Heartbreaking photos have emerged of a badly neglected calico cat called Hidey, whose fur was so matted it had formed huge dreadlocks.
The cat, which was also badly overweight, used to belong to an elderly man, who suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease. The pet was taken into the Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, after her owner had to move to a nursing home because of his deteriorating condition.
Vets said she must have been neglected for years judging by the severity of the dreadlocks. The medical team at the centre had to shave off all of the fur, which weighed several pounds. In a Facebook post, the centre said: “Needless to say, this cat is feeling so much better now! She will be cared for by a distant relative of her previous owner & finally have a chance at a happy & healthy life.”
Paul Russel, who is a distant relative of the 82 year old with Alzheimer’s said that when he was taken into the home, they realised he had two cats. Mr Russel said he suddenly saw a “huge creature” which dashed out from under a bed and ran into the cellar.
At first, he thought the cat had a blanket draped over it, until he realised that it was fur. Because she was over weight, she would have found it much harder to groom herself, which would have led to her fur becoming matted. As it got worse and worse, it would have been impossible for her to help herself, and it is thought her owner was not able to groom her.
While she needed a general anaesthetic to enable the veterinary team to take off the fur, she has now fully recovered from her ordeal and the 14 year old is living along with the second cat with Mr Russel and hsi family.