Some of the dumped kittens were just weeks old
Staff at an animal rescue centre have been inundated with offers to rehome almost 30 kittens found dumped and starving in woods near Canterbury.
The animals, many of which were suffering appalling illness and injury, have improved significantly since being given urgent veterinary treatment.
But at least two kittens are expected to need surgery to remove infected eyes, which are beyond saving.
Remarkably, one of the older cats has given birth to two more kittens since being taken into care by the RSPCA at its Hersden centre.
The charity branded the dumping of the cats in woodland at Chartham as "shocking and unbelievable".
The cats were only saved after being spotted by a boy riding his bike who found several boxes containing kittens.
But the centre's deputy manager, Tara Luxford, said the animals are making encouraging improvement with good food and medication.
She said: "Considering how poorly they were, they are making good progress, putting weight on and we hope that in a month or so, they will be well enough to rehome.
"Our new born kittens are struggling a bit because their mum was so malnourished, but we are giving them extra milk and they are gaining weight too.
"There is certainly no shortage of offers because the response from the public has been huge, which has been really heart-warming.
"We've been inundated with offers from people wanting them but, as always, we always do home visits to assess the suitability of new owners."
Some of the dozens of kittens found dumped in woodland
RSPCA deputy manager Tara Luxford with one of the kittens dumped in woods
It comes as the Canterbury and District branch of Cats Protection is appealing for foster homes so it can help more neglected cats.
The charity has been swamped with requests by owners to rehome their cats - often due to health problems, bereavement, marital breakdown or the loss of a job.
But many pets are also in desperate need, having been starved, neglected, abandoned or are injured.
As the Canterbury and District branch does not have its own shelter, it finds needy cats a temporary foster home.
This poor kitten had serious eye damage
Branch welfare officer Angela Powell said: "If you love cats but can't commit to the responsibility and expense of owning one, this is an ideal way to have one in your life.
"All you need is a love of cats, a desire to help them and the time and patience to help them to trust humans again.
"Fostering costs nothing, because we provide food, litter and pay the vet's bills. All that is needed is a safe, quiet room and lots of affection."
One of those to have seen lots of cats blossom in her care and go on to loving new homes over 10 years of fosterering for the branch is Paula Evans, of Regent Street, Whitstable.
She said: "It's lovely because you have company and a focus but none of the negatives, such as large vet bills or the responsibility of caring for one cat for a long time. And I can take holiday breaks when I want."
Pat King, a volunteer with the branch, said: "The sad fact is that we are unable to help as many cats as we would like because we simply don’t have enough fosterers.
"We need at least four to six new fosterers and as autumn turns to winter there will be many stray or abandoned cats who need to come in out of the cold. It's heartbreaking not to be able to help more cats."
For more information, phone 01227 266838 or the charity’s rehoming officer on 01227 360432.
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