Cat who recently gave birth takes on an extra litter in Essex amid national kitten crisis

PUBLISHED: 12:30 19 June 2017

Arwen's kittens. Picture: RSPCA

Arwen's kittens. Picture: RSPCA


A cat who recently gave birth to five kittens has become a surrogate mother to two more at an animal home in Essex.

Arwen and her kittens. Picture: RSPCA Arwen and her kittens. Picture: RSPCA

Arwen welcomed her litter at the RSPCA Danaher Animal Home in May, but, undaunted by motherhood, began nursing another two kittens just days later after their mother grew ill.

Deborah Satchell, animal home manager, said: “The two two-day-old kittens had to be taken away from their mum as she was too poorly to look after them.

“Luckily, we managed to place them with Arwen who accepted them and started nursing her extended litter.”

The kittens, just a few weeks’ old, have all been named after gods and goddesses from Greek and Egyptian mythology, with names including Clio, Aphrodite, Venus, and Hades.

The others have been called Selene, Ra and Horus, also in homage to the mythical gods.

“Arwen has proven to be very maternal and all seven kittens are doing well now.

“We have helped by topping them up with milk but mum Arwen has done extremely well.” Ms Satchell added.

Arwen’s help has been crucial during the national kitten crisis – a problem which gets worse throughout the summer months.

And it is hoped that once the kittens are old enough, the centre will be able to find new homes for them.

Alice Potter, cat welfare expert, said: “Summertime typically marks the start of kitten season for us and already centres are struggling to cope with the influx of cats and kittens coming through its doors - each one in need of help and a new home.

“This is the time when most litters are born and sadly this results in a lot of kittens being brought into the RSPCA, largely because they were unplanned and their owners cannot cope.”

The centre, in Wethersfield, is also currently home to dogs, budgies, rabbits and rats, as well as guinea pigs, mice and ferrets looking for new owners.

To rehome a centre’s animal, visit

The charity also rescues and rehabilitates, and to donate to their cause go to or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3.


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