Monday 30th April 2012
Animal charity Cats Protection is warning of the impact that the double dip recession is having on felines.
Figures released by the charity show that an ever-decreasing number of people are coming forward to adopt cats, while the number of people giving up cats or reporting a stray is on the rise.
The charity says the current situation is the worst it has been since the start of the recession.
Peter Hepburn, chief executive of Cats Protection, said: "I cannot emphasise enough how serious this is. The recession has been disastrous for the UK's pets and, following the latest news of the UK entering a double-dip recession, sadly the situation for cats shows no signs of improving."
Between 2009 and 2011, queries to the charity's national helpline from people wanting to adopt a cat fell by 31% from 5,016 to 3,471.
Over the same period, the number of people wanting to give up a cat increased by 14% from 8,308 to 9,459, and the number of people reporting strays increased by 7% from 6,924 to 7,426.
Mr Hepburn said: "These figures are just the tip of the iceberg because our 260 volunteer-run branches and 30 adoption centres all receive calls directly, which means the problem is much larger than we can demonstrate here."
A University of Bristol study estimated that 131,070 cats entered the care of UK welfare organisations during 2009, the first full year since the onset of the recession. More than 40% of these were cared for by Cats Protection.
To adopt a cat, call Cats Protection's helpline on 03000 121212 between 9am and 12.30pm or 2pm and 5pm Monday to Friday. Alternatively, visit http://www.cats.org.uk to find contact details for a nearby branch.