After being abandoned at an age when they should still be with their mothers, seven little kittens are lucky to be alive.
When the baby kitties were discovered in a taped up cardboard box outside Cats Protection’s Isle of Wight Adoption Centre, they were all underweight.
Three of the kittens were roughly five weeks old when they were discovered, while the other four were around four weeks old. They should have weighed 450-550g at this age, but they all weighed less than that, with one of the youngest, now named Lola, weighing just 306g, the weight of a kitten half her age.
While the bigger kittens should have just begun to consume solid food supplemented by their mother’s milk at the time they were abandoned, the smaller kittens would still be reliant on their mother for the majority of their requirements.
They were vulnerable to dehydration and malnutrition alone in a sealed box during hot weather, and there was a good probability they would have perished if they hadn’t been located.
The three largest kittens were named Oscar, Joey, and Aurora once they were safely at the center, while the smaller kittens were named Lola, Chloe, Noah, and Trev.
The kittens were divided into two litters once again and given round-the-clock care by the centre’s cat care workers, who are funded this year by People’s Postcode Lottery players.
“The kittens were quite underweight when they came, and we worked really hard to hand-feed them every couple of hours to get them up to their optimal weights,” Cat Care Assistant Lauren Smith said. We weren’t sure they’d make it through the first several days.
Little Lola was a special concern; she had lost her appetite and was quite sedentary; after a vet visit, we discovered she was severely dehydrated and required drip-fed fluids as well as hourly feedings.
Oscar has also been quite ill, necessitating blood tests to rule out anything serious, which fortunately came back negative.”
The kittens are roughly nine and ten weeks old now, and they are eating solid kitten food and using litter pans.
“Each year from approximately April onwards, we prepare for an inflow of kittens,” Lauren continues, “but it was still a shock to discover these small beings abandoned outside the center.” We understand how difficult it is to cope with an unexpected litter, but instead of putting unwanted cats or kittens outside, we encourage individuals to contact us and set up a time to bring them to us.
“In this scenario, we could have helped the kittens’ owner by ensuring the mother cats were neutered so they didn’t have any more unwanted litters, and we’d love to hear from the owner now if they still need help.”