LOVEABLE moggie Arthur had a lucky escape after nearly choking to death in a cruel wire noose.

The wandering six-week-old tabby left his owner’s Hedge End home only to return with a dangerous noose of copper around his neck.

Arthur’s owner, Kathryn Marriner, of Stroudley Way, said: “He went out for a walk and then came back in through his cat flap 20 minutes later and my husband spotted the wire around his neck.

“We have no idea where it came from and don’t know who could have put it on him, because everyone around here has a cat.”

Mrs Marriner, and her husband Lee, who have children aged four and two and a two-week old baby, said Arthur is a much-loved family member.

Mrs Marriner added: “There was about a foot of thin copper wire twisted into a noose and stuck around his neck. The more he pulled on it the tighter it would get.

“We were quite worried when we saw it on him and are just relieved it wasn’t on too tight and that we could get if off.”

The RSPCA collected the piece of wire and said that Arthur was lucky he wasn’t hurt or killed.

It is unclear whether the noose was a vicious attack on Arthur or whether he was caught in a possible animal trap in nearby fields. However it is not the first time the RSPCA has dealt with similar snares across the south.

Jo Barr, RSPCA spokesman, said: “We cover a large area but I can think of another two or three similar cases that have happened in the last four months. If somebody is using these traps they need to be using them legally and they need to ensure that it’s only to target a specific animal.”