TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – SPCA Florida recently corrected the chest cavity of a 4-month-old kitten that came from another shelter needing what SPCA called “an intense medical procedure.”

The kitten, named “Posey,” was born with pectus excavatum, a congenital chest wall deformity. SPCA Florida explained it’s caused by a growth abnormality of the cartilage that connects the ribs to the breastbone. The deformity causes a depression of the sternum, and the animal’s chest has a “sunken in” appearance.

SPCA Florida’s shelter veterinarian Dr. Robyn Barton was able to put a chest plate on Posey’s chest to help pull her sternum outward.

After weeks of healing and reconstructing, the chest plate was removed and Posey’s chest cavity is fully healed, allowing her to be an energetic kitten, according to the shelter.

Dr. Barton said treatment for pectus excavatum is most successful between 3 weeks to 3 months of age, while a kitten’s sternum is mostly cartilage at that time and is pliable.

“Posey presented to the SPCA when she was a little older than the desired age of treatment, but we were able to place the chest plate and achieve about 60% improvement in the shape of her ribcage and sternum,” Dr. Barton said. “This has allowed her to breathe more easily and play without getting shortness of breath.”

Posey is available for adoption at SPCA Florida’s partner, the Orlando Cat Café.