A young boy with autism has been left devastated after his beloved cat went missing less than six months after adopting her.

Ava, an 11-month-old British short-blue hair, was last seen yesterday evening around 6pm in her home in Upshire before her owners noticed she was missing.

Five-year-old Reggie Palmer has been desperately searching for his kitten for the past 24 hours with his mother, Amy-Louise, and seven-year-old sister, Bailey.

Amy-Louise Palmer, a full-time carer to Reggie said Ava’s disappearance has had a massive impact on her son.

“The bond between them is unreal he has been so upset and has not stop crying since and been really restless,” she said.

“She keeps him calm and content we have noticed a huge difference since she has been gone. All he wants to do is go out and find her.”

Ms Palmer said the family pet has a very distinctive look with lilac and cream fur, yellow eyes and a tiger print tail, wearing a pink collar with contact details attached.

Ava was bought just before Christmas as an early present, for the youngster as a therapy cat as caring has become increasingly difficult.

The five-year-old mostly uses sign language to communicate with family and friends due to his limited speech.

“She is a very friendly cat and will approach anyone. I just have a feeling someone might have picked her up and taken her which is really sad,” said Ms Palmer. “They are literally best friends and would always sit with him, I have never seen a cat like that before, it was like she understood him.

“I have been taking Reggie out with me in case she recognises his voice and will come running to him.”

The family believe the feline may have escaped by accident by figuring out how to jump and climb from the children’s trampoline on to the garden fence.

Despite putting up posters and alerting their neighbours, vets, and cat sanctuaries within the area and Harlow across social media, no sightings have been reported.

If you have seen or found Ava, please email Amy at Amy_louise27@hotmail.co.uk