Rescue centre feline the heat as cats get frisky

Oxford Mail: Animal welfare supervisor Hannah Wiltshire with some of the kittens at Blue Cross Burford. Picture: OX67400 Ed Nix Buy this photo Animal welfare supervisor Hannah Wiltshire with some of the kittens at Blue Cross Burford. Picture: OX67400 Ed Nix

AN OXFORDSHIRE cat home is having kittens after receiving a catastrophic number of unwanted litters.

Blue Cross Burford says it has taken in a record 40 kittens already this year, three times as many as the same time last year.

The reason, the Blue Cross says, is warm weather – spring is the season of loving for cats, and this spring has just been particularly warm, meaning cats are feeling friskier.

The centre, which takes in more than 300 cats every year, is urging cat owners to get pets neutered to prevent more unwanted animals flooding through its doors.

The new arrivals include Rhubarb, Pea, Bean and Radish, found in a damp cardboard box on a Didcot allotment.

Animal welfare supervisor Hannah Wiltshire said: “They were three weeks old, and they can’t live without their mum until they’re nine weeks.

“They were far too young to be separated from their mum and they were cold, frightened and underweight. They were pretty much staving.

“This is an added pressure to the existing pressure we already have taking care of 30 adult cats.

“And kittens can be quite hard work.”

Several kittens have cat flu and are on medication twice a day.

The Blue Cross can’t rehome kittens until they are nine weeks old, so the home will have to take care of them for more than a month.

Miss Wiltshire added: “Of course we want to do it, they’re all super nice and cute, but it can be quite a challenge.”

She said that the damp cardboard box full of kittens found on an allotment is sadly not that rare.

Miss Wiltshire, 27, said: “Last year we had some builders bring in a box that had just been left on a construction site. Another time we had a box someone left in a skip.

“Some people just panic, maybe they feel ashamed, and drop them somewhere out of sight, out of mind.

“We’re not going to judge people, we’d much rather they approach us.”

The centre has six foster homes which look after cats and kittens waiting to be rehomed, but is always looking for more.

To volunteer, visit bluecross.org.uk

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