With their big eyes and soft purrs, the cats rescued Wednesday from a home in Apison seem to be oozing adoptibility.
But Humane Educational Society of Hamilton County officials say any takers will need to wait until the animals have been deemed healthy and ready for a new home.
The organization took 44 cats and eight dogs from the former home of a couple who were hoarding the animals, officials said.
"They're all eating, drinking, more relaxed," said Humane Society office manager Ginger Taylor.
On Thursday, many of the cats and kittens were lounging contentedly in cages, but others were trembling, with mucus crusting on their faces. After initial examinations, workers are concerned that several of the cats have respiratory infections and conjunctivitis.
The cats still need to be tested for diseases such as feline leukemia and feline AIDS and inoculated before it can be determined if they're fit for adoption, Taylor said.
"It's been a very busy day," said Taylor. "We've had a lot of people coming to adopt, a lot of donations - and a lot of people surrendering pets," she said, indicating a litter of seven puppies and their mother that had been dropped off a few minutes earlier.
On Thursday, 28 animals were brought to the center. Last Thursday, it took in seven, Taylor said.