This is the obese "rasta" cat abandoned by its owners with over a kilogram of dreadlocks on its back and animal rescuers say they have never seen anything like it.

The incident took place in at the 'Radeau des Animaux' animal rescue centre in Ferel in Brittany region of France.

The head of the animal centre, Dominique Bacot, said that these images show the cat, called Chamade, with the long tufts of fur he had "when he arrived at the refuge."

Chamade seen before his excess fur was removed. Photo / CEN/Australscope
Chamade seen before his excess fur was removed. Photo / CEN/Australscope

The last image shows a much happier Chamade after volunteers "cut off the dreadlocks."

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She said that the poor animal "could not even clean itself anymore, to the point that it created impressive tufts."

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She added: "We have cut about 1 kilogram of hair off after it clumped together into dreadlocks. Everything was on its back, where the cat could not lick itself."

The other volunteers said they had never seen such an incredible "rasta" haircut on a short-hair cat, with one saying: "This generally happens to animals with long hair that have not been looked after for a long time."

Chamade after a haircut. Photo / CEN/Australscope
Chamade after a haircut. Photo / CEN/Australscope

Chamade, who is 9 years old, was promptly taken in by a loving family after losing his dreadlocks. The family adopted him and his pal Chad, also 9, and who also needed to have some beginnings of dreadlocks removed by the volunteers.

The story of the dreadlocked cat is similar to the tale of New Zealand's own Shrek the sheep, who built up a massive fleece after escaping shearers for years.

Shrek gained international fame in 2004. The story of how shepherd Ann Scanlan caught the sheep with the mammoth fleece that had avoided being shorn for six years captured international attention. Media from around the world reported on Shrek being shorn of his 22kg fleece.

He became the subject of three books and featured prominently in a fourth, raising funds for the Tarras School near Bendigo and the Cure Kids charity, lifting the profile of the wool industry and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Aged 16, and said to be in pain through age-related illnesses, Shrek was put down in 2011, on the advice of a vet.