NINE kittens only six weeks old have been abandoned by their owner at the front gate of Ferne Animal Sanctuary.

Head of animal care Tara Nirula said the kittens were huddled in the corner of a pet carrier, hissing and cowering.

She said: “We’ve treated them for fleas and worms but at the moment they aren’t eating.

They really are too young to have been taken away from their mother but we are settling them down and looking after them.

“As soon as they are eight weeks old we will start looking for new homes for them.

Ideally, they need to be rehomed in pairs, or where there is an existing cat. And preferably – as they are very nervous – to a household where there are children who are at least five years old.

“Incidents like this are very sad but fortunately this is the first time this year kittens have been abandoned in this way.”

The sanctuary recently launched its £1m project “New Digs for Dogs” to build an enhanced kennel block, improved grooming and veterinary care room, information hub, social unit, offices, reception and purpose built rehoming centre at its site in Somerset.

Fundraising packs for the appeal and details of how to give are available from Ferne Animal Sanctuary on 01460- 65214 or by visiting