The RSPCA has issued a warning to pet owners not to ‘decorate’ their animals with accessories or jewellery after veterinary staff had to cut a bangle from a cat’s neck.
The UK’s largest and oldest animal welfare charity is urging pet owners not to dress their cats in any decorative items as they could be dangerous or cause injury.
The warning comes after an inspector came across a young cat with a metal bangle stuck around her neck.
Inspector Herchy Boal attended a property in Shirley, Solihull, in February on another matter when she happened across black and white 11-month-old cat CC.
“The owner admitted to me that he’d put the metal bangle around her neck when she was a kitten as he thought it was pretty,” inspector Boal said.
“But, as CC grew and her head got bigger, it became clear that the brass bangle could no longer be removed.”
CC was taken to the RSPCA’s Newbrook Farm Animal Hospital, in Birmingham, where she was anaesthetised so vets could cut the bangle off.
“As CC continued to grow, the bangle would have cut into her flesh and become very, very sore,” inspector Boal said. “I spoke to CC’s owner and he soon realised what a silly thing it was to do and was very apologetic for the error in judgement.
“We’d advise owners never to dress their pets up with decorative accessories or jewellery. Not only can they cut into their skin and cause injury, but they can also be potentially dangerous.
“We advise cat owners use quick-release collars which snap open if caught in something. Other types of collar, or a bangle such as this, could be lethal to a cat if they got it hooked on something.”
RSPCA cat welfare expert Alice Potter said: “Sadly, we see all too often cats with awful injuries caused by dangerous collars which is why we advise against using those that aren’t quick-release, or leaving flea collars on your pets.
“Cats are natural hunters and curious explorers that enjoy climbing trees or pushing through tight spots and for these reasons it is imperative that any collar is designed to free should they become snagged during their adventures.
“If the collar gets caught on something the cat may try to free itself by using its foot and then, in turn, gets its leg stuck with the collar ending up under the cat’s armpit causing painful injury.
“Poor CC could have ended up with an awful injury thanks to this metal bangle or, in the worse case scenario, could even have been killed if she’d have got it caught on something.”
CC was neutered and microchipped by the RSPCA before being returned to her owner.
For more information about caring for your cat, visit the RSPCA website: www.rspca.org.uk/cats.