Cat Unrecognizable After Vet Removes Fur so Matted It Was to Be Euthanized

A vet has shared a shocking video of a cat covered in so much matted fur it was brought in to be euthanized.

Justine, who posts on TikTok with the username The Vet Soapbox, filmed a black-and-white female who looked as if she hadn't been brushed in years and appeared to be struggling to move around.

The state of the cat's coat was so bad it was thought she was beyond help, as Justine said in the video, uploaded on Monday: "Brought to be euthanized."

Rather than putting down the otherwise healthy cat, however, the team got to work trying to save the animal's life, carefully removing each tuft. Justine shared footage of the sedated cat being gently shaved, with scales showing that nearly one pound of fur was removed.

Screenshot of the cat with matted fur.
Screenshot of the cat with matted fur. A vet shared a video of an elderly cat who was due to be euthanized, due to her matted fur. @thevetsoapbox

The self-employed vet, from Ontario, Canada, also shared a clip of the bright-eyed cat after the procedure—and she looked unrecognizable.

The cat has been given a second chance at a good home, according to Justine. The final image of the freshly clipped cat is captioned: "Adopted out and loving life."

The video, which can be seen here, has been watched more than 3.6 million times in two days, and was captioned: "Vet clinics save lives."

Justine told Newsweek she reckoned the cat was between 10 and 12 years old, and had "many more good years left in her."

She added: "The cat was the absolutely sweetest. She didn't have a bad bone in her body. It took about 30-40 minutes to remove all the matting and it weighed almost a pound. It took three people to help with the kitty, two to help hold her in place and then the wonderful groomer herself.

Screenshot of the cat with matted fur.
Screenshot of the cat after the matted fur was removed. Vet Justine said three people worked for 30-40 minutes to remove the clumps. @thevetsoapbox

"That kind of matting in cats is uncommon, but does happen. Usually long-haired cats are more common, or cats with obesity, illness, arthritis, or stress—as sometimes they won't groom themselves properly with these conditions. This cat had blood work and urinalysis run to ensure she was healthy. And placed in a great home where she is flourishing."

Earlier, in the comments on her video, Justine reassured concerned viewers that the cat had recovered well from the procedure, posting: "Demolished a whole bowl of yummy food. Felt like a million bucks."

A few people speculated on how the cat got into that condition, but Justine pointed out: "Some cats don't clean themselves for reasons. Might've been they never learned, they are sick, they are too fat, they are stressed, etc."

She added: "We are often quick to judge but there are often unfortunate extenuating circumstances."

Numerous TikTokers left comments on the incredible transformation, with Kmart Blue Light Special writing: "Omfg I have never seen a cat that badly matted. So glad she got a home now."

Lily & Bean posted: "Omg this absolutely broke my heart."

Leah Grimm exclaimed: "Oh my god, that's awful! Thank you for taking care of him."

Tom added: "Knowing there are neglected but otherwise healthy pets that get euthanized for no reason makes my blood boil."

Update 7/21/21, 9:15 a.m. ET: This article was updated to add video, photos and comment from Justine.