Cat Stuck in Peanut Butter Jar Euthanised But Not before Birthing Kittens

“Poor baby. Wish she could have been saved!” – Roman Katz (on YouTube)

Skippy - cat with head stuck in jar

Skippy – as found with head stuck in peanut butter jar

I find that this is a sad story and I’m unsure that this mother cat should have been euthanised but what do I know? I don’t know the complete, hard facts so perhaps I am wrong.

The female cat who has been called Skippy was found with her head firmly jammed inside a hard plastic jar of peanut butter. She must have been starving. Alyssa Cline a 23-year-old resident of the area (near San Jacinto, California, USA) said that her nephew first spotted the cat. She wanted to help and felt that this was an emergency, which it certainly was.

They put the cat inside a crate and took her to a garage and tried to remove the hard plastic jar with a pair of scissors which failed because the scissors broke. They called Riverside County Animal Services. A lady called Cara Mathewson turned up with a much more appropriate tool with which she was able to remove the peanut butter jar without harming Skippy.

So far so good. Skippy was naturally very anxious and difficult to handle. We don’t know whether she was a feral cat but it looks like that or perhaps she was semi-feral. Health-wise she was in a bad way.

She had an infestation of maggots in her ears. As mentioned, we don’t have a full description of her medical condition but somebody decided on March 21 to euthanise her due to her health. We know that a veterinarian described her condition as malnourished and dehydrated with spots of dead tissue and an infestation of maggots. That is the bad and sad news.

Before she was euthanised, she unexpectedly gave birth to 4 kittens who have been appropriately named: Peanut, Butter, Jelly and Honey.

When she arrived at the shelter, Skippy was difficult to handle unsurprisingly. She was described as being fractious, hissing and swatting. Shelter staff were unable to carry out a full medical because of her behaviour. The next morning when they went to the shelter to check on her they found at the rear of her cage, in a box, with umbilical cords and placentas still attached, four kittens.

The kittens are now being fostered by Diane Chase and Elizabeth Coyle. Chase bottle feeds the kittens. Coyle helps when she is able to as she works in a customer service role at an apartment complex.

It is an interesting story containing a lot of elements to do with cat rescue and although I am not being in any way critical, I wonder whether the mother had to be euthanised. I wonder if her behaviour was a factor in the decision. It would have been nice is she could have raised her kittens.

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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12 Responses

  1. Sarah Hartwell says:

    Different species of flies give different species of maggot. Some feed on dead flesh, others eat live tissue. Back during shelter work we saw cats that had to be put down because of fly-strike (carnivorous maggots burring through live flesh).

  2. Eva DR Force says:

    It really depends are how deeply these gruesome worms penetrated her brain, as with other organs they feed upon while the poor suffering cat is[unfortunately] still alive. I have read Vet tales about the excruciating pain an infested animal has to endure in the process. Seasoned Vet’s have witnessed severe damage beyond repair_past saving more often than we can fathom.Zoo animals suffer from this condition if neglected and have to be put down because it had advanced way before being discovered.

    Eva_I as others wish her problem had been addressed immediately. Sad.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Maggots can arrive to feed on dead flesh and in doing so they improve the health of the cat. I recall that one way of treating injured soldiers in the first world war was to let maggots eat the dead flesh. I think this particular health issue could have been dealt with but I am unsure.

      • M E King says:

        Very little information was given as to the why so it’s lead to a lot of speculation.

      • Cat's Meow says:

        It’s my understanding that maggots only feed on necrotic tissue, leaving the healthy tissue alone. Poor Skippy. Never knew love.

        • Michael Broad says:

          Yes, that’s what I thought. I don’t think maggots per se are bad. Not sure why they were in the ears.

  3. M E King says:

    Cats in much worse shape have received veterinary care and fully recovered and in the process become human friendly.
    In a discussion with my local ‘ shelter ‘ they told me that any cat that appeared feral would be euthanized. That is why I paid to have the stray we helped put in a no kill rescue.
    This is also a reminder to cut the bottom of chip and other mylar, plastic bags and re-lid jars before disposing of them. Everything else should be flattened.

    • Michael Broad says:

      Thanks ME. As you have said I think there was a lack of desire to save her life because she was difficult and semi-feral and combine that with health issues and you have death.

  4. MARIANNA BURT says:

    Cont’d: Forgive me if I’m over-reacting, but compounding the problem by giving the kittens cute names (Peanut Butter, Jelly, etc.) makes a joke of the mother’s plight & shows all too clearly how badly this was handled. Am I right???

  5. MARIANNA BURT says:

    I think this is a ghastly incident that appears to have been badly mishandled. If there were resources to foster a litter of newborns, couldn’t there have been an attempt to let the cat recover and nurse her kittens? Maggots can be removed & the affected area healed — I know this from direct experience. It really upsets me to think what this poor creature went through, both before & after her rescue.

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