A KITTEN is lucky to be alive after it was stuffed in a suitcase and thrown into a river.

The 16-week-old male kitten was heard meowing by a passerby near the junction of Milner Road with Rivers Edge Road, in Whitworth.

They pulled the battered black case from the water and discovered the tiny animal inside.

The blue grey tabby was soaking wet, shivering and distressed but otherwise unharmed and was taken by the passerby to her home where he was kept until the RSPCA arrived to rescue him.

The inside of the case was filthy and full of excrement.

RSPCA inspector Beth Clements said: “How anyone could want to zip up such a gorgeous little thing in a case and throw him into the water like this is beyond me.

“It must have been a terrifying ordeal and he only survived by the skin of his teeth.

“But the kitten was lucky on two counts. Firstly that the suitcase floated along the river.

“If it had sunk he would have died straight away. Secondly that someone happened to pass that heard him miaow and so able to save him and ring us for rescue.

“As it was, the little thing has made a full recovery and should be ready for a happy new home very soon.”

It is thought the case was thrown into the river at 6.30am on Friday, August 2. The woman seen throwing the kitten is described as being mid 30s with light hair and of heavy build.

The kitten has been seen by a vet who said he was fit and healthy and is being cared for in private boarding.

As long as no-one comes forward to claim him, he will be ready for rehoming after a week.

Anyone with any information should call the RSPCA helpline on 0300 123 8018 and quote the reference 1230 on August 2.