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9th December 2019

A year-old cat and her newborn litter of kittens have survived some of the coldest nights of the year by sheltering in a shed, withstanding temperatures below zero.

Grey cat Crystal with her four newborn kittensThe family of felines were found hiding in a garden outbuilding in Neath by a member of the public who called Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre.

The mother cat, now named Crystal, had withstood freezing temperatures with her kittens who were believed to be no more than a week old. The centre called local volunteer Rachel Davies who collected Crystal and her four kittens, one grey-and-white male named Frosty along with three tortoiseshells named Snowdrop, Snowflake and Icicle.

Rachel explained: "When I arrived I could see Frosty wasn't as active as his sisters. He was freezing and there wasn't much response from him so I initially put him inside my top so he could benefit from my warmth. I collected the rest of the kittens and rushed them to the centre with Frosty wrapped in a towel on my car’s heated seats.”

Crystal and the three tortoiseshell girls thrived once settled at the centre but despite initial vet treatment upon arrival and two days’ emergency care at the vet surgery, Frosty, the smallest of the kittens, did not survive.

Deputy Manager Teresa Blair was at the centre when the family arrived and said: “From the moment Crystal and the kittens arrived it was a real rollercoaster of emotions. She and her girls really benefitted from the warmth of the centre but nothing we tried seemed to help Frosty.

“At one point our vet decided the quickest way to save the tiny kitten was to warm him again using body heat so she placed him inside her clothing and then rushed him off to the vet practice to try to save his life. He rallied initially but just wasn’t strong enough after such a difficult start. It’s moments like this that really hammer home to us how vital it is to neuter cats as soon as possible. Crystal is so young, and we believe is likely to have had a number of other litters already. It’s truly amazing that any of them survived the bitter weather. We will of course make sure she and the kittens are neutered before they are homed.”

Cats Protection is urging people to have their cats neutered to prevent situations where young cats like Crystal have litters in potentially fatal situations. For anyone with a low income, who is in receipt of certain means-tested benefits or full-time students living away from home, Cats Protection and RSPCA Cymru are running a £5 neutering campaign with details available from www.cats.org.uk/what-we-do/neutering/neutering-campaigns/walescampaign or by calling 03000 12 12 12 and selecting option 2.

The cat care assistants caring for Crystal and her kittens are all supported this year by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.


Ends

For more information or an interview please contact Cats Protection’s Media Office on media.office@cats.org.uk or by calling 01825 741 911.

Notes to Editors

About Cats Protection:

  1. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps around 200,000 cats and kittens each year through a national network of around 250 volunteer-run branches and 36 centres.
  2. Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.
  3. Cats Protection’s registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland). Founded as the Cats Protection League in 1927, the charity adopted the name Cats Protection in 1998. We ask that you use the name Cats Protection when referring to the charity in all published material.
  4. More information about the work of the centre can be found at www.cats.org.uk/bridgend

About People’s Postcode Lottery:

  1. People’s Postcode Lottery manages multiple society lotteries promoted by different charities and good causes. People play with their chosen postcodes for a chance to win cash prizes. A minimum of 32% from each subscription goes directly to charities and good causes across Great Britain and internationally - players have raised £500 million so far. For details of the charities and good causes which are promoting and benefitting from the lottery draws, please visit www.postcodelottery.co.uk/good-causes/draw-calendar
  2. It costs £10 a month to play and winning postcodes are announced every day. The maximum amount a single ticket can win is 10% of the draw proceed. For details, please visit www.postcodelottery.co.uk/prizes
  3. New players can sign up to pay using direct debit by calling 0808 10 9 8 7 6 5. New players who sign up online at www.postcodelottery.co.uk can pay using direct debit, debit card or PayPal.
  4. Postcode Lottery Limited is regulated by the Gambling Commission under licence numbers: 000-000829-N-102511 and 000-000829-R-102513. Registered office: Titchfield House, 69/85 Tabernacle Street, London, EC2A 4BD
  5. Follow @PostcodePress
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