Cats’ Protection shut doors as crisis bites

A cat rescue charity has had no choice but to close its doors for the first time in a decade, and put out a plea for cat lovers to come forward and adopt a new companion.

Cats Protection’s Hemel Hempstead and Berkhamsted branch is now caring for more than 35 moggies, and cannot take on any more until they find homes for their current residents.

Homing and Welfare Officer Becca Marriott in an outdoor cat pen with residents Bailey, left, and camera-shy Josie, right

Homing and Welfare Officer Becca Marriott in an outdoor cat pen with residents Bailey, left, and camera-shy Josie, right

Space is at such a premium in some carers’ homes that one fosterer’s son had to give up his bedroom to make way for cats in need, while in another house a puss is currently housed in the family bathroom.

Neutering officer Ali Allen said: “It’s far from ideal. I’ve been a volunteer for almost 10 years and this is the worst summer I’ve known. I can’t recall a time that this has happened.

“The school holidays are always a low point for adoptions, it seems to be the same pattern every year. We’re not getting much interest.

“We’re now closed, possibly until well into the autumn.”

Ali said they have had no choice but to refer people to other charities, and that it can be “very distressing”.

Homing and Welfare Officer Becca Marriott said: “There should be no more than two cats in one pen at any one time, but because of the overcrowding we’ve had four in together at one stage.”

In a bid to prevent more unwanted kittens being born, the charity issues neutering vouchers to those who are on low incomes.

Ali said: “We need to get more people neutering their cats, because that’s half the problem. We also need more people to adopt. Cats are relatively cheap and they make lovely pets. We need to get these cats on the move.”

To enquire about neutering vouchers, call Ali on 01442 251536. To see cats who are looking for a new home, visit www.dacorum.cats.org.uk.

For each cat, there is an adoption fee which includes a full vet check, blood tests, worming, flea treatment, vaccinations and microchipping.