Published: 09:56, 04 August 2017
A charity is calling on pet owners to neuter their cats after a worried resident notified them of a colony living in rubbish piles and breeding uncontrollably.
Cats in Crisis Thanet were informed feral cats and kittens, none of which had been spayed or neutered, were living in the stinking heap in Athelstan Road, Cliftonville earlier this week.
The animals had been scavenging for food but a neighbour had been feeding the cats.
The team set up traps in a garden and have so far trapped five adult cats and four kittens, which are around nine to 10 weeks old.
A CIC spokesman said: "The cats are either feral or semi feral and terrified of humans.
"Some of the cats and kittens are living inside the huge rubbish pile which is about six feet high in the middle.
"The are our volunteers have had to wade through was piled high with rubbish, discarded drug needles, faeces and rotting waste.
"On top of this we have huge vet bills to deal with and fuel costs, driving back and forth to vets etc.
"Sadly, one kitten had already died."
Another kitten was found to have a prolapse, but was operated on yesterday.
The adult cats have been blood tested, neutered, wormed, chipped and had fleas removed.
As they are altered feral cats, their ears have been marked.
The males have been returned to the location and the female will also be put back one they have recovered.
CIC spokesman said: "This is usual with a feral colony.
"We have somebody feeding them and keeping an eye out for any problems.
"Thank you to the lady that reported this to us for help.
"The moral of the story is neuter your cats.
"If you cat is not neutered this is the sort of problem you are contributing to. No excuse."
But the problem is still continuing as not all the cats have been caught.
Adele Mahan, of CIC, said: "There is at least one adult left to catch and two kittens.
"Had this situation been left, in a few months the kittens would have been breeding and causing an even bigger problem.
"The kittens are semi feral and will need lots of socialising before they can be rehomed.
"This has been an incredibly time consuming operation all done by volunteers.
"The vet bill will run into hundreds."
The charity is stressing that animals rescues are seeing a huge rise in abandoned and neglected cats and cases like this are becoming increasingly common.
Adele said: "Apart from avoiding unwanted kittens, neutering your pet cat more than doubles its average life expectancy.
"Diseases such as FIV (feline aids) and FeLV (feline leukaemia) can be transmitted during breeding.
"Other diseases that can be prevented by neutering can result in a deceased cat or a vet bill running into hundreds.
"So, neutering is not just about preventing more unwanted cats.
"Low-cost neutering is available via Cats in Crisis, RSPCA and Cats Protection."
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.