A tiny kitten found tucked inside a box after being abandoned in Dartmoor National Park has been adopted by a mothering cat in Blue Cross care.
Little Lincoln arrived at our Torbay rehoming centre in May, mid-lockdown, having been found by a walker. Despite being terribly scared and just days old, he was healthy, clean and hungry.
Animal Welfare Assistant Leanne Gover-Rainbow took him home to hand-rear him round-the-clock for two nights, but kittens so small stand the best chance of survival with their mum’s milk.
And at the same time, we had a new mum called Toni at the centre who had given birth to a litter of three just a week earlier. Slowly and carefully, the team introduced Lincoln to the family.
Toni was cautious at first, but after lots of scent-swapping work by Leanne, she soon took the lonely little stray under her wing and adopted him as one of her own, alongside Pansy, Buzz and Bumble.
Leanne said: “Lincoln was so tiny he would have died had he not been found and brought to us. Sadly, there are so many kittens right now being born with owners finding themselves unable to care for them. It could all be simply prevented by neutering both male and female cats.
“I gave Lincoln a feed straight away and took him home for the following two nights to hand-rear. This involved feeding and toileting every two hours, so it’s a very exhausting job. Once I was happy that he was a healthy kitten, I decided to try and introduce him to new mum Toni.
“I started the introductions by rubbing the scent of Toni and her three babies onto Lincoln using the bedding they were using to help Toni accept him. It took a little while and Lincoln struggled to latch, so I had to put some of the kitten milk I had been feeding him on Toni's teats, to help direct Lincoln where to go. He finally latched and got the hang of it and there has been no stopping him since.”
“Toni is a fantastic and very attentive mum and all the kittens have been gaining weight very healthily,” added Leanne.
The new family of five went into foster to receive all the care they needed in a relaxing, home environment. They have all since found happy homes.