[O]ak Tree Animals’ Charity currently has 20 kittens onsite looking for new homes with more phone calls relating to unwanted kittens every day during August. The Charity is able to rehome many of these to loving new homes from Oak Tree Farm, Wetheral, but also works in the community to help prevent unwanted kittens though neutering programmes and alongside partner vets and charities to find options for ensuring these kittens have a safe and secure future..
Several young cats coming in under 12 months old this year have been pregnant with significant consequences for both mum and kittens. With the huge number of unwanted kittens the Charity sees, the team at Oak Tree are asking owners to consider neutering their pet to prevent kittens or young cats finding themselves homeless when families for them can not be found, or when homes realise that they are unable to cope, and either sell them, pass them on to a rehoming charity or abandon them. There are also significant health benefits for the mother that can be gained through neutering including the prevention of certain types of cancer, problems relating to repeatedly having large numbers of kittens and being less likely to contract diseases spread by bites or sexual activity. Help with the costs of neutering is often available for those on low-incomes or benefits.
Anne-Marie McGivern, Veterinary Nurse Supervisor at Oak Tree explains, “Since May this year we have taken in 30 unwanted kittens desperately needing our help and more are coming in daily. These kittens take weeks of care and socialisation before they are ready for adoption. We are seeing a trend of young females, barely even adults themselves, having kittens. Currently, we have a 10 month old kitten who came in in-season but had already given birth at 8 months of age to 5 kittens! Often the kittens we see are in poor health and mums exhausted from litter after litter. Neutering really is the only way to prevent the number of unwanted and abandoned cats we see in Cumbria. It is a routine procedure with immense health benefits for cats and also owners, who will have cats who are not getting into fights, spraying, enduring unwanted pregnancies and, with a less risky lifestyle, neutered cats tend to live longer.”
For further information about rehoming, neutering, neutering support or Oak Tree Animals’ Charity and it’s work, or to find out how you can help support Oak Tree and animals in our region please visit www.oaktreeanimals.org.uk or the Charity’s Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages.