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Lucky escape for bin kitten mistaken for a rat

A tiny kitten has had a narrow escape after being mistaken for a rat and hit over the head by a shocked local resident when she was hiding behind a dustbin.

The two-week-old tabby was emerging from behind a dustbin in the Bow area of London and startled a member of a public, who thought she was a large rat. They reacted instinctively, hitting the tiny feline on the head with a broom. Quickly realising their mistake - that she was in fact a kitten - the finder rushed her to a vet, where she was found to be suffering from hypothermia.

After her initial treatment the homeless kitten was transferred to the Blue Cross animal hospital in Victoria, where staff nicknamed her Ratty. Because she had suffered a blow to the head, Ratty was kept under careful observation and nurses had to feed her every three hours round-the-clock, as she was too young to be away from her mum. 

Amanda Marrington, Welfare Officer for Blue Cross, said: “It’s amazing that little Ratty has survived considering what she has been through. She was far too small to find food or keep warm without her mum and being hit on the head could have caused her serious damage. She’s obviously a bit of a tough cookie and really deserves a fresh start in a lovely, safe home.”

Luckily, Ratty didn’t seem to have suffered any permanent damage after her ordeal. She is now being cared for by a Blue Cross foster volunteer until she is old enough to go to find a permanent new home at around eight weeks. 

Blue Cross has been overwhelmed with growing numbers of abandoned kittens and pregnant cats this year and is appealing to owners to get their pets neutered to prevent more unwanted litters. To find out more about the work of Blue Cross and all the cats and kittens in need of new homes, visit 


Notes to Editors 

  • Photos and video of Ratty are available, please contact the media team.
  • The Blue Cross animal hospital in Victoria is thought to be the oldest hospital of its kind in the world.  Established in 1906, it was rebuilt in 1999 and officially opened by Her Majesty the Queen in November 2001.
  • Blue Cross veterinary hospitals and clinics across the UK provide treatment and care for the pets of owners who cannot afford private vets’ fees and undertakes thousands of consultations every year. 
  • Sick, injured and homeless pets have relied on Blue Cross since 1897. Abandoned or unwanted, ill or injured, pets turn to us for help every year. Our doors are always open to them, and with your support, they always will be.
  • Each year, thousands of cats, dogs, small pets and horses turn to our animal hospitals, clinics and rehoming services for treatment and to find them the happy homes they deserve.
  • For more information, please visit  

Media contact

Sophia Khan 020 7932 4070/[email protected]