The number of abandoned cats is on the rise, reports Keighley-based charity, Yorkshire Cat Rescue. In 2014 the organisation rescued 865 cats and kittens, compared with 688 the previous year. On some occasions as many as seven cats at a time were dumped in boxes outside the centre’s gates.

Founder Sara Atkinson said: ‘Last year we took in 86 percent more cats than when we first opened our doors two decades ago. In fact, including the cats on our waiting list, the number of animals seeking a new home through us has grown 15 fold in the last 20 years. We therefore desperately need more donations to cope with both higher running costs and explosive demand for help.’

These shocking statistics follow the RSPCA’s report in October of last year. It revealed that 210,952 abandoned animals have been reported to the organisation in the last five years. Cats Protection’s Newbury Adoption Centre also saw a 36 percent increase in 2014. Last year it rehomed 570 cats and kittens with the help of new facilities opened in Newbury’s Pets at Home store in April.

The high numbers are worrying news for members of the pet trade. Breeders and sellers already offer would-be owners extensive information on the care and needs of their future pet. A ‘cooling off’ period often discourages impulse purchases and offers buyers the chance to reflect. Pet professionals can contact Pet Gazette magazine with their own tips for helping customers understand the needs of their pets. Get in touch on twitter @PetGazette.

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