Charity Mews: Barely Alive Kittens Found Abandoned in the Street

Hi everyone,

Today we have a heart breaking story from the Mayhew Animal Home.

Please do share with everyone to highlight the importance of neutering your cat and of course to watch out for poor abandoned and stray cats and kittens at this cold time of the year that might be in need of our support!

Barely Alive Kittens Found Abandoned in the Street

Three tiny, barely alive four-week old kittens were brought into The Mayhew Animal Home recently, after being found abandoned on the street.

The male kittens, who appeared to be on the verge of death, were extremely thin, severely dehydrated, freezing cold and covered in fleas when they arrived at our Home.

The kittens were first discovered by an elderly lady who had found them abandoned on the streets without their mum six days earlier. After she found the kittens, the lady thought that the best thing to do would be to take them home where she hand reared them on kitten milk for six days.


Although the lady was trying to help, unfortunately the quality of some kitten milk is not nutritious enough to support life, and sadly the kittens’ condition began to worsen. After six days hand rearing, the lady called up The Mayhew for help and our Animal Welfare Officers immediately went over and knew that the kittens needed urgent treatment and brought them back to our Home where our Vets could attend to them.

On arrival, the kittens, named Wilf, Conner and Joel by Mayhew staff, were in a really bad way and were barely alive. Our Cattery team settled them into a kitten cabin straight away and our Vet team got to work with their treatment.

Mayhew Vet, Dr. Emily Richardson, said: “The poor kittens were severely dehydrated, emaciated and were suffering from severe flea burdens when they first arrived at our Home.”

“Sadly the large number of fleas covering the tiny kittens had caused flea anaemia, and as a result they had very pale mucous membranes, were weak and were breathing heavily due to a lack of blood. Flea anaemia is a serious condition that can occur when the quantity of fleas living on a cat, and so biting and taking its blood, becomes so prolific that the cat is not left with enough blood to remain healthy.”

“We gave Wilf, Conner and Joel fluids to treat their dehydration, treated them for fleas, warmed them up on heat pads and syringe fed them a special kitten recovery milk.”

“Some commercial cat milk does not contain all the nutritional components required to support healthy kitten growth and can’t be used to hand rear kittens. At The Mayhew we use a specialised powder milk that is formulated specifically for hand rearing orphaned kittens, and contains the right percentages of fat, protein, additional vitamins, minerals and amino acids that are important for a cat’s health and growth.”

Over the next few days our Cattery and Vet staff worked round-the-clock attending to the kittens, hand rearing them and giving them repeat fluids to build up their strength.

Sadly Wilf, Conner and Joel were so ill, that their condition just slowly continued to deteriorate, despite treatment from our Vets. Heartbreakingly, our Vet team discovered that the kittens were too far gone and that the kindest thing to do for them would be to end their suffering, and put them to sleep.


With loving care and pain relieving medication, our Vet team were able to send Wilf, Conner and Joel off in peace, knowing that they were now comfortable, relaxed and safe.

Dr. Emily Richardson, said: “Unfortunately the kittens slowly deteriorated during their time with us. They were unable to eat on their own and their breathing was increasing due to hypoxia, a reduced oxygenation of tissues. In this late stage of flea anaemia, it is very difficult to get kittens back to good health, due to this hypoxia and the slow regeneration of red blood cells.”

“Wilf, Conner and Joel were all deteriorating and were clearly suffering as a result, so we thought that the kindest thing to do would be to end their pain and put them to sleep.”

Our Animal Welfare Officers rescue hundreds of abandoned, neglected and abused animals every year, and urge people to contact us first if they are having problems looking after their pet or find an abandoned animal on the street.

Our Animal Welfare Manager, Zoe Edwards, said: “We want to get the message out that pet owners and people who find abandoned animals on the street should get in contact with us straight away so we can bring them into our care as a priority. We are here to assist and advise on the best course of action for the animal, no matter what the problem is, we absolutely do not judge.”

“Wilf, Conner and Joel’s story also highlights how important it is to get your pet neutered. We see hundreds of unwanted kittens coming into our Home all year round and it’s a growing problem, especially as we are experiencing a cat crisis at the moment and are seeing a growing number of felines coming into our Home.”


“We encourage pet owners to get their animals neutered, and offer low cost and affordable neutering for cats and dogs at our Vet Clinic, and are part of the C4 Scheme to tackle the overpopulation of cats in London. Our team of Animal Welfare Officers also run a Pick and Snip project, which offers free neutering for cats and kittens for some owners who may be eligible, pending circumstances.”

Every day our Animal Welfare Officers and Vet team work round-the-clock responding to animals in need, like Wilf, Conner and Joel. Please consider a donation to help them continue with their vital work; or text CATS27 £5 to 70070 to donate £5 to support our Officers and Vets.

If you or anyone you know needs to speak to an Animal Welfare Officer, please call us on 020 8962 8000.

If you would like to get your pet neutered, please contact our Vet Clinic for more details on 020 8962 8017 or

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45 thoughts on “Charity Mews: Barely Alive Kittens Found Abandoned in the Street

  1. IreneDesign2011 says:

    Yes, this is really sad, but I’m happy, that you have such a place in London, who really wish to help the animals.
    Here in Spain there are only very few, who helps the cats and more who helps the homeless dogs, but still not enough. I see so many abandoned animals here and I’m not able to take in more animals, I have 3 already.

  2. elmdriveimages says:

    A very heartbreaking story, indeed. Everything that could ve done was done and still, it was not enough. My wife and I went through this with a very young kitten, much younger than these. The result was the same.

  3. Pingback: Charity Mews: Barely Alive Kittens Found Abandoned in the Street — Katzenworld | My Health Selections

  4. Robert Walsh says:

    After she found the kittens, the lady thought that the best thing to do would be to take them home where she hand reared them on kitten milk for six days…

  5. furreverfamilies says:

    Hello Marc,
    What a heart-breaking story! The ending of this reading was so upsetting, I was really hoping for a happy ending for these innocent kittens!! I’m also very passionate about the welfare of animals and stories like this truly pull a string for me! It’s so important these days for pet owners to understand to NEUTER their pets so cases like this don’t become so typical in society, more stories like this are popping up day after day and these poor, defensive animals truly deserve so much more than this, I can’t believe the treatment these poor kitties went through!! My own cat, Louis is an adopted pet and is truly one of the best things that have ever happened to me, it baffles me how pet owners don’t neuter or look after their pets properly so situations like this won’t happen so often! It’s really great that you wrote this story though to raise awareness about this issue that is becoming way too prevalent in society right now, especially when these poor animals can’t even speak out about it themselves, it’s so important for us to speak up for them!
    Thanks, so much for posting this!

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