A man has been banned from keeping animals for life after he left 30 cats to suffer in a bungalow so dirty there was faeces found at waist height.
Martin Jones originally put two cats in his late mother's home in Shirebrook in Derbyshire, but they interbred.
They were rescued by the RSPCA but 21 had to be put down as they had feline Aids and other health problems.
Jones, 58, of Yew Tree Drive in Shirebrook, pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to the animals.
He also left a ferret in the house, but the RSPCA does not know why.
RSPCA inspector Deborah Scotcher discovered the "horrific" conditions in March after a member of the public contacted the charity.
"There was literally nowhere else for the animals to relieve themselves and they had resorted to defecating on the tops of wardrobes and kitchen surfaces," she said.
"The conditions in the house were horrific - there was so much animal faeces, which in some parts of the bungalow were waist-high and completely embedded in surfaces."
Jones was sentenced at Chesterfield Magistrates' Court on Wednesday, where he was also given an 18-week prison sentence suspended for 12 months, ordered to pay £400 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.
Jones visited the bungalow in Hillsway and threw food down, but the RSPCA said he had no way of knowing whether or not the animals were eating properly.
Some had received no human interaction or contact for their entire lives.
"Some of the cats were so feral that the only way we could handle them was with thick gauntlet gloves," said Ms Scotcher.
It took three weeks for the cats to be removed from the house, by setting cat traps and checking them daily.
The ferret and surviving cats have since been rehomed.