Rise in unwanted cats

AN animal welfare charity has announced an increase in cat abandonments in the East of England for a fourth year running.

Anthony Bond

AN animal welfare charity has announced an increase in cat abandonments in the East of England for a fourth year running.

The number of cats picked up by the RSPCA in Suffolk and Norfolk rose from 282 in 2007 to 401 last year.

For the East of England as a whole, the figure rose from 2,519 in 2007 to 2,850 last year. The figure was just 2,020 in 2006.


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So far in 2009, the number of cat abandonments has already reached 1,363 with the RSPCA warning that this figure is set to rise rapidly in August and September.

The RSPCA said its centres, branches and private boarding facilities are currently over run with cats, with hundreds in care.

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It believes that many owners are left with unwanted litters of kittens because they fail to get their pets neutered. This can lead to people giving them up for re-homing or in some cases dumping them.

RSPCA regional manager Suzie Graham said: “Hundreds of cats end up becoming unwanted, injured or sick just because they weren't neutered.

“Many of our branches can help towards the cost of cat neutering so there is never any excuse to risk your pet's health.”

The RSPCA believes that the increasing numbers may also be due to a failure of owners to have their cats' microchipped with many people going off on holiday and leaving their cats to fend for themselves.

Many of the cats collected by the RSPCA are thought to have caring families, but without a microchip there is no way of knowing where they belong. Ms Graham added: “This places a huge burden on our animal centres and branches who take in more cats than they can find homes for. We are appealing to all owners to have their pet microchipped - it really could mean the difference between losing them forever or having them safely home.”

More information on microchipping and neutering can be found at www.rspca.org.uk

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