Felixstowe: The patter of tiny paws

Spring is in the air – and cute baby creatures aplenty are being born.

Out in the fields and on the farms it’s lambs, foals, kids and calves that are making an appearance, but at Felixstowe Blue Cross it’s a sudden influx of cuddly kittens.

So far nine have been born in just a few days and with three more cats still pregnant, staff are expecting to have more than they can cope with in a few days’ time.

“Last year we had 100 kittens during the season,” said centre manager Andy Gillon.

“That was not out of the ordinary and over the next few weeks we could well be dealing with similar numbers.

“Cats are coming in all the time and this time of the year many of the stray or abandoned cats found will be pregnant.”

Lily, who is waiting to be re-homed, gave birth to four kittens on Mother’s Day and then just a few days afterwards another cat Minnie became a mum as she had five babies.

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Now staff are eagerly waiting to see how many Jess, Bunny, and Pink – who is being looked after at a staff member’s house because the centre in Walton High Street has no more room at present in its kennels – have when they give birth.

“It is a lovely time of the year – but very hard work!” said Mr Gillon.

“The kittens will stay with us for seven to eight weeks before we can re-home them with new families as pets.

“During that time we will gradually wean them from their mothers.

“They can start taking solid food at about two-and-a-half weeks and then will have less and less milk from mum. By about seven weeks they should be ready for vaccinations and people to come and see and perhaps take on as pets.”

Mr Gillon said the pregnant cats came from all sorts of places and situations.

“Quite often at this time of year, builders will find a cat somewhere on a site or someone will go to their garden shed for the first time since last autumn and find one snuggled up inside,” he said.

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