A CAT charity is warning owners of the danger of hairbands after a stray kitten almost lost her nine lives.
The cat, who has been named Hope by staff at Cats Protection’s Birmingham Adoption Centre in Hollywood, was found collapsed in a garden and taken to the charity by a member of the public.
Paula Beswick, the deputy manager who was on hand when Hope arrived, said: “The poor girl seemed lifeless and nothing more than skin and bones.
“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.”
The five-month old kitten 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.
An ultrasound revealed a mass in Hope’s intestines and her liver has started 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.
But she pulled through and after five days of intensive nursing Hope was strong enough to have the operation and 21 hairbands were removed from her intestine.
Paula said: “Hope must be a little fighter as she pulled through after the bands were removed.
“She has been through such a lot in her young life already. 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.”
Cats Protection say 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.
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.
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.
To donate visit the Just Giving website and search Cats Protection Birmingham.