7 neglected cats and suddenly lots of kittens….

Last week we took in 7 very neglected cats, from one home as their owner had passed away. All the cats were riddled with fleas, full of worms, underweight and in a very poor bodily condition. None were neutered. All, bar one, are closely related.

Their names are Willow, Mo-Anna, Coco, Midge, Manny, Doey and Milo.

Willow was one of the first to see the vet, as we were especially concerned about her. She is an older girl and was in a very poor state. The vet confirmed that she was pregnant and had large mammary tumours. She has no teeth – due to untreated gingivitis and gum disease, a heart murmur (we soon found out that they all had murmurs, apart from the non related male cat Manny) and the vet recommended that she had immediate blood tests to rule out any underlying problems. Amazingly her blood test results were not too bad, which meant that she could be spayed (the kittens were sadly aborted) and have the tumours removed – as a matter of urgency. It was a complex operation – due to her age and general poor health, but it was essential, as she just would not have survived the pregnancy. After daily visits to the vets, Willow appeared to be recovering well, but went downhill during the early hours of Saturday and was devastatingly put to sleep Saturday early afternoon,  as there was sadly nothing left that we or the vets could do for her. We were all so upset to lose her and we will certainly never forget her.

Mo-Anna was one of the younger cats, probably around 5/6 years old. She was the only female not to be pregnant. She was the first to be seen by the vet as we were extremely concerned by her general condition and demeanour. Mo-Anna was quickly diagnosed with a very severe heart murmur. Easily the worst that we have ever heard here at the shelter. She would not have been able to be spayed, as her heart would not have coped with the anaesthetic. Mo-Anna was kept in at the vets, given a heart scan to see the severity and was immediately put on both fluids and heart medication. The prognosis was not great, but we wanted to do all we could, to hopefully allow her to have a happy few months before her heart inevitably failed. One of the vets even kindly agreed to adopt her if she responded well to the medication. Mo-Anna had been in the vets since Monday, but this morning we made the devastating decision to have her put to sleep. Sadly, she wasn’t responding well and it was unfair to put her through any more. We are all very upset as she was such a sweet little soul. We believe she was Willows daughter. We will never forget her.

Coco is another younger girl and Mo-Annas sister. Coco is heavily pregnant – likely to be from one of her brothers/dad – and is due any day. Like the rest of her cat family, she has a heart murmur – fortunately not as bad as her poor sisters, but there nevertheless. She is eating well and putting on weight and is being closely monitored in our Mum and Kitten Unit here at the shelter. Her teeth are not great and will be having fairly major dental work as soon as she has birthed and weaned her kittens.

Midge is an older girl – likely to be from one of Willows early litters. She is so similar in personality to Willow, very loving and affectionate and adores people. Unfortunately, Midge is also heavily pregnant and due very soon. Like Coco, she is being monitored here on site and we will support and love her, every step of the way – with vets on standby. Midge has no teeth whatsoever, again like Willow, likely from a combo of untreated gingivitis and gum disease.

Manny is unrelated to the other 6, but has lived in the same home as the others since he was a kitten. He has now had major dental work and has been neutered. He is the only cat to not be extremely underweight. This is possibly because he is the only one to have had any teeth left, albeit completely rotten ones. The others would not have been able to eat biscuits, which is seemingly all they were given in their home.

Doie is currently in the vet having his heart scanned. His murmur – like Mo-Annas – is also very severe. Its unlikely the vets will be able to neuter him. He is very underweight and like the others, has no teeth. He is the most nervous of all the cats and we are really worrying what the vets will say when we go and collect him this evening. He is also having blood tests – including FiV, as there is a high possibility that they all could be infected given their general condition. We are initially only testing one cat from the family for FiV as an attempt to keep the vet fees down. If Doie is positive, we will assume that all the family are and will then have Manny tested to, as he was living in same home/sharing bowls etc.

Finally we have lovely Milo. Milo is probably around 10 years old. So very thin and again, has no teeth and the family heart murmur. He is in the vets today being neutered and blood tested. Milo is so affectionate and likes to follow us around like a little dog.

From a separate home, we also took in another girl called Willow, along with her 8 one week old kittens. The kittens are now nearly two weeks old and all in seemingly very good health. Willow is being a fantastic Mummy and both her and her cute little kittens, have now gone into foster with one of our lovely cat volunteers.

Another heavily pregnant girl – named Betty – arrived in our care last week. She was found as a stray, unclaimed and came to us via a vets. The vets have confirmed that she is having 5 babies and fairly soon! She is now in the care of one of our very experienced cat fosterers.

We have also taken in 4 gorgeous stray feral kittens of approximately 5-6 weeks old. These little guys were riddled with fleas, which we have painstakingly groomed out and have treated and they are now being fostered in pairs by two of our staff, until they are ready to find their forever homes.


As well as all these cats, we also took in a lovely Rottweiler girl called Nova-Lee. Within 24 hours of arrival, she was in the vets with a tummy bug, making our vet bill just that bit higher! Fortunately she has now recovered well and will hopefully be able to be spayed soon.

So it has been an incredibly busy (and very expensive) week. We are desperately appealing for financial donations towards the care of all these cats (as well as all the others we have at the shelter!) and for donations of wet and dry kitten food.

All of these cats (and all of the future kittens) will need spaying/neutering, vaccinating, microchipping, more worm and flea treatments, lots of food and lots and lots of care. This is in addition, to all the veterinary treatment that these animals have had over the past week and are likely to need in future.

Donations can be sent via our donate button on our website – www.stfrancisanimalwelfare.co.uk – or via PayPal to stfrancisanimalwelfare@gmail.com

Cat food donations can be dropped off at the shelter any day between 10am-2pm or left in the donation bin – under our CCTV – outside these times.

Please note, that NONE of these kittens or cats (or Nova-Lee) are ready for rehoming yet. Anyone wanting to be considered for adopting a kitten (or an older cat) please download an adoption application form, from the cats 9or dogs) needing homes page.

Thank you to everyone who has dropped in food over the past week, it is much appreciated.

Thanks for reading

Helen – Shelter Manager


Beautiful Willow – Rest in peace x