• Home
  • /
  • Posts
  • /
  • Cat Stories
  • /
  • Special Needs Kitten Doesn’t Need Helmet Anymore After Successful Brain Surgery

Special Needs Kitten Doesn’t Need Helmet Anymore After Successful Brain Surgery

Posted in Cat Stories - On: February 8, 2023 - Author:  Jan Travell
Posted in Cat Stories 
Last Updated: February 12, 2023  
Author:  Jan Travell

Meet Bunny and Otter!

These siblings are both special needs kittens but their disabilities don’t hold them back, and thanks to Caroline Grace they live happy and playful lives!

sibling love

Caroline founded Baby Kitten Rescue, a nonprofit organisation, in September 2021 and by January 2022 she had four people, including herself, fostering kittens in need.

Fast forward to 2023 and there are now 32 people that foster for the rescue.

Caroline told We Love Cats and Kittens: "So far, we have saved 130 kittens with 6 of those kittens being long-term special needs cases."

baby kittens

Bunny and Otter first came in to Caroline's care when a kind woman found them after being abandoned by their mother.

She soon realised the siblings were a little different, so she contacted Baby Kitten Rescue where they would get the specialized help they needed. 

bunny baby

Bunny was born with no paws on her front legs and Otter was missing some of his toes.


When they first arrived into Caroline's care they were in a terrible state.

They were filthy dirty, covered in fleas, had severe diarrhoea and both had an upper respiratory infection.

otter and bunny

Caroline also noticed that Otter had a large abscess on his head which seemed disproportionately large.

baby otter

She knew that their situation was severe, but they were both clearly determined to survive, and Caroline would be there to give them all the care and attention they needed.

They quickly bonded with their foster mum, the antibiotics they were given were working, and both of them had a healthy appetite.

bunny standing

When Caroline took Otter to see a neurologist, he was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and meningoencephalocele.

baby otter 1

It transpired that the abscess on top of his head was actually an exposed part of his skull.


Caroline put a plaster on his head for protection until a kind man custom-made a tiny helmet to protect his brain until he was old enough to have surgery.

otter in car

This prevented any further injury and kept out infections, but it could only be a temporary solution.

otter helmet

Both of the kittens were thriving due to Caroline's care. Bunny’s disability does not hold her back one bit!

bunny today

"Bunny has developed incredible strength in her core and back legs.

She walks around mostly using her back legs and she stands upright on her back legs," explained Caroline.

bunny standing

"Otter is a playful boy who loves chasing his wand toy, climbing the cat tree, and wrestling with his sister, Bunny."

two cats

"He’s also an extremely affectionate kitty who sleeps next to you every night and wakes you up every morning with purrs," she added.

helmet cat

When Otter reached a year old, it was time for his surgery to permanently close the open part of his skull.

This would allow him to get rid of the protective helmet and be safe from infection.

otter on chair

Luckily, the proceudre was a complete success.

"Otter has fully healed from his brain surgery and is completely healthy!" Caroline shared with We Love Cats and Kittens.

otter today

"We were concerned about potential complications during the surgery and after the surgery, but Otter experienced no complications and healed incredibly smoothly and quickly!"

after surgery

This brave boy doesn't require any special care nor medications, and with a titanium skull protecting his brain, he's just like Iron Man!

otter the cat

When it was time for adoption, Caroline knew that they would need to go to the same forever home.

That's when Megan, a good friend of Caroline, stepped up to welcome to them into her family to give them the best life they deserve.

siblings on cat tree

Caroline initially struggled with the decision to put them up for adoption as she had become so fond of them, but now says:

"I’m so grateful for the way this worked out and I have no doubt Megan will be the absolute best mommy." 

siblings today

Their new home is only 10 minutes away from Caroline and she is so happy knowing they will always be in her life.

Watch the video to see their progress:

Without the donations from well-wishers, Otter's ground breaking surgery wouldn't have been possible.

Caroline told us: "Baby Kitten Rescue is a nonprofit that specializes in neonatal, critical care, & special needs kitten rescue in the Los Angeles area. We take in the smallest, sickest, and most vulnerable kittens, nurse them back to health, and find them loving forever homes."

If you would like to make a donation, or find out more about Bunny, Otter and all the other fosters at Baby Kitten Rescue, you can follow on Instagram and Facebook

Otter and Bunny now have their own Instagram page

Related story: Cat That Walks Like a Kangaroo is so Happy to Be Rescued

More from We Love Cats and Kittens:

If you liked this, then please share our story:

And while you're at it, leave a comment and tell us what you thought!

About the author

Jan Travell is a lifelong cat owner and a feline expert. She's been the Cats and Kittens lead editor from the start. She lives in rural France with her two rescue cats, Tigerlily and Mr.Gee. Her senior kitty, Ducati, passed over the rainbow bridge recently at the ripe old age of 22.

You May Also Like...