Animal rescuers have saved a neglected cat whose fur was so matted it had turned into dreadlocks.
Horrifying photographs of a neglected cat with matted fur forming “dreadlocks” on her body have gone viral after shocking the world.
The traumatized cat, Hidey, who was owned by an elderly man with Alzheimer’s were posted online by an animal shelter in Pennsylvania, US.
“This poor cat was brought to our clinic yesterday after her elderly owner had to move to a nursing home,” explained the Facebook post.
“She suffered from severe matting (dreadlocks, really) the likes of which had been neglected for years.”
“Our medical team shaved off the pounds of intertwined fur from her body and, needless to say, this cat is feeling so much better now!”
“She will be cared for by a distant relative of her previous and finally have the chance at a happy and healthy life.”
Paul Russel, the 82-year-old cat owner’s relative taking care of the cat, said: “When they put [the owner] into a nursing home, I thought, ‘Hey, he has a cat.’ The house was still open, so I went down and left some food for the cat until we figured out what we’re going to do.”
“Then somebody mentioned that he had a second cat. So I started searching around and suddenly this huge creature darts out from under the bed and runs down to the cellar.”
“At first, I thought it was a cat who had a blanket draped over her that she dragged down. But no — it turned out to be Hidey. She hid down in the corner of the cellar.”
“I’m down there with a flashlight looking — it was almost like a horror movie — and I found her hunkering in the corner. Probably very scared. Probably in a lot of pain.”
Vets shaved two pounds of fur off Hidey’s body, under general anaesthetic, who hadn’t been groomed in years by her owner.
“Hidey was really overweigh, so that makes it harder for cats to groom themselves, and that’s when you see matting happen,” explained Caitlin Lasky, of the Western PA Humane Society.
“[The staff] hadn’t seen anything like that. Even looking online, I had a hard time finding anything similar, so it’s definitely a unique case,” she added.