Redditch cat rescue charity appeals for neutering to combat feral problem

First published in Local

A CAT rescue centre in Redditch is appealing for people to have their cats neutered after being pushed to its limits by a rise in the number of stray cats.

Mel Booth, who runs the Voluntary Cat Rescue became concerned after seeing an ‘Inside Out’ television programme, which featured a London-based charity seeking homes for feral cats in the Midlands.

The Voluntary Cat Rescue currently neuters and rehomes feral cats from across Birmingham and north Worcestershire, and is already struggling.

She said: “We’re having so much trouble re-homing ferals, and to hear that someone from London is coming up here, it’s crazy. We’ve got hundreds. We can’t get them off the streets fast enough. We just haven’t got the homes for them.”

The charity tries to rehome feral cats in farms and stables where they can live undisturbed.

Ms Booth added: “They’re unhandleable cats as pets, so really they’re working cats. As long as they’re out of the elements and they’re fed we just want someone to give them a chance, and occasionally we relocate semi-feral cats as garden cats for people who are allergic to cats but love them. They usually end up being very friendly after a while.”

The charity mainly focuses on neutering both male and female cats who can start breeding at five months old, and produce three litters of six or more kittens in a year, running into hundreds of kittens for some of the larger feral cat colonies.

“There’s absolutely no need for people to say they can’t afford it,” said Ms Booth. “We’re a voluntary group, we rely on fundraising and we work hard, but there’s no way we’d leave any cat that’s desperate for neutering unneutered.

“We’ve been saying for the past three years it can’t get any worse, and every year it is. I get phone calls every single day. The big shelters don’t go out anymore and do trapping, because they haven’t got the resources. We’re just at a loss of what to do or how to get help. We don’t mind working 24 hours a day to get this neutering sorted, but people need to contact us.”

For more information on cat neutering, contact Mel Booth in Redditch on 01527 547129 or 07505 743963, or Julie Barry in Beoley on 01527 62974 or 07890 400132.

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