Six-year-old Reggie was handed into Cats Protection after being found with the collar embedded deep into his flesh, causing a wound so severe that vets feared he may need to have a leg amputated.
But after weeks of care by staff and volunteers of Cats Protection’s National Cat Adoption Centre in Sussex and the charity’s Anglia Coastal Branch – which first took Reggie in – he has now made a full recovery and is looking for a new home.
Cats Protection’s National Cat Adoption Centre Deputy Manager Karen Thompson explained: “Reggie had turned up at the home of a lady in Suffolk where he had been trying to scavenge food. She saw that he had a very bad injury under his front leg and that the collar was stuck into his flesh.
“He was taken to the local branch of Cats Protection but his wound proved so bad he was transferred to our Sussex centre for further treatment and rehabilitation. He had one of the worst injuries I’ve ever seen from a collar, and he needed surgery to reconstruct the damage. It really was touch and go on whether he’d lose the leg, but amazingly he came back from the brink.
“It’s not been an easy road for Reggie, but with a lot of TLC and veterinary treatment he is finally fit enough to be rehomed. He’s been through a huge ordeal, so we looking for a very special home for him where he can continue his recovery and enjoy being in a home environment again.”
Having been handed into Cats Protection in March, Reggie’s original owner was traced through his microchip details, who explained that he had been missing for 18 months. However, with a change in their home circumstances, they were unable to take Reggie back and he was signed over to Cats Protection for his care and rehoming.
Karen added: “Reggie’s original owner explained they had not put this collar on him, so we have no idea who put it on him or how long he had been in such a bad way. Clearly, he had been in some considerable pain for a long time though.”
She added that she hoped Reggie’s story would raise awareness about how collars can be hazardous for a cat. They can get caught on a fence or the cat can get their paw stuck in the collar, causing distress and injury, such as strangulation, deep skin lacerations and jaw damage.
Sarah Merrett, Cats Protection’s Central Veterinary Officer, said: “As this case shows, collars can cause significant harm to cats. We recommend microchipping as the safest permanent method of identification for cats. Unlike collars, microchips don't come off or put cats at risk of collar-related injuries. If an owner does choose to have a collar fitted, we advise that they purchase a 'quick release' or snap opening collar.”