The RSPCA is appealing for information about what happened to a cat found emaciated and without claws in Kirton.
The animal welfare charity was called in by a couple who became concerned for the animal which turned up in their garden in Drainside South.
RSPCA inspector Becky Harper said the cat was in a ‘terrible condition’ and believes his claws may have been removed intentionally.
She said: “He was bedraggled, matted and skinny. The couple gave him a little bit of tinned casserole meat and when he came back for second and third helpings they knew his thin condition wasn’t due to a lack of appetite.
“When I first saw him I thought he was an old cat, due to his appearance, but he is clearly a young, entire male.”
The grey and white long-haired cat - now named Rinder after Strictly’s dancing contestant - was taken to the vets and checked over. He had no microchip and scales showed he weighed just 2.1kg - around half of what he should.
An examination also revealed that he had badly matted fur, ear mites and fleas. He was found on October 11.
Inspector Harper added: “Rinder is so affectionate and lovable and, with some TLC, he should be ready to find a new home soon. What is very strange is that an exam at the vets revealed he has no claws on any of his feet.
“Sometimes when cats are involved in traffic accidents some of their claws get broken or scuffed, but there was no sign that he had been injured in any way and the fact that they were all were missing leads me to believe someone may have de-clawed him - classed as an illegal mutilation in the UK.”
“We don’t know if he has been badly neglected and then dumped on the main road, or whether he has been straying for a while and, since he has no claws he, has been unable to hunt and care for himself.
“It’s a bit of a mystery how such a friendly young cat has ended up in such a sad state.”
Rinder, who is now being cared for at private boarding by RSPCA East Lincolnshire branch, will be available for rehoming once he is fit and healthy.