When little kittens are first born, they’re so very small that they can fit in the palm of your hand very easily!
Typically, newborn kittens are just under a pound and do not open their eyes for the first few weeks of their lives.
The funky kittens with a lot of bouncy energy and tiny claws we all know and love are usually felines that are at least 6 weeks or older, though smaller kittens are still spunky.
Bijou was brought in to a shelter when she was just about 48 hours old. She came in with her four brothers and was clearly the smallest of the bunch. She weighed just 2.6 ounces!
The kitty family was rescued from a rural animal shelter and brought in for immediate care at the National Kitten Coalition, a rescue group in Gainesville, VA. Being so tiny, the clear “runt” of her litter was a bit of a concern. Surprisingly, however, Bijou’s story is not a sad one.
She may be ever-so-tiny, but don’t let her size fool you – she’s a true fighter!
When Bijou wound up with the National Kitten Coalition, she was fostered by a woman named Susan Spaulding, who explained to LittleThings that she “specializes in fostering neonatal orphans and special-needs kittens… and the occasional puppy!”
Sadly, one of Bijou’s four brothers did not survive as the entire litter arrived in poor condition. However, once they were stabilized, the rest of them progressed normally and continued to grow.
While her brothers were busy getting bigger, Bijou seemed to completely stop growing at about 4 ounces. Eventually, thankfully, her weight began to climb, as Spaulding fought to help her grow.
Seems Bijou will always be a petite “micro-kitten,” however, it goes to show that a lot of time and effort can turn around a situation that seems very dire.
Today, Bijou is 10 months old! She is still quite small and will most likely only weigh between 3 and 4 pounds for the rest of her life.
“She is healthy and happy now and will be up for adoption once she is spayed in a couple weeks,” Spaulding stated.
The National Kitten Coalition’s official “mission is to teach others to care for these tiny ones. But all our volunteers foster in their own communities for various shelters and rescues. I am located in Hickory, NC, so most of my fosters are from North Carolina or South Carolina,” Susan stated.
As she did with Bijou, Susan will also care for this little 2-day-old puppy, whose name is Gabriel, who has some congenital issues.
If you are interested in learning more about the National Kitten Coalition, you can check out their page here!