A stray puss who munched his way through part of a black bin bag while living on the streets was successfully re-homed following life-saving surgery.
Six-year-old Henry was taken in by Cats Protection’s Bracknell & Wokingham Districts Branch after he was spotted in a dishevelled state on the grounds of Papplewick School in Ascot, Berkshire.
Cats Protection volunteers and vets became concerned when the ginger-and-white moggy became sick and they noticed a strange bulge that would come and go around his abdomen.
Vets were at first baffled by his condition and, after ruling out a worm infestation or a kidney infection, decided surgery to take a biopsy was the only option.
Cats Protection’s Bracknell & Wokingham Districts Branch Welfare Officer Annie Pack said: “Our vet feared there may be a very serious problem and our only option was a biopsy to find out what was causing Henry’s sickness.
“They had no idea what they would find but were staggered when they came across part of a black bin bag. It was a strip around 10cm long and 4cm wide but had been so compacted it was hard to see how large it had been when he’d eaten it.
“The plastic had become trapped inside his stomach and there was no way it could have come out naturally. Since it’s been removed he has made a full recovery and the sickness stopped straight away.
“We have no idea why or how he came to eat it, it is something of a mystery. But he was very thin, and had obviously been a stray for some time, so the most likely scenario is he swallowed it accidentally as he foraged through bins for food.
“Life can be very tough for a stray cat like him, and he could have resorted to desperate measures to try and feed himself. He must have been in a lot of discomfort and pain before he was handed into us.
“Henry has made a great recovery, put on weight and is enjoying life. He is very friendly and will make a lovely pet.”
Annie added that although Henry had most likely ingested the plastic accidentally while he searched for food, there is a possibility he could have eaten it on purpose.
She said: “Some cats are known to have a bit of a compulsion towards eating strange things – for example wool or plastic. So anyone who adopts Henry will need to make sure he doesn’t have access to plastic bags just in case he takes a nibble!”
Now Henry has fully recovered from his ordeal and has been fully vaccinated and microchipped, he is looking for a warm, safe home with a new owner.
Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps over 194,000 cats and kittens per year through its national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 31 adoption centres.
Henry was one of between 5,000-6,000 cats in the care of Cats Protection across the UK. To find a cat in need of a home near you, please visit www.cats.org.uk and use the Find a Cat tool.