Two kittens are lucky to be alive after they were found abandoned in a greenhouse when they were just a few hours old.
A third kitten had sadly already died when Cats Protection volunteers were alerted to the kittens’ plight, and it was feared the remaining two also wouldn’t survive.
“They were underweight, cold and weak and we were very worried they wouldn’t make it through the night,” said Lorri Seymour, who is fostering the kittens.
“The tiny kittens were only about three hours old when they were found and weighed just 100g each. It was touch and go.”
Lorri – who is hand-rearing the kittens on behalf of volunteers from Cats Protection’s Southampton Branch who rescued the animals on Sunday 28 April – was initially feeding them every 30 minutes to help them gain weight and build their strength.
Thankfully their condition quickly improved.
Now named Nigel and Nellie after dogs belonging to the BBC 2’s Gardener’s World presenter Monty Don, the kittens are now growing quickly and have healthy appetites.
Lorri, co-ordinator of Cats Protection’s Fareham Branch, said: “Poor Nellie didn’t know how to suckle and it took her 24 hours to get the hang of it.
“I’ve been looking after the kittens for just over a week now and I’m hopeful they’ll be okay. They’re guzzling their food down and are becoming stronger.
“At first I was feeding them every 30 minutes throughout the day and night. They’re now being fed every 90 minutes.”
Black-and-white Nigel and calico* Nellie, a male and female, will be bottle fed until they are weaned at between four and five weeks old.
Cats Protection volunteers continue to search for the kittens’ mother in the vicinity of the greenhouse in Southampton where they were found so she can be health-checked and neutered.
“There has been no sign of their mum so far – we think she might be a stray or feral** cat with another litter of kittens somewhere. She may have been struggling to look after all her babies, so she sadly had no choice but to leave these behind,” Lorrie said.
Cats Protection’s Fareham Branch has a waiting list of people who would like to adopt kittens, so don’t need offers of homes for Nigel and Nellie. They will hopefully go home with their new owners when they are about nine weeks old.
However, the branch – which is run entirely by volunteers – is extremely busy and currently has 14 kittens and eight adult cats in its care, three of which are pregnant.
Anyone wishing to help the branch care for the cats and kittens can buy items from the branch’s Amazon wish list: https://amzn.to/2GUxPhx or donate via Just Giving: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Cats-Protection-Fareham-Districts-Spring
If you’re interested in volunteering for the branch, you can find out more here: https://www.cats.org.uk/fareham
* white, ginger and black
** a cat that has reverted to living as a wild animal and has had little or no contact with humans
Video clips of the kittens are available on request.
For further information or an interview, please contact Cats Protection’s Media Office on 01825 741 911, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or @CPMediaTeam on Twitter.