Two three week old kittens were brought into our home last week, after being found abandoned in a box in a park bin.
The tiny male kittens were discovered amongst the rubbish by a bin man who had been emptying the public bin in Queen’s Park in North West London. He gave the kittens to a local dog walker who was passing by at the time, who brought the kittens straight to The Mayhew, where they were alerted to the attention of our Animal Welfare Officers.
Thankfully the little kittens were happy and healthy when they arrived. Our vet team were on hand to give both kittens a full check-up and our cattery team settled them into a cosy cabin in our kitten block where they could feel safe, settled and secure.
Being only three weeks old, the kittens should still be with their mother, however when our Animal Welfare Officer’s returned to the scene in Queen’s Park, she was nowhere to be found.
Our Animal Welfare Manager, Zoe Edwards, said: “We can’t imagine how terrifying it must have been for these three week old kittens to be abandoned in a bin, with only a box for shelter. It’s worrying to think what would have happened to the kittens if they hadn’t been found so quickly by the bin man.”
“We often see lots of kittens coming into our home once the weather starts getting warmer, though we do get them all year round, and this just highlights how important it is to get your pet neutered. We offer low cost neutering for cats, dogs and rabbits, so there is no excuse for not getting your pet neutered.”
Named Bert and Ernie by Mayhew staff, these kittens needed round-the-clock care since they were without their mother. One of our dedicated foster carers has taken on the important task of hand-rearing Bert and Ernie, which takes a lot of time and patience.
Our Cat Welfare Coordinator, Georgina Disney, said: “As they are sadly without their mother, we need to do everything that the mummy cat would usually do to ensure Bert and Ernie grow into happy, mature adult cats.”
“We need to feed Bert and Ernie every four hours throughout the day and night with special veterinary-formulated kitten substitute milk. Just like a human baby, everything must be sterile, so the water used needs to be boiled and cooled and the equipment needs to also be cleaned in boiling water.”
“As they are only three weeks old, Bert and Ernie are also unable to urinate or defecate by themselves, so we need to stimulate these movements by gently rubbing cotton wool separately over their urethra and anus. We will also need to keep the kittens clean and, of course, spend lots of time playing and socialising with them!”
“This is such a time-consuming job which involves a lot of close monitoring, so we are incredibly grateful for our foster carers who help us to hand rear kittens, like Bert and Ernie.”
The mother cat would usually do all of this care we are giving; feeding as and when, stimulating toileting by licking the kittens, grooming the kittens to keep them clean on their body and face and making sure they don’t stray too far from the nest by bringing them back if they roll away. Unfortunately poor Bert and Ernie won’t get this from their mum, but our staff and foster carers are on hand to make sure that they get everything they need to grow up properly.
In a few months, once Bert and Ernie are old enough, they will come back to The Home to be vaccinated and neutered, after which they will be ready to find a loving forever home.
Our Animal Welfare Officers rescue and help hundreds of animals in need every year. Find out about their work here and please consider a donation to help them help even more kittens like Bert and Ernie.
We are also always looking for more dedicated foster carers to help us care for our animals. To find out more about fostering a Mayhew animal and to apply to become a foster carer, click here.
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