A pet owner took their six-month-old cat to the veterinarian to be spayed but learned she was pregnant during the appointment.
TikTok user @elliewiththebelly1 shared the discovery in a video viewed 1 million times, and while some viewers found the surprise amusing, others were more critical and discussed the importance of getting pets spayed and neutered.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), there are medical benefits to spaying and neutering a pet, since it helps control the “pet homelessness crisis.” Spaying pets can also prevent uterine infections and breast tumors.
“Spaying your cat before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases,” the organization said, adding that it’s typically safe for kittens to be spayed or neutered as young as eight weeks old.
“In an effort to avoid the start of urine spaying and eliminate the chance for pregnancy, it’s advisable to schedule the surgery before your own cat reaches five months of age,” officials with the ASPCA said.
@elliewiththebelly1 included a photo of the cat’s pregnancy at the end of the video.
“I guess this is her pregnancy announcement,” the video caption read.
One commenter congratulated @elliewiththebelly1 on the news that they will have “grandkittens,” while another shared their own surprise discovery at the vet.
“We took our 6/7 month old female kitty to get spayed and she was a he,” the viewer wrote. “Fooled us and both vets.”
@elliewiththebelly1 replied and said the same happened with their cat.
“I thought she was a male,” they wrote. “She went from being named Luke to Lilly.”
Some viewers commented on the “smug” look on the owner’s cat’s face that was first shown at the start of the video.
“Her smirk said it all,” a commenter wrote.
One commenter asked if the pet owner plans to spay her cat after she gives birth.
“She’s just a baby and I hope she doesn’t go through this again,” they wrote.
@elliewiththebelly1 replied they do plan to spay the cat and noted that their other pets have been spayed and neutered.
Responding to another commenter, the pet owner said they had guests over one night and the cat snuck out while they were coming and going.
Others, however, were more critical in the comments section.
“Hope mom and kittens get fixed as soon as they can before being given away,” a viewer wrote. “Then it’ll just be a never ending cycle.”
“Irresponsible much?” another commenter wrote. “She’s a kitten herself wth.”
One commenter wrote, “Yikes how sad. Hope you spay her after and spay/neuter the kittens. Unfortunately this is why there’s thousands of homeless, dying, diseased cats.”
Newsweek reached out to @elliewiththebelly1 for further comment, but did not hear back in time for publication.
This cat’s pregnancy isn’t the only one that has gone viral. Newsweek previously reported that a couple’s photo of their “very pregnant” foster cat went viral on the subreddit “Aww.”
Cats have gone viral online for numerous other reasons, including one cat that has been conditioned to like water, as seen in several TikTok videos. Another video went viral on Reddit showing a cat “flopping” into her owner’s arms.