A WIRRAL veterinary practice that has helped hundreds of stray moggies to find loving homes is urging owners to neuter their cats.
Littlecroft Veterinary Clinic in Little Sutton, Ellesmere Port, has worked with South Wirral Cats Protection for more than 20 years, providing health checks to cats brought into the surgery by the charity and neutering, vaccinating and microchipping.
More than 750 cats and kittens have been rehomed by the charity in the last three years alone, including a record 304 in 2018.
Now, as part of World Spay Day 2019, the practice is urging cat owners to neuter their pets to reduce the number of unwanted litters of kittens, which often end up as strays or are abandoned or handed over to charities like Cats Protection.
Nine of the UK’s animal welfare charities have joined forced to promote World Spay Day on February 26 to encourage cat owners to have their cats spayed. According to Cats Protection, Recent research has shown that 70% of litters in the UK are unplanned.
Neutering is also thought to decrease roaming and fighting by tom cats, while also preventing infectious diseases being spread to cats.
Littlecroft Vets practice manager Kate Abraham said: “We’ve a long association with South Wirral Cats Protection as all the cats in their care come to us.
“The branch is run by a lovely bunch of people working on a voluntary basis to ensure cats receive the care and treatment they need. They rehomed a record number of cats last year and that highlights the importance of people neutering their cats.
“Spaying female cats prevents unwanted pregnancies that leads to more strays needing homes and neutering male cats reduces their tendency to wander off in search of a mate, lowering the potential for them to get lost or involved in a road accident.”
Janice Knox, South Wirral Cats Protection coordinator, said: “We had a surge in the number of kittens to be rehomed last year as we took in a lot of pregnant cats.
“It underlines the need to neuter cats and we have grants available for pet owners to meet the cost.”
As part of its care of cats, Littlecroft Vets is also planning to trial feline-only appointments. In coming weeks, the practice will set aside appointments that are only available to cat owners and close the door to dogs, unless they are brought in as an emergency.
They hope the move will make visiting the vets a less stressful experience for cats and their owners.
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