A man who kept 61 cats in total squalor in his home has been banned from keeping animals for life.
David Froggatt, 43, was also given a three-month suspended jail sentence and fined £5,000 by magistrates - who described his behaviour as `mystifying'.
RSPCA officers were first called to Froggatt's home in Caldecott Road, Higher Blackley, in February after neighbours reported a terrible stench. They discovered one cat dead in the porch and the decomposing remains of another under the kitchen table. Most of the rooms in his three bedroom terraced property were also piled with cat excrement and the animals had been using a wardrobe as a toilet.
The RSPCA was able to rehome four of the cats, but the feral nature of the remaining 55 meant that they had to be humanely destroyed.
Froggatt said in his defence that he had taken on a second job to pay £400 a month for the animals' upkeep and now realised that he should have asked for help earlier.
"I can't explain how I allowed it to happen - and I'm both ashamed and embarrassed about it," he said. "I originally had a few cats, but that number simply spread out of all control."
Froggatt pleaded guilty to three charges of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. He also pleaded guilty to an additional charge of failing to provide proper living conditions for his 61 cats.
District Judge Jack McGarva said: "You are clearly an intelligent man. I find it mystifying how you allowed this situation to get so totally out of control."
More photos here.