An animal welfare charity is calling on pet lovers to be responsible cat owners after becoming inundated with kittens and pregnant cats.
Cats’ Protection Breckland is offering neutering vouchers to anyone on low incomes to try to halt the tidal wave of unwanted cats.
Volunteer Rita Thompson, from Thetford, said: “I only deal with the hand reared kittens and in April to November last year I had 20.
“This year it started in February and I’ve already had 21 – and we’re not even halfway through the season.
“The problem is, we’re inundated with kittens at the moment and mums and babes as well.
“People don’t realise that female cats come into season at six months old and can have three litters a year. An average litter is about five kittens.
“We have a problem in Mildenhall where you have Americans leave cats behind, so there are a lot of feral cats.”
She said a cat can have 30,000 descendents in its lifetime and young ones do not make good mothers.
Rita added: “The message we’re trying to get across is to be responsible and get your cat neutered. If they’re not neutered, they’re more prone to picking up diseases because they get in fights and get scratched and they’ll wander far and wide looking for mates.
“It makes males more pleasant because they don’t wander or get into fights and you don’t get the awful smell in their urine.”
Cats’ Protection offers neutering vouchers of £25 for males and £40 for females to anyone earning under £15,000 a year. All the cats it rehomes are neutered, treated for fleas, vaccinated and microchipped.
Rita said: “We charge a rehoming fee of £50, but they’re getting a bargain because we spend £150 on each cat.”
If you want to find out more about neutering or rehoming a cat call Breckland Cats’ Protection on 01842 810018 or visit http://cats.org.uk/breckland where you will also find cat care information.