Family nursing sick kitten asked to leave play centre


A family was asked to leave children’s soft play area after they were found to be nursing a sick kitten.

Little Koby is being cared for by foster mum Hayley Weston after the rescue kitten started showing signs of fading kitten syndrome - a condition which claimed the life of two of Koby’s brothers.

Koby requires feeding every two hours, otherwise the kitten is likely to die.

Not wanting her two young children to miss out on summer holiday activities, Hayley took Koby along on a family outing to Clambers in Hastings on July 30.

But she said she was upset when staff asked her and Koby to leave - nearly two-and-a-half hours after they arrived.

Hayley, who volunteers for the Honeycat Rescue and Sanctuary in Eastbourne, said: “The lady who had taken our entry money came over and explained it was against the rules to have any animal other than a guide dog on the premises. I explained why he was there but she said that for insurance purposes, if he scratched or bit someone they wouldn’t be covered.

“Which is understandable- if I’d brought in a dog, or a large cat or even an older kitten.

“They’re not really something people decide to take on a day trip to soft play.

“However the kitten in question is four weeks old. He can barely walk let alone run around attacking customers!”

Hayley said the Koby was taken to the toilets for ‘toiletting’ , syringe fed milk on Hayley’s lap and slept in a handmade pouch. She said she used hand gel after touching him and the kitten never touched any play equipment.

She said it was difficult to explain to her seven-year-old autistic son why they had been asked to leave Clambers.

Hayley claims her partner was told a customer had told staff she was leaving because she had an allergy to cats.

She said: “Had there been a sign up anywhere stating no pets were allowed except guide dogs then we would’ve double checked before going in. Had the answer been no he wasn’t allowed in then we could’ve left having saved ourselves of the embarrassment of being kicked out.”

A spokesperson from Clambers said: “Like most restaurants and cafes we have a no pet/animal policy for the obvious reasons. Only guide dogs are permitted.

“Just because an animal is small or young does not make it exempt from this policy, otherwise where do we draw the line.

“If Hayley had told us she was bringing in the kitten we would have explained this when entering Clambers.

“The first we knew about it was when one of our staff saw the kitten in our cafe area.

“I would also like to add that Hayley was not kicked out, she was given a full refund as well as her friend who was with her.”