Who would put four tiny kittens, less than one-week-old, into a bag and dump them beside a road? Most of us can’t imagine such a heartless act, but sadly some people sit very low on the empathy scale when it comes to animals.
An Alberton resident found the babies by pure chance while she was out walking early one morning. They were inside a plastic shopping bag under some bushes.
Another neighbour who was out walking her dog kindly offered to bring the foursome to RSPCA’s Lonsdale shelter. The forecast temperature on this mid-February day was 38C.
They are lucky to be alive
Kittens should be feeding on their Mums until they’re at least eight weeks old. Milk from mother cats contains important nutrients needed for normal kitten growth and development.
When this critical bond is broken prematurely, neo-natal kittens are at immediate risk – especially in extreme temperatures.
Their care in these early weeks requires specialist skills and incredible dedication.
Caring for neo-natal kittens can be pretty intense
Lucky for these four, they came to the attention of one of our vet nurses, Jade, who is well-practised in meeting the needs of motherless, pre-weaned kittens. Even with her knowledge and experience, Jade admits neo-natal kitten care “can be pretty intense”.
“With these 4 kittens, I was initially feeding them every four hours, including through the night,” Jade recalls.
“Being such a young age, they have to be fed as much as they want, and toileted, which involves helping them urinate and defecate after every feed until they are old enough to go on their own,”
“It’s also important to keep a close eye on them to make sure none of them is losing weight or starting to ‘crash’, which is known as ‘fading kitten syndrome. This is pretty scary and they can go downhill pretty fast”
These kittens are now on the mend
We’re very happy to report that the kittens, who recently had their first vaccination, are all thriving thanks to Jade’s care and the support of RSPCA’s whole vet team. They currently among 200 cats and kittens in our care.
As soon as some are adopted, others come in. Being the middle of kitten season, and with the call to desex still falling on too many deaf ears, there is sadly an oversupply – yet again – of felines in our shelter.
If you’re in a position to provide a loving home for one or more of these lovely animals, please take a look at who is available to adopt.
As always, every cat or kitten adopted from RSPCA comes desexed, microchipped, vaccinated and health checked. Our cat-care team is here to help you find the perfect feline friend and can provide advice to help them settle into their new home with you.