The RSPCA is caring for a feral cat and her kittens after they were born in a tree in west London.
The tiny kittens – thought to be just a few days old – were born up a tree in Standard Road, Hounslow, and locals became concerned for their welfare after spotting the kittens had fallen from the branches above.
RSPCA inspector Phil Norman responded to reports on Tuesday evening (1 August) and rushed to the scene to help the vulnerable cats.
“We believe the mother had given birth up in the tree where she felt safe and secure and away from any danger,” inspector Norman said.
“But for day-old kittens to be at such a height is obviously potentially very dangerous and three of the four babies had actually fallen from the tree.
“Thankfully, they weren’t injured and we could hear the fourth kitten squeaking so we managed to find them all before catching mum who was quite nervous.”
The cat – who has been nicknamed Twiggy – and her four kittens were taken to RSPCA Putney Animal Hospital for care but, despite the best efforts of staff, sadly one of the kittens died during the night.
“It’s sad that one of the little kittens didn’t make it but I’m really pleased that the mum is doing well and the other three seem to be feeding well,” inspector Norman added.
“It’s amazing really that these kittens were spotted and weren’t seriously hurt. They were very young and vulnerable, probably only a day or two old, and their eyes were still closed.
“One of them was still attached to the placenta and was very precariously hanging from a branch when I arrived, and the others had all fallen from the tree and were left lying on the ground and in nearby bushes.
“Thank goodness the people who spotted them acted quickly and got in touch with us.”
The RSPCA put posters up in the local area to find out if the mother has an owner but, if she is not claimed, then they will all eventually be rehomed. The charity will care for all of the cats until the kittens – who have been nicknamed Willow, Ash and Oakley – are weaned and are old enough to be rehomed.
If you’re concerned for the welfare of an animal please call the RSPCA’s 24-hour emergency hotline on 0300 1234 999 where our staff will either give advice or send an officer to help.