave treats out for him, hoping he would emerge but he would sneak out to these too.

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“Very gradually, he started approaching when I had treats in my hand and I would gently stroke his head. We did this numerous times until he slowly started to trust us.

“Now, it’s like he’s a different cat. He now lies on his back so I can tickle his tummy and he will come and sit on my bed.

“He is still wary of strangers but no longer runs off when anyone enters the house.

“He’s turned in to such a little character. He’s learned to tap me with his paw to get a treat or he will sit in front of the television to get my attention. My husband jokes that he understands what I say as I tell him to go and eat his dinner and he’ll return licking his lips!

“J has turned in to the most loving cat, the transformation in him has been incredible! We are so thankful to the Scottish SPCA for all they did to get him to us.”