Tributes flow into SPCA after the death of Jacinda Ardern's cat Paddles

Donations are flowing into the SPCA after the tragic death of Jacinda Ardern's adopted cat, Paddles.

News broke on Wednesday morning that the 'First Cat of New Zealand' was hit by a car in the Auckland suburb of Point Chevalier the night before.

Both the Prime Minister and a Twitter account in Paddles' name posted tributes to the cat, thanking the SPCA, where the feline with opposable thumbs was adopted.

Since then, mourners across New Zealand have given "several donations… in memory of Paddles", an SPCA spokesperson says.

"We are thankful that Jacinda and [partner Clarke Gayford] asked the public to donate to us in Paddles' memory. These donations will go towards helping rescue other kittens like Paddles."

SPCA chief executive Andrea Midgen says everyone's thoughts are with Ms Ardern and Mr Gayford.

"We hope that they seek comfort in knowing that in adopting Paddles, they gave her a life filled with happiness and love.

"To anyone who has ever lost a pet, you'll know how sad we feel," the Prime Minister said on Facebook on Wednesday morning.

"Paddles was much loved and not just by us. Thanks for everyone's thoughts.

"And on behalf of Paddles, please be kind to the SPCA. They found her before we did and we will always be grateful for that."

The mystery Twitter account, set up in Paddles' name, said "the whole world will mourn her" and encouraged anyone wanting to remember Paddles to donate to the SPCA.

It is understood the driver who hit the polydactyl feline told a local, who then found Paddles in Ms Ardern's property.

A vet later confirmed Paddles had passed away.

Neighbours in Point Chevalier told NZME they were "pretty upset".

"She's very much part of the neighbourhood."

The cat stood by Ms Ardern's side for many of her pivotal political moments, including interrupting her phone call with US President Donald Trump.

"She leapt up onto the chair next to Jacinda and began announcing her very squawky arrival," Mr Gayford told The Spinoff.

"There was a flurry of action, as I tried to hustle it into the next room, while quite literally, the leader of the free world was connected through to our little home in Pt Chev."

Paddles' Twitter bio said she was an "Independent cat- not affurliated with the Labour pawty".

The cat had strong international relations and had been officially greeted by 'Diplo Dog' Gracie Brown, who is the canine belonging to US Ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown.

Gracie's Twitter account says she is "very sorry to hear" the news, alongside hundreds of other tributes on social media.

Paddles will be missed.