Unwanted kittens reach ‘cat-astrophic’ levels, warns pet charity

Britain is on the brink of a kitten crisis warns a leading pet charity, which is taking in an average of five unwanted and abandoned kittens every day.

Blue Cross pet charity is being inundated with homeless kittens, with an alarming 33 per cent rise2 in the number of kittens they have taken in across the country so far this year. They are urging cat owners to get their pets neutered as it has huge welfare benefits for pets as well as preventing even more unwanted animals.

The charity is also caring for ever-increasing numbers of pregnant cats, leading to the number of kittens born at Blue Cross centres nearly doubling in the last five years3.

Mandy Jones, Head of Rehoming Services for Blue Cross says: “As well as huge numbers of kittens, we are seeing more and more cats in the final stages of pregnancy who are given up when their owners realise they won’t be able to cope with caring for a litter of kittens too. So not only are hundreds of kittens looking for homes but so are many mums, who sadly aren’t snapped up as quickly by new owners. If only they had had their pets neutered, they wouldn’t be in the heart-breaking position of having to make the decision to give up a family pet.”

Tortoiseshell cat Lillith was only seven months old herself when she gave birth to a litter of four kittens – Caramel, Crunchie, Twirl and Wispa. Lillith’s owner had just had a baby and was unable to cope with the unexpected litter, so she brought them into the Torbay Blue Cross rehoming centre.

Jay Cruikshanks, Rehoming Centre Manager for Blue Cross in Torbay, said: “Poor Lillith was only a baby herself when she had her kittens and she’s just one of more and more cats that are being given up along with their kittens when their owners realise they won’t be able to care for them all. So not only are hundreds of kittens looking for homes but so are many mums, who sadly aren’t snapped up as quickly by new owners.
“If only owners had their pets neutered, they wouldn’t find themselves in the heart-breaking position of having to give up a family pet.”

Caramel, Crunchie, Twirl and Wispa and mum Lillith will all be ready to find new homes in a few weeks’ time and will all be neutered before heading off to their new families.


ENDS

Notes to Editors

1 Blue Cross rehoming centres took in 74 kittens between 1-14 May 2014, averaging five kittens per day.
2 Blue Cross rehoming centres took in 239 kittens taken in between 1 Jan – 12 May 2013, which increased to 319 from 1 Jan – 12 May 2014.
3 44 kittens were born at Blue Cross rehoming centres from 1 Jan– 12 May 2009, which increased to 84 born on site from 1 Jan – 12 May 2014.

• Kitten photos available on request.
• Media interviews available on request, please contact the press office.
• Blue Cross has been dedicated to helping poorly, injured and abandoned pets for over 100 years. We opened the world’s first animal hospital in 1906 and since then our doors have never closed to sick and homeless animals.
• Today we run four animal hospitals and 12 rehoming centres across the UK, which provide treatment and seek happy homes for thousands of cats, dogs, small pets and horses every year.
• Blue Cross actively campaigns to improve all aspects of animal welfare, working with the government, schools and others to improve the lives of pets and their owners. For more information, please visit www.bluecross.org.uk.

Media contact

Sophia Khan, Blue Cross press office – 020 7932 4070 / [email protected]