48 percent of people questioned by the Big Yorkshire Cat Rescue Survey believe that Britain’s cat population is out of control. 61 percent noticed an increase in the number of homeless cats. 92 percent want to see a crack-down on owners releasing unwanted cats into the wild.
The survey asked participants who they felt should be responsible for managing the UK’s stray and feral cat population. 45 percent of people pointed to local councils. 15 percent believe it’s a concern for the RSPCA. A further 15 percent suggest that animal rescues generally should tackle the issue.
Sara Atkinson, founder of Yorkshire Cat Rescue commented: “It is already illegal for people to leave domesticated cats where they are not provided for, but people clearly want to see more prosecutions and harsher sentencing. In most cases, offenders receive a small fine or community service. Judging by the country’s stray and feral cat population, and bulging rehoming centres, current measures don’t seem to be having much effect.
“Although it may not seem exceptionally cruel to release a cat into the wild, these pets face an uncertain, stressful and often very short life. Certainly, those who are convicted of animal cruelty should at least be banned from keeping pets in the future.”
It is estimated that around 850,000 cats in the UK have had unplanned litters. The charity believes the number of unwanted felines is beyond four million. Yorkshire Cat Rescue alone is caring for over 100 cats at any given time, and juggling a waiting list of 700 cats and kittens.
The Big Yorkshire Cat Rescue Survey 2016 is based on responses from 522 people across the country, who were surveyed during November and December 2015.