Cat welfare charity Cats Protection has issued an urgent plea for people to adopt felines after its waiting lists soared to a historic high.
The charity says the number of cats waiting to enter its 34 Adoption Centres rose by 46% year on year in July 2022, with the charity’s volunteer-run branches reporting similar increases.
Cat Protection attributes the unprecedented rise on the cost-of-living crisis, as owners look to relinquish their pets in increasing numbers. Interest in rehoming cats is also on the wane, with each cat or kitten spending four days longer in the charity’s care compared to last summer, it reports.
Peter Shergold, head of field operations for Cats Protection, said: “This is the worst situation in organisational memory in terms of the pressure on our services to take in cats. A 46% increase in demand on our waiting lists is well above our historical average and looks likely to continue for the near future.
“The rise is directly linked to the cost-of-living crisis, such as not having the funds to afford the basics like cat food or cat litter or a much more serious consequence such as a loss of a job or having to move into rented accommodation where pets aren’t allowed.”
Advance findings from Cats Protection’s CATS Report, due for release this autumn, reveals that 30% of cat owners are worried that they will not be able to pay bills or living costs owing to price increases. Meanwhile, 19% of non-cat owners say they would like to adopt a cat but can’t for financial reasons.
Cats Protection is a national network of 34 Adoption Centres and 210 volunteer-run Branches which helps 166,000 cats and kittens each year.