The 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.
For more information or an interview please contact Cats Protection’s Media Office on firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 01825 741 911.
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