An adorable cat used up one of her nine lives and needed emergency surgery after she scoffed 40 hairbands.

Four-year-old Isabelle swallowed the hair ties which her owner’s daughter had accidentally dropped around the house.

At first her owner Bianca Oborne, from Shepperton, thought the Scottish Fold moggie enjoyed playing with the ties until they started going missing.

Eventually, she rushed Isabelle to the vet after the cat stopped eating and a large lump appeared in her stomach.

When the vet gave Isabelle an ultrasound and x-ray he was stunned when he found the growth was in fact a clump of 40 hairbands.

The 33-year-old office worker said: “We know she liked playing with hairbands but we never thought for one moment that she was eating them.

“There are a lot of things she likes to eat.

"She is attracted to all sorts of elastic bands, and she is obsessed with the cellophane-like material clothes deliveries come wrapped in.

"She gets very over excited and runs at the object of her desire with really wide eyes.

"We have taken to locking ourselves away in bedrooms to open deliveries.

Incredibly, Bianca believes Isabelle had been secretly eating the ties over a period of years.

The poorly puss underwent a three-hour operation at Vets4Life to have the hairbands removed last month.

Despite coming within a whisker of dying, Isabelle has made a full recovery.

“We initially thought she might have a hernia when we saw the lump," Bianca added.

"When the vet told us it was dozens of hairbands she had swallowed, we were stunned.

"She must have been gobbling them for a number of years judging by the amount removed.

“My daughter and I now keep a very close eye on our hairbands, with one on our wrists and the rest locked away safely.

"When my nieces come to the house, they also get checked for hairbands. Isabelle will not be getting her paws on another one.

“She never showed any sign of sickness or discomfort and the lump was the only indication of something not being right.

"We’re so glad we found it as something like this could have taken her life.”

Bianca is now warning other cat owners to pay attention to what their pets are eating.

Vet Will Lever, who operated on Isabelle, said a foreign body in the gastrointestinal tract can be life-threatening.

“We opened the intestines and we were stunned to discover that Isabelle had eaten dozens of hairbands," he said.

"We believe there were approximately 35 to 40.

“We removed all of the hairbands and the area was flushed with sterile saline to prevent infection.

“Isabelle woke well from her surgery and was soon up and about and eating again – albeit this time it was slightly more appropriate food.”