Animal charities and vets in Sheffield are coming together to tackle a ‘crisis’ in unwanted cats and kittens.
A number of charities - including Cats Protection, PDSA, Rain Rescue, RSPCA Sheffield Branch and Sheffield Cat Shelter - and eight local veterinary practices are taking part in a one-year pilot project, funded and led by the national RSPCA.
Carrie Stones, cat population control manager for the north, who is managing the project - which aims to reduce the number of unwanted cats and kittens in the city - said: “The cat population in the UK has reached crisis point.
“The number of cats coming into the RSPCA increased by eight per cent in a period of just two years, from 29,269 to 31,556, and is expected to continue to increase.
“Neutering and microchipping voucher schemes are great, but they are not effective enough to tackle the problem alone in areas with a higher than average number of unwanted and abandoned cats.
“The idea of this pilot project - which we’ve called Cat Smart Sheffield - is for the animal charities in the area to pool knowledge, expertise and access to existing schemes to enable outreach, engagement and educational sessions in the areas where the problem is the worst.”
Five ‘hotspots’ where the majority of cat abandonment and rescues occur in Sheffield have been identified - S1, S2, S3, S5 and S9 - and the project will be specifically targeting these areas.
Carrie added: “A whopping 75 per cent of cats and kittens coming into Sheffield Cat Shelter are from the S5 area so clearly this is somewhere we need to do a lot of work.”
Visit www.facebook.com/CatSmartSheffield for more details on the project.