Three-legged cat who helps boy, 6, with severe learning difficulties crowned top mog

Minty, from Flintshire, beat hundreds of other entries due to his "special bond" with six-year-old owner Connor Raven. Credit: PA Images

A three-legged cat who helps his six-year-old owner cope with severe learning difficulties has been crowned the winner of this year's National Cat Awards.

Minty, from Holywell, Flintshire, beat hundreds of other entries thanks to his "special bond" with owner Connor Raven.

Connor has a range of medical conditions, including ataxic cerebral palsy, which affect his physical, mental and emotional development.

Nine-year-old Minty helps to keep Connor settled at meal times and provides a calming presence at bedtime.

The annual awards, run by the charity Cats Protection, celebrate the feline friends who have helped their owners through difficult times.

Minty lost his leg in a road accident. Credit: PA Images

Connor's mother, Siobhan Cobb, said: "I'm over the moon that Minty has been recognised for the special cat that he is.

"He is a huge part of our family unit and it is lovely to share the unique bond the boys have.

"Minty demonstrates how clever, affectionate and dependable cats can be. We can always rely on him to make everything better, and he is the best friend that Connor needs and deserves."

Minty helped Connor learn how to climb the stairs. Credit: PA Images

Despite his missing leg, which he lost following a road accident, Minty has even helped Connor learn to climb the stairs.

"Having only three legs never stops Minty enjoying life, and I think that rubs off on Connor," Ms Cobb said.

"Together, they are unstoppable, whatever comes their way. Minty's a really inspirational cat and we love him to bits."

Minty was competing with three other finalists including Boris, who offers companionship to 80-year-old Alex Tullis. Credit: PA Images

The other three feline finalists included rescue cat Mikey, who helped his owner cope after her baby was stillborn; Penelope Farthing, who can sense when her owner is about to have a seizure; and Boris, who recovered from his own injuries to be a companion to 80-year-old Alex Tullis.

Minty was chosen by a panel of celebrity judges, including comedian Russell Kane, who backed him for the top spot.

He said: "I truly believe cats aren't used enough in teaching companionship and therapeutic ways.

"For me, Minty's story drives forward the argument that cats are wonderful creatures, not just for them being furry and being stroked, but for the emotional benefits, the teaching benefits and the assistance they can bring to people's lives."