Police are probing a horror attack on a Barrhead family’s beloved pet cat.

Helen and Derek Gourlay, who have lived in the town for the last 22 years, were shocked when seven-year-old Harri returned home with a large patch of her fur shaved off and her tail left bloodied.

It is the second time in five years their cat has been attacked in this way.

The couple, who live in the Fereneze area of town, have reported the matter to the police and animal welfare officers at the Scottish SPCA.

NHS worker Helen, 54, believes someone grabbed Harri off the street, held her down and cruelly shaved her fur, leaving her traumatised.

She told the Barrhead News: “We have two cats, including Harri, and they just come and go through the cat flap as they please.

“Harri came home on Friday and hid under the dining room table, which is normally an indication that something has happened.

“She was scared and frightened but is normally very vocal and looking for attention. That was when we realised something was wrong.

“Derek and I were horrified to discover her side had been shaved and she was bleeding from her tail.

“It is terrible that someone would do a thing like this.”

The couple believe Harri was attacked some time between 11.30pm on Thursday and 8am the next morning.

Helen added: “The last time this happened to Harri was in December 2016 but no blood was drawn then.

“We didn’t do anything at the time but, because the injury was more severe this time, we called the police.

“Hopefully, this will encourage someone to come forward and tell the authorities if they have any information.”

Helen and 54-year-old rail worker Derek said Harri belongs to their daughter Selina, 20, who is a student and lives at home.

“It’s terrible to see an animal suffer like this,” added Derek.

“Harri is a very timid cat and doesn’t travel far, which makes us think it is someone local who has done this terrible thing.

“You then wonder what else are they up to.”

A police spokesperson said: “Officers are carrying out enquiries.”

Two years ago, the Barrhead News told how another pet cat suffered cigarette burns to his ears and had his tail set on fire in Neilston.