A LEEDS veterinary practice has neutered more than 150 cats as part of a drive to help owners on low incomes.
The free neutering programme, organised by the charity Leeds Feline Friends and carried out by vets at two branches of Beechwood Vets, has prevented potentially hundreds of unwanted litters of kittens.
The campaign, which started last July, is aimed at cat owners on low incomes who may otherwise struggle to afford to pay for their pets to be neutered and two areas of Leeds were targeted where there is a high number of unwanted litters.
Through Leeds Feline Friends, owners can have their cats neutered and also receive a one-off free flea and worm treatment.
Beechwood Vets first ran the neutering days at their Chapel Allerton branch, targeting owners from Harehills, Chapeltown and Chapel Allerton areas of Leeds. Vets neutered more than 100 male and female cats in two months.
The free service was then expanded to the practice’s main Crossgates surgery in October, where they have so far neutered 45 cats since October and are continuing to take appointments.
Not only does neutering prevent unwanted litters of kittens, it is thought to decrease roaming and fighting by tom cats.
Beechwood Vets practice manager Kelly Mann said: “We are delighted with the success of the neutering programme and we have been able to help people on limited income who may not have been able to have their cats neutered.
“A lot of owners have come forward and we’re expecting more people to take advantage of the scheme.
“This will help to reduce the number of unwanted litters and the number of kittens that end up in rehoming centres. It also stops young cats having kittens themselves.
“There are also many benefits to male cats. Neutering reduces their tendency to wander off in search of a mate, lowering the potential to get lost or involved in a road accident, and can also stop them fighting. They can then become loving household pets.”
Liz Linfoot, chair of Leeds Feline Friends, said the initiative is helping to spare unwanted kittens ending up in rescue homes.
Miss Linfoot said: “We are keen for all cats to be neutered as one of the problems is that not doing so creates more and more and more cats. Every rescue group in the country is inundated with unwanted or abandoned cats, more often than not because owners haven’t had their cat neutered.
“We target one are of Leeds at a time, where we see a lot of unwanted litters, and help low income owners, struggling to afford to have their cat neutered.”
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