Animal Rights

Vets Shocked By Cat With 2 Pounds Of Matted Fur (Photos)

| by Michael Howard

A neglected cat in Pennsylvania was found covered in 2 pounds of matted fur that had taken the form of dreadlocks.

The cat's name is Hidey. She and another cat were abandoned after their elderly owner was moved to a nursing home, according to The Dodo. The owner reportedly suffered from Alzheimer's disease and had been unable to care for the animals.

Fortunately for Hidey, a relative remembered that the man had a cat.

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"When they put him in the nursing home, I thought, 'Hey, he has a cat,'" Paul Russel told The Dodo.

Russel was unprepared for what he found at the old man's house.

"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," he said. "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, and I thought, 'What was that?'"

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"That" was Hidey, who had developed a huge mass of matted fur and was unable to groom herself. Russel could hardly believe his eyes.

"At first I thought it was a cat who had a blanket draped over her that she dragged down," he said. "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."

After coaxing her from her hiding place, Russel brought Hidey to the Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center in Pittsburgh.

There, the vets were just as taken aback by Hidey's condition as Russel had been.

"They hadn't seen anything like that," staff member Caitlin Lasky said. "Even looking online, I had a hard time finding anything similar, so it's definitely a unique case."

The vets put Hidey under general anesthesia and got to work shaving her fur.

"It was 2 pounds of fur. Lots of fur. It had to be years of matting for it to get that long. She was overweight as well," Lasky said.

After receiving a shave and a check-up, a much lighter Hidey was sent to live with Russel and his family.

"She's been hiding under the bed for the last couple of days," Russel explained. "I've been dragging her out and holding her, and she purrs a lot. The last couple of days, she's climbed out from under the bed on her own and into a cat bed I have. So she's starting to work her way to see people more."

The Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center that treated Hidey has been around since 1909, according to their website. They take in around 13,000 animals every year and keep them until each one finds a home.

Sources: The Dodo, Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center / Photo credit: Western PA Humane Society via The Dodo

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