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Cat with dodgy kneecap needs your help to get back on her feet

01 Apr Cat with dodgy kneecap needs your help to get back on her feet

An appeal has been launched to help a young mum in need of an expensive operation after she gave birth to a litter of six kittens despite being in pain herself.

Poppy, as she has been named, came into care at the North Hertfordshire branch of Cats Protection after the charity was alerted to a heavily pregnant stray who had been sheltering for some days in the garden of a home in Letchworth.

During COVID-19 restrictions, the charity has judged each case based on the cat’s immediate health and welfare needs and the safety of its volunteers.

Paula Wilson, an experienced foster carer with Cats Protection, said: “Poppy was close to giving birth and there was concern about her health and ability to birth and care for her kittens. This was a cat in need of our help to protect her and her kittens and we didn’t have time to waste.”

This case ticked the boxes, so Cats Protection visited the garden and humanely trapped Poppy, who didn’t put up much resistance, given her highly pregnant state. Thankfully, they moved quickly, as Poppy gave birth to a beautiful litter of six kittens within two days of arriving in care.

Examination revealed that the effects of living as a stray had taken their toll on Poppy and all six kittens were diagnosed with cat flu, which required a course of medication to contain any recurring symptoms. Thankfully, they responded well and the kittens have already been homed locally.

Paula said: “While with us, we noticed that Poppy wasn’t walking quite right and asked a vet to check her over. Poppy was limping badly and our vet noticed that her limp was quite pronounced so suggested an X-ray.”

When the results came in, Poppy was found to be suffering from a luxating patella – better known as a dislocating kneecap. An operation would be required to correct the problem and prevent worsening pain and discomfort for the cat, believed to be aged three-four years old.

Such a major operation, booked for early April, will cost at least £2,000, which will place a significant dent in the charity’s coffers, especially in a year when fundraising has been cutback due to the pandemic.

The charity is appealing for public donations to support Poppy’s operation and aftercare at

Paula said: “Poppy is a sweet little girl who has been an amazing mother, nursing her gorgeous kittens despite her own discomfort. Now it is her turn to have all the attention before she can go to her forever home free of any more pain.”

Any donations above the cost of Poppy’s medical costs will go towards other cats in care at Cats Protection’s North Hertfordshire Branch.

Jessica Watkins-Childs, Cats Protection’s Regional Fundraising Manager, said: “Most of our usual fundraising events and activities have been cancelled and this has impacted our work. Our branches are run by volunteers who rely on donations and support from local communities and I hope that we can ask people to dig deep to help Poppy’s appeal.”