Shelter Cat Helps Raise Kittens When Mother Kitty Gets Sick

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Just when everyone thought this cat will give birth to five beautiful kittens, something went terribly wrong.

Meet Church, the mother cat and her kittens!

For the first few weeks, mother cats are vital to the growth of their kittens as they need warmth and protection until they are old enough to stand on their own. However, Church has suffered prolapsed uterus during labor, putting her in critical condition.

Church’s owner quickly contacted the staff at the MSPCA-Angell shelter to see if they could take care of the kittens.

“Church’s owner was unable to get to our clinic so we rushed to the home and gathered her and [the] newborn kittens and raced them back to the adoption center,” Alyssa Krieger, community outreach coordinator for the shelter, said in a release. “The kittens were weak and underweight because they were unable to feed.”

When the kittens arrived at the shelter, the staff knew they had to work immediately to make sure all of them survive. Fortunately, Betty,  a 2-year-old orange tabby cat, decided to step up and became a temporary mother to all five kittens.

The sweet kitty, who was at the shelter waiting to be adopted, was more than happy to help.

“Betty was abandoned in an apartment building and some Good Samaritans kept her for about a month before bringing her in,” Krieger said during an interview with The Dodo. “It’s possible she had kittens over a month ago and was still lactating a little bit, but it’s also possible that it was a hormonal response — which is relatively rare but not unheard of.”

As soon as Betty met the kittens, she immediately started cleaning their sleek gray fur and putting her orange paws protectively around them.

“She spent the next two days caring for all five kittens until Church was back on her feet and able to be with her kittens again.”

Church survived the illness and was immediately reunited with her kittens. However, she wasn’t producing enough milk for her hungry kittens, so Betty kept nursing three of the kittens to help out the mother cat.

“Neither cat was producing quite enough milk for all five kittens but we were very happy to see that each could support half of the litter. This was truly an it-takes-a-village moment,” Krieger said.

“It’s extremely rare for us to have a mom cat who is able to take over kitten care for another, and we often have to resort to bottle-feeding kittens,” Krieger added. “But we were lucky that Betty was able and willing.”

Betty and one of the kittens were transferred to a foster home, while Church and the other four kittens went back home with their family. Once the kittens are 10 weeks old, they’ll be ready for adoption. And after the last kitten is weaned from Betty, the cat who is being called a hero will still need a home.

Everyone is hoping that Betty will soon find a loving home!

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Source: The Dodo