The RSPCA has issued a warning over the dangers of cat collars after a cat is left with an awful injury.
Black and white cat Geoff was found straying in Zetland Road, Stockton-on-Tees last month with his leg caught in his flea collar which had caused a nasty injury as he tried to struggle free.
Thankfully, a member of the public spotted his plight and contacted the RSPCA and Inspector Krissy Raine came to his rescue.
She said: “This poor cat had got his leg caught in a flea collar and as he struggled to get his paw free he caused a nasty injury under his armpit. Sadly, we do see cats coming into our care with injuries caused by collars which really highlights just how dangerous these kinds of collars can be when cats can so easily get stuck in them.”
Cats are natural hunters and curious explorers and enjoy pushing through tight spots, so it’s imperative that any collar is designed to free the cat should they become snagged and so they don’t get their leg caught.
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, flea collars, or collars with buckles that do not release without human help can leave cats struggling to free themselves when their legs become stuck – causing horrific and sometimes fatal injuries.
Alice Potter, the RSPCA’s cat welfare expert, said: “This 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.
“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 is also far better to have to pay for a new collar if your pet has lost theirs than to have to pay for urgent veterinary treatment when your pet becomes injured due to its collar.”
Geoff was taken to RSPCA Great Ayton Animal Centre for treatment where the staff have been working hard to patch him up and give him some much-needed TLC.
He is now completely healed and will be available for rehoming soon.