Police were alerted by a neighbour who told them that she had seen the women repeatedly throwing a kitten against the window of her top floor apartment in the Montparnasse area.
“When officers entered the flat they saw a dramatic scene,” one police officer told Le Parisien newspaper, which published a video of the cats swarming around inside the squalid flat.
“There were cats everywhere, they were under-fed, it stank! The only furniture was a really filthy mattress, a fridge, two litter trays for 130 cats, poo everywhere and no food,” he said.
The woman was barefoot and in rags when police arrived to free the cats last weekend, a neighbour told the newspaper.
An animal charity, the Fondation 30 Millions d’Amis, was called in to take the cats to safety but they were so numerous that it took them four days to catch them all and get them into cages to be transported to its shelters.
“As there was a hole in the ceiling of the studio, they had also got into the attic,” said Arnault Lhomme, who works for the charity, which is now looking for homes to take in the pets.
The kitten that was thrown against the window was taken to a vet’s surgery for treatment for its serious injuries.
It was placed on morphine for three days while the vet kept it under observation to see if its condition would improve, Le Parisien said.
But in vain. Its injuries were finally deemed to be so bad that the animal had to be put down.
When the woman was released from police custody she was sent for evaluation at a psychiatric hospital in Paris.