Whether pouncing on their favourite toy or curling up on your lap and purring – we are a nation of cat lovers with over 10 million pet cats in the UK.
To celebrate International Cat Day (August 8) the RSPCA takes a look into the world of cats and kittens to help their rescue moggies find purr-fect homes.
The RSPCA receives a call about cats on average every three minutes and answers more calls about cats than any other animal.
This means there are currently hundreds of cats in RSPCA centres – more than the number of dogs and rabbits combined – and a cat overpopulation crisis facing the UK in general.
Aneel Odhwani, animal care assistant at the RSPCA Southall Cattery in London said: “We are a nation of cat lovers and the huge numbers of us who have cats in our homes tells this story. On International Cat Day it’s a brilliant opportunity to showcase the unique and brilliant personalities of our cats who are looking for homes.”
Miriam, a one year old black cat, was found under a garden shed in Sutton with her three newly born kittens in April.
The member of the public who lived in the property brought them straight to the RSPCA Putney Animal Hospital where they were treated for conjunctivitis.
Her kittens were named Moses, Samson and Delilah and at four months old they each found their forever homes but mum, Miriam, is still patiently waiting for hers.
The young mum was only a kitten herself when she had her litter and was very confused and scared when brought into the hospital. Her kittens were also very small which could be because some growing kittens may struggle to get adequate nutrition to support both their own growth and that of a litter of kittens.
Miriam is now at the Southall Cattery in London where the beautiful ex-mum has really come out of her shell and showed her affectionate nature.
She has become very trusting and loves nothing more than receiving lots of love and fuss.
Aneel continued: “Neutering cats from four months old could help solve the cat overpopulation crisis facing the UK today.
“Cats become sexually mature at a relatively young age and unless neutered can have a litter when they are really only kittens themselves, just like Miriam.”
Many people believe that a cat needs to have a first litter to be happy and healthy but this a common myth.
The reality of looking after and the cost of caring for kittens may not be what some owners’ expect and this is why so many unplanned litters end up in RSPCA centres.
These kittens [pictured] were found in a garden shed in Norpeth in Northumberland in June. They were just eight weeks old and without their mum.
Inspector Rowena Proctor collected them and brought them to safety. It is not known how they had got there but the kittens desperately needed care.
They were brought into the RSPCA Newcastle and North Northumberland branch where staff and volunteers have been working hard to look after and socialise the kittens.
They feared their rough start in life would mean they would not be able to learn to trust humans but over time the kittens have become much more friendly.
They were named Dusty, Annie and Lulu and are doing very well. When they are a bit older they will be available for rehoming.
Mark Lynn, rehoming manager at the Newcastle and North Northumberland branch, added: “Our centres are currently at breaking point with the influx of cats and kittens and a decline in adoptions. For the love of cats, why not adopt one of our rescue moggies.”
To help mark International Cat Day please consider rehoming a rescue moggy. To see the cats looking for homes today visit www.rspca.org.uk/findapet
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).