Cat saved after swallowing aerial

X-ray picture of antenna in Alphie's stomach Vets said Alphie's case was one of the most unusual they had ever seen

A cat had to undergo emergency surgery after swallowing a six-inch TV aerial.

Owner Vanessa Waite, from Parson Cross, Sheffield, had only owned tabby kitten Alphie for a few days when he fell ill and had to be taken for treatment.

The aerial, which was lodged in the cat's stomach and oesophagus, would have proved fatal if it had remained inside him, vets said.

"I couldn't believe it when I saw the X-ray. The aerial looked huge in his tiny body," said Ms Waite.

Alphie and the aerial Alphie has made a full recovery after surgery to remove the aerial from his stomach

While Alphie would sit for a long time being mesmerised by moving pictures on the TV, Ms Waite said she had no idea the kitten had become obsessed with the aerial.

"One night I heard a loud bang and went to investigate but I assumed Alphie had fallen off the window sill. He seemed okay and was just hiding under the bed," she said.

"However, during the night he was being sick so the next morning I took him to the PDSA [People's Dispensary for Sick Animals]. It wasn't until later that I realised that one of the aerial antennas was missing from my TV."

'Real handful'

Liz Airey, senior veterinary surgeon at the PDSA in Sheffield, said it was one of the most unusual cases she had ever come across.

Start Quote

He still loves the TV too but I don't leave him alone with it anymore”

End Quote Vanessa Waite Alphie's owner

"It's very rare. We did have a case a few years ago when a dog ate a tent peg but it's very unusual for such a solid object to be swallowed in this way.

"It's fortunate that he didn't swallow it the other way round as the sharp broken end could have punctured his stomach and caused damage to his intestines which could have been fatal."

Ms Waite said it was "amazing" Alphie had gone on to make full recovery.

"When he came home it was like nothing had happened - it definitely hasn't taught him any lessons.

"He's a real handful and I have to watch him all the time because he'll try and stick anything in his mouth.

"He still loves the TV too but I don't leave him alone with it anymore."

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