Calls have poured into the Edmonton Humane Society after six kittens were found abandoned inside a backpack in an alley.

The seven-week old kittens were found by a couple out walking their dogs in north Edmonton on Tuesday. The cats were hungry and thirsty but otherwise in good health.

"Little bit nervous and that would be quite acceptable for them to be nervous when they've been sitting in a suitcase or backpack," said Humane Society peace officer Bronwyn Taylor.

"But they're starting to be socialized with staff and doing quite well."

The humane society says 2012 has been one of the worst years for abandoned animals. The numbers are nearly double what they were at this time last year.

The kittens still need some additional medical attention before they can be adopted.