A rescue shelter has shared the sad reason why a cat was given to them after eight years with her previous family.
Nala’s owners got a new kitten that she didn’t warm to and the poor feline was given up. She was surrendered to the Humane Society Broward County in Florida, and they are heartbroken for Nala, posting a video on TikTok (@humanebroward) with a note that reads: “New kitten replaced me after 8 years.”
Unfortunately, Nala is struggling in her new surroundings. Susan Leonti from the shelter told Newsweek that “she is becoming increasingly shy, turning her head away from visitors” as they walk past.
Nala was surrendered to the shelter in February but they had little interest in her until the video was posted on TikTok.
Leonti, a digital marketing specialist at the shelter in Fort Lauderdale, explained that when Nala’s previous owners got a new kitten, they didn’t integrate the two cats properly or give them enough time apart, making it difficult for Nala to accept the newcomer.
Advice from the Humane Society is to introduce new cats very slowly and not to force pets to be close early on. It’s important to note whether either cat shows any signs of stress and ensure they’re going at their own pace, which could take weeks or even months.
The recommended starting point is to keep the new cat in a separate room, so they can grow accustomed to their new surroundings and the resident cat doesn’t feel encroached upon. Allowing the cats to learn each other’s scent by swapping their bedding or toys is a good way to reduce their stress also.
Once owners feel ready to integrate their cats, it should be done incrementally for short amounts of time, with good behavior rewarded throughout. The amount of time the cats spend together can gradually be increased as they become more used to one another.
As Nala’s family didn’t do this, she had problems adjusting and they sadly chose the new kitten over her. The eight-year-old is became one of the shelter’s “forgotten felines,” meaning her fee is sponsored once they find her a home.
Leonti told Newsweek: “Nala was surrendered to our shelter because she was not adjusting well to a new kitten that was brought into her home. The introduction was made too quickly and there was no separation between the felines, which is always recommended.
“There has been very little interest in Nala previous to her video, but the outpouring of emotion for Nala and her story has been tremendous since posting her video. We hope that the social media attention will lead to an adoption soon.
“There are homeless pets with stories just like Nala’s in shelters across the country. If you can’t adopt Nala, please consider giving a pet at your local animal shelter a loving home.”
The video shows the sad note put on Nala’s crate, which reads: “The dog and I were happy for eight years and you (the new kitten) were just too much for me. Sorry if I wasn’t nice to you.”
The heartfelt note continues: “But they chose you instead of me…after 8 years of being a faithful friend. I hope you are happy, I miss my family, my dog. My heart is broken.”
The clip has generated more than 320,000 views and 36,000 likes since it was posted on May 16, leading thousands of people to comment on the video, expressing shock that owners could give up a pet so easily.
One person wrote: “I’ll never understand how people can do this. If the kitten wasn’t a good fit, the kitten goes to a new home. Don’t give up a pet you had all their life.”
Another dismayed person commented: “Some people are heartless. How can you abandon a pet.”
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