A cat with an infected neck wound - possibly caused by an ill-fitting collar was dumped in Thetford Forest with injuries that landed a local charity more than £1,000 in vet bills.
Thomas, aged around 12-years-old, was spotted in a layby miles from any houses in Britain’s largest lowland pine forest.
A passer-by spotted the cat and contacted the Cats Protection.
Rita Thompson, of Cats Protection’s Breckland Branch, said: “The poor boy was in a pretty sad shape. Our first thought was that his wound had been caused by mange or a particularly bad allergy but he didn’t even have fleas.
“It could have been an infected collar injury that went from bad to worse. Even though fur has grown back around his wound there is a white line where it hasn't returned, which could indicate a collar that was too tight.”
Further checks revealed that he had high blood pressure, which will need to be managed with a daily tablet for life, and he needed dental surgery to have three teeth removed.
This level of care is costly, which could be a reason behind his abandonment, Rita suggested: “Caring for a pet isn’t cheap, especially when vet bills mount up. People are struggling with rising living costs and I can see how Thomas’s untreated injury got worse and he needed pricey dental work and perhaps his owner just couldn't afford the vet bills, which is really sad.
Cats Protection volunteers have had to foot a growing vet bill that has already topped £1,000 and, after seven weeks in care, is still rising. His recent dental bill alone was £500. The charity is now appealing for help to fund Thomas’s recovery.
Despite being microchipped, Thomas was not registered to any name or address so now charity volunteers hope to find him a new home.
Rita said: “Thomas is a very affectionate cat who would love to find his forever home. We put him up for adoption after being signed-off by our vets, but sadly we haven’t received any interest so far. There must be someone out there who can give Thomas a loving home.”