A CAT’S life is ‘hanging in the balance’ after he was set on fire by cruel thugs.

Last week, the Barrhead News revealed how the short-haired tabby, Leo, suffered cigarette burns to his ears and had his tail set alight in Neilston.

Since the two-year-old's traumatic, he has had to undergo surgery to have his tail amputated because it was ‘so badly damaged’ from the attack, which is thought to have took place in the Glen Avenue area of the town.

Pauline Shields, Leo’s owner, said that the surgeon, from Rouken Glen Vets, admitted that the moggy’s case was the 'worst he’d ever seen'.

She revealed: “The surgeon said it was the worst case he'd ever seen- the infection was so bad and his tail was so badly damaged that he had to remove two of his spinal vertebrae.

“He had a partial ear amputation because a hole was burned straight through his ear. Leo's surgeon made clear that there's no guarantee that he will recover and he’s still hour to hour in his recovery.

“He's had more morphine and intravenous antibiotics. He is far from being anywhere near out of the life-threatening stage.

“Leo will be taking it easy. He's so lucky to be alive and have even a chance of recovery.

“I was told that the surgery could have left him paralysed and completely incontinent for the rest of his life, so I was expecting the worst, but he's come through well so far, so I just have to hope it continues and he can get better.

“It has been utterly horrific and very traumatic time for everyone who has been involved in Leo's care. I've been through every emotion imaginable. It's extremely hard not to get caught up in anger towards Leo's abuser- I just want them to come forward so that they don't do this again.”