Help to stop our cat crisis
Can you give an animal a loving home and a new start in life?
NO one can look at a small kitten and not feel their heart melt just a little bit. Well, no one in the RSPCA Hillingdon office, anyway. The problem is that kittens grow up to be cats and here in the UK, put simply, we already have too many cats.
There are an estimated 7.5 million domestic pet cats in the UK, plus an unknown number of feral cats, and the numbers are rising at alarming rates.
In some residential parts of London, there are an estimated 800 cats per square mile. Charities such as the RSPCA are finding their catteries full, constantly bursting with adult cats, with not enough people to adopt them.
Around three-quarters of cat owners first bring their feline friend home as a kitten, meaning that the pool of potential adoptive households for adult cats is reduced. This has now reached national crisis levels.
So how can you help? The very best thing you can do is to neuter your cat or cats immediately. Vets recommend that kittens can be neutered at around four months old. Indeed, they can reach sexual maturity at around five months, meaning that if you do not hurry up you may end up with an unwanted litter of kittens on your hands.
A female can produce up to six kittens three times a year – that’s a lot of tiny mouths to feed. Pregnancy and birth bring risks and complications, as well as costs – would you recognise if your pregnant cat was struggling and needed a caesarean? Would you know when to call the vet? Could you afford to?
If a female cat has not been neutered, she will keep coming into season and displaying uncharacteristic and erratic behaviours as she submits to her natural urges to find a male.
You will find all the local tom cats beating a path to your door – a path which they will spray liberally, leaving their eye-watering scent all around and waking you up with their howling.
Many unneutered males carry FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), an incurable disease similar to HIV in humans.
If your cat is neutered, he or she will be much, much less likely to roam long distances at night time, less likely to be injured crossing a road, less likely to get into fights with other cats, less likely to suffer from certain serious infections and more likely to live a long and happy life.
In summary, as well as helping to keep the UK cat population under control, neutering has a wealth of benefits for you and for your cats. If you love cats, neutering really is the only humane option.
Our RSPCA Hillingdon Clinic offers subsidised neutering. If the cost of neutering is putting you off, please give us a ring on 01895 231 435 – we may be able to help.
Simba is a very lively one-year-old male terrier crossbreed on the lookout for an active loving home. He is full-on fun, loves his toys and responds well to reward-based training. Involvement in something like flyball or agility would be ideal to help channel his boundless energy.
However, as a young dog who has missed out on some formative socialisation, he does like to test (or even shove!) the boundaries, so must go to an experienced home prepared to take on the training challenges. No cats/small furries or children under the age of 15 please.
He would love a doggy friend, but this would need to be a confident youngster who could tolerate his boisterous attentions and rough and tumble style of play.
Simba is crate and house-trained. If you can provide our lovely Simba with the experienced guidance he needs, a lifetime of love and plenty to keep him busy, please get in touch.
Moggy is one of our friendly felines looking for her forever home. Moggy is a quiet and laid-back lady with a beautiful tortoiseshell coat who enjoys affection and fuss on her own terms. Her favourite pastime is cuddling up in her comfy bed whilst watching the world go by.
Although Moggy is lovely with people, she would be best suited to a house where if there are children present, they are over eight years old.
Moggy would like to be the only cat in the household, although she could live with a laid-back dog providing Moggy had her own space to retreat to.
Moggy would like to find her forever home really soon so that she can get all of the love and fuss she deserves.
Visit www.rspcahillingdonclinic.org.uk to view all of our animals and download an adoption application form.
We would be grateful for any donations of old sheets and blankets to use for bedding for the animals and we are always happy to receive donations of pet food and toys for the animals to play with. These can be brought into our clinic at 16 Crescent Parade, Hillingdon UB10 0LG.
HOMELESS: Moggy and Simba (left)