Credit crunch link to abandoned cats

A LARGE rise in unwanted and abandoned cats could be linked to the fallout of the credit crunch, charity bosses have warned.

A LARGE rise in unwanted and abandoned cats could be linked to the fallout of the credit crunch, charity bosses have warned.

Last week the EADT revealed figures that showed that the number of cat abandonments had increased in the East of England for the fourth year running.

Sarah Oram , chairman of Bury Stray Cats Fund, said the organisation had already dealt with more than 200 pets this year - a 10% year-on-year rise.

And she warned the dramatic increase could be a result of the financial problems many people are currently facing.

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She said: “People have less money and so if they have an expensive vet bills to pay, some find they can't keep up and they come to us. We can help with the cost. Others just abandon their cats.

“The main problem is less people are getting their cats neutered - and a reason for this is also because of the cost . This means they are more likely to have kittens.

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“They may be able to afford to look after one cat but a number of cats become too much and they abandon them or give them to us.

The fears come as an open day was held at the SESAW animal sanctuary in Leavenheath yesterday .

Maggie Jackaman, manager at the charity, said: “We have 30 kittens and 30 cats at the moment, as well as another 20 to30 on the waiting list - it's definitely more than last year.

“I literally don't have any more room to house cats but when someone comes to you and they are desperate then you have to take them in.

“I have even had to take some home and have persuaded some of the volunteers who work here to take one or two back with them.

“I'd say there's a link between this rise and people struggling to make ends meet. I had a lady come in who was being made homeless and couldn't look after her cat.”

Both organisations insisted that neutering pets was the only way to stop the problem “spiralling out of control”.

New figures released this week showed that the number of cats picked up by the RSPCA in Suffolk and Norfolk had risen dramatically - from 282 in 2007 to 401 last year.

This increase is expected to continue this year with RSPCA officials warning that there could be a rapid rise in August and September.

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