The RSPCA is investigating after TWELVE cats were found dumped in a field inside a chest of drawers that had been fashioned into a make-shift cage.

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A woman found the wooden crate – full of meowing cats and kittens – on Thursday (6 July) dumped in a hedge on the edge of a field behind her house in Camp Hill Road, Nuneaton, and brought the cats home before calling the RSPCA.

Animal collection officer (ACO) Cara Gibbon went along to collect the cats. She said: “The make-shift crate the cats had been confined in turned out to be a wooden chest of drawers unit with chicken wire over the top.

“The very confused and nervous cats were trapped inside.

“There were 12 cats inside, a mix of older cats and young, 12-week-old kittens. But all seemed friendly and used to being handled so we suspect they have come from a home environment.

“When I arrived the lady who had found them had transferred them into a dog crate to give them more room but to keep them confined and safe.

“The strange structure they were found in is very distinctive so I’m hopeful someone may recognise it or the cats themselves.”

Anyone with any information about where the cats may have come from should call the RSPCA’s inspector appeal line on 0300 123 8018 and leave a message for ACO Gibbon.

“To abandon these lovely cats – some who are still very young and vulnerable – out in the middle of nowhere in this blazing heat is unthinkable,” she explained.

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“If they hadn’t have been found when they were, they could have easily perished in the heat as they had no water and were in the direct sunlight. It was so hot yesterday, with some parts of the country nearing 30C, so they must have been sweltering in this wooden box.

“My fear is that they’ve been dumped by an owner who failed to have their pets neutered and ended up with an unplanned litter of kittens. When they failed to sell they may well have abandoned them through lack of knowing what else to do.

“This highlights the needs for more education to ensure potential cat owners understand the commitment, responsibility and costs involved in taking on a pet, as well as the importance of neutering cats.

“There is no excuse for this sort of behaviour as there is always someone, somewhere who will help people if needed. There are lots of organisations, such as the RSPCA, Cats Protection and local vets, who offer assistance with the costs of neutering.

“We are completely overrun with cats and kittens in our centres at the moment and more are coming in every day.”

The kittens have been taken in by RSPCA Coventry & Nuneaton branch, and the cats were taken in by a local boarding cattery until there is space for them in a nearby centre. If none of the felines are claimed then they will all be rehomed.

The RSPCA urges all cat owners to have their pets neutered as the cat population in the UK has reached crisis point. At this time of year more and more cats are coming into our care and less homes are taking in cats so many of the charity’s centres and branches are full and we’re left facing expensive private boarding fees.

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).