Christmas brings cat crisis to Battersea

Battersea is full to bursting with cats, and the charity is concerned that the ‘Christmas slow-down’ will leave more and more lost and unwanted cats with nowhere to go.

06 December 2012
Battersea Dogs & Cats Home

The charity normally cares for around 150 cats at any one time, but at the moment there are over 220 cats across its three sites. Alarmingly, the charity is also seeing an increase in calls from members of the public wishing to give up their cat. In October Battersea took 849 calls, compared to 539 the same month the previous year. Battersea says overall it has seen a huge rise in the number of people contacting them to give up their pet. So far this year Battersea has received over 5600 calls from cat owners, a 50 per cent increase from the year before.
The summer is traditionally the busiest time for Battersea’s cattery as litters of unwanted kittens flood the charity’s three centres, but staff at the Home say they are experiencing an unusually high number of cats needing their help for this time of year. With Christmas only weeks away, a period which is the slowest for Battersea in terms of rehoming animals, the charity is concerned it will be hit with a cat crisis.
Ros Davies, Rehomer at Battersea explains: “I’ve never known this number of cats needing our help before. We’ve got hundreds of people calling up each month wanting to give up their pet, and with the annual Christmas slow-down on its way fewer cats will be leaving our cattery to find new homes, meaning we are unable to give as many cats a second chance – at the moment our cat pens are full.”
Cat rehoming at Battersea is seasonal and the Home sees an influx of people visiting its catteries in January as they wait post-Christmas to take on a new pet. But the charity is encouraging would-be cat owners to consider taking on a cat before the New Year to help alleviate the long waiting list of cats needing Battersea’s care. Ros adds: “We have lots of lovely cats and kittens currently looking for new homes and now is a really good time to come in and register while we are quiet. If you are having a quiet break, Christmas can be a great time for some people to bring a new cat in to the house. We are not encouraging anyone to get a cat for Christmas, of course, but if you are considering getting a cat, please do consider coming in over the next few weeks instead.”

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