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A New York resident called 911 when they saw a cat (we have dubbed Holy Mackerel) outside with a can of fish stuck firmly on his head! It’s a good reminder to keep a lid on your recycles because cats and other critters do manage to get stuck in those cans. 

Imagine what it must feel like for the cat; suddenly, the lights go out, and you can’t see or hear. A cat can be easily traumatized by feeling something as mundane as a piece of tape stuck to their fur, so this kitty was probably horrified when the can got stuck.

However, the feral tuxie was in luck because by grace, a very experienced person was on the way to the rescue! 

The can of Jack Mackerel stuck on the feral cat's head, Long Island

Images and media via Facebook/John Debacker

Holy Mackerel! Emergency Canned Cat Rescue

Holy Mackerel was in extreme danger running around a neighborhood with a can of Jack Mackerel in Tomato Sauce stuck over his head. In seconds, he could have easily harmed himself or someone else. As a feral cat, he wasn’t trusting of humans to begin with, much less in this frightened state. Claws could go flying at any time, and it’s causing us anxiety just to think about it.

Holy Mackerel the cat stuck in a can of fish, Long Island, John Debacker

Canned Cat Rescue

There are probably very few people experienced in this variety of canned cat rescue, but one of them is Long Island’s John Debacker, Vice President of Long Island Cat/Kitten Solutions, Inc.

Debacker quickly responded after a resident in the neighborhood called 911, arriving on the scene before emergency responders. It’s a good thing because he had a net and the know-how to deal with gently extracting a can from a potentially ferocious cat!

Another fortunate thing: the cat wasn’t moving around or getting into the nearby street. Holy Mackerel had probably worn himself out trying to get that can off when the neighbor spotted him and called for help.

Debacker shared the body cam footage of the nerve-wracking rescue. Holy Mackerel!

Video via Facebook/John Debacker

Safe and Sound

As you can see, this kitty was safe and sound once inside the carrier, but what a harrowing scene. Online, people thanked Debacker for coming to the rescue so fast and probably just in the nick of time. 

“๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ™๐Ÿ’• Holy Mackerel! That’s awesome! So glad he will be checked by vet,” said Joan B.

Rescued feral cat, John Debacker, Long Island, New York

Two days later, Debacker shared that Holy Mackerel was doing fine. He will be neutered and possibly returned to his familiar territory since he finds people too peoply for his liking. What an ordeal he’s been through but hopefully there are no more cans in his future.

“It was only 2 days ago that this cat had its head stuck inside of metal can. Take a look at him now. ๐Ÿ˜ป Sadly for him, he is feral, but he will be fixed either way. ๐Ÿ˜ป” Debacker shared.

Holy Mackerel the cat, John Debacker, rescued cat stuck in a can

Open Cans Can Be Hazardous for Cats

Many speculated as to how the cat found the can, and it seems likely some well-intentioned person left the mackerel in the can for the cat. What they didn’t realize is such a container could prove hazardous for a hungry feline. Feral cats are often struggling to get enough to eat, and Holy Mackerel probably wanted to get every morsel.

Thus, it’s a good reminder to keep such cans safely stored away in the recycling bin and definitely not offer an open can of this shape to a cat.

Should You Crush Cans and Containers?

One person shared that they would remove labels and smash the openings of cans before recycling or tossing them in the trash. However, recycling experts say smushing them too much could be problematic for recycling plants. If your area puts all the recyclables in one bin, they may suggest keeping cans more or less intact. But if different types of recyclables are in separate bins, then smush away! (Do check with your local recycling guidelines to be sure.)

Smashing a can’s opening to prevent little heads from getting stuck should be okay, though! And you can generally leave the lid on with plastic containers. 

Another person said their indoor cat had narrowly avoided death inside a plastic container in the home. They suggested olive oil to gently lubricate the cat’s fur, or you can use a little bit of the always-handy Dawn dish soap. It works to remove olive and other kinds of oil, too.

It’s a great reminder to kitten and cat-proof the home, even when it comes to such seemingly safe containers. Although it’s not very common, a cat could get stuck, and you might avoid a potentially tragic outcome.

Here’s Cole and Marmalade with How to Bathe a cat:

 

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