The eight adult cats and six kittens were squashed into three boxes and abandoned next to rubbish bins close to one of the RSPCA’s busiest clinics in perishing winter conditions.
Luckily, a passerby heard pitiful sounds of meowing coming from crates and raised the alarm before the young cats were stricken by the cold or starved to death.
The entire brood of eight adults and six kittens were crammed into two tiny cat carriers and a litter box and were struggling for space when they were saved near the RSPCA’s Harmsworth Memorial Animal Hospital in Holloway, London, this week.
Caroline Allen, RSPCA London Veterinary Director, said: “Sadly having animals dumped near to our hospitals is nothing new.”
“However, this really is a large number of cats and kittens to have been left in one go.
“All are very young and it’s likely the person who owned them never got them neutered and as a result found themselves with more and more kittens. All of them are in reasonable health and condition.”
All the cats are being looked after at the RSPCA Central West and North East London Branch, where they will be vaccinated, neutered and microchipped before being assessed for new homes.
The six kittens – four males, aged around eight weeks, and two females that are four months old – have been named Milo, Otis, Bill, Ted, Ruby and Rosie.
The seven adult females and one male are aged between one and two years.
Thousands of unwanted and neglected stray cats are currently wandering the streets of London, leaving the animals at risk of disease and injury.
Yet, say the RSPCA, the crisis could be prevented if owners had their animals neutered.
The branch currently looking after the abandoned brood is part of the C4 Scheme, set up in 2002 and which sees animal charities offering to neuter cats within the M25 for free if owners are on a low income or are students.
For more information and to find out if you are eligible for free cat neutering as well as details of the nearest participating vet in the C4 scheme, call 03000 121212.