Southampton cat rescue says situation is 'desperate' as 105 pets waiting for foster homes

  • ITV Meridian's Kerry Swain spoke to Cats Protection Southampton.

A rescue charity that has 105 cats waiting for a place in a foster home says the situation is "the worst it has ever been".

Southampton Cats Protection says the figure has doubled, compared to August 2022.

It says factors including Brexit, Covid, the rise in the cost of living and landlords refusing pets in rented accommodation have all contributed to the increase in cat homelessness.

The branch has already rehomed 440 felines this year but is still overwhelmed by need.

It has put out an appeal to find more fosterers and is offering a supported cat ownership scheme to help struggling owners.

Southampton Branch Manager, Caroline Kemp has converted part of her home into a cattery to deal with the influx. Credit: ITV Meridian

Branch Manager, Caroline Kemp said: "Every year I say it's the worst it's been but this really is the worst it's ever been, I've never seen so many kittens.

"We've got people that can't afford to look after their cats any more, we've got people that have gone home because of Brexit, we've got people that couldn't get their cats neutered because they've not been neutering throughout Covid.

"Vets are absolutely overloaded and most of Southampton vets are not taking on any new clients."

"It's really bad and it's really upsetting when you look at the waiting list and you know what dire conditions they're in for they're not getting fed and it's really upsetting for the volunteers."

Southampton Cats Protection volunteer, Liz Steele said: "Strays turn up everywhere, we've had them at the Tudor Museum in Southampton, Leonardo Hotel, any of the hotels, the swimming pool in Eastleigh, they go in office blocks and beneath the sports centre in Southampton."

Cats Protection is working to reduce the number of unwanted cats through education and neutering.

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