Five newborn kittens found abandoned in cardboard box in Gateshead lane

A litter of tiny kittens have been found in an alley after being cruelly abandoned and left overnight in freezing temperatures.

The adorable kittens were just four or five days old when they were discovered in Shipcote Terrace, Gateshead, by a member of the public at 7am on September 29, and were still so juvenile they had yet to opened their eyes from birth.

The five kittens – four females and one male – were taken to the RSPCA and have so far defied the odds and survived. It was feared that they would die from starvation and estrangement from their mother but, under the care of cattery supervisor and RSCPA inspector Rachel Hurst, they are getting better and better.

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“They were clean and dry and healthy, but very hungry when I picked them up. It was sad to see that they had been abandoned and they were very lucky to survive,” she said.

“I imagine they will still need two to three weeks of hand rearing. Once they are weaned and on kitten food, they are likely to go to the Felledge Animal Center .

Kittens miraculously recover after being abandoned in Gateshead

Rachael shares their care with her partner, Jamie, in their northeast home. Jamie fits into the day shift around her job, while Rachael gets up every four hours of the night to make sure the kittens are bottle fed around the clock.

“They are very young and a real handful. My partner works from home which helped me during the day and I take care of their care at night,” she said. “I make sure they get a feed quite late, then feed at 1am and get some sleep before getting up at 5am to do it all over again.

“We’re both happy to help, even if they keep us busy. They are lovely and I imagine there will be plenty of colleagues ready to take their turn when I go to Felledge for our monthly inspectors’ meeting.

The fate of the kittens’ mother and who left them to fend for themselves remains a mystery, although the RSPCA has asked anyone with details of a litter that was kept in the area the last week of September to get in touch.

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