Seven tiny kittens are lucky to be alive after being abandoned at an age when they should still be with their mothers.
The young cats were all underweight when they were found in a taped up cardboard box outside the gates of Cats Protection’s Isle of Wight Adoption Centre.
Believed to be kittens from two different litters, three were around five weeks old when they were found while four were around four weeks old. At this age they should naturally weigh 450-550g but all were below the threshold with one of the youngest, now named Lola, weighing just 306g, the weight of a kitten half her age.
While the older kittens should have just been starting to eat solid food supplemented by their mother’s milk at the point at which they were left, the younger ones would still be relying on their mother for the majority of their needs.
Alone without that maternal care, during warm weather in a sealed box, they were vulnerable to dehydration and starvation with a high chance that they would have died if they hadn’t been found.
Once safely in the centre, the three largest kittens were named Oscar, Joey and Aurora while the smaller kittens were called Lola, Chloe, Noah and Trev. Divided into two separate litters once again, the kittens were given round-the-clock care by the centre’s cat care assistants who are supported this year by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.
|Kittens Chloe and Noah having a snooze|
Cat Care Assistant Lauren Smith, said: “The kittens were very underweight when they arrived and we worked really hard to hand-feed them every couple of hours to get them up to their ideal weights. For the first few days we weren’t sure they would survive. Little Lola was a particular worry; she didn’t have an appetite and was very lethargic, after a vet visit we found out she was so dehydrated that she needed drip-fed fluids as well as hourly feeds. Oscar has also been very poorly and needed blood tests to rule out anything sinister but luckily they came back clear.”
Now that the kittens are around nine and ten weeks’ old, they are enjoying solid kitten food, have learned to use litter trays and are starting to play with help and guidance from the centre team.
|Lola, Chloe, Noah and Trev enjoying their first meal at the centre|
Lauren adds: “We prepare for an influx of kittens each year from around April onwards but it was still a shock to find these tiny souls abandoned outside the centre. We know it’s extremely difficult if people find themselves dealing with an unexpected litter but would urge people to get in touch and arrange a time to bring unwanted cats or kittens to us rather than leaving them outside.
“In this situation we could have supported the kittens’ owner to ensure the mother cats were neutered so that they don’t have other unwanted litters and would very much like to hear from the owner now if they would like assistance.”
|Lola, Chloe, Noah and Trev having a well-earned nap|
If you are interested in rehoming the kittens, keep an eye on the Isle of Wight Adoption Centre’s website to find out when they will be available for adoption: www.cats.org.uk/isleofwight
With neutering on pause for many vets because of the COVID-19 lockdown, there could be an extra 84,000 kittens that need our help this year.
To help us be #HereForTheCatsAndKittens, you can donate to our appeal at www.cats.org.uk/su20mb
Any donation will help us to save the lives of litters like this one, providing them with security, warmth and a healthy start.