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The team at Birmingham Adoption Centre were shocked to discover what was clogging tiny Hope’s intestine.

An underweight stray kitten has been named Hope by the team at our Birmingham Adoption Centre after she bounced back against all odds.

The kitten, who is believed to be around five months old, was found collapsed in a garden by a kind member of the public, who carried her in a cardboard box to the centre.

skinny black cat lying on white fleece blanket with plastic cone around head

“The poor girl seemed lifeless and nothing more than skin and bones,” said Deputy Manager Paula Beswick. “When Hope did try to walk, she was very unsteady. We rushed her immediately to the vets who put her straight onto fluid and antibiotic drips.”

Hope was taken to Your Vets in Olton where she was found to weigh just 1.59kg, the weight of a kitten half her age. She was extremely dehydrated and malnourished but with no evident injuries.

Hope was nursed and supported to gain strength but she was still extremely poorly with no clear cause for her symptoms.

x-ray of a cat's intestines showing a massAn x-ray of Hope showing the mass in her intestine. Credit: Your Vets Olton

After various investigations, an ultrasound revealed a mass in Hope’s intestines. With her liver beginning to shut down, Hope was too weak to survive an operation to remove the mass, or even have much blood taken, and it was unclear whether she would survive.

Luckily, after five days of intensive nursing Hope was strong enough to have the operation and 21 hairbands were removed from her intestine.

“Hope must be a little fighter as she pulled through after the bands were removed,” said Paula. “She has been through such a lot in her young life already.

a pile of 21 hairbands tangled togetherThe 21 hairbands removed from Hope's intestine

“We don’t know how the hairbands got there. We can only imagine that somebody was playing with her and using the hairbands as a toy which she was mistakenly swallowing or simply eating them because she was so hungry.”

Hope’s case highlights the importance of using appropriately designed toys to play with cats and never leaving them alone with anything that could be mistakenly swallowed such as hairbands, ribbons or buttons.

“We cannot thank the vets and vet nurses at Your Vets enough,” added Paula. “They tried every option to uncover what was wrong with Hope and fought so hard to keep her alive.

“Blood tests have shown that all her organs are now working well. She is such a sweet girl - still very underweight and needs lots of monitoring and encouragement to eat small frequent meals, however, we are quietly confident that she will make a full recovery.”

Hope’s surgery and care costs reached in excess £4,000 and she is just one of the many cats that arrive at the centre each year in need of significant vet treatment. If you are able to donate towards Hope’s vet care, or the care of other cats at the centre, you can visit the centre’s JustGiving page.

As no microchip or evidence of an owner could be found, once Hope has fully recovered her details will be posted on the centre’s website and she will be found a loving home.

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