aaa After 8 weeks with a compassionate individual aiding her kittens, the cat underwent remarkable transformations that no one could have anticipated.

A cat no one could handle at the shelter changed so much after eight weeks with a kind person who helped her and her kittens.

Sandy the cat and her kittensHeidi at FosterKittenMama


An orange and white cat was found heavily pregnant outdoors and brought to an animal shelter for help.

The cat was extremely nervous, with her ears flattened against her head, and wouldn’t let anyone touch her. “No one there could handle her,” Heidi Shoemaker of Foster Kitten Mama shared with Love Meow.

The expectant mom, Sandy, desperately needed placement. Heidi took her into her care and quickly realized she had her work cut out for her.

She was found outside and brought to an animal shelterHeidi at FosterKittenMama

Heidi prepared a comfortable nursery with all the amenities for Sandy, who grunted and hissed with wary eyes. For a while, Heidi used her handy scratcher to socialize the cat from a distance.

“I have worked with many feral mama kitties over almost five years. It takes a ton of time and patience to see if they can calm down enough to live an indoor life.”

She was wary of people. No one could handle her at the shelterHeidi at FosterKittenMama

Exactly one week after arriving, Sandy brought five orange tabbies into the world. She was highly protective of her kittens and would strike to guard her litter.

“I have to have patience and try to stay as calm as I can to help her. That means lots of slow blinks and sitting with her doing nothing but showing her I can be near her and not hurt her.”

Sandy gave birth to her kittens in her foster homeHeidi at FosterKittenMama

At first, Sandy would not accept any treats from Heidi without striking, but she allowed them in her food bowl. “She gets crunchy treats that I throw right by her. These are the things that help build trust.”

Sadly, Sandy lost one of her kittens. Heidi began supplementing the rest of the litter, providing supportive care while keeping track of their daily weights.

Heidi at FosterKittenMama

She covered Sandy with a light blanket to calm her when carefully maneuvering the kittens without alarming the cat. One of the kittens needed to be tube-fed, and the family was treated for an upper respiratory infection.

Heidi began to see progress from Sandy when she started eating in front of her.

Slowly but surely, she began to trustHeidi at FosterKittenMama

For nearly three weeks, Sandy “greeted” Heidi with hisses and a growl, but one of the times she peeked in, Sandy looked at her calmly.

After many hours of sitting with the cat each day, it started to pay off.

She started to accept treats from Heidi’s handHeidi at FosterKittenMama

Sandy decided to accept treats from Heidi’s hand one day–an unthinkable feat just a few weeks prior. She began to enjoy her meals and bathe her babies when Heidi was around.

Sandy is food-motivated, which has been enormously helpful in her journey to learning to trust.

She’s food-motivatedHeidi at FosterKittenMama

Fast forward a few weeks, Sandy took her first steps toward Heidi when she offered a treat. Days later, she surprised her foster mom when she allowed pets for the first time in seven weeks.

Sandy’s hisses have subsided significantly, and she’s grown increasingly comfortable around her human.

feral cat mom socializing

Today, Mama Sandy is like a different cat. When Heidi approaches her, she’s calm and doesn’t mind her company. “She just lays relaxing while I play with and pet the babies. It’s amazing to see.”

“It’s taken eight weeks of me sitting with her every day, hours and hours of just showing her she’s safe, feeding her treats, and caring for her and her babies.”

Left: Sandy took her first steps toward Heidi for a treat; right: Heidi petted Sandy for the first timeHeidi at FosterKittenMama

“She’s come so far from lunging at me to just looking at me calmly when I walk up. I’m so proud of our progress together. What a journey it’s been so far.”

Heidi at FosterKittenMama

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