UK
17/09/2013 11:41 BST | Updated 17/09/2013 12:05 BST

Swastika Cat: Nazi Symbol Drawn On Pet Feline (PICTURES)

A pet cat has fallen victim to a bizarre attack which saw his whiskers cut off, his back shaved and a swastika daubed onto his naked skin.

Photographer Jess McGiffin was devastated when she discovered what one-year-old Turbo had endured on Saturday night, New Zealand’s Stuff magazine revealed.

“It had obviously just happened. I just cried. It’s so horrible. I just couldn’t believe it,” she said.

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One-year-old Turbo was daubed with a swastika in the attack on Saturday night

A police probe was launched amid the 24-year-old's fears the attack was aimed at her Filipino husband, but the pair now think it was more likely to be a prank by children.

McGiffen posted pictures of the attack on Facebook and appealed for help, telling the New Zealand Herald: “(If you know anything), come forward and let us know.

“It’d be nice to know who did it, you know, rather than feeling unsafe in your own home. I can’t even let my cat outside now.”

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Turbo's owner Jess McGiffen has washed the swastika off Turbo's back, though his whiskers are still missing

A cat's whiskers are extremely important as they help the animal feel its way around.

The whiskers - also known as 'tactile hairs' or vibrissae, can detect the slightest directional change in a breeze and are crucial for the animal to judge whether or not it will fit in an opening, Discovery's Animal Planet explains.

Because of this, Turbo will be kept inside until his have grown back.

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McGiffen will keep Turbo in the house until his whiskers have grown back

In 2007 a Shetland pony was left with swastika symbols on her forehead and flank after an attack in Norwich.

The RSPCA vowed to prosecute the offenders if they were found, The Sun reported.