By Elisa Black-Taylor
A Siamese cat living in Liverpool, UK, named Coco is now the proud parent of a Shih-Tzu puppy named Hope, who was rejected by her dog mother Diamond. Hope’s owner, David Cohen, was persuaded by Coco’s owner, Paula Ball to introduce the pair after Diamond rejected the newborn.
Note from Michael: Coco is described as a Siamese cat. All Siamese cats are pointed. Coco is chocolate coloured and no points. In America this cat would probably be a Havana Brown, a rare Siamese hybrid. In the UK, Coco is probably a Chestnut Oriental Shorthair called a “Havana” by the GCCF. I am guessing a bit but that seems to be the case. There is a Siamese connection and the original Havana Browns are believed to have been imported from Thailand.
Hope was born next to a stillborn puppy, and Diamond tried to bite her surviving puppy. Hope had survived five hours in the birth canal, and it’s a miracle she survived. Paula knew she had to do something to save the puppy. Her Siamese Coco had given birth to three kittens the same day Diamond gave birth. A fast thinker, Paula rubbed a little of the kitten scent on Hope before introducing the puppy to her surrogate mother the day after Hope was born.
Coco accepted her new baby and allowed Hope to nurse. She cleans her new puppy and treats her like one of her own. Here’s a two minute video showing the two together.
Hope is now three weeks old and doing well with her new mom. Right now Hope is the same size as the kittens, but that will change soon. Hope also has a different way of playing, as dogs use their mouths more at playtime. So far the kittens haven’t realized Hope is a dog. When Hope learns how to bark it could affect how they all play together.
The family vet, Lizzie Goldstraw from White Cross Vets in West Derby, treats Diamond And Coco. Lizzie says ‘It’s quite unusual for a cat to take a puppy on as its own but it helped that they were born on the same say and that Paula acted so quickly to introduce the puppy.’
Paula says of her new family member ‘We’re going to sell the kittens but I’m going to keep Hope. She’s part of the family now! I’m so proud of Coco and how she’s taken on Hope. It’s such a heartwarming story.’
It’s not that uncommon for a dog to take on a newborn kitten. Pseudo pregnancies are common. But for a cat to take on a newborn puppy is unusual. Have any of you ever had a mother cat as a surrogate mother to a puppy?