The RSPCA is urging cat owners not to perpetuate the cat population issue by breeding their pets – as shelters in the area are full.
RSPCA East Lincolnshire, which covers the Sleaford area, says its cattery is now full to capacity, with no room to take in more vulnerable cats until others are rehomed.
RSPCA inspector Rebecca Harper is also urging people not to buy kittens from those advertising them online via social media sites.
“People think it is easier, quicker and cheaper to get a cat or kitten this way, and often they do not consider or are not aware of the real health and cost implications,” she said.
“You will be perpetuating the cat population issue by encouraging people to let their cats breed.”
Cats and kittens rehomed from RSPCA care have been vet-checked, vaccinated and neutered, or come with a neutering voucher. Many animals sold online are found to have had none of these vital treatments – resulting in financial costs to the owner and health risks to the animal.
Insp Harper said she would welcome a law, like that in Belgium and France, to criminalise the unlicensed breeding and selling of cats and dogs.
“If everyone wanting a new pet took on one from a charity instead, they would affectively be helping two – by freeing up kennel space for another in need,” she said.
The branch has managed to rehome 64 cats in the last four months alone. But every time one leaves, several more are already waiting to fill its place.
To help with the issue, the branch has been running a referral-based reduced-cost neutering scheme at Quarrington Vets in Sleaford.
Insp Harper added: “Owners need to be aware that female kittens can become pregnant from four months – and related cats will breed.”
l Pictured are some of the 30 cats at the branch needing a home. If you can help call 01406 540211.