Cats protection is warning that this summer’s kitten crisis will be worse than expected after survey findings showed a lack of awareness about feline pregnancy.
A survey of 1,000 cat owners highlighted that many owners were unaware about the importance of neutering and the consequences for not neutering cats at the earliest opportunity:
* 77% were unaware that a female cat can become pregnant as early as four months of age
* 86% didn’t know that an unneutered female cat can have as many as 18 kittens in a year
* 30% of cat owners said it was acceptable for a female cat to have a litter of kittens before being spayed.
Due to reduced numbers of vets doing neutering during vovid-19, Cats Protection estimates that as many as 84,000 extra kittens could be born this summer, and possibly more in the light of this survey.
“These findings should concern cat lovers in the UK because it suggests many more unneutered cats than usual will be allowed outside and breed despite the caution being urged by ourselves and other charities,” said Sarah Reid, the charity’s acting head of neutering.
“Our fear is that many kittens born this summer will be left on the streets. This is because Cats Protection is full up with cats and, owing to covid-19, is unable to admit many more except in emergency cases.
“This is why we are urging the nation’s cat owners to keep their cats indoors, and separate siblings if they are male and female, until vet practices can become fully operational and resume neutering.”