HUGE numbers of mistreated and abandoned cats are pushing rescue centres across the region to the limits.
But staff and volunteers from sanctuaries in the area say even though they are struggling to cope, they fear they cannot turn animals away as owners threaten to lose or even kill them.
The problem is so bad some centres are having to change rabbit hutches into cages and have a waiting list of up to four months.
Louise Lee from the Blue Cross in Bromsgrove added the situation was ‘becoming unmanageable’ with a total of 37 cats in the sanctuary, staying with foster carers or at their current home.
She said they were desperate for potential owners or foster carers to come forward, while neutering was vital for all pets with one female cat being responsible for 20,000 kittens over five years.
“Some people often see cats as independent and self sufficient. Some will leave them if they move house and think they will be fine if they are fed, but all animals need love and affection.”
Only last week, The Standard reported how a cat had been thrown from a moving vehicle after staff at the centre had told the owners the centre was full.
Carol Lowe, from Cramar Cat Sanctuary, said it was such a problem she even had seriously ill cats being kept in her office and animals were still being dumped on her every day.
“We are full to the brim, bursting, overflowing, you name it.” she said.
“I had one woman tell me if I didn’t take her kittens she would harm them. You just wouldn’t believe how bad it is.”
The RSPCA’s Birmingham Animal Centre in Frankley currently has 100 cats in its cattery and 20 more in private boarding.
The cats at the centre are usually either brought in by inspectors after reports of ill treatment or by animal collection officers although the centre has had instances of cats being abandoned there.
Just a fortnight ago, a member of staff found a mum and a litter of kittens dumped on the driveway of the centre.
Jo Welsby, from Wythall Animal Sanctuary, added the centre received several calls a day including everything from abandoned older cats to unwanted litters.
“A lot of the calls are genuine, while others are from a lack of responsibility. It is not any particular time of year, but people do feed abandoned cats over the summer then in the winter we get calls of concerns because the weather is getting colder and wet.”
For more information, to donate, foster or rescue call Brosmgrove Blue Cross on 0300 777 1460, Cramar Cat Sanctuary on 0121 445 1840, the RSPCA in Frankley on 0300 132 8585 or the Wythall Animal Sanctuary on 01564 823288.
Hoppy is a 12 year old male cat. His owner sadly died and they are still in the home where they grew up – while members of the family regularly check on him, he is quite lonely and would love a home of his own. For more on Hoppy, visit www.bluecross.org.uk or contact the local centre on 0300 777 1460 or email email@example.com.
Kitkat is just over one-year-old and was found as a stray. She would prefer to be an indoor cat but if she did have access to an enclosed garden she would like that too! For more on Kitkat, visit www.bluecross.org.uk or contact the local centre on 0300 777 1460 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.