To her disbelief, she found a lonely, young kitten dumped in a box.
Unsure of what to do with this sad, abandoned kitten, the member of the public brought him to Mayhew, where he was aptly named Boxey.
Busy areas are sadly common places for people to abandon their unwanted pets, and as such unfortunately this is a familiar story for our Animal Welfare Officers. When pets have unexpected litters, owners can panic and leave the new-borns in public areas where others may find them and take them in.
When Boxey was brought to us, he was very scared, hungry and passing liquid diarrhoea. At only four to five-weeks-old, Boxey was too young to be away from his litter mates and mum.
Being away from mum at such a young age can have a number of behavioural and health implications for kittens. The mother’s milk provides kittens with all of their nutrients; when a kitten is without a mother at such a young age, they can be prone to stunted growth and illness. Cats learn what is normal from a very young age. During the early stages of a kitten’s life, up to around eight-weeks-old, they go through a phase called the ‘socialisation period’. If kittens have positive contact with people and are handled during this time, they will form a strong bond with humans.
“Because little Boxey was far too young to be separated from his mum and the rest of the litter, he missed out on really important weeks of interacting and learning. On these occasions, it’s up to us to show him the ropes. ”
Unfortunately, as Boxey was found alone and too young to have been weaned from his mother, he had missed out on vital time learning to groom, play and interact with both cats and people. Thankfully, Mayhew has an incredible team of dedicated cat and kitten foster carers, and we were able to place Boxey with a specialist foster carer so that he could learn how to interact with people, play, and be fed according to his needs.
Female cats are able to reproduce as early as five-months-old, and can have multiple litters per year. When a pet becomes unexpectedly pregnant, it can cause strain and stress on the owner, and sadly this is the reason that many unwanted kittens find their way to Mayhew.
Neutering not only offers a permanent and low-risk solution to unwanted, and often abandoned, litters, but it also reduces the risk of pets developing certain cancers and other diseases.
Whilst vet treatments are often associated with large bills, there are several schemes that mean that preventative care, such as neutering, has become far more accessible.
Mayhew runs a Pick & Snip programme, created to provide support and access to preventative veterinary care for pet owners who would otherwise struggle to get their pets neutered.
We also offer free cat neutering for some cats under the C4 Scheme, created by the top animal charities in London to tackle cat overpopulation. Low-cost neutering is available in our Community Vet Clinic, and we support you before, during and after your pet is neutered.
Despite his lonely start in life Boxey has bounced back and is now ready to pounce into his new home.
If you are having difficulty looking after your pet, please contact us for advice. We are here to help.get in touch
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