The Mad Catters, a foster-based animal rescue charity, took in a pregnant young cat about five months ago. She was rescued in the nick of time before her babies were born.
With the help of volunteers at The Mad Catters, the cat mom had her precious kittens in a safe and comfortable environment. Her loving foster family was there to provide the assistance that she desperately needed.
"She was far too young to be having babies of her own. As a result of her size, age, and nutrition, all but one of her babies came out just a little bit different," the rescue shared.
The runt of the litter, Swan (also named Panda), was growing at a much slower pace compared to his siblings. He was just half the size for his age despite never missing a meal and always eating to his heart's content.
His delay in development became apparent when his baby teeth didn't come through a few weeks after birth. His tail remained a little stumpy and he was much smaller than the rest of the feline crew.
While other kittens started to become very active and playful, constantly honing their feline skills, Swan couldn't keep up with them. The sweet ball of fur spent most of his time napping and snuggling with his people.
At eight weeks old, he was the size of a 4-week-old kitten. His ears were still folded and his legs were short and stout.
Swan's caretaker took him to the vet to run some tests, in hopes of finding an answer to the cause of his slow development.
"It's here where it was discovered that young Swan had hypothyroidism, which had slowed his growth leading to traits of dwarfism," the rescue shared.
With an official diagnosis and the right medication, things quickly improved, and the little panda kitty began to put on weight. He had a voracious appetite and was getting more adventurous each day.
As Swan grew in frame and size, he also became stronger and could move much faster. With his new-found energy, he was determined to do everything just like any other kitten his age.
He holds his own when he plays with other kittens (that are bigger). "Climbing and playing keeps his days busy now, because he's making up for all the time that he couldn't do these things."
The tuxedo boy is ruling the roost, and his personality is shining through. He can tackle the cat tree like a pro and get all the way to the top effortlessly.
"He has been able to lengthen out a little. At five months old, he is the size of a 12-week-old kitten. He is still very tiny and will likely always be on the smaller side of kitty things due to his condition," the rescue shared.
Swan has come a long way and is finally big enough to be put up for adoption.
"It's now time for him to find a caring and loving home of his own where he can do his favorite things which is eating, sleeping and snuggling into his humans."
The rescue hopes to find a wonderful family that will be able to provide the care he needs to thrive, and cherish him for life.
The little panda kitty doesn't let anything slow him down. What he lacks in size, he makes up for in charm and personality.