Warrington animal shelter's 'desperate' appeal for help after 70 cats and kittens rescued from house

Ryan Alexander is the Cattery manager at Warrington Animal Welfare

An animal shelter has issued a 'desperate' appeal for help after rescuing 70 Bengal cats and kittens from a house.

Warrington Animal Welfare says the felines were found in "horrific breeding conditions, where cats have been forced to give birth to pedigree kittens for financial gain".

Volunteers removed all 70 from the property on Wednesday, 28 February, but found some to be very unwell, with many underweight and suffering from infected eyes.

"Sadly, these cats were suffering in the dreadful conditions they were being kept in", a spokesperson from the shelter said. "We are extremely thankful that help was sought."

The sick cats are now in the care of Warrington Animal Welfare. Credit: Warrington Animal Welfare

The charity is now tasked with caring for the animals and have appealed for help towards neutering, vaccinating and supporting the cats "to get them back to full health."

Ryan Alexander, Cattery manager at Warrington Animal Welfare, says it has been a difficult time nursing so many cats back to full health.

He said: "We think they've come from a breeder, there's 28 adults and the rest are all kittens.

"They're all in quite a bad state, they've got cat flu and some of them have had very sore eyes, lots of them have flea allergies as well.

"Bengal cats... are particularly sailable, you can charge a lot of money for them, £500 up to £1000 pounds maybe even more.

"People quite often just let the cats do their thing and just make money off them essentially.

"What often will happen is if you go see a pedigree cat breeder, with our dealings with them anyway, there will be a couple of them that will be quite healthy... but at the back it's almost like a farm.

"One of the main things you'll vaccine against with a ordinary cat is cat flu.. each cat will need eye drops, it'll need antibiotics and obviously that adds up if you multiple it by 70.

The charity is appealing for dry kitten food, gastrointestinal cat food (both wet and dry) and Fortiflora Probiotic sachets.

Warrington Animal Welfare are appealing for donations and supplies to help nurse 70 cats to full health. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Alex says there is a process before getting them adopted, he said: "At the moment we're just trying to find fosterers which we seem to have quite a lot of.

"We'll get the cats out into foster homes, we'll get them taken care of, make sure they're all fit and healthy.

"We'll get them neutered which will obviously cost a lot of money as well and then we'll start looking at homes for them then."

The volunteers have stressed to members of the public that the cats are not ready to be adopted at this time.

With kittens still being born from the litter, Alex and his colleagues are having a difficult time managing.

He said: "It's emotional. It's hard. We're mostly run with volunteers so obviously people come from their day jobs giving their own time, and it's obviously quite upsetting for them to see them in that situation as well.

"It's an unfortunate side of the business... you do tend to get a bit used to it but you get shocked every now and again.

"I've never know 70 cats, I think the previous record I've known was 40."

A fundraising page has been set up to help the animal shelter cover the veterinary bills.

It has also set up a wish list on Amazon detailing the food, supplies and medicines needed.

Want more on the issues affecting the North? Our podcast, From the North answers the questions that matter to our region.