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Cat Charity Urges Owners to Breed Responsibly

28 October 2015

UK - A spell of calls from cat owners who have let their pets breed several times has led the founder of Yorkshire Cat Rescue to put her foot down and ask people to take responsibility for their lack of action.

Enquires from cat owners who are overwhelmed by the money and effort required to raise and find homes for kittens are coming thick and fast these days. They are writing to Yorkshire Cat Rescue asking if they can help find new homes for what isn’t their cat’s first litter of unwanted kittens.

Sara Atkinson, the founder of Yorkshire Cat Rescue says the charity is battling a culture of irresponsibility.

“We are here to help but when we receive messages from cat owners who have failed to neuter their cat initially, and then again after it has already one unwanted litter of kittens, it is hard to feel sympathetic,” says Sara.

“Our waiting list is overflowing with cats that need urgent help, but we are being asked to prioritise litters of kittens that need a home simply because their owners failed to do what was necessary on more than one occasion.”

Just a week ago Sara received a message from someone whose female cat was currently raising a litter of kittens in their shed. The caller explained that the kittens were becoming too expensive to care for, and that they had not been able to find new homes for them.

During the conversation it became clear that the lady in question owned another female cat. Both mothers had been falling pregnant and giving birth to new litters as often as four times each year.

One of them was now ill from over-breeding and the lady wanted Yorkshire Cat Rescue to take them all in. “The word ‘hassle’ was used in the context of looking after these cats and I admit it was difficult to contain my frustration. These female cats are in a really bad situation because they weren’t neutered and this is wholly the responsibility of the owner. To then seek to pass the buck onto us now that things have progressed from bad to worse and medical treatment is required is unacceptable.

“Unfortunately, this enquiry is far from unique and it demonstrates a widespread lack of understanding of how quickly and frequently unneutered cats breed. It also highlights a perception that cat charities are simply free re-homing centres for when people don’t want to keep their pets any longer. We are expected to pick up the pieces of someone’s carelessness and it is causing distress to our fosterers who are having to nurse sick cats and kittens as well as pushing our funds through the roof.

“While I admit that calling us instead of abandoning these cats is a positive step, we really need people to take greater responsibility for their own pets and the kittens they bring into this world.”

Contact Yorkshire Cat Rescue for neutering advice on 01535 647184 or email

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