A RESCUE cat with a rare abnormality has had both eyeballs removed to give it a better quality of life.

Po was taken to Bleakholt Animal Sanctuary after her owner died leaving no one to care for her.

But upon examination, it became apparent that the little black cat had a rare abnormality called microphtalmia, a condition which means one or both eyeballs were abnormally small.

Alongside vets, senior staff at the sanctuary made the decision to have her eyes removed.

Deputy manager Vicky MacDonald said the abnormality was causing Po a lot of discomfort and pain.

She said: “We couldn’t have solved the problem for Po with medication so after an essential evaluation with our vet it was decided that she deserved a second chance in life. Animals are great at adapting and can cope well being blind. Po is now pain free with a quality of life.”

And despite any initial worries about the cat’s future, staff at Bleakholt have now said she is recovering well from her surgery, which cost £1,100.

Miss MacDonald added: “It’s now two weeks since the operation and she is adapting to her new way of life really well, she’s even been playing with a tinsel ball.”

This week former soap star Gemma Atkinson, the sanctuary's president, has urged people to support the centre after bosses announced they are losing thousands of pounds due to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Edenfield sanctuary, which relies solely on donations, is losing £55,000 a month as the site and all its bookshops and cafes remain closed due to lockdown.

Sanctuary manager Karen Weed said: “The longer this goes on the more desperate it gets.

“We’re caring for all the animals and people have been extremely generous but it costs a lot to keep the sanctuary going and, with little income, it’s hard.”

The sanctuary has an Amazon wishlist and people can drop off food at a hut at the entrance. There is also a just giving page at ­— justgiving.com/bleakholt