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Rescued Cat with Badly-Matted Fur Gets a New Look and a New Home

By Aly Semigran    December 27, 2016 / (1) comments

In a story that serves as both a reminder to keep an eye out for the elderly and their pets: a badly-matted cat was found in its Pennsylvania residence in mid-December after her owner was to be placed in a nursing home. 


The 14-year-old cat—who now goes by the name Hidey—was brought in by a relative to the Animal Rescue League (ARL) in Pittsburgh, where she was covered in excess fur and grime.


According to the ARL Facebook page, "She suffered from severe matting—dreadlocks, really— the likes of which had been neglected for years." Caitlin Lasky of the Western PA Humane Society tells petMD. Additionally, Lasky said that "Hidey is overweight and will need to lose weight to be in better health. She also has severe dry skin." 


The ARL medical team shaved off nearly two pounds off Hidey's excess fur, which will help her begin to heal. When it comes to matted fur on cats, Lasky said it can cause extreme discomfort. "Mats can grow around limbs causing them to atrophy [and] moisture held within the mats can often create bacterial skin infections, [and the matted fur] can cause skin sores, lesions," she says.


Since her ordeal, Hidey has since been placed in a new, caring and able household, where the freshly-shorn feline is thriving. 


The Western PA Humane Society reports via their Facebook page, that "Hidey's new owners have told us she was originally hiding under the bed in her new home, but now is snuggled on a warm cat bed on an open floor. She also begins purring while being held." 


While Hidey's story could have been a tragic one, Dan Rossi, CEO of the Animal Rescue League Shelter and the Western PA Humane Society, hopes it serves as a reminder.


"The companionship of a pet can bring many positive benefits to the elderly, however, owning a pet is a large responsibility. If a family member, friend or neighbor owns a pet, please help them to make sure there is a support system in place if/when mental faculties begin diminishing," Rossi said in a statement. "Open door shelters such as Animal Rescue League Shelter and the Western PA Humane Society do not turn any animal away if there are no other options for the pet."


Donations can be made to Animal Rescue LeagueWestern PA Humane Society to help animals like Hidey get the second chances they deserve. 


Images via Animal Rescue League/ Western PA Humane Society 

Comments  1

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  • Looks like Hoax
    01/12/2017 05:31pm

    I've seen plenty of matted cats in my years of rescue work, even had one of my first cats, a longhair tortie, who lived to be 24 who had matted fur that with loose skin from losing weight was very difficult to control as the skin would get up into the mats so cutting or shaving was nearly impossible. The cat pictured appears to be a short haired cat from the front end and I have never seen a cats fur grow that long and in that manner, even if it was never brushed , groomed or trimmed in all of her 14 years! I absolutely don't believe that picture is real! However the problem with animals being neglected and becoming severely matted is a very real problem. I rescued a poodle who was wondering around the streets in Arizona on a 114° day, mostly blind, toenails overgrown and curling under into the foot pad, rotting teeth, un-neutered and matted and grimy! I took him in immediately (he was likely abandoned after serving his purpose as a stud for a puppy mill) and first thing I did is get him to a groomed who shaved him bare. He had a dreadlocks of a matt on his tail about 8" longer than the tail. He was so dirty under all that matted fur it was practically engraved into his skin. It took many baths before I was able to finally get his skin clean and in good condition. His nails had to be trimmed back slowly over a long period of time. He was too old to go thru surgery for his teeth or be neutered so I gave him a good home and lots of love and canned food for about a year until I felt that his increasing blindness and declining health made the quality of his life poor. At least I know that what ever the circumstances were for the approximately 20 years before I found him, his last year was filled with love and kindness.