Lila’s glad to dis-connect! Cat collared by drainage piping is rescued by the RSPCA

The feline was found in an uncomfortable situation miles from home

The RSPCA came to the rescue of a cat who was found with piping around her neck after going missing miles from her County Durham home.

Curiosity got the better of Lila as she ended up not only miles away from her owners in Chester-le-Street, but in a fix after two drainage pipe parts became attached to her neck after she ventured into a building site.

Inspector Ian Smith came to the aid of the feline, who had been spotted at Worsdell Drive in Gateshead by a member of the public who had been feeding her and thought the piping was a thick collar. The inspector set a cage to catch her and subsequently took her to a Newcastle-based vets on July 11, where the piping was removed.

The inspector said: “This was a strange rescue as at first we didn’t know whether she was a feral cat. As it turned out her owner lives in Chester-le-Street, but Lila was found 10 miles away in Gateshead. She was missing for over a week and someone spotted her hanging around.

“She was very unhappy as she was carrying the extra weight around her head. Fortunately, her only injuries were a nick to the back of one of her legs and a bit of swelling to her neck. We got her to the vets quickly and she has been fine.

“It looks like she may have been exploring in a builder’s yard and got these pipe sections stuck to her.”

Fortunately, Lila was microchipped and was swiftly reunited with her owners who were relieved to have her back, although surprised to hear of her predicament.

The RSPCA advises all owners to microchip their pets as it offers the best chance of them being identified and returned if lost. The charity supports moves to make it mandatory for owners to microchip cats, a policy which forms part of the UK Government’s Action Plan for Animal Welfare.

Inspector Smith added: “This was another great example of the power of microchipping. As of June 2024 next year, it will become a legal requirement for all owned cats to be chipped in England - and the happy ending for this cat is another example of why the RSPCA supports this change, and continues to promote the benefits of microchipping to the public.”

Heartbreaking figures released by the RSPCA have shown that reports of animals being beaten increased by 22% last year - with incidents peaking during the summer months, with three reported every minute. The charity has launched its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, to raise funds to help its frontline rescue teams continue to save animals from cruelty. The RSPCA’s frontline rescuers, volunteers and a network of branches are working tirelessly to save animals this summer but we can't do it alone. Please help cancel out cruelty, visit

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