Our Animal Welfare Officers were alerted to a property recently that was completely overrun with cats, with approximately 30 felines living there. Sadly they also discovered a number of dead cats and kittens in the house, who had been wrapped up in paper, discarded in bins or simply left lying around.
The owner had started off with good intentions, after taking in a box of kittens who had been abandoned in an alleyway beside her house. Unfortunately though, she was unaware of neutering and the situation spiralled out of control; as the kittens grew up, they started breeding and the population exploded, until there were about 30 cats and kittens living in her house.
A female cat can begin to have kittens once they have had their first season, which is usually around 6 months but can be as young as 4 months, so it didn’t take long for the cat population in the house to increase.
The owner struggled to cope with the amount of cats living in her house. She was unable to socialise with each one individually, which meant some of the cats became feral. There were so many mouths to feed that she simply couldn’t afford to feed them all proper cat food, and ended up giving them anything she had, including pasta and noodles. Many of the cats were in poor health with upset stomachs due to this inappropriate diet and lack of nutritious cat food.
Thankfully our Animal Welfare Officers took control of the situation and arrived just in time for some of the cats and kittens.
Our Animal Welfare Officers found an incredibly brave mum nursing a litter of three kittens who were only a few days old. The mum, Mary Lou, was found lying on the kitchen floor on a tiny, very filthy old towel, and sadly we discovered that one of her kittens had passed away.
Mary Lou and her two surviving kittens, Anne-Marie and Lloyd, were covered in fleas and lice when they arrived at The Mayhew. Poor little Anne-Marie and Lloyd were also very ill with diarrhoea, so our Vet and Cattery Team were on hand to clean up the kittens, put them on antibiotics and provide round-the-clock care.
Mary Lou was very nervous when she first arrived at the cattery and was particularly afraid of having her head and face touched. Over time, our staff discovered that, if you approach her from behind and stroke her back, she enjoys cuddles and has a very loud purr. We put her into a foster home where she settled in slowly and started to cuddle up to her foster carer at night, but still never got over her fear of having her head touched.
Both mum and kittens are now back on their paws and have settled in well to loving forever homes, and Mary Lou is getting better and more confident every day.
6 week old Minky Moo was also rescued from the hoarding house in the nick of time, and she was sadly the only surviving kitten from her litter. Tiny for her age and suffering from chronic diarrhoea, little Minky Moo would not have survived much longer without veterinary care.
She was freezing cold, starving and covered with fleas and her own diarrhoea when she came into The Mayhew. Our Vet Team worked quickly to clean her up and immediately put her on antibiotics. Minky Moo had mostly been feeding on pasta, so our vet and cattery teams worked around the clock feeding her tiny amounts of food every hour to introduce her to a proper feeding regime.
Minky Moo began to get stronger and stronger every day and started to show her adorable, bright attitude to life.
Unfortunately, having come from a multi-cat household, Minky Moo wasn’t used to being handled by humans, and it took her some time to adjust and learn how to play properly. To help her grow into an affectionate and playful adult cat, we put Minky Moo into foster care so she could experience a home environment and receive all the love she needed.
Minky Moo is now fighting-fit and has now found a loving home, where she has become the best of friends with her new forever owner’s dogs.
Find out more about our Animal Welfare Officers’ work, and please consider donating to help us help even more cats and kittens like Mary Lou, Anne-Marie, Lloyd and Minky Moo.
We are always looking for volunteer foster carers to give our cats and kittens a break from shelter life. Find out more about how you can give a moggy a break and become a Mayhew foster carer.
[donate text=”Donate to help more cats & kittens” source=”Hoarding House Cats”]
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