Paralyzed Cat Wearing Diaper Has "Stolen the Hearts" of Fans, With 73M Views
Meet Aoife, a social media sensation.
A paralyzed, diaper-wearing tabby cat called Aoife (pronounced – EE•fa-) has become an internet sensation after getting her own Instagram account—and millions of views. Read on to learn more about Aoife, her life, challenges, and how she became a social media superstar.
Aoife has "stolen the hearts of millions of people," says her owner Sabrina de Matteo, from Los Angeles, CA. De Matteo and her husband James rescued the cat when she was just 2 weeks old, in November 2020. "We don't know how she became paralyzed, but we hope she was born that way," de Matteo says. Aoife really does have millions of fans—her most-watched Instagram video has over 73.3 million views. Keep reading to see the video of Aoife.
Aoife's paralysis means 45-year-old fitness and wellness coach de Matteo has to manually empty her bladder twice a day, which she assures people "doesn't hurt the cat at all." "Because of her paralysis, she is unable to use the litter box, so she wears a diaper, and we have to manually express her bowels and bladder twice a day," de Matteo said. "At first, I didn't think I'd be able to do it but, with practice, it's second nature and only takes a few seconds at a time to do."
"Aoif has no feeling in her belly, so it doesn't hurt her," says de Matteo. "You can actually feel where the poop is and you just press down to push it out. It's not as gross as you may think. It's no more gross than another cat using a litter tray. It's just a routine task we need to do for her."
"Through the videos, people have been able to see just how loved and well looked after Aoife is," says de Matteo. "Aoife is not in pain – she is very happy. You just have to look at the videos to see that. Her needs may be different than other cats but her life has worth."
"Aoife has a hilarious, fun and feisty personality, and she is definitely the boss of the house," says de Matteo. The couple are also cat-parents to Pebbles, Kevin, Sofia, Ellie Mae, and Peter. "We already had two cats, Pebbles and Kevin, but we found Sofia on an animal shelter's web page in May 2019 and just fell in love," de Matteo says. "She was a calico cat with a suspected broken leg who needed a home, so we brought her in."