Blood donor cat saves day-old kittens

Sundance and Butch Cassidy are two kittens who at just one day old were alone outside on a freezing cold night. Their feral mom had been frightened off the Utah property by another cat, and didn’t seem to be coming back. The temperature was dropping rapidly.

Day-old kittens needing care

Afraid the little fellows wouldn’t make it through the night, a neighbor swooped them up and brought them to Best Friends. And at just one day old, they looked like a delivery of little mice! "Are you absolutely positive those are cats?" some staffers joked. But the cat people were pretty sure!

They were welcome to snuggle up at Best Friends, but they were so small, they really needed the antibodies in their mother’s first milk. And there was no way to find her.

Substitute for mother cat's antibodies from blood donor cat

That’s where Tito stepped in. Dr. Kate Creighton, one of the Best Friends vets, decided to make a serum, using the blood of a healthy adult cat, which would already have the antibodies the newborns needed. The serum, fed to the babies with a dropper, would act as a substitute for the antibodies in mom’s first milk. Any healthy cat volunteers?

That Tito is always such a good sport! He donated his blood for the making of the serum to help these kittens get through their first few days of life. And the result? A couple weeks later, these babies are growing strong (and are looking more like cats every day!) and will soon be looking for cozy homes.

We think Tito deserves the title of "Honorary Dad."

 

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