POLICE were called after a cat was reportedly put into a wheelie bin on a Kendal housing estate.

The incident was said to have taken place on Sunday at 2.30pm on Hallgarth Circle.

A Cumbria Police spokesman said: “Police were made aware of an incident when a cat was put into a wheelie bin. Inquiries were conducted and it is believed this may have been an inappropriate practical joke. The cat was unharmed.

“The local PCSO encourages people to make the police aware if they suspect that something has happened to their pet.”

Earlier this year, a cat had to be put down after ingesting anti-freeze on the same road.

Its owner said somebody had put the chemical out intentionally to harm the animal.

Leanne Plumtree, from the RSPCA, told the Gazette that the charity had not been contacted about the incident but said the organisation was concerned about the ‘persecution of cats generally’.

She said: “Because cats are usually allowed to come and go from their home as they please without their owner, they are vulnerable to all sorts of things. The RSPCA is particularly concerned about dogs being set on cats in Cumbria.

“We advise owners to keep their cats in at night and ensure that their pets are neutered, as that reduces the distance they roam from home as well as unwanted litters, and microchipped as this is the best way of cat and owner being re-united."

In 2010, a woman who sparked outrage after being caught on CCTV dumping a cat in a wheelie bin in Coventry was fined £250 after admitting causing unnecessary suffering to the animal.