UPDATE: After finding the kitten's mum against the odds, the story has now taken a turn for the worse.

Staff at Animals in Distress posted an update on Facebook: "Unfortunately since we posted the good news about finding the kittens' mum in one of our traps, both mum and kittens all became very poorly over the weekend.

"They have sickness and severe diarrhoea, and all have lost a lot of weight. Mum has been on a drip as she became so dehydrated. All of them have perked up a little bit and the kittens are being nursed day and night, and fed a tiny amount every couple of hours, with our staff once again taking them home to look after them through the night.

"As we don't know what exactly is wrong with them yet, as we had no information from the previous owner, they are being treated for giardia, until their stool sample results come back from the vet.

"Their illness could be caused by a latent parasite, and brought on by the shock and cold at being left outside in a box in the freezing cold night. As mum was out in the wild for five days before we were able to catch her, it could possibly be from drinking contaminated water.

"We won't know until results come back and until then we will continue to look after mum and kittens around the clock.

"Once again - instead of leaving animals on our drive in the night, we urge everyone to PLEASE PLEASE just walk a few extra steps up to our gate and ring the bell, and someone will come out and take them from you, into the warm where they will be safe.

"Or just ring us on 01803 812121 and we will arrange to take the animals and care for them. We are not here to judge anyone and will always help unwanted animals when we can.

"We would like to thank all of our amazing supporters for your good wishes and love for the kittens, and we will of course keep you updated on the mum and kittens' progress."


An animal rescue centre is appealing for people to make direct contact with them about unwanted animals after a cardboard box full of unwanted kittens was found dumped on its driveway.

The mother of the nine-week-old kittens had originally been left in the box as well, but had run off and staff thought they were unlikely to ever be re-united with them, but in a massive stroke of luck, the mother has been found.

Earlier this week Lisa Andrews the cattery manager at the Animals in Distress charity based at Ipplepen said: “We cannot stress enough that we offer a totally non-judgemental service to anyone that can no longer keep their animals for whatever reason, and we would have happily taken in the mum and kittens had they been brought in to us.

“We would strongly urge anyone who needs to leave an animal with us, to either bring them into our reception where our staff can help, or phone us on 01803 812121.

"If it is out of hours when you need to leave an animal, just call the emergency phone number on our gate and someone will come out to you, as there is always someone on site.”

She added: “Thankfully, all four kittens were still in the box, but unfortunately because they were left on the driveway we now have a very slim chance of ever finding the mum."

But Thursday bought happy news that the mother had been found. Staff posted on Facebook to say: “We have some REALLY good news for you today! The mother of the kittens abandoned on our drive in a cardboard box has been found and is safe and well at the rescue centre.

“The beautiful tabby girl was seen twice yesterday in the lane, so we put an extra trap out last night, and our wonderful Keith went out every few hours during the night in that horrible storm to check the traps. He found her in one of the traps at 3am.

“This lovely friendly girl is now safe and warm inside, and she seems very happy to be indoors at last after her horrible ordeal for the last 5 days and nights. We are so pleased that she is safe.”

The kittens and their mother are being cared for at the rescue centre.

Animals in Distress will not be taking rehoming applications for the kittens until after Christmas. Anyone wishing to re-home a kitten should keep their eye on the charity’s website in the New Year when the kittens will be up for adoption, and apply online.