The cat was left with a broken jaw in three places following the attack in Makepiece Road – and the owner said she had no choice but to put it down.

She said the dog, which was not on a leash, ran out of Braybrooke Park, down Quelm Lane and into her drive before it caught sight of the feline.

The cat owner, who did not wish to be named, said: “Our cat did try to escape by first jumping up onto the boundary wall but the dog tried to pull her back down.

“She started to run along but in her fear she slipped off – darting under my car. Thinking she was safe, our neighbour started to make her way round to grab the dog but to her horror he threw himself on to his stomach completely splayed and went under my car dragging our cat out by the throat.

“By the time our neighbour managed to drag the dog off and bang on our door to alert us enough damage had been done.” The woman – who described the attacking animal as looking like a hunting dog – said she was sickened by the incident.

She said: “We decided it was kinder to have her put to sleep rather than put her through months of repair work for a jaw that was broken in three places, that the vet gave a 75% chance of success and would have cost us at least £2,000.

“As it was when we picked up her little body we still had to pay £562 for treatment already given. We are bereft, sickened and in shock by the whole ordeal.” She issued an appeal to the owner of the dog to keep it on a leash in future to prevent a repeat.

She said: “If it is indeed a hunting dog, they should always be on a leash in any public place especially where there may well be small animals such as cats, squirrels or rabbits. “It will see them as prey and once they start to hunt their owner would not be able to recall them, we have no doubt that if our neighbour had not pulled the dog off he would have killed our cat there and then.

“We do not blame the dog because he was obviously following his instincts, but we want to warn other pet owners and dog walkers of this dog and what it is capable of.”