Charity braces itself for cat crisis as ‘kitten season’ begins
The RSPCA is bracing itself for an influx of cats and kittens as latest figures reveal that on average the charity takes in three cats EVERY HOUR.
Last year (2018) the RSPCA‘s centres and branches took in 28,986 cats and more than 90,000 cats over the last three years. (The graph below shows the number of cats coming into RSPCA care each month.)
Most kittens are typically born between April and September which means during the ‘kitten season’ the charity ends up with large amounts of young cats coming into its care.
July sees the most cats coming into the charity’s centres and branches with 2,622 in 2018, 3,386 in 2017 and 3,143 in 2016 in that month alone.
The charity has also seen a shocking peak in abandonments over the summer period with 58% more cats being dumped in July last year compared to January. (July: 9,691. January 3,990)
Carrie Stones, the RSPCA’s Cat Population Control Manager, said: “With an average of 86 cats coming into our care every day and a peak in the number of abandoned cats reported to us in summer this clearly highlights that the UK is facing a cat overpopulation crisis with so many cats ending up in rescue centres.
“We would always urge people to think about the long-term commitment that caring for a cat entails and avoid making a snap decision about whether to take on a cat or kitten, for example from family or friends or buying online.
“Sadly, we see so many litters of kittens dumped like rubbish in the summer months because often owners have made this quick decision and can no longer cope, or the kittens have been an unplanned litter and a shock to the owner of the moggy mum!
“There is no denying that kittens look cute but the reality of caring for them can be hard work, time consuming and costly. We, and other cat and vet organisations, believe the solution to this crisis is to neuter cats from four months old before they can become pregnant and therefore avoiding these unwanted litters.”
Kitten dumped in Costa Coffee toilets:
A kitten who was abandoned in cafe toilets may have been reunited with his mum and littermates thanks to the RSPCA.
The three week old kitten was found abandoned in the toilets of a Costa Coffee in Woodford Green on Saturday, 23 March.
The black kitten who was dumped in a plastic box with a little bit of cat food was too young to be away from his mum. When the cafe staff discovered him in the toilets, they contacted the RSPCA and Animal Collection Officer (ACO) David Eckworth came to the collect the small kitten.
He said: “When kittens are so young often they can need hand-rearing but luckily a foster mum became available at RSPCA Harmsworth Animal Hospital where the kitten was being looked after.”
The mother cat and her litter of three kittens came into the hospital on Monday, 25 March after they were found on the same road as the kitten in Wallers Close. Staff at the hospital suspect they could actually be the same family – now reunited.
Mother cat and kittens rescued from tube station:
Workers called in animal rescuers after spotting a stray cat and her kittens living underneath new escalators at a London Underground station.
A woman contacted the RSPCA shortly before 5pm on Wednesday, March 20, after spotting the black and white puss and her four tiny kittens under the escalator at the new HS2 line at Moorgate Tube Station which is under construction.
Animal welfare officer (AWO) Siobhan Trinnaman rushed to the scene to help the feline family. She managed to rescue the kittens, who were just a few days old and still had their eyes closed, and later their mum was also rescued and are now at RSPCA Millbrook Animal Centre in Surrey.
The moggy mum was wearing a collar but isn’t microchipped.
Kittens dumped in cardboard box near bins:
Four kittens were found after they were “dumped like rubbish” in a cardboard box and left at the side of some bins.
The shocking discovery was made by a woman on Scafell Drive, Birmingham, on Wednesday March 6. She saw the box by some bins near to Wyrley House block of flats and as she walked past she noticed it move.
Inside were four black and white kittens – who are believed to be around ten-weeks-old.
ACO Cara Gibbon rushed the two female and two male cats to the Coventry branch of the RSPCA for care.
She said: “It is awful to think these kittens were just dumped like rubbish and left by the side of some bins. It is just lucky that the lady saw the box they were in moving and cared enough to investigate.”