Cat owners warned against 'dangerous' trend of taking cats for walks on leads

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Pet-owners have been warned not to take their cats for walks on leads as they can become stressed and suffer “horrific” injuries.

Owners are increasingly taking their house-cats out with a lead to give them “enrichment”, especially in urban areas.

But the RSPCA has warned against the growing trend after almost 100 cats have been injured by their own collars since the start of the year.

The charity cited one cat, called Nugget, who suffered a large wound in her armpit after getting her leg stuck in her collar.

RSPCA’s Lucy Green was called last month by a member of the public who spotted Nugget limping around.

Dangerous: Nugget was left with ‘horrific’ injuries after becoming stuck in her collar

“I smelt the poor cat before I saw her,” she said. “It was pretty putrid and infected. There were a lot of flies on her but luckily there were no fly eggs or maggots in the wound or it could have been a much worse prognosis for her.

“It was pretty nasty. Nugget was in a lot of pain. She was lashing out and hissing when I first found her but it must have been because she was in so much pain – as soon as I cut the collar off she was absolutely lovely.

The charity advised owners to use a quick release collar, which is designed to snap open when tugged to stop the animal becoming trapped.

Elasticated collars, or collars with buckles which do not release without human help can leave cats struggling to free themselves when their legs become stuck.

Alice Potter, RSPCA cat welfare expert said: “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.

“Cats are natural hunters and curious explorers that enjoy climbing trees or pushing through tight spots and for these reasons it is imperative that any collar is designed to free the cat should they become snagged during their adventures.”

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