Orphaned kitten with a cleft palate rescued by a selfless woman known as The Kitten Lady

Hannah Shaw, also known as the Kitten Lady, is a professional kitten rescuer, humane educator, and bestselling author, who has dedicated her life to animal welfare.

She recently rescued Chouchou, a neonatal kitten found underweight because of his cleft palate. Chouchou could not safely nurse due to his cleft palate, so Shaw began tube feeding him.

Her dedication paid off and at two weeks old, he was showing some great improvements.

A white two-week-old kitten.
Chouchou with his eyes fully open at two weeks old. Pic credit: @kittenxlady/Instagram.

In good hands

But make no mistake, it was hard work to keep this little creature alive.

Shaw had to make sure not to feed him too much so that he didn’t regurgitate his food, which could cause him to aspirate (when food or an object enters the lungs and impacts an animal’s ability to breathe, it can lead to pneumonia and often to the death of those with fragile health).

Because of this risk, she also had to monitor his breathing constantly.

He began to develop labored breathing and as a result, was put on a round of antibiotics which improved his condition.

A tiny white kitten after a bath.
Neonatal kittens can’t clean themselves, so baths are required! Pic credit: @kittenxlady/Instagram.

Expert care

After another twelve days of constant care and attention, Chouchou was taken to a specialist appointment to see if he would be a good candidate for cleft palate surgery.

It turned out that he was very healthy considering his condition, thanks to Shaw’s devotion.

A white kitten at around 4 weeks old.
Chouchou looking well despite an unfortunate diagnosis for his cleft palate. Pic credit: @kittenxlady/Instagram.

However, his cleft palate was worse than initially thought, it was incredibly severe and so surgery was out of the question for Chouchou.

This meant that he needed to be tube-fed until around six months, which would involve even more dedication from Shaw to keep him alive for the next while.

But she was glad to take on the challenge for such an adorable little guy.

And the work paid off!

A fluffy white kitten.
Chouchou really came into his fluff as the weeks went on. Pic credit: @kittenxlady/Instagram.

As Chouchou became healthier and healthier and grew into his cleft palate a bit more, the specialist vet decided that they could now go ahead and schedule surgery.

Four month old white kitten with his tongue out
At four months old, Chouchou is looking big and healthy. Pic credit: @kittenxlady/Instagram.

His surgery is scheduled for the late summer/fall of this year and even though there’s a long road ahead of him, he couldn’t be in a better place to make it through.

Shaw is called the Kitten Lady for a reason!

If you’d like to learn more about helping the tiniest felines you can visit Shaw’s YouTube channel where she posts educational videos about what to do if you find orphaned kittens

Or have a look at the organization she founded, the Orphan Kitten Club.

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