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Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in Brands Hatch, near Dartford, is full after long kitten season

Tiny kittens mew as they clamber on furniture in their temporary homes. Long-haired ginger cat Tommy presses his nose against the glass as people walk past and black and white Tig sleeps in the sunshine next to his window.

These are just a small selection of the residents in the cattery at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home in Brands Hatch, which is full to capacity and desperate for people to rehome its animals.

A total of 29 animals – 10 adults and 19 kittens – are either at the centre in Ash or in foster homes waiting to be adopted.

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Some of the new kittens have been named after athletes
Some of the new kittens have been named after athletes

The average length of stay for a cat is 28 days but one has been there for more than 40 days and another for more than 100.

The summer holidays have always been quiet for rehoming, centre manager Anna Hemmings said, as people are away, but this year there has been also been an influx of kittens.

VIDEO: Anna Hemmings and three adorable kittens would like you to consider adopting a cat

Ms Hemmings said: “The kitten season seems to be lasting longer this year.”

There were four litters of kittens at the centre when our sister papers, the Gravesend and Dartford Messengers, visited, three that came in within a week and one that was found in the grounds of a school in Darenth.

Three kittens sit on a table in their enclosure waiting for their new owner to choose them
Three kittens sit on a table in their enclosure waiting for their new owner to choose them

Some of the new arrivals were named after sporting personalities in recognition of the IAAF World Championships taking place throughout the first half of August.

Eight-year-old Tommy is very affectionate and loves attention
Eight-year-old Tommy is very affectionate and loves attention

The furry namesakes of track and field competitor Jessica Ennis-Hill, decathlete and Olympic gold medallist Rafer Johnson and their team mates were between eight and nine weeks old when these photos were taken.

One of many kittens waiting for a forever home
One of many kittens waiting for a forever home

Of the cats brought to Brands Hatch, about 32% are strays while the rest are pets their owners can no longer care for.

These adorable kittens, and many other cats, are looking for new owners
These adorable kittens, and many other cats, are looking for new owners

Staff assess their behaviour and any physical or medical needs so they can place them in the most suitable home.

VIDEO: Wait for it... one kitten gets a surprise when his brother plays a bit too violently

Ms Hemmings said: “We give new owners plenty of advice about settling a cat into a new home and talk about the long-term responsibility and daily care.

"It’s really important for us to find the right home for each cat and the right cat for each individual that comes to us.

Tig had been at the centre for more than 40 days when this photo was taken but has since been re-homed
Tig had been at the centre for more than 40 days when this photo was taken but has since been re-homed

“Not all our cats are on the website at any one time. We’d like to appeal to anybody who is interested in adopting a cat to pop into the centre and find out a bit more about re-homing so we can try to find the right match for them.”


Battersea Brands Hatch opened in 1999 and can care for about 45 dogs and 30 cats at any one time.

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home was established in London in 1860 and started taking in cats in 1883.

Suki is the Brand Hatch's longest staying resident and has been looking for a permanent home for more than 100 days. Picture: Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
Suki is the Brand Hatch's longest staying resident and has been looking for a permanent home for more than 100 days. Picture: Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

Since that time the charitable trust has rehomed more than 3.1 million animals.

The Brands Hatch centre took in 255 cats in 2016 and re-homed 244.

Mischief and Mayhem practise their climbing skills
Mischief and Mayhem practise their climbing skills

There is no time limit on how long an animal can stay with the charity and staff aim never to turn away a dog or cat in need of help.

For more details see www.battersea.org.uk/cats or call 0843 509 4444.

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