THE NUMBER of cats being abandoned at a rescue centre near Redditch has almost doubled in the last year.
Cramar Cat Sanctuary in Hopwood homed more than 575 cats in 2014, compared with just over 330 in the previous year.
In December alone staff managed to find a total of 56 cats and kittens homes but in just 24 hours on Monday (January 5) six cats were dumped at the rescue centre.
Carole Lowe, trustee of the sanctuary based on the Redditch Road, said it was the worst year to date for the number of cats coming in.
“Although we do find homes for our cats and kittens, there is always a waiting list. One goes and another comes in. We have cats turning up every day.” she said.
“It has been a problem for all the years I have been here, but it used to be worst in certain seasons when cats were having their kittens, but now it is all year round.
“Cats are having their kittens earlier and earlier, so now there is no breathing space, more and more are coming through the doors.”
She said the key problem was people not neutering their pets with many having unwanted litters.
As well as domesticated cats the centre also cares for 100 feral felines who are permanently based there.
The sanctuary relies completely on donations which has to cover the cost of food, staff wages, bedding and veterinary bills.
Rachael Clements, sanctuary supervisor, said among the cats and kittens she had cared for some had been dumped at rubbish sites or abandoned at bus stops.
“People think we just play with the cats all day and don’t realise how much emotional and physical energy the job uses. When you are hand rearing tiny kittens you have to feed them every two hours through the night, then come to work the next day.
“We do everything we can to help these cats live and get the right homes they deserve. We never ever want to turn a cat away, but sometimes it feels like people just expect us to have them.
“We are always at maximum capacity, I don’t think we ever have any space. But thankfully lots of people come and give great homes and that’s what makes it rewarding.”
Call 0121 445 1840 or visit www.cramarcats.org.uk for more information on how to donate or re-home.