Cats Protection’s Newtown & District Branch has been inundated with calls to rescue abandoned kittens.
“They are seemingly appearing at about five weeks old, possibly when a feral mum has had enough of them and leaves them to fend for themselves,” said volunteer fosterer Sheila Phillips.
But with just a handful of volunteer fosterers there is limited space to take in all the cats that need temporary homes, where they can live safely and securely until a new owner can be found.
To combat the overwhelming numbers of cats coming into its care, the branch has launched a fundraising drive to help cover expenses such as vet bills and food. Anyone wishing to donate can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/newtown-districtcpkittennotkittenappeal
As well as rescuing abandoned or unwanted kittens, the branch also steps in when someone struggles with too many cats.
One recent case saw volunteers going into the home of a vulnerable woman who had amassed 16 cats, which were continually reproducing. Kittens can produce their own kittens from as young as four months old. The house had no electricity and the woman could no longer cope.
Branch volunteers also work closely with farmers who have feral cats living on their land, taking felines to get neutered to ensure their numbers do not grow.
This Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) work can be painstaking and time-consuming as it involves catching feral cats, taking them to a vets to be neutered and placing them back to a place of safety. They cannot be rehomed as they are unused to human contact.
Branch coordinator Carol Evans is also keen to stress that people should deal only with volunteers that can be identified as working for Cats Protection, who are easily recognisable by their branded blue fleeces.
Carol said: “There has been a problem with people passing themselves off as experts but not providing cats with the best care and rehoming them in poor condition or to unsuitable homes, and the branch is left to pick up the pieces.
“We are always in uniform and the van is branded. We do make a fuss of what we are doing, you’ll always know it’s us!”
Anyone wishing to offer a kitten or cat a new home, or offer their time as a volunteer can ring 01686 670 277 or email email@example.com. For further information on the branch go to cats.org.uk/newtown