Duncan, the male black cat, came into the care of RSPCA Radcliffe Animal Centre in Nottingham in July this year having spent three weeks receiving emergency care at a vets.
He arrived at the vets with horrible injuries after he got his left front leg stuck in his collar and couldn’t get himself free. He was found wandering the streets becoming disoriented and in pain.
The poorly cat was rescued by the RSPCA after a member of the public alerted the charity to his plight. He had no microchip and no owner was found.
The wound to his shoulder was bad and needed to be bathed daily to be kept sterile and clean so that it would start to heal naturally.
Lyn Jarett at RSPCA Radcliffe Animal Centre said: “Unfortunately Duncan’s wound did not heal on its own and he had to have an operation at the beginning of August. Only three weeks after his operation to close the wound and to our vet’s disappointment, Duncan’s wound reopened and it was 4cm long and 2cm wide. We were all devastated. Our centre vet was in two minds whether to amputate his leg altogether – but this would be their last resort.
“Vets made the decision to operate again and Duncan was such a brave boy. He took his pain relief well, always had a good appetite and was so affectionate and loving towards us. Duncan certainly won everyone’s hearts here at the centre.
“Amazingly, just a few weeks after Duncan’s second operation, his stitches were removed and he finally got the all clear from the vet.
“Duncan was able to go up for adoption and after spending 10 weeks in our care he found his perfect forever home.”
Sadly, certain kinds of collars can cause horrific injuries to cats so it’s important that owners know which collars to use. A quick release collar is designed to snap open when tugged with sufficient force and can ensure that a cat is released from its collar if they become stuck.
Elasticated collars, or collars with buckles which do not release without human help can leave cats struggling to free themselves when their legs become stuck – causing horrific injuries.
Alice Potter, RSPCA cat welfare expert said: “Duncan’s story serves as an important reminder to cat owners to only use quick release collars on their pets as other collars can be lethal.
“All too often we get called to cats that have become injured due to a collar as there are too many dangerous collars on sale. We would strongly advise against purchasing a collar with buckles that don’t snap open, or collars made from elastic.
“The majority of flea collars are also not advisable as they do not have safety buckles, so we would encourage pet owners to prioritise safety first and give your cat flea treatment another way.
“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 the cat 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, get its leg stuck with the collar ending up under the cat’s armpit causing painful injury.
“The most reliable way to identify your cat is to have them microchipped rather than having a collar and tag which may fade over time, or hinder them when they explore. It’s always important to keep the microchip details up-to-date as well so if you move or your number changes you can still be contacted if our cat becomes lost or injured.”