Along Came Polly… and her Four Kittens!

Please find below a story from our friends at Mayhew:

Along came Polly… and her four kittens!

When heavily pregnant stray cat Polly came into Mayhew last month, we thought guiding her through the last few days of her pregnancy and new motherhood would be the biggest challenge on our hands.

However, unbeknownst to us, Polly had likely suffered some sort of trauma or accident resulting in a rupture of her abdominal wall. Shortly after giving birth, her new foster carer, who we had settled the new family down with, noticed a distended lump on Polly’s left side.

  • Because Polly was a stray, we don’t know if she endured a trauma of any kind before we took her in, but despite the swelling, both she and her kittens were all in excellent health.
  • After seeing photos from Polly’s foster carer, we brought the one-year-old calico back into our Community Vet Clinic to be neutered and have the lump seen to.
  • An x-ray showed that Polly was suffering from an abdominal wall hernia, which our vets operated on at the same time as carrying out her neutering procedure in order to minimise her stress and discomfort.

Luckily, the operation to repair the hernia was straightforward and successful, and Polly was settled down in our Hospital Ward to recover with some pain relief and anti-inflammatories.

Although she had been a stray, Polly had been cared for by a feeder who occasionally allowed her to sleep inside her flat, and so despite having gone through major surgery so soon after giving birth, she seemed relatively used to people and was friendly and affectionate with our staff, if a little shy.

Polly’s foster carer also made sure that her four kittens were safe, happy and healthy whilst Polly was in surgery, and we are glad to report that mum and babies are all doing very well. We don’t expect Polly to have any further complications as a result of her hernia, and as she is now neutered, she will not have to risk going through the same ordeal again.

Happily, Polly is now ready to find her forever home, and her kittens will soon be on the lookout for theirs.

If you come across a stray cat, pregnant or not, there are a number of things you can do to help charities like Mayhew deal with the situation. Often, a stray cat is simply lost, and so enquiring with your neighbours, putting up posters and attaching a loose paper collar to the cat with your phone number on can help it find its owner.

You can also take the cat to a local veterinary surgery to have it scanned for a microchip, which most places will do free of charge.

Unneutered stray cats are the main reason behind a cat population explosion, and also risk individual complications like with Polly and her hernia. If you own an outdoor cat, we advocate that you have it neutered to prevent unwanted pregnancies – please contact us on 020 8962 8000 to see if you qualify for our free or low-cost neutering services, or ask to speak with our Animal Welfare Officers if you require our help with an animal you have found on the street.

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