Five kittens and mother tied up in an old sheet and dumped
- Credit: Archant
Five kittens and their mum were tied up and slung over a Norwich front garden.
The cat family was found tied up in a blue sheet and dumped in a Mousehold Heath front garden on Tuesday evening.
The felines were full of fleas when found on Wednesday morning and taken into care by the owner of Norwich Community Cat Care, Anna Shannon.
Ms Shannon, a gardener in her late 30s, said: "This is the first dumping case that we've actually had. I was in disbelief when I saw them."
The kittens are thought to only be two or three weeks old and the mother cat is thought to be aged just one.
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Ms Shannon, who has lived in Norwich for 14 years, said: "They are all very friendly despite what they've been through. The mum is beautiful and looks like a fox."
She also praised the mother cat's parenting skills.
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Ms Shannon said: "She's a really good mum - especially as she's got five babies. She keeps tending to them and is extremely good tempered. It's sad as they are all so lovely but cases like these are actually really common."
According to figures from the RSPCA, nearly 20,000 abandoned cats were recorded in the UK last year.
Ms Shannon said: "There is such an overpopulation of cats. It's a crisis and there's a lot of suffering out there. As I work in rescue, things don't shock you anymore. I've seen cats in all sort of states. I've seen them emaciated and I've seen lots of abscesses."
At Norwich Community Cat Care, which is run from a north Norwich home, Ms Shannon is addressing the problem in Norwich and has rehomed around 50 domesticated cats.
Ms Shannon said: "I started the rescue four years ago by accident. Word just spread across social media and people kept coming to me with abandoned cats so I decided to set up a team."
The rescue is now staffed by 12 volunteers and they also go to feral colonies to track and neuter cats.
Ms Shannon said: "There's not enough information on neutering and rescue centres are often inundated by cats.
"It's up to individuals on the street, too, to take action themselves if they see a stray cat and ease the burden on rescue centres."
Click here for more information on cat rescue in Norfolk.