Two cats have been saved by their owner after returning home with snares wrapped tight around their necks, prompting a warning by the RSPCA.
The pets, from the same house in St Athan, Vale of Glamorgan, became stuck in homemade wire nooses in separate incidents within days of each other.
The RSPCA said the cats were lucky not to have been seriously injured.
The charity is appealing for anyone with information about the snares to get in touch.
The first incident happened on 16 February when one of the cats returned with a thin wire snare wrapped so tightly around its neck it could hardly breathe.
Just five days later the same thing happened to the owner's other cat.
RSPCA inspector Selina Chan, who is investigating the incidents, said: "A snare is a wire noose which is attached to a stake or heavy object that acts as an anchor to stop the animal escaping.
"The more the animal struggles ... the tighter the snare becomes. This can result in the animal dying a slow and painful death from injury, strangulation or starvation, or being killed by predators.
"If the snare comes away from the anchor, the animal can be left with it still firmly attached - the animal may then die from its injuries or because it cannot fend for itself."
She said people were leaving themselves open to prosecution if they were not "abiding by the laws and guidelines on trapping animals".
The RSPCA said it was illegal to set snares for birds, deer and badgers, but the traps could not distinguish between animals and may catch the wrong one.
Anyone with information is asked to call the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for Selina Chan.