Animal charities warn of potential cat-astrophe
Animal charities have today revealed that more than 850,000 cats* in the UK have had unplanned litters, leaving many owners unprepared for the cost and commitment of raising kittens and struggling to find them suitable homes.
The charities are warning owners not having their cats neutered could lead to a population explosion as these unplanned litters could add up to as many as 4.3 million potentially unwanted kittens.**
The nine animal welfare charities*** which make up the Cat Population Control Group (CPCG) are urging cat owners to get their animals neutered to avoid more unwanted felines ending up on the streets or in rescue centres that are already struggling to cope.
Research from vet charity PDSA has revealed that just 15% of cat owners whose animals had kittens had planned for the litters. These high numbers of unplanned and potentially unwanted kittens continue to cause strain on animal charities and rescue centres. There are already over 11 million**** cats in the UK and thousands of these end up abandoned in rescue centres across the country every year.
To tackle the issue, the CPCG today launched its annual World Spay Day campaign to raise awareness of the importance of neutering and encourage more owners to get their cats neutered.
To find out more about neutering, please visit iCatCare neutering page.
*Source: PDSA Animal Wellbeing (PAW) Report 2015: 12% of cat owners state that their cat has had a litter of kittens. Of those reporting that their cat has had at least one litter, 65% say their cat’s pregnancy was unplanned 12/100 x 11,100,000= 1,332,000 cats have had a litter of kittens. Of these, 65% were unplanned. 65/100 x 2,109,000= 865,800
All statistics (unless otherwise stated) are from the PAW Report 2015
**Average number of kittens per litter = 5 (Source: PDSA) 865,800 (number of cats with unplanned pregnancies) x 5 (average number of kittens per litter) = 4,329,000
***The Cat Population Control Group comprises Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, the Blue Cross, Cats Protection, Celia Hammond Animal Trust, International Cat Care, The Mayhew Animal Home, PDSA, RSPCA, Wood Green – The Animals Charity
**** 11,100,000 is the estimated UK cat population reported in the PAW Report 2015