A CAT called Diesel has been saved by the RSPCA after he was found covered in oil in Birkenhead.

A member of the public found the distressed pet in Price Street, Birkenhead on March 16.

The concerned cat-lover fed him and made a hut at the bottom of the garden for him until the RSPCA could rescue him.

RSPCA inspector Anthony Joynes said: “Poor Diesel was covered in some sort of oil which left him very unwell.

“The only way to get this off him was to completely shave off all his fur and give him a good wash. On top of this, he was underweight.”

Insp Joynes explained when a cat is exposed to a petroleum-like substance, it can result in a severe physical reaction called petroleum hydrocarbon toxicosis, which can cause vomiting, confusion and fever, among other symptoms.

Insp Joynes added: “We don’t know how he came to be covered in oil, whether it was deliberate or the result of an accident, and there is no way of telling.

“What we do know is it was a lucky escape for him “Diesel seemed like the right name for him after what he went through.

“It just goes to show that as an RSPCA inspector, you never know what sort of jobs you have to deal with day-to-day.

“If this was a deliberate act, then I urge anyone who knows anything about it to contact us in complete confidence.”

It is not known who Diesel’s original owner was or how he ended up on the streets.

Kay Hawthorn, manager of the RSPCA’s Wirral branch where Diesel is currently being cared for, said: “Diesel now has a special cream to sooth his skin and is doing well.

“Thankfully he has a new home waiting for him already which he will go to when he is fully recovered.”

Anyone who knows what happened to Diesel should call Insp Joynes on 0300 123 8018.”

If you think your pet has been near a petroleum-like substance, contact your vet immediately.