Cat covered in tar burns nursed back to health

A stray cat had to be fed through a tube and nursed back to health after sticky tar caused chemical burns to her tongue, mouth and throat.

Dedicated RSPCA staff spent three months nursing Grace back to health after she was rescued by an inspector on 1 August having been found in North Shields covered in what her finders initially thought was oil.

Cattery supervisor Catherine Neasham, from Felledge Animal Centre, Tyne & Wear, who have been taking care of Grace, said: “Grace was brought in one Sunday whilst I was working and was covered in a black sticky substance. We aren’t 100% sure what it was, but it looked like tar or anti burglar paint.

“At the time we couldn’t look in her mouth properly and when she tried to eat her jaw looked lopsided so initially we thought she may have had a broken or dislocated jaw. She was also hyper-salivating and was covered in drool. After watching her try to eat we put some gloves on, opened her mouth and were hit with a horrible smell. We could see burns on her tongue and the roof of her mouth and rushed her back to the vets.”

Vets sedated her and found her mouth was ulcerated and red. She had no broken jaw but the injuries and burns inside her mouth and throat were very serious and were affecting her ability to eat so they placed a feeding tube to help her. They believe she’d got the sticky substance on her coat and it burned her mouth and throat as she tried to clean it off. She was kept in the vets for four days, given pain relief and was bathed every day to try to wash off the sticky substance.

Catherine said: “We started to give her soft food and, after eight days, we were able to remove the feeding tube. We continued to bathe her daily and stopped her pain relief. It took several months for her mouth to heal and now we’re thrilled that Grace is back to full health and ready to find a loving home. Her injuries have left her with a funny-shaped tongue but that just adds to her quirky and endearing character. Despite all the treatment she’s been through and the pain she must have suffered, she is the most loving and affectionate cat. She’ll make such a wonderful lap cat.”

If you think you could give Grace a new home, please contact Felledge on felledge@rspca.org.uk to find out more about her.