A family asked vets to put their pet cat to sleep - because it had FLEAS.
Caesar, described as a "friendly and loving" cat, was brought to Fernlea Vets in Bristol a month ago by his owners.
They told horrified vets ''we don't want him anymore he's got fleas," said Margaret Brittan, founder of Bristol & Wales Cat Rescue.
She said: "The vet tried to tell them the options for treating fleas but they didn't want to know."
Margaret said a flea treatment typically costs around £6 per month. Having a cat put to sleep can cost as much as £70.
Margaret, whose charity takes in unwanted cats, said: "The vets we're horrified, they got in touch with us and we said we could look after Caesar.
"They made the offer to the owners but they said they wanted to go away and think about it."
The vets phoned Caesar's owners every day to try and persuade them to bring him back - and to make sure he was alright.
When Caesar's owners brought him back four days later vets learned that they had already got a replacement cat.
"To put him to sleep at three years old and to use fleas as an excuse is dreadful," said Margaret.
"Sadly some people think pets are like washing machines - not happy with the one you've got? No problem - just get rid and get a new one.
"I've seen it so many times I don't even get angry any more, it's just resignation. What is wrong with people?"
Caesar is now living with a foster family while Bristol & Wales Cat Rescue try to find him a new home.
"He is a friendly and loving three-year-old boy," said Margaret.
"He didn't have the best start in life so was extremely shy when he came to us.
''After a few weeks of love and affection he truly came out of his shell and showed us the affectionate and loving cat he is.
"He loves a good fuss and to cuddle up on the sofa and will occasionally fall asleep on your lap.
''Sometimes he does like to spend a little time relaxing on his own and would prefer a quieter house with adults or older children.
"We think he would love a safe outdoor space to soak up the sun. We do not know if he would be comfortable with other animals so the best place for him would be an animal free home where he can be the centre of attention."
Caesar is three years old, neutered, chipped, vaccinated and comes with 5 weeks free insurance.
If you are interested in helping Caesar you can call Bristol & Wales Cat Rescue on 0844 257 3525.