A cat that had gone missing for days in Bury St Edmonds, Suffolk, has been found strangled to death with gaffer tape.
The black and brown tabby, called Marley, was found by a neighbour days after it failed to return home after being let out.
Police are now investigating the death.
Owner Jennifer Pettit, 46, said her cat was "categorically murdered".
"He was strangled to death and his throat cut open."
A Suffolk Police spokesman said: "The cat had been subjected to an attack whereby gaffer tape had been wrapped tightly around its neck.
"There was also a deep laceration around its neck which may have been caused by the tape."
Officers believe Marley was killed at some point between 10am on Tuesday and 4.45pm on Sunday in The Vinefields in the centre of the town.
Owner Jennifer Pettit, 46, said she and her daughter had been left devastated by the death of the five-year-old cat.
She added: "You worry when you let your cat out that it might go missing or be hit by a car.
"But what's happened is unimaginable - it would never have occurred to me that somebody would deliberately do this to an innocent animal.
"I've no idea why anybody would do this to him or to us but the worry is, if they've done it once, they'll do it again so it's important that they are caught."
Witnesses should contact Pc Stephanie Rose at Bury St Edmunds Police Station on 101.