Pumpkin the Tesco cat has begun life-saving surgery after his fans on social media raised £2,500 to fund it.

Cat fans raised the sum in two days in March after it was announced the popular puss was suffering from hyperthyroidism causing a rapid heartbeat and increased metabolism rate.

Pumpkin became famous in 2019 for his regular visits to the Tesco Express store in Acres Way, Thorpe Marriott, which eventually saw him banned from the mini-supermarket.

Following his ban, the cat now spends most of his time at home with owners Jo and Lee Harding.

The pair took the cat to the Royal Veterinary College in Hatfield, Hertfordshire on Tuesday to undergo specialist radioactive iodine treatment.

Norwich Evening News:

READ MORE: Pumpkin the Tesco cat to undergo specialist treatment after £2,500 is raised in days

Mrs Harding said: "He's been undergoing tests there since Tuesday to find out why he wasn't reacting to previous treatment.

"He was found to have a heart murmur but the vets said that wasn't anything too worrying.

"Today (Thursday) he's going radioactive to find out whether he has cancer and to treat the issue, he'll be like that for a few days."

Norwich Evening News:

READ MORE: Pumpkin the Tesco cat capturing hearts on Facebook

Mrs Harding said the family had been missing their cat while he was at the vets.

She added: "I'm trying to keep everyone updated, but at the moment we don't know too much ourselves.

"It's horrible having him so far away, but he seems jolly and upbeat.

"It's a relief to know he's in good hands and we're looking forward to having him back on Saturday."

Pumpkin has amassed almost 4,500 Facebook followers who follow his life through the posts of his owners.

But the cat was banned from his local Tesco and Mrs Harding almost shut down his Facebook page as a result - but was persuaded not to by the fans who eventually funded his treatment.