A DISTRAUGHT cat owner says she is devastated after her pet was found hanged from a motorway bridge.

Hugo the Ragdoll cat found hanged from motorway bridge (Image: RSPCA)

Lorna Taylor believes whoever carried out the horrific hanging would have been left covered in scratches because her beloved Hugo would have put up a fight.

Animal cruelty investigators from the RSPCA are still researching whether black and white ragdoll Hugo was still alive when he was left dangling from the bridge over the M62 westbound carriageway near Junction 33 at Ferrybridge, West Yorkshire, at the weekend.

Speaking today, Ms Taylor says she last saw six month old Hugo on Saturday night when she was plucking sticky buds from his luxuriant ragdoll fur.

She said: “I had only had him for a short time but it’s absolutely devastating to think about what has happened to him.

“He was a very bold cat and he would have fought his corner. Whoever did this must be covered in scratches.”

Claw marks could help provide a clue to the identity of the culprit who hanged Hugo from the bridge with a piece of blue twine.

RSPCA inspector Thomas Hutton is appealing for witnesses after being called out to the incident.

Police, along with the Highways Agency and local fire and rescue service, were at the grisly scene to recover Hugo’s body. His address was traced through a microchip.

DISTRESSING CONTENT WARNING: Some readers may find the below image distressing

Hugo found dead after being hanged from motorway bridge with blue twine (Image: RSPCA)

“We don't know for sure whether Hugo was alive or not when he was hanged,” explained Inspector Hutton.

“He had trauma to his neck and there were no other obvious physical injuries.

He was clearly a healthy cat the day before, which leads me to think that this was a shocking act of deliberate cruelty.It's very difficult to imagine how anyone could do such a sadistic thing.

“If anyone has any information that might help me to find the person responsible, please call me.”

The RSPCA is appealing for witnesses to the incident, which is believed to have happened between 9pm on Saturday and 10.15am on Sunday.

Anyone with information is urged to call the charity’s appeal line on 0300 123 8018.