A chonky kitten named Puppy arrived at an experienced foster mom’s home. And he was one of the youngest felines she had ever cared for. Puppy’s eyes were still closed, which meant he was likely less than 10 days old. But fortunately, he was a nice, healthy weight. He weighed as much as a 2-week-old kitten! That healthy weight was a lifesaver because his mama cat left him behind after apparently relocating her other kittens. He was alone for 12 hours as his rescuers anxiously waited to see if she would return.
First, they gave his mama cat every chance to find him but then it was time to intervene.
“Removing nursing kittens is always plan Z, but going on 12 hours without food from his mom it was time to intervene. We’ll still be keeping an eye out for mom and the remaining sibling with hopes to help them as well. In the meantime, officially introducing PUPPY! Our newest bottle baby ❤️,” shared Heidi Wrangles Cats.
Puppy Loves His Warm Plush Mama with a Heartbeat
Kittens instinctively seek out their mother, but this orphan would never find her. One can imagine how distressing it could be. Kittens may not sleep at night, with separation anxiety that could last into adulthood. The result can lead to many behavioral issues. It’s one of the many reasons rescuers always try to keep the mama with her babies.
To give him the feeling that his mama was there, Heidi introduced a Calmeroos Cat, a plush orange cat. These feature a removable battery-operated heartbeat simulator, heat pack, and soft feel of their mama. There are designs for both cats, puppies. (Or in this case, a kitten named Puppy.)
The Calmeroos Cat worked like a charm and he stayed snuggled underneath.
“A fun fact about Puppy is that his favorite place in the whole world is underneath his fake mommy 🐱,” shared Heidi.
It’s easy to keep the Calmeroos Cat clean by washing it after removing the heat pack and heart.
Puppy Thrived with a Plush and Human Mama
With a plush mama and a human mama, Puppy thrived, gaining ” a whopping 30 grams per day.” While Heidi could have introduced him to other foster babies, he remained quarantined to be safe. Generally, a two-week quarantine is necessary to rule out risks like a “panleuk” or Panleukopenia (FPV) outbreak or parasites.
Such a viral outbreak can quickly lead to disaster, and kittens are highly vulnerable. It can be emotionally hard for fosterers to keep an orphan alone, but doing so can mean life or death. It’s an important thing to know for anyone fostering kittens. But when they are safe and clear, introducing a kitten friend is usually a great idea. You’ll see why later.
Even quarantined, Puppy developed a dangerous upper respiratory infection (URI).
A Little Steam Room
A cold can quickly endanger a kitten, leading them to lose their appetites. Consequently, he needed immediate antibiotics and steam treatments with a nebulizer. His carrier became a “little steam room” twice daily.
“We use the nebulizer twice a day and turn his carrier into a little steam room. If you don’t have a nebulizer taking them into the bathroom while you shower also helps to loosen up their congestion,” she shared.
Puppy was a Little Trooper
Fortunately, Puppy was a little trooper and overcame his cold after 5 days of antibiotics. He reached one pound and was ridiculously cute.
“Ugh it’s so nice to see my baby able to breath again 🥲 Love you Puppy 😭,” Heidi shared.
Things continued looking up for Puppy, and he remained chonky, weighing more than most kittens his age.
“The polka dot on Puppy’s belly kills me.”
Introducing Kitten Wrestling Buddies
Finally, Puppy made his first kitten pals. He would learn “how to cat” and work out his considerable kitten energy. He was biting his foster mom, having not learned about boundaries and that biting hurts! Now, he had two wrestling buddies. And it’s usually far easier to care for a duo, or even a trio. Keeping kittens with bonded buddies means they spend their time playing together and not attacking your legs or hands!
Then, he was off to a new foster home with The Kitten Squad and the playtime continued endlessly.
“I said, Give the people what they want! And they understood the assignment 🤌” foster mom Alice shared.
Today, Puppy is a purrfectly well-adjusted but silly kitty named Ollie, living with his big brother Baxer in NYC. You can follow their adventures on Instagram.