GLOBE readers are being asked to help Wirral’s RSPCA centre deal with a “cat crisis” that has left it full to capacity.
The centre in Cross Lane, Wallasey, currently has 76 cats in its care and can only take in emergency cases such as sick and injured cats.
So far this year the branch has dealt with 438 cats and now readers are being asked to consider re-homing one of them.
The RSPCA says branches and animal centres across the North and Midlands are facing a cat crisis with many reporting unprecedented numbers in their care.
The crisis is blamed on several factors, including owners no longer being able to afford to keep them and are giving them up, or the cat falls ill and owners cannot afford the vet bills.
Many cats also are falling pregnant and having large number of kittens because their owner failed to neuter them.
The RSPCA report has around 1,700 cats in the care of its regional establishments and private boarding centres alone.
Peter Bolton, animal operations manager for Midlands and North region, said: “The RSPCA is struggling on all fronts with this cat crisis.
"Our inspectors are being called out constantly to deal with sick, injured, neglected or abandoned cats.
“Our hospitals are full with injured cats whose owners appeared to have dumped them; we have more cats than ever who have been cruelly treated and our centres across the region are just full with cats and kittens needing new homes.
“Our staff across the region whether they are in an RSPCA centre, branch, hospital or a field officer they all say the same – we are dealing with a cat crisis and it is getting worse."
Mr Bolton continued: “It is really sad because these problems could be avoided if owners just acted responsibly.
“The RSPCA like other charities, needs help from the public – so please if anyone is thinking about taking on a cat, come to the RSPCA first – we have literally thousands looking for new homes and a second chance.
“Even if you cannot take a cat on full time, members of the public are being urged to perhaps become a cat fosterer and offer short term homes to the felines which branches and centres simply don’t have the room for.”
The number of prosecutions involving cats has increased nationally.
In 2011, there were 426 cases reported involving 1,079 cats, The figure rose last year to 501 cases reported involving 1,406 animals.
If you are interested in rehoming one of the cats call 0151 638 6318 or visit www.rspcawirral.org.uk