Six cats have been found living in ‘squalor and deprivation’ at an Aylesbury house after their owner abandoned them.
Two of the cats have had to be put down because of their poor health, another two are yet to be captured and the others are in a re-homing scheme.
Nicole Parish, a Cats Protection volunteer who was called to the Crown Leys scene, said it was one of the worst cases she has ever seen.
She said: “If you had been there you would have cried. It was horrible.
“The house was riddled with fleas to the extent that they were jumping on your legs as you walked through.
“They have been left to die without any food or anything.
“They have been having to scavenge for themselves for weeks. It’s downright cruelty.”
Cats Protection were contacted by a neighbour who saw one of the cats with bloodshot eyes and struggling to stand.
They were told the occupant left several weeks ago and had at one point had 17 cats.
The volunteers were able to get in through a door which had been left unlocked in order to tend to the cats.
Mrs Parish said: “One was in such bad health that as I picked him up his body went limp like a rag doll, he was that weak. He must have been in so much pain. I knew then he wasn’t going to survive.”
There was one female cat in the group, the mother, and five males all about one year old.
Two of the cats, Ella and Tommy, are now in Cats Protection’s re-homing scheme.
A case has not yet been brought against their former owner, although Cats Protection is in discussion with RSPCA inspectors.
Mrs Parish said there has been an increase in the number of people not being able to take care of their cats.
She said: “This is just another example of people hoarding cats, not vaccinating them against Feline Leukemia, not neutering or giving the correct flea and worm treatment and basically not knowing how to care for them and then when life changes for them they abandon them.”