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RSPCA West Norfolk’s Eau Brink rehoming centre ‘overrun’ with ‘unprecedented’ number of kittens





An animal rehoming centre has said it is currently “overrun” with kittens as an unprecedented number has come into its care.

The RSPCA West Norfolk branch is looking after 23 kittens – in addition to adults – as it said over the last few weeks, the branch’s Eau Brink Centre has taken in pregnant mums who have since given birth and newborns that have been found born in people’s gardens.

The ages range from just a few days old up to seven weeks which has meant that many kittens have needed to be hand-fed by staff and volunteers.

The RSPCA West Norfolk branch is currently caring for 23 kittens plus adults
The RSPCA West Norfolk branch is currently caring for 23 kittens plus adults

In all, the branch has 33 cats in their care, and staff are desperate to find new homes for the little ones once they are ready to leave.

Officials say the “kitten crisis” coincides with the branch already facing an “uphill battle” as the cost of living crisis continues to bite and more people are giving up pets than adopting – a trend seen by the RSPCA across England and Wales.

Between 2021 and 2022, nationally the RSPCA has seen a 4% increase in the number of cats taken into care.

The RSPCA West Norfolk branch is currently caring for 23 kittens plus adults
The RSPCA West Norfolk branch is currently caring for 23 kittens plus adults
Rocket and Quill would like rehoming together
Rocket and Quill would like rehoming together

This follows a collapse in national rehoming rates which have fallen by 30% from three years ago – when 39,178 animals were rehomed. In 2022, only 27,535 animals were rehomed by the RSPCA.

As the crisis continues, RSPCA rescue centres are “full to bursting” with unwanted pets.

To try and revive adoption rates, the RSPCA’s month-long Adoptober rehoming campaign launched this month celebrating rescue pets, and highlighting the many animals the charity has waiting to find their perfect match.

Emily Cole, West Norfolk centre manager, said: “We, like many rescue centres, are already full to bursting with animals needing new homes – and now we have been swamped with all these extra kittens!

The RSPCA West Norfolk branch is currently caring for 23 kittens plus adults
The RSPCA West Norfolk branch is currently caring for 23 kittens plus adults

“Everywhere you turn there is a kitten somewhere – we’ve never known anything like it. Once there used to be a period around May to September that you would call kitten season but now it seems like it is all year round.

“We suspect the reason for this is down to people who haven’t had their cats neutered and now we are seeing all these cats that are still only young themselves giving birth.

“The RSPCA, along with other cat and vet organisations, encourages people to get their cats neutered from four-months-old, before they can become pregnant, as a responsible part of pet ownership.

“It’s been the craziest year – we literally have had people calling us for help after they have suddenly found a litter of newborn kittens in their gardens.

“We know that times are tough but if someone has decided that they can take on a new pet, we would urge them to go to a rescue first. This way it is like you are helping two animals – the one you give a loving new home and the next animal who is able to take their space at our centre.”

Among the kittens and mums looking for new homes are:

Autumn and her kittens (Pumpkin, Spice, Berry and Acorn)

“Autumn and her four kittens will begin looking for their forever home once the kittens are 8/9 weeks old,” says the rehoming centre.

Autumn and kittens (Pumpkin, Spice, Berry and Acorn)
Autumn and kittens (Pumpkin, Spice, Berry and Acorn)

“Autumn is being a great mum to her kittens and will be able to go to her new home once her kittens are weaned. Autumn is a lovely girl who loves people and a fuss.

“She is a very sweet, affectionate girl. All four of Autumn’s kittens are full of energy, love to play, and run around and are very social. She has three little girls (Pumpkin, Spice and Berry) and one boy (Acorn).

“Ideally, they would be rehomed in pairs, but this isn’t essential, and if rehomed individually, another feline for them to interact with in their new home.”

Rocket and Quill

Rocket and Quill arrived at the centre after being born outside.

Rocket and Quill would like rehoming together
Rocket and Quill would like rehoming together

“After coming back to the centre from being in their foster home, they have come on leaps and bounds.

“They are very sweet kittens who are still a little shy, but with gentle encouragement, they enjoy a fuss and will purr away.

“Ideally their new owners should be around for most of the day to be able to spend lots of time with them to help build their confidence and to give them lots of fuss. They are looking for homes in a pair or separately.”

Anyone interested in adopting a kitten or cat from the branch is asked to read the rehoming guides and application forms page.

You can apply by completing the relevant online adoption form, fill in the required boxes on screen and then click send at the bottom to send to the centre.

Alternatively, call the office on 01553 618889 during opening hours (Monday – Saturday, 11am-3pm, closed Wednesdays) and complete a form over the phone.



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