A leading animal charity's warning about the dangers of unsafe collars after a young cat came close to having a leg amputated.
The cat, thought to be about 18 months old was found in Wisbech with her front leg caught under her collar, causing deep wounds which became infected.
She is now recovering and Cats Protection says owners shouldn't use elasticated collars and make sure they fit properly.
Many people had shared photos on a local Facebook group saying the cat was limping and badly injured. But when nobody came forward after repeated posts, someone tagged Cats Protection and appealed for help the charity said.
The Cats Protection team say although the cat was wearing a collar which suggests ownership, she was not microchipped.
It was clear that the cat, named Louise by her carers , needed urgent veterinary attention. Her front leg had looped under her collar, causing deep wounds in her armpit that had become badly infected. The charity said that Vets acted fast, cutting off the collar, giving pain relief and cleaning the open wounds.
The skin had begun to grow over the collar, causing the wounds to become infected. She also had ear mites, a tick, muscle damage and swelling to her joints and limbs and was likely in discomfort and pain for some months according to vets.The charity says Louise’s growing vet bill has already topped £1,300 and in a year when fundraising has been badly hit, they are appealing for help with Louise’s treatment and care.
Cats Protection believes that all owned cats should be identified in order to trace their owner should they become lost or injured. The preferred method of identification is an implanted microchip as this is permanent and safe.
The charity says that if an owner also chooses to fit a collar with their contact details attached, it should be a 'quick release' or snap-opening collar, not an elasticated one.
Then the cat would be less likely to be trapped should the collar become caught or tangled, keeping it safer from injury or death.