A TEESSIDE charity has seen a huge increase in the amount of cats from Hartlepool they have neutered - and is desperately appealing for owners to adopt kittens.
Volunteers for Cats Protection’s Teesside branch say out of 1,000 cats they have neutered across the area so far this year, 700 of them are from Hartlepool.
The majority of cats they have neutered are stray kittens that have been found on the street or cats after they have already had kittens.
They say the charity is now bursting at the seams with kittens because people can’t afford to look after them - and staff are urging owners to make sure they get their cats neutered in the first five months.
Patricia Eddon, of Cats Protection’s Teesside branch, is reminding owners to take more responsibility, or not to get a pet cat in the first place.
Patricia, 65, said: “I have been volunteering for the charity for 34 years and this is the worst I have seen the situation.
“We are just neutering cat after cat after cat.
“Obviously we encourage people to get their cats neutered but people just don’t seem to understand that they need to get their cat neutered in the first five months, after they have kittens they bring them but by that time it’s too late.
“People can’t afford to keep the kittens so they end up on the streets as strays.
“I realise the financial climate is tough for a lot of people at the minute and a lot of people are being evicted from their homes so they have the concern of where they are going to live, never mind what happens to the cats.
“This means even more kittens are out on the streets and although people bring them to us, by that time they could already have produced 18 kittens each year.
“It’s just going to end up with stray kittens on every street corner.”
To adopt a kitten or for more information about the charity call (01642) 589090 or visit www.teesside.cats.org.uk.