A cat charity has warned against the use of dangerous pet collars after a young cat was found with painfully infected wounds and only narrowly avoided a leg amputation.
Locals had seen a cat limping for several weeks but nobody could coax her near to check on her ailing condition. This moved them to appeal for professional help from Cats Protection.
After checking that the cat could be caught safely within COVID-19 guidelines, a humane trap was set with smelly sardines and tuna to attract the hungry cat.
From the time she came into care, 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.
Vets acted fast, cutting off the collar, giving pain relief and cleaning the open wounds. Skin had begun to grow over the collar, causing the wounds to become infected.
Sarah Elliott, Cats Protection’s Central Veterinary Officer, said: “We have seen too many injuries caused by collars, where cats have got caught while playing, hunting or trying to escape from danger.
“A cat’s leg or jaw may become caught in an elasticated or ill-fitting collar and this can result in serious injury. In their desperation to get clear, their legs can get stuck under the collar or the collar can travel down around their chest, getting tighter and biting into their body and causing open sores.”
If an owner also chooses to fit a collar with their contact details attached, the charity advises that only a ‘quick release’ or snap-opening collar is ever used – not an elasticated one.
Making sure the collar fits correctly is also important. Two fingers should fit snugly underneath the collar to ensure safety and comfort and damaged collars should be replaced immediately.
You can get more advice on choosing the right collar from the Cats Protection website.