A KITTEN which suffered horrific injuries after stowing away underneath a car bonnet has found a new home.

Sox, a black and white kitten, was six-weeks-old when it had to have a toe amputated and undergo reconstructive surgery after suffering life-threatening injuries.

The young cat, which was part of a feral litter of five, is believed to have suffered the injuries while travelling under the bonnet of a car with two of his brothers and was taken to Gilmoor Vets, in Gilesgate, Durham by business owner William Holden.

Mr Holden, from Quarrington Hill, in County Durham, discovered one kitten, which jumped out from beneath his bonnet after driving to work.

It was not until the following day when Sox turned up at his home in a bad way, with a bleeding leg.

Mr Holden took the kitten to the vets, where clinical director Deborah Stafford performed life-saving surgery.

The cat lover, who has now adopted Sox, said: "Sox is showing no ill effects of what happened and hopefully something good has come of what happened as he now has a home for life.

"He is a huge character and a little devil at times as he chases the other two cats around the house and is full of mischief. I’ve had cats all my life and I live on my own so they’re great company.”

Gilmoor Vets auxiliary nurse Sarah Willetts, who helped to care for Sox , said: “He was very shaken and scared, and hissing because he was in so much pain. It was a traumatic experience for such a young kitten.

“We decided to keep him and help him back to health following surgery. He was a lovely little patient and we are so delighted he has found a loving home. It is so rewarding when you see a stray get a happy ending.”

Mr Holden, who runs a business supplying landscape materials and decorative gravel, already owns two other moggies called Boots and Tinks.

The three other surviving kittens were taken with their mother to Consett Cat Rescue, but Mr Holden plans to adopt another kitten from the litter. The mother has been neutered.

The RSPCA has put out a warning about issues with animal welfare, strays and unwanted pregnancies cats after revealing it received more than 6,000 calls about cats in the North-East last year.

Alice Potter, RSPCA’s cat welfare expert said: “It’s sad to see that we have received so many calls about cats in need. Cats end up needing our help for a variety of reasons, for example their natural curiosity can mean they need rescuing when they get into scrapes and tricky situations. There are also some real issues that we see time and again including cats and kittens being abandoned, cats having unplanned and unwanted pregnancies due to a lack of neutering and multi-cat households where breeding has sadly become out of control.

“However, there are many cats who are much luckier and are very much a part of the family and loved by their owners who understand their likes and dislikes, their little quirks and routines. Every cat is an individual but there are some signs we can look out for to see how our cats are feeling through understanding their body language and behaviour to ensure they are happy and healthy.”