One of Sheffield’s oldest animal charities is struggling to cope – after being inundated with unwanted cats and kittens.
The Sheffield Cats’ Shelter in Travis Place, Broomhall can only provide homes for 50 felines at a time.
But volunteer Christine Goddard said though the shelter was full to capacity, people were phoning in daily looking for places and there was a waiting list of 400 animals.
“We are at crisis point – we normally find homes for around 400 cats a year, and this year we have arranged 240 adoptions,” she said.
“But some cats have been here for a few months and so we are especially appealing to possible owners who are looking for more steady, mature cats rather than active kittens.”
Christine said this year there had been an unprecedented number of abandoned or homeless cats.
“I think much of the problem has been down to the generally tough economic situation,” she said.
“It is also a difficult time of year – it is summer, people are going away and are busy and may not be thinking about taking in a new pet until after the holidays.
“We see evidence of hard times on a regular basis. Someone rang this week who was being evicted from their home and could not take their three cats to their new place.
“Other people simply cannot afford to keep their pets anymore, while sometimes we have older people who are moving into care homes. Other more irresponsible owners report that their cats have produced a house full of kittens – there are many factors at work.”
Cats desperately needing homes include:
n Ocean, a black and white female aged one, who came to the shelter as a stray with her mother.
n Missy, a tortoiseshell and white female aged five, who was brought in because her owners could no longer care for her.
n Crystal, a black female aged two, who was found living outside with no access to food and water.
n And Misty and Tilly, mother and daughter aged five and four, who were brought to the shelter because their owner had a new baby in the house.
n If you are interested in adopting a cat or can help with a donation, please contact the Sheffield Cats Shelter on 0114 272 4441 between 1.30pm and 3.30pm any day. Visit the website to find out more about the cats and the work the staff do.