Cat crisis: RSPCA reveals it received 75 reports about cats in Bedfordshire since lockdown Stray kittens rescued in Garstang 2 Image RSPCA

Charity warns of unneutered cats giving birth to unwanted litters

The RSPCA said that is facing a cat crisis as since the start of lockdown (23 March to 4 May 2020) there have been 6,630 cat incidents reported to its hotline. 75 of these reports were from Bedfordshire.

The charity is currently caring for 1,013 cats (as of 13 May 2020) which is more than any other pet in its care. It fears that the situation is set to get worse as the traditional kitten season gets underway.

The lockdown is making it harder for owners to neuter their pets, which could mean even more unwanted litters coming through the charity’s doors.

Dr Samantha Gaines, head of the RSPCA’s companion animal department, said:

“We are currently caring for more cats than any other pet throughout the Coronavirus crisis.

“Every year, the scale of the cat overpopulation problem becomes even more apparent from May to September when most cats are born as the RSPCA is often overwhelmed with kittens.

“The kitten season this year will continue despite COVID-19 and so the charity is bracing itself for even more cats.”

Last year, there were 108,190 incidents reported about cats including 1,142 in Bedfordshire.

Animal rescuers at the charity have been designated key workers by the Government. The charity has launched an emergency appeal for vital funding to help the RSPCA’s frontline staff continue to work across England and Wales.

Sam said:

“Our frontline officers will continue to rescue as many cats as we can and our animal centre staff, hospitals and branches will carry on caring for the many cats coming into our care throughout the crisis. We rely on donations from our generous supporters to carry out this vital work and need their support now more than ever as our services become stretched to the limit.

“We believe neutering cats from four months old will help tackle the cat overpopulation problem the UK faces. This will reduce the amount of unwanted and unexpected litters of kittens that are born and sadly end up in rescue centres.

“We understand that many owners may not be able to get their pets neutered at the moment as understandably vets are prioritising emergencies in the face of COVID-19 and restricting other procedures.

“It is important to follow your vet’s guidance and understand if they cannot neuter your pet at this time. We would urge anyone with an unneutered female cat to keep them indoors. If you have a male/female pair or really can’t keep your cat inside, do call your vet to discuss options.”

The RSPCA has plenty of information on how to keep your cat entertained indoors on its website. There is also lots of advice on keeping pets happy and healthy during the coronavirus crisis here.