Eden Animal Rescue are calling on people to support them this kitten season by making sure their own pets are neutered, keeping unneutered animals indoors, and by donating to support the work of the Cumbrian based charity.
The first litters of kittens have already been born in the animal charity’s cattery, and with regular reports of more stray pregnant cats, staff know this is just the beginning of an extremely busy time at the rescue. While ‘kitten season’ conjures up images of cute baby animals, the reality is it puts huge pressure on rescue centres across the country; last year over 100 kittens were cared for by Eden Animal Rescue staff and volunteers alone, with 53 youngsters in at one time during the peak.
Sarah Bean, Eden Animal Rescue Centre Manager explains why it’s going to be even more challenging this year; “In normal circumstances a team of staff and our amazing volunteers put in the hours to help care for these animals; doing feeds, cleaning them out three times a day, and socialising them so they are ready for family life, but with COVID-19 restrictions in place it’s going to be very difficult to manage. Staff and volunteer numbers will have to be kept low so everyone can observe social distancing, and because we are not able to rehome at this time there’s a real possibility that we won’t be able to help as many animals as we usually can once the cattery reaches capacity. The best thing you can do to help is please, please neuter your pet cats!”.
Cats come into season and can breed from just four months old, and as pregnancies last just nine weeks, and females come back into season six weeks after giving birth, population levels can reach a critical point very easily over the summer months.
The financial implications of the summer baby boom are serious too; Eden Animal Rescue covers the cost of the first vaccinations and microchip for each kitten which can cost in excess of £3,600 for 100 kittens, and neuters all adult cats. Any additional medical needs are dealt with too, whether that’s vet treatment, specialist food for mum or kittens, or medication. As the charity have been forced to cancel fundraising events this summer due to the COVID-19 crisis, donations are very welcome. One off or regular monthly donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/edenanimalrescueor visit www.edenanimalrescue.org.uk and follow the Amazon Wishlist link to donate maternity milk for bottle-fed kittens or prescription food.
At the moment Eden Animal Rescue are not re-homing animals as it’s not possible for potential families to meet the animals, and be properly vetted, while maintaining social distancing. An announcement will be made on social media and the website when the centre is able to start making appointments. Due to reduced staffing levels speculative rehoming enquiries cannot be answered at this time so please keep checking www.edenanimalrescue.org.uk for updates!