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Hand-reared around the clock - the tiny kittens among hundreds being cared for by Cats Protection

28 June 2017
Hand-reared around the clock - the tiny kittens among hundreds being cared for by Cats Protection
Two tiny kittens being hand-reared around the clock by Cats Protection are among hundreds of homeless kittens putting the charity under strain after a surge in cats breeding.
With the annual kitten season – the time of the year when most cats give birth – now well underway, the charity is struggling to care for over 1,600 new kittens nationally.
Among them are Archie and Jiminy Cricket, who are both being hand-reared by staff at the charity’s National Cat Adoption Centre in Chelwood Gate, Sussex.
Archie, whose mother died in a road accident, and Jiminy Cricket, whose mother rejected him, were both just a few days old when they were brought to the centre. Too young to fend for themselves, they have needed to be bottle-fed throughout the day and night by dedicated staff.
Karen Thompson, Manager of Cats Protection’s National Cat Adoption Centre, said while staff were only too happy to care for the pair, hand-rearing them had put even further strain on resources during the busy kitten season.
She said: “They may be tiny but caring for a young kitten is incredibly time and labour-intensive. Not only do they need to be fed with specialist formula throughout the day and night, they also need a lot of careful interaction and handling to ensure they learn all the social skills they’d normally learn from their mothers.
“Kitten season is an incredibly busy time for us and sadly we see many kittens and young cats handed into us because they were not expected or planned. With so many cute kittens around, it then makes it even harder for the older cats in our care to attract the attention of a new owner. 
“Nationally, over 3,000 kittens have already needed our help this year and, with kitten season now well underway, we are bracing ourselves for another difficult season.
"Our resources are already stretched to the limit and the number of unneutered cats breeding uncontrollably makes it even harder to cope. All this heartache could easily be avoided if more cats were neutered. Neutering is a simple procedure and Cats Protection is able to offer many owners help towards its cost."
Cats Protection found new homes for over 14,500 kittens during 2016 so the charity is hoping cat lovers will donate whatever they can to help them look after this year’s unwanted felines.
For example, just £5 could supply 10 days' worth of specialist milk to hand-feed an orphaned kitten while £10 feeds a cat in care for over a month.
To donate please visit www.cats.org.uk/donate or text KITTEN1 to 70660 to donate £5.
If you would like to offer an unwanted cat a home please visit www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat
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For further information or an interview, please contact Michaela Phillips at Adastra Media by emailing michaela@adastramedia.co.uk or phone 07740 305918.
Notes to Editors:
  1. Text costs £5 plus network charge. Cats Protection receives 100% of your donation. Obtain bill payer’s permission. Supporter Services 0800 917 2287. Charity No. 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland)
  2. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps around 190,000 cats each year through its national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 34 centres.
  3. Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.
  4. 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.
  5. More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk