Feral cats may look just like domesticated cats, but they actually couldn’t be more different. Domesticated cats are used to interacting with humans, have a guardian to call their own, and even if they wander outside, they always have a home to come back to. Feral cats, on the other hand, are not well versed in human interaction, fend for themselves and the other members of their feral colony, and take up shelter anywhere they can – be it under raised buildings, in sheds, under porches, or under the hoods of cars. The ASPCA currently estimates that there about 20 million free-roaming cats in this country.

While many of these cats are able to adapt and thrive outdoors, frigid winters or a dry spell food-wise can be the difference between life and death for these animals. And sometimes, without proper care and a steady supply of food, feral cats become malnourished or die from untreated disease. Just recently, animal rescue group, Tiny Kittens, located a feral colony of cats that was taking up residence in an abandoned shed. During their search, the rescue team found one particularly unique cat.

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Meet Nano. At 146 grams, he is the tiniest kitten Tiny Kittens has ever rescued. 

Nano 1

At five weeks old, Nano was significantly smaller than his  four brothers. According to the rescue team, he was about a quarter the size of his siblings. 

Nano 2

Likely the runt of the litter, Nano was emaciated, lethargic, and was suffering from severe anemia and fleas. Even after a much-needed bath, rescuers were unsure of whether the little one would make it.  Nano 3

Still, the rescuers were not willing to give up on this little kitty, so they brought him and the rest of the family back to headquarters for further care. Just look at that little face! 

Nano 4

While all of the cats were given food and medication, Nano was given extra care. His parasites were promptly treated, and he was given ample time for feeding with his feral momma. 

Nano 6

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In just a matter of days, Nano was doing significantly better. He had more energy, was eating regularly, and was affectionate as ever. 

Nano 8

All of these kitties still have more treatment ahead of them but Tiny Kittens is doing everything they can ensure their survival. We’re crossing our fingers for this adorable group! 

Nano 7

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Watch here, to see the amazing rescue unfold: 

 

 

This group of cats is a great example of how feral colonies can appear to be thriving but actually are suffering. While most of the cats in this group were in relatively good health, it is all too easy for one to slip by and become sick or malnourished. And if there’s not enough food to go around, a great deal of time can pass before the kitten is able to recuperate, if ever. One of the best ways you can help feral cat communities is to participate in or start a Trap, Neuter, Release group in your area, an unspayed female cat can have hundreds of kittens in her lifetime, leading to more hungry mouths up against the perils of the world. Click here to learn about how you can help the feral cats in your community survive.

All image source: Tiny Kittens/Facebook