Against all odds a tiny kitten managed to survive after its stressed mother couldn’t cope and three of her litter died.
Whilst it’s a myth that a mother cat will automatically reject her new born kittens if they are touched by humans; there are sadly many more real reasons why this unfortunate occurrence can happen.
For example, if the mother is in distress of lives in an unsafe environment, or if she feel threatened for any reason. The mother’s natural response may be to conserve her energy into caring for herself and perhaps just one or two of the ‘healthiest’ new borns.
Three-year old tabby Lois and her tiny kitten Kara are sadly an example of such a situation. Lois became separated from her previous owner and was forced to give birth in a strangers’ garden shed.
The experience made her incredibly stressed and worried and sadly led to her feeling unable to cope with four new borns, refusing to feed them.
Tragically three of the four kittens passed away, but one tiny kitten – Kara – managed to survive and was discovered by the shed owner just in time.
Upon finding Lois and her kittens, the homeowner called London-based animal welfare charity, Mayhew for advice. Mayhew animal welfare officers went to collect the felines and to offer support to the homeowner after the upsetting discovery.
A spokesperson for Mayhew said: “We brought Lois and Kara back to Mayhew, where they were both checked over by our team of vets. Kara was estimated to be no more than five-weeks old, and still had her eyes shut.
“Lois was obviously severely agitated, and our vets discovered she was suffering from what seemed like a flea allergy rash across her neck and back. She was also clearly in a significant amount of pain from a flea collar that had its end sewn together, making it far too tight for her and impossible to remove. This had caused bleeding and scabbing on her throat.
“Our vets removed the collar and gave Lois flea and worm treatment, before settling her into soft, quiet cabin in our Kitten Block to recover. Our Animal Welfare Officers hoped that it was not too late for her to bond with Kara, now that both were in a safe and secure place, and so the tiny kitten was placed at her side under careful observation.”
Surprisingly, the team at Mayhew said that Kara herself was in remarkable condition given her tough start in life, and son showed herself to be a friendly and lively little kitten.
Mayhew cattery staff supported her feeding and development whilst at the same time encouraging Lois to take an interest; and to everyone’s joy and delight, after a couple of days spent resting; Lois’s maternal instincts finally seemed to kick in.
Mayhew’s spokesperson added: “Lois began feeding Kara and slowly started to lick her head and nuzzle her close. Our vets then gave Lois some anti-anxiety medication to remain calm around Kara, who was becoming bouncier and more boisterous by the day. The medication seemed to help and both mother and daughter eventually bonded – with Lois finally appearing to be happy and at peace.”
Whilst neither Lois nor Kar are quite ready for rehoming yet, the team at Mayhew are delighted with their progress so far.
To keep up to date with their progress and find out when Lois and Kara are available for adoption you can visit the website at www.themayhew.org.