Ni Hao the Stowaway Kitten From Shanghai Is Seeking Foster Parent

Ni Hao, the kitten found in a container, is gaining strength during his stay in a Carson animal shelter

By Yvonne Beltzer and Melissa Pamer
|  Wednesday, Aug 1, 2012  |  Updated 4:14 PM PDT
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Stowaway Kitten Travels to LA in Freighter from China

Ni Hao, a kitten who arrived at the Port of LA dirty and malnourished in a shipping container from China, is doing much better, Los Angeles County arnimal care officials said. He'll be ready for adoption in coming weeks.

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A kitten that survived a perilous journey from Shanghai to Southern California inside a container on a freighter pranced around on a table at the Carson Animal Care Center on Wednesday.

He looked much healthier than he did a few weeks ago. 

The orange-and-white kitten -- dubbed "Ni Hao," which means "hello" in Mandarin -- was introduced to the public for the first time Wednesday morning. He's already an international superstar, with attention from around the world after his rescue was publicized online.

Ni Hao was barely 3 months old when he arrived at the Port of Los Angeles July 11 nearly unconscious, malnourished and curled into a ball in the corner of a dark shipping container. 

It's not clear how Ni Hao ended up in the shipping container.

Click here for photos of Ni Hao on his arrival and three weeks later

The workers who found him contacted the Los Angeles County Department of Animal Care and Control, which took him to the center in Carson.

The staff there worked to bring Ni Hao back to good health, giving him vitamins and hand-feeding him.

An animal care attendant said he is learning a great deal, including how to walk, though he is still "a little wobbly."

"He is learning to be a cat ... because I think at some point he forgot or never had that chance,” said animal care attendant Gacey Meza, who showed Ni Hao off to reporters.

Ni Hao has been climbing, jumping up and down and stretching, Meza said. She said he already has a good appetite.

"He’s a little porker," Meza. "He's very affectionate. He likes to give kisses and do nose-to-nose.... He's a lover, not a fighter."

One of Ni Hao's eyes appears to have some kind of defect, but he can see clearly through both, Meza said.

Now, the county is looking for a foster parent for the kitten who would help socialize him more -- in a home with no other pets.

"He’s still a little frail," Meza said, adding "we don’t want them pouncing on him."

Ni Hao already has a long list of potential adopters, but he must remain in quarantine for 90 days. It's not too late to add more names to the adoption waiting list

People interested in joining the list can call the Carson Animal Care Center at 310-527-5146 or email
Carson@animalcare.lacounty.gov.

Meza said even if hopeful cat-parents aren't able to adopt Ni Hao, there are plenty of other sweet kittens in need of homes. 

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