An elderly cat was found in agony after her overgrown claws were left to grow until they became deeply embedded in her paws.
Poppet was found cowering in undergrowth on Chailey common, near Lewes, by a dog walker.
She was in an appalling condition and severely malnourished and dehydrated – but is now recovering and looking for a home.
The cat’s claws had curled around and grown into the fleshy pads on her feet.
The tortoiseshell, believed to be around 15 years old, was weighing just 2.5kg – her ideal weight should be 3.5kg.
Poppet is now being cared for by staff at Cats Protection’s national adoption centre in Chelwood Gate while her wounds heal.
She will also be having some dental treatment and is on a special diet to build up her weight.
Deputy manager Tania Marsh said Poppet was in such a dreadful condition she would not have survived more than a few days had she not been found.
She said: “I've never seen claws like it. The pain must have been indescribable and she was having great difficulty walking or even standing – she was certainly in no state to fend for herself.
“Most cats are able to keep their claws trim by themselves, by using scratching posts or just by being outside and grinding them down.
“However some cats, particularly older ones, will need their nails clipped – it’s a simple procedure that a vet can teach owners to do themselves.
“Poor Poppet’s overgrown claws had become so painful she was no longer able to care for herself.
“She was severely underweight and dehydrated and wouldn’t have lasted much longer had she not been found.”
Poppet is one of nearly 200 cats at the centre currently looking for a new home.
To find out more, call 01825 741330.