An animal welfare charity is urging cat owners to get their pets neutered following a kitten boom in the north-east.
The Fraserburgh, Peterhead and District branch of Cats Protection has counted 33 kittens born to eight mums in just a few weeks.
Volunteers have been hard at work ensuring pregnant and nursing mums are looked after, but such a high number of newborns in such a short period of time has put the pressure on the small team.
The charity believes there could be various reasons behind the increased numbers, such as vet practices forced to put most neutering cases on hold due to the pandemic – causing a backlog now restrictions have eased.
Education needed on on kitty care
While there is a long list of homes waiting for kittens, the rise in numbers is still concerning, and can have detrimental effects on the health and wellbeing of cats.
Branch co-ordinator Ron Maclean believes there needs to be more education surrounding the importance of feline neutering.
He said: “There are definitely a few different factors coming into play here for so many coming into care at the same time, but education is still the biggest concern and people need to realise that being a pet owner comes with great responsibilities.
“There have been people getting cats and kittens from various sources during lockdown, not getting them neutered, then getting bored and either abandoning them, or leaving them to stray; as well as people unable to cope with their pets because of financial or health restraints.”
The charity offers support to cat owners when it comes to having their pets neutered, including year-round help for anyone on low income or benefits. It also runs ‘snip and chip’ events where cats can be neutered and chipped for £15. The next event is expected to take place in August.
Mr Maclean added: “We are here to help, whether it be to give advice on cat welfare or to offer support with neutering, we just ask people to get in touch before situations get out of control.”