Tater Tot, an adorable little kitten who captured the hearts of thousands on Facebook and TikTok, died on Wednesday, August 2, after a brief illness.
Tater Tot and His Spudbud, a Facebook group that followed the celebrity Kitten’s eventful life, reported the sad news.
“I’m honestly not sure how to start this post, but here it goes,” wrote Ash Houghton, Tater Tot’s caregiver who manages the Facebook group. “Today, our tiny spud passed away suddenly in my hands.”
Tater Tot Cause of death
Tater Tot was only a few weeks old at the time he died.
“His energy had been slowly decreasing over the last week or so, and we were hoping it was an illness that antibiotics could treat,” Houghton wrote. “He also started showing signs of pneumonia a few days ago, and I had started pneumonia protocol with meds and a nebulizer.”
Houghton believed that Tot had heart issues. But the vets couldn’t do tests to diagnose her heart condition due to his small size.
She added that the speed with which the kitten’s health deteriorated suggested he had an enlarged heart.
“One moment he was walking around and the next he was gone,” Houghton wrote.
Although Hougton’s “heart was shattered” by Tot’s death, she cherished fond memories of their time together.
Tater Tot suffered multiple health conditions
Tater Tot was a small-sized kitten with disheveled orange fur, large black eyes, and malformed legs.
His Facebook and TikTok pages attracted thousands of admirers, so there was an outpouring of grief following the announcement of his death.
The kitten struggled with multiple health issues during his short lifespan. Besides malformed legs, he also had a cleft palate, and his caregivers had to feed him through a tube.
Ash Houghton was Tot’s caregiver
Tot’s caregiver, Ash Houghton, is a Salt Lake City-based animal welfare advocate and co-director of Kitty CrusAIDe.
In her Facebook post, she described caring for Tot before he died. The kitten was a joy to care for, she said. She tube-fed the tiny kitten daily for more than six weeks, during which she bonded with him like she had never with a foster cat before.
“He has left his paw prints on my heart, and I hope he left some tiny paw prints on yours,” she wrote.
Houghton thanked Tater Tot’s fans
Houghton recalled that Tot shot to internet stardom after she started sharing random photos of him. She never expected they would draw attention and go viral.
She expressed gratitude to social media users on Facebook and TikTok who rallied around and followed her posts.
She thanked them for showing kindness, humanity, compassion, and supporting Tot during his brief life.
“[It] has been so beautiful to watch millions of people around the world unite over the life of one small little creature,” Houghton concluded.
She promised to keep the Facebook page active in Tater Tot’s honor and asked followers touched by the story of his life to consider donating to their nearest animal shelter.