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RSPCA staff at Leybourne and Headcorn say they are coping with more cats than ever before

By Angela Cole

There’s simply no more room at the inn – or cattery.

Animal charity RSPCA reported a national cat population crisis earlier this month but the situation has reached epidemic proportions in our part of Kent.

At the charity’s centre in Castle Way, Leybourne, managers have had to resort to putting cats into private boarding kennels.

Christine Dooley from the RSPCA at Leybourne
Christine Dooley from the RSPCA at Leybourne

Manager Christine Dooley said: “If we haven’t got the space, we have to book them in to private kennels. It holds up the process, though.

“There are just too many cats and not enough homes for them. People are not getting them neutered and they are also arriving in poorer condition. The cost is definitely a factor.

“We would say to people that having kittens is not a money-making option: do not let your cat breed and think you can sell them. This is partly why there are so many multi-cat households now.”

Another branch of the charity, covering Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells and based in Headcorn, is seeing more kittens and is dealing with an increasing number of cases where more than one animal has been abandoned.

The RSPCA’s Becky Blackmore said: “Last year was horrendous in terms of the number of cats which were abandoned. They were left in boxes outside our shops, by rubbish bins, in woodland and all kinds of places – it was heartbreaking.

“All our centres throughout the county were completely stretched. Now is the time for cat owners to act and stop the situation spiralling out of control again. We urge people to neuter their cats now.”

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