Bubbly kitten thrives after emergency C-section

Fizz the young kitten with eyes still closed with head lying on a knitted toy
Quick action from the Best Friends vet team saved the lives of Fizz and his mother, Soda.
By Christina London

Entering a shelter can be stressful for pets. Even with the kindest people taking care of them, a shelter means unexpected noises, strange smells, new neighbors — everything is unfamiliar. Expectant mamas are especially on high alert as their bodies’ instincts kick in to protect their little ones. That’s what happened to an affectionate kitty named Soda, who found herself in a shelter while pregnant.

Soda ready to pop

Soda was in labor when she arrived at the Best Friends Lifesaving Center in Salt Lake City from a shelter partner. But her labor didn’t last long.

“Cats who are stressed can voluntarily suspend labor,” explains Dr. Megan McCarthy, Best Friends veterinarian.

The vet team decided that the best chance they had to save Soda and her kittens was to perform an emergency caesarian section. So she was whisked away to surgery. Best Friends’ goal is for all shelters to reach no-kill in 2025, and that means animal welfare organizations working together and giving each pet the lifesaving care they need.

[Swift action saves young kitten’s life]

Soda did beautifully, but sadly, only one of her kittens survived: a tiny fighter named Fizz.

Kitten with a bubbly personality

Vet staff rushed Fizz to an incubator and crossed their fingers that this tiny gray tabby with white mittens and a pink nose would pull through. Because Soda was recovering from the emergency surgery that saved Fizz, she wasn’t able to nurse. So the team took over the role of mom, bottle-feeding Fizz around the clock to keep the fragile newborn alive.

When Fizz was 2 weeks old, he went to a foster home where his foster volunteer cared for him with the same level of dedication. Fizz continued to flourish, growing a little stronger each day. At 3 weeks old, he started taking his shaky first steps.

[Kitten comes back from the brink]

Life is better with a buddy, so Pedro — a fellow single kitten born two days after Fizz —joined him in foster care. Around this time, Fizz really got into playing. (Because Fizz was a full two days older than Pedro, he had to show his new buddy the ropes.) Soon, the furry friends were wrestling, chasing each other around the house, and leaping high to catch the wand toy.

Meanwhile, Soda was recuperating in her own foster home. When she fully healed from surgery, she was quickly adopted by a loving family. Soon, it would be Fizz’s turn.

At the 4-week mark, Fizz started to wean off kitten formula for yummy solid food. Before long, he was elbow-deep in every meal. He loved food so much that, in just eight weeks, he went from weighing 3.5 ounces to 1 whole pound.

Healthy and strong, Fizz was ready to go to a family of his own. Today, this bubbly boy doesn’t know that he almost didn’t survive his first day of life. He’s just focused on living his best kitten life at home.

Let's make every shelter and every community no-kill by 2025

Our goal at Best Friends is to support all animal shelters in the U.S. in reaching no-kill by 2025. No-kill means saving every dog and cat in a shelter who can be saved, accounting for community safety and good quality of life for pets. 

Shelter staff can’t do it alone. Saving animals in shelters is everyone’s responsibility, and it takes support and participation from the community. No-kill is possible when we work together thoughtfully, honestly, and collaboratively.

Silhouette of two dogs, cat and kitten

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You can help end the killing in shelters and save the lives of homeless pets when you foster, adopt, and advocate for the dogs and cats who need it most.

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