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Meet Fiona, The Incredibly Cute Incontinent Kitten Who Is Searching For Her Forever Home!

When Ellen Carozza, the lead technician for NOVA Cat Clinic in Arlington, Virginia, was contacted by the Pennsylvania SPCA in Philadelphia about Fiona, an incontinent kitten who was in need of specialized care, she was eager to help the young feline. “They reached out to us due to her condition and their lack of resources for her,” explains Ellen.

incontinent tabby rescue kitten
Image via @thecatlvt on Instagram

In addition to her role as a licensed veterinary technician at NOVA Cat Clinic, Ellen is also the president of the Chris Griffey Memorial Feline Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping kittens in need. “I am tired of seeing domestic pets being seen as a burden, especially when they have a special need for more detailed care,” says Ellen, which is why she started the Chris Griffey Memorial Feline Foundation to honor a coworker who took his own life in 2013. “He always had a big heart for those in need and I felt it was only appropriate to continue this path.”

Fiona and Ellen/Image via @thecatlvt on Instagram

Like Ellen, Chris would have been eager to do everything he could to help Fiona, who became incontinent after suffering a sacrocaudal fracture, which is more commonly known as a “tail pull injury.” When Fiona arrived at the clinic on March 16, 2020, she was approximately seven weeks old.

She was also named Felix at the time because the staff at Pennsylvania SPCA had mistakenly identified her as a male cat. “We were told her genitals fell off due to urinary scalding,” explains Ellen. “I found she’s actually a female after I cleaned her up and what they thought was a scrotum that fell off was actually severely irritated tissue.”

Image via @thecatlvt on Instagram

In order to prevent further urinary scalding — a painful condition caused by urine and fecal residue and characterized by irritation, inflammation, fur loss, and even infection — Fiona began wearing diapers, a practice she quickly adjusted to.

Nearly two months later, this adorable girl is doing great, and while Fiona needs to have her diaper changed every six hours, she’s a happy and active kitten who has an excellent quality of life despite what a lot of people might assume. “[People think cats with incontinence] don’t enjoy life,” says Ellen. “[But] they sure do — they just rely on the extra help to stay clean and use the bathroom.”

Unfortunately, while Fiona is available for adoption, Ellen has had difficulty finding a forever home for this beautiful tabby kitten because of her special needs. After all, she requires more care than a typical cat, including urine cultures every four months to make sure she doesn’t develop a urinary tract infection, as well as four diaper changes a day.

Eggbert and Fiona/Image via @thecatlvt on Instagram

However, Ellen believes some common concerns people have about incontinent cats like Fiona really aren’t justified. “They aren’t dirty, nor do they like to be dirty,” explains Ellen. “They are actually a lot easier to care for than you think.”

Image via @thecatlvt on Instagram

Plus, while incontinent cats like Fiona need a bit more care than the average feline, Ellen — who has been in veterinary medicine since 1994 — believes they are definitely worth the additional time and effort they require. In fact, Ellen has so much experience caring for special needs cats, she lovingly refers to them as members of Team Scratch N’ Dent.

Eggbert and Fiona/Image via @thecatlvt on Instagram

“They have some of the sweetest personalities and bond with their people in very different ways than your regular house cat that is more independent,” says Ellen. “They know they are special and they know you are helping them.”

Image via @thecatlvt on Instagram

Even though it may take a while, Ellen is confident the right family is out there for Fiona, and not only will they be able to incorporate her needs into their schedules, they’ll appreciate her adventurous, fun-loving, and affectionate personality and her penchant for cuddles.

Image via @thecatlvt on Instagram

“All of my Scratch N’ Dents are the light of my life,” says Ellen. “Each one has a special trait that you get to see blossom, and after 400+ kittens over the years, each time I get a new baby I fall in love all over again. Fiona is lovingly called ‘My Fiona.’ “

Image via @thecatlvt on Instagram

If you’re interested in adopting Fiona, you can complete an adoption application.

If you want to learn more about this adorable kitten, you can follow Fiona and her foster family on Instagram.

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