Golden Retriever nurses a litter of orphaned kittens

Anna raising her kittens. Photo via Facebook (Daily Telegraph – Australia)

This is the story of Anna, a sweet Golden Retriever currently living at the Sydney Dogs and Cats Home in southwest Sydney. The nursing dog had just finished weaning her litter of puppies, and now has a brand new family to care for.

It all began when veterinarian Dr. Christine Cole decided to put a newly arrived litter of orphaned kittens with Anna. A lot of dogs have nursed kittens, even going so far as to have pseudo-pregnancy milk. So rather than try to bottle feed the new babies, Anna was called upon as a loving substitute mother.

Dr. Cole stated in an interview with Daily Telegraph”

“The odds of having a lactating dog with no pups to feed, who is also tolerant of kittens is rare.”

Since Anna had been nursing her own litter, she still has milk and the hormones that go along with being a mama dog. Anna is very protective of her new family, and gives anyone who approaches them a good stare.

Fortunately the kittens caught on to Anna being their new mother. This doesn’t always work out, as older orphaned kittens may realize they’re being asked to nurse from a dog. Apparently very young kittens don’t care where their milk is coming from.

There’s a lot more to being a new mom to orphaned kittens. Anna now cleans and cares for the babies the same as she did for her puppies. She keeps them warm and content. Her outpouring of love has touched everyone at Sydney Dogs and Cats Home. Now those who read Anna’s story will know at least some dogs don’t mind being a substitute cat mama.

The goal of Sydney Dogs and Cats Home is to prevent unnecessary euthanasia of healthy, loving, domestic pets, young or old, or with special needs. They do this by taking in the unwanted and finding new homes.

The home was originally a pound known as St. George Animal Shelter, where they served three council areas. They became a non-profit organization in 1999 and decided to focus on finding homes for the unwanted cats and dogs in the area.

Now they service 12 council areas across Sydney, where Sydney Dogs and Cats take in more than 4000 dogs, cats, rabbits and birds each year. They have an account at Give Now (link listed below) where you can make a tax deductible contribution so their work can continue.

PoC has covered cases like this before. Here are three examples:




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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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  • I love writing these because it helps get donations in for the group caring for the animals. My time these days seems to be spent finding people with money and connecting them to people who need money for a rescue animal. This type of story is shared like crazy.

  • I love these stories. Both cats and dogs are tolerant of nursing animals that are part of their own species.

    My thought was: "is a dog's colostrum the same as a cat's colostrum?" Is there a danger here? I couldn't find a webpage showing me that constituents of dog's and cat's colostrum for comparison.

    Apparently there is no danger or health problem. If you buy dog or cat colostrum powder commercially, it comes in one container. Therefore I presume it is the same in real life.

      • Yes, colostrum is the milk produced by the mother in her breast and it is very important that kittens, puppies and human kids drink it early on as it helps to protect the child or animal through his life.

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