The RSPCA in Kent is calling on the public to help rehome or foster a whole array of cats as they currently have more than 350 in their care.
Branches and animal centres have simply run out of space to care for abandoned, sick or injured cats and many of them cannot remember a worst crisis for the feline population.
y the problem is that irresponsible and accidental breeding of cats is leading to our rehoming centres being full of kittens, growing into young cats, without sufficient homes being available.
“At the beginning of July in Kent, the RSPCA had 311 cats and kittens in their care with a further 60 at our Leybourne Animal Centre.
“Some of the branches run their own rehoming centres but others have to keep cats in private boarding facilities or fostering facilities and rehome them from there.
“Money has to be raised locally to make all this possible.”
All the cats are being looked after by the following catteries:
Ashford Garden Cattery, Bromley, Canterbury and District Animal Centre , Eastbourne branch, Hastings Bluebell Ridge Cattery, Isle of Thanet, Kent West, Leybourne Animal Centre, Medway Branch, Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Headcorn Cattery, Sittingbourne
Becky said: “Our RSPCA branches are run by local volunteers and they are often on the receiving end of frustration when the public ask us to take on their unwanted cats.
“Our local RSPCA branches never put a cat to sleep if it can be rehomed. However, resources are now so stretched that we need the public to support us to ensure we can continue to provide this service for unwanted, abandoned sick and injured cats in Kent.
“For example, hundreds of cats involved in road traffic accidents each year remain unclaimed at the vets.
“Often the RSPCA has to spend hundreds of pounds on vets bills to get them fit to be rehomed but numbers and costs have escalated to such a degree that local RSPCA branches cannot meet the ever growing demand without more support.
“We are calling on the public to ensure that their cats are neutered.
“It is a myth that it is best for a female cat to be allowed to have one litter of kittens – the health and safety of both male and female cats is best safeguarded by neutering at four months of age.
“If you need assistance with this please contact your local RSPCA or Cats Protection Branch or other local charities.
“Finally, if you can offer a cat a home please consider a rescue cat or kitten.”
Recent examples of the pressure on Kent branches:
- In the last week alone at the Ashford Garden Cattery in Station Rd, Ashford five cats were brought in by a lady who could no longer keep them; two separate sets of people brought boxes of kittens to the door which they had found abandoned; And another lady brought a stray mum and eight kittens to the door. As of today’s date they have over 75 mouths to feed and are full to bursting point.
- Just today (6 August) Maidstone Branch took in two young cats which were abandoned in a box by some rubbish bins.
- Last week two 6 month old male tabby kittens were dumped by the RSPCA Charity Shop in Grace Hill, Folkestone. One proved to have a congenital heart defect. They have gone to the Maidstone Branch RSPCA Cattery for rehoming.
- A cat dumped in a box at Dogs Trust, Whitstable which went to the RSPCA Woodchurch Animal Centre at Birchington in Thanet. He proved to have a neurological problem which affected his leg.
- Close to the RSPCA Woodchurch Animal Centre a car was seen to slow down and abandon three cats. Only two were caught by the Centre staff despite many hours of searching. Both proved to be flea infested and covered in excrement, suggesting they had been kept in poor conditions. Both were heavily pregnant females which have now had kittens who are looking for homes.
- Canterbury Branch took on a litter of kittens to hand rear when they were only a day old. This meant staff giving two hourly feeds all day and all night. The owner hadn’t got their young female cat neutered in time and so she ended up pregnant whilst still under 6 months herself. She had to have a very expensive Caesarean operation which cost hundreds of pounds and then she abandoned the kittens. Timely neutering by four months of age could have prevented all of this.
- Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Headcorn cattery have kittens making up 50% of their animals after taking in several pregnant mums recently. An inspector brought in two kittens abandoned in Folkestone and they had to quickly decide which cats were well enough to come home from the vets so that they could temporarily house them there. One of the kittens turned out to have a congenital heart defect and is only expected to live for a year. And in July, they had Jenny, a ginger tabby cat who was left behind by her owners when they moved house and been fed temporarily by a neighbour but had no shelter at night. She had lost her trust in humans and has had to be carefully nurtured to regain her confidence.