When Charlene Edwards' pet moggie Irwin started vomitting hairbands, she knew she had to act fast.
The 18-month-old cat had been unwell for some time and had been of his food and was losing weight.
The Gillingham resident had taken him to the vet and was given medication but things weren't getting any better.
When the feline stopped drinking, she tried to syringe water into his mouth.
And then to her amazement, he started producing the hairbands.
The 35-year-old said: “We knew Irwin needed urgent treatment, but finances were tight and we were worried we wouldn’t be able to afford the veterinary fees.
“Then I had a lightbulb moment and thought of PDSA. My mother had taken her cat there when she was struggling financially, so I contacted them and discovered I was eligible too."
The PDSA Pet Hospital in Gillingham told her to bring him in immediately for an emergency appointment.
PDSA vet Rebecca Lewis said: “X-rays revealed there were lots of hairbands in Irwin’s stomach and we were concerned they were causing an obstruction to his guts.
"This can be a life-threatening condition so he needed emergency surgery to remove them right away.
“After an intense operation, the hairbands were successfully removed, and Irwin was kept at the hospital to closely monitor his recovery.”
However, the cat wasn’t out of the woods yet as he'd developed a liver condition and his life was once again in danger.
Irwin was hospitalised at the PDSA for nearly a week, with a feeding tube inserted so the team could provide him with vital nutrients.
Once he was well enough, he was allowed home to recover, and the pet hospital staff provided special training to his owners to allow them to feed Irwin through his feeding tube.
Charlene added: “We couldn’t believe Irwin had eaten my hairbands. It was the last thing I expected to be the problem when he was ill.
“We’re going to make sure from now on that all hairbands and anything else he could swallow are kept safely out of reach.
“We’re so grateful PDSA were there for Irwin when we had nowhere else to turn.”