Kittens rescued after being abandoned in Coventry
Two young kittens were helped to safety after they were abandoned in Coventry by a man who dumped them in the street and ran away.
A member of the public spotted the kittens being dumped beneath trees by a park that is located between Sampson Close and the River Sowe in Coventry on Thursday, 2 June before calling the RSPCA.
RSPCA Animal Rescue Officer Freya Lamb said: "The kittens - one black and white and one tortoiseshell - were very lucky to have been spotted by the kind-hearted member of the public who helped them to safety and contacted us.
"They had witnessed a man take the kittens out of a cat carrier and drop them to the floor before running away.
"They're sweet and friendly cats who certainly didn't deserve to be thrown away like this. There's never an excuse to abandon any animal in this way.
"We're appealing to anyone who may know where these kittens have come from to contact the inspectorate appeal line on 0300 123 8018."
The kittens were taken to RSPCA Newbrook Animal Hospital where they were given check-ups and, thankfully, clean bills of health.
It's believed the kittens, one male and one female, are aged around 11 weeks old. They are now being cared for by the team at RSPCA Coventry and District Branch and will soon be found new homes.
The RSPCA has been highlighting the importance of neutering as it braces for an influx of cats during the kitten season.
The charity sees a peak in cats coming into its care between May and September - when most kittens are born - but, as the nation also faces a cost of living increase, the RSPCA fears that this will result in a cat welfare crisis with more cats being abandoned or relinquished than ever before.
Last year (2021) the RSPCA took 20,188 cats into its care and received 53,388 complaints regarding cats in need. This year's figures could prove to be even higher as the cost of living crisis takes its toll on people's finances and makes it difficult for many pet owners to afford routine vet appointments like neutering.
At the same time, a shortage of vets and an increase in the numbers of pets means many practices are under a lot of pressure with waiting lists for procedures, or they aren't registering new clients. Planning ahead and registering with a vet as soon as possible, and ideally before you get a pet, is strongly recommended.
The charity urges cat owners to speak to their vets about neutering as soon as possible and to keep any unneutered cats indoors with plenty to entertain them until they can be spayed.
Caroline Allen, Chief Veterinary Officer at the RSPCA, said:
We've long been highlighting the importance of neutering for cat welfare. Getting your cat neutered protects them from certain diseases, and prevents unexpected and costly litters of kittens being born.
The RSPCA, along with other cat and vet organisations, encourage people to get their cats neutered from four-months-old before they can become pregnant as a responsible part of pet ownership.
If you're waiting for an appointment to get your female cat neutered you must keep them indoors until they are `done'. Even a short trip out could result in her getting pregnant! If you think this could've happened, contact your vet.
For many years, charities have seen a peak in cats coming into their care during kitten season when the RSPCA sees lots of abandoned kittens sometimes found in cardboard boxes, in bins, or dumped by roadsides as their owners could no longer care for them or weren't expecting a litter.
Caroline added: "As a charity we're under immense pressure, especially over the summer months and neutering can help tackle this issue.
"However, we know that many people are facing lots of financial pressures at the minute which is why we encourage cat owners to plan ahead, make sure they're registered with a vet, explore whether local charities can offer neutering vouchers in your area, and make sure to get pet insurance for those unexpected costs."
The RSPCA has so far seen an influx of rabbits as a result of the cost of living issues and fears that coupled with the kitten season, cat numbers could be set to grow to the same worrying levels. Cats Protection has also seen a 25% increase in the number of kittens handed over to its adoption centres since the start of the year.
Our frontline call takers and rescue teams are under huge pressure at the moment and we are prioritising our officers to attend the most urgent cases where their expertise is needed and others cannot help.
We receive around 3,500 calls a day during our busiest times and would urge people to check the practical advice on our website before they call us so emergency calls can get through as quickly as possible.
We're asking people to help us and animals by taking them to the vet, where it's safe for them to do so, as it may be quicker than waiting for an officer to attend, or to contact other organisations who may be able to help.
We work with other charities, such as Cats Protection, where possible and the charity is also bracing for an influx of cats coming into its care.
Alison Richards, Head of Clinical Services at Cats Protection, said:
In the first quarter of 2022, we've seen a 25% increase in the number of kittens being handed over to our adoption centres. We're also noticing a significant increase in the number of calls from people asking for advice and financial help. Life's expensive at the moment and the impact of the cost of living crisis is really going to start showing in the later stages of the year.
As kitten season starts we're strongly encouraging people to neuter their cats. Our objective is to minimise the number of costly unwanted litters, so we don't see vast numbers of cats left on the street or without a home.
Cat owners may be eligible for support through Cats Protection's means-tested neutering scheme. The average cost of neutering a cat ranges from £80 to £150. To see if you're eligible, you can call Cats Protection's neutering helpline (Mon-Fri 9.30am-1pm) on 03000 121212 or visit Cats Protection.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please donate online or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.