Home News Three cats rescued every hour: The brink of a cat crisis

Three cats rescued every hour: The brink of a cat crisis


The RSPCA are awaiting an influx of cats and kittens as latest figures reveal that on average our centres take in three cats every hour.

Last year, our centres and branches took in 28,986 cats. While, over the last three years, more than 90,000 have been brought in, in total.

Most kittens are typically born between April and September

This means during the ‘kitten season’ we end up with large amounts of young cats coming into our care. July sees the most cats coming into our centres and branches, with:

  • 2,622in 2018
  • 3,386in 2017
  • 3,143in 2016 – during the one month period.

58 percent more cats were dumped in the summer

We’ve seen a shocking peak in abandonments over the summer period with 58 percent more cats being dumped in July last year compared to January. Carrie Stones, our cat population control manager, said:

With an average of 86 cats coming into our care every day and a peak in the number of abandoned cats reported to us in summer – it’s clear that the UK is facing a cat overpopulation crisis with so many cats ending up in rescue centres.

We would always urge people to think about the long-term commitment that caring for a cat entails and to avoid making a snap decision about whether to take on a cat or kitten, for example, from family or friends or buying online.

Sadly, we see so many litters of kittens dumped like rubbish in the summer months because often owners have made this quick decision and can no longer cope, or the kittens have been an unplanned litter and a shock to the owner of the moggy mum!

There’s no denying that kittens look cute but the reality of caring for them can be hard work, time consuming and costly. We, and other cat and vet organisations believe the solution to this crisis is to neuter cats from four months old.

Kitten dumped in Costa Coffee toilets

A kitten who was abandoned in cafe toilets may have been reunited with his mum and littermates thanks to our committed team. The three-week old kitten was found abandoned in the toilets of a Costa Coffee in Woodford Green on Saturday, 23 March.

The black kitten who was dumped in a plastic box with a little bit of cat food was too young to be away from his mum. When the cafe staff discovered him in the toilets, they contacted our emergency helpline and Animal Collection Officer (ACO) David Eckworth came to collect the small kitten. David said:

When kittens are so young often they can need hand-rearing but luckily a foster mum became available at our Harmsworth Animal Hospital where the kitten was being looked after.

The mother cat and her litter of three kittens came into the hospital on Monday, 25 March after they were found on the same road as the kitten. Staff at the hospital suspect they could actually be the same family – now reunited.

Mother cat and kittens rescued from tube station

Workers called in animal rescuers after spotting a stray cat and her kittens living underneath new escalators at a London Underground station.

A woman contacted our helpline after spotting the black and white puss and her four tiny kittens under the escalator at the new HS2 line at Moorgate Tube Station which is under construction.

Animal welfare officer (AWO) Siobhan Trinnaman rushed to the scene to help the feline family. She managed to rescue the kittens, who were just a few days old and still had their eyes closed, and later their mum was also rescued and are now at our Millbrook Animal Centre in Surrey.

Kittens dumped in cardboard box near bins

Four kittens were found after they were “dumped like rubbish” in a cardboard box and left at the side of some bins.

The shocking discovery was made by a woman on Scafell Drive, Birmingham, on Wednesday, March 6. She saw the box by some bins near to Wyrley House block of flats and as she walked past she noticed it move.

Inside were four black and white kittens – who are believed to be around ten-weeks-old. ACO Cara Gibbon rushed the two female and two male cats to our Coventry branch for care. She said:

It’s awful to think these kittens were just dumped like rubbish and left by the side of some bins. It’s just lucky that the lady saw the box they were in moving and cared enough to investigate.

To help our team continue to rescue more animals like these, please consider donating today. You can also help by sponsoring our cat pods from as little as £1.50 a week.

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