Officers from the Calhoun County Sheriff Department, with help from Battle Creek Animal Control officers, went to the home in the 600 block of South Avenue about noon.
Athens firefighters first checked oxygen levels in the single-story home and found high levels of ammonia and methane and decreased levels of oxygen.
The homeowner, a woman, 64, was at the scene and was cooperative.
Veterinarians were at the scene to assess the conditions of the animals.
Deputies collected the cats and took them to the Calhoun County Animal Center in Battle Creek. The Calhoun County Health Department also assessed the home and found it habitable but there was an overnight evacuation to allow ventilation due to the high concentration of methane and ammonia gases.
The incident remains under investigation and charges are possible.
(Battle Creek Enquirer - April 20, 2017)