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The cat population in the UK has reached crisis point.
The numbers of cats coming into our care increased by eight percent between 2010-12. Our centres are now full we're having to rely heavily on private boarding establishments at considerable cost.
In the same period, the number of new homes that took in cats declined by 10 percent.
It is widely recognised that neutering is the key to controlling the cat population. But, despite the best efforts of the UK’s rescue organisations in providing subsidised neutering schemes, the cat population has continued to spiral out of control. Urgent action is required to increase the neutering rates of the country’s owned cat population and reduce the unacceptably high numbers of cats that end up in rescue.
In 2012, we commissioned new research to understand more about why some people do and others do not neuter their cats. One of the key findings was that owners delay neutering because of the incorrect belief that cats should be allowed to have a litter of kittens.
Also, a lack of understanding about the age that cats can get pregnant results in a high number of unplanned litters - according to our research, 85 per cent of litters are unplanned.
A report - Tackling the cat crisis: a collaborative approach to neutering (PDF 2.73MB) - details the research findings and sets out a number of solutions.