An adorable kitten born with a rare condition which left her with splayed “frog legs” is now walking tall after defying the odds thanks to pioneering physiotherapy.
Heartwarming footage shows little Pomegranate taking her first steps after vets feared she would never walk due to a birth defect known as “Swimmers Syndrome.”
The condition left the poor puss unable to move her hind legs properly, causing them to awkwardly splay out to the side in a frog-like posture.
But Pomegranate battled against the odds overcome the debilitating disorder after being put on a programme of physiotherapy by the Blue Cross animal charity.
A month on and Pomegranate is now back on her paws after making an incredible recovery and is getting stronger every day.
Pomegranate was born at the Blue Cross rehoming centre in Suffolk to mother Juno after a member of the public found her heavily pregnant in their garden.
Juno, who was not microchipped, gave birth to four kittens just two days after arriving into the charity’s care in August.
The kittens all looked to be developing well but at around three weeks old, the team noticed Pomegranate was having difficulty walking.
Heartbreaking video clips taken before Pomegranate’s recovery show her clumsily struggling to walk before she was eventually able to find her feet.
The black and white cat was aided in her rehabilitation by the charity’s rehoming team, who were given a set of exercises to do with her at least five times a day.
Jennifer Bromley, veterinary supervisor at Blue Cross Suffolk, said: “The root cause of Swimmers Syndrome is a mystery and it’s not something we’d seen here at Suffolk before.
“The problem was present in both of Pomegranate’s hind limbs and we worried whether she would ever be able to walk properly and how this would affect her quality of life.
“All the physio work done by the team has paid off incredibly well and Pom has now built up enough strength in those limbs so that she can place them correctly.
“The physio programme also meant that she was able to stay with her mum and sisters throughout.”
Mother Juno remains at the Blue Cross centre in Wherstead, near Ipswich, along with Pomegranate’s three sisters Coconut, Papaya and Mango.
Centre manager Clare Williamson added: “Juno came into us in the nick of time, giving birth to her kittens just two days after being brought in.
“It’s taken time for her to settle into her new surroundings and she was nervous when she first arrived, especially as she was heavily pregnant.
“We’re so relieved she was brought into us as we’re not sure little Pomegranate would have made it through out on the streets.
“The team has worked really hard to get little Pom on her feet, we were all so worried when we saw her struggling to walk, it was heartbreaking.
“Seeing her taking her first steps and walking normally now is just wonderful.
“She’s very happy crashing around with her sisters doing all the usual kitten craziness and even managed to climb to the top of the cat tree.
“We can’t wait to find her a loving new forever home when she is ready.”
Juno and her kittens, including Pomegranate, will remain in Blue Cross care until they are ready to go up for rehoming.
Anyone interested in offering the kittens a home can find out more at www.bluecross.org.uk