Four kittens lying on a blanket with union jack flags in background

'Royal' kittens gear up for Queen's Jubilee

A stray cat and her litter have been given the royal treatment at Blue Cross.

Lilibet came into our care heavily pregnant and was given the regal name in celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this week.

The royal theme continued when she had her kittens – two boys and two girls – who our Hertfordshire rehoming team named Anne, Margaret, Philip and Charles respectively.

Lilibet nursing one of her young
Lilibet nursing one of her newborns

The family have been looked after in our rebuilt Hertfordshire site’s palatial mother and kitten facilities, where Lilibet has been able to nurse her young in peace and quiet.

Lilibet, thought to be around two years old, was not microchipped or wearing a collar, and has shown behaviour that indicates she has been fighting to survive on the streets for some time.

Katrina Goodair, Animal Welfare Assistant, says: “She’s very friendly but is somewhat food possessive which is quite common when we get long-term strays in – they really gobble their food because they’re used to not knowing where their next meal is going to come from.

The kittens at just a few days old cuddled uptogether
The kittens cuddled up together when they were a few days old

“One thing for Lilibet that she’s really driven to do is cover her food bowls over and she was dragging her bedding out from her beds to cover her bowls, but we found if we put a blanket on the floor with the bowl on top then she can kick up that blanket and that’s working quite well for her.”

At four weeks old, the kittens are starting to play and explore their surroundings more and more.

“The kittens are doing well they’re changing every day at the moment, it really is you’re going in and they’re doing new things that they hadn’t done yesterday,” says Katrina.

Two of the kittens on a blanket with union jack flags in background
The kittens have all been given royal names to celebrate the Queen's Jubilee

“Their walking is becoming more coordinated every day. Charles has started trying to run but he’s a little uncoordinated. They’ve started to play with each other and Phillip in particular loves to pounce on his siblings.”

This weekend, the kittens will be moving into foster care to get some much-needed socialisation in a home environment, with all the smells and sounds that brings.

Katrina adds: “At around eight or nine weeks they’ll come back to the centre to have their vaccinations and be ready to find new homes. We’re already started to see their personalities develop and if we see any really bonded pairs, we’ll try to rehome them as their relationships are.”

— Page last updated 01/06/2022