'Instinct': Cat Caring for Kitten As If It's Her Own Melts Hearts

A 9-year-old cat named Luna has gone viral for taking care of a rescue kitten as her own, and the internet has named her best surrogate cat mommy.

In a video shared on Reddit by her owner, who goes by the username VelvetineDragon, on Wednesday, Luna can be seen grooming the little kitten, cleaning every bit of it with her tongue and trying to help stimulate its bowel movements.

Cats napping
Pictured above are two cats napping together. A surrogate cat mommy has gone viral for taking care of a stray kitty as her own. Getty Images

The post, which has so far reached over 12,000 upvotes and about 230 comments, features a caption saying "Luna, our 9 year old Himalayan has never been a Mommy. But look at how good of a surrogate Mommy she is to our little rescue kitten."

In further comments, VelvetineDragon explained that they found the kitten abandoned behind a locked garage and, after feeding and bathing her, they took her to the veterinarian who said she had had a protozoa and an eye infection and gave her medicine.

Luna, the owner said in another comment, was adopted from an animal shelter five years ago and her papers said she was a Lavender Point Himalayan, even though some users suggested she may actually be a Persian. They also said that Luna, who has never had kittens of her own, is usually standoffish and does not tolerate newcomers very well, but she really loves this kitten as her own.

They also reassured the community that they have decided to adopt the kitten, and have renamed it Ponyo.

Nonprofit People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) estimates that between 60 and 100 million homeless cats live in the streets of the U.S.

"Since feral cats, like those who share our homes with us, are domesticated, they depend on humans to feed, water, and shelter them and to keep them safe from harm," a statement on the nonprofit's website reads.

The members of the r/aww subreddit, where the video was originally posted, loved the cat and praised her good heart. Sculptural_candle said: "That poor kitten! Thank you for rescuing." SilentReavus added: "Instinct is a hell of a drug." Phantom-Rose13 wrote: "What a good mama! That baby will be well taken care of."

Freefrompress joked: "Cleaning that little dirty butt like a real momma cat!" And Mrum2003 said "Nawwww, i hope these two are happy together! Lil kitty is definitely loved." Tofutti_kleineinein added: "She licks with great intensity! That baby kitty knows she is safe and cared for. I love the part where the baby rolls lazily over, looking content... and the licking continues!"

Another user, GoingWhale, shared their own experience of cat rescuing: "When I first got my cat, my older cat adopted him too. He would clean, cuddle, and play with him. The older cat has since passed, but the younger one has followed in his footsteps and adopted the kitten my family got back in August."

JessterJo said: "Awesome! They're an adorable pair. I adopted a kitten, and she was basically stolen by one of my boy cats. She adores him though. It's so cute I can't even be resentful."

Newsweek has reached out to VelvetineDragon for comment.