A CAT owner has been banned from keeping any animals after her 19-year-old family pet had to be put down by a vet.

The RSPCA prosecuted Yvonne Kilburn, 45, for neglecting Twiggy, who had lived in the Kilburn household since her husband, from which she is now separated, bought her as a kitten.

Phil Brown, for the animal charity, said the 19-year-old cat had severely ingrowing claws that meant it had pain when walking, and problems with an ear and eyes among other health issues.

“This is a serious case of neglect in light of the number of different issues that had affected the cat,” said Mr Brown.

Kilburn, of Westbourne Road, Brayton, Selby, pleaded guilty to animal neglect and was banned from keeping any animal for ten years. She was also ordered to do 100 hours’ unpaid work and pay £623 towards the charity’s costs. She had never been in trouble with the law before.

York magistrates heard she told an RSPCA inspector: “When you get a cat, you are not taught how to look after it.”

Her solicitor, Keith Haggerty, said she had no intention of getting another cat.

Twiggy was a “very, very, very old cat in cat terms” who preferred to spend as much time as possible outdoors.

Kilburn had not been aware of the cat’s problems and had tried to research how to care for it herself. She had not deliberately neglected the cat. Had she realised it was ill, she would have sought help.

The cat had belonged to her husband, but stayed in the family home after he moved out.

Kilburn had been on anti-depressants following the break-up of her marriage and though she had come off them, the stress of the court case had led to her using them again.

The court heard a vet had put down the cat after it was removed from her care.