SIX kittens are being cared for by RSPCA staff after being rescued from the loft space at the Slutcher's Lane centre.

Four of the three-week-old animals were discovered above the dog kennels, with another two trapped down the side of a breeze block wall.

The alarm was raised by staff from the Warrington, Halton and St Helens branch when finishing their shift at around 4.30pm yesterday, Tuesday after they heard 'meowing' from the dog block.

"They came to fetch me and said they could hear meowing coming from the kennel block and I think they thought they were losing the plot," said Helena Brailsford, branch manager.

After rescuing the four kittens from the loft space, staff could hear further noise coming from ground-level.

Slates were taken off the roof to see into the void of the wall where two more kittens were trapped in a six-inch space.

"Holes were cut into the wall, with one on either side of them. We were there for three and a half hours trying to get them out," added Helena.

"One member of staff quickly went to Pets at Home to get some kitten formula and bottles as we don't have them at the centre."

Staff are now looking for the mother of the kittens, who is believed to have given birth to them in the loft space.

Helena, who has more than 20 years experience in the industry, said at this stage they are unsure as to whether she is a stray or feral cat but finding her is crucial.

The 47-year-old said: "We think she has found her way into the loft and given birth there as it was a safe environment.

"The kittens will have been fine while they were small but once they have got bigger they have started to move around, and two have fell.

"We have no idea where mum came from but we are trying to reunite the kittens with her, as they are only three-weeks-old and need her at this time."

The six kittens are currently being cared by RSPCA staff who are feeding them every three hours.

Unless their mum is found, they will be hand-raised until they are old enough to have their vaccinations and be rehomed.

Helena said: "I am so proud of the team. Even though they work for the RSPCA they aren't inspectors by any means so they aren't trained to deal with rescues. They have gone above and beyond their role with one member of our staff, who works full-time, now taking the kittens home."

Once the kittens are available for rehoming they will be online at