A cat welfare scheme in Sheffield neutered more than 30 cats in one day to mark World Spay Day.
The event was held at a PDSA Clinic in Northern Avenue on Saturday 23 February with 20 females spayed and 11 males neutered by PDSA vets and organised by the RSPCA’s Cat Smart team.
Cat Smart is a RSPCA-funded pilot project taking place in Sheffield and York which is aimed at easing the overpopulation crisis in those area.
The event was held to help raise awareness of the importance of neutering cats from an earlier age to avoid unwanted and unplanned pregnancies.
The UK is facing a cat overpopulation crisis with thousands of unwanted cats ending up in rescue centres, the RSPCA, along with many cat and vet organisations, believe the solution to this is neutering cats from four months old.
Carrie Stones, RSPCA’s cat population control manager, said: “The event was incredibly successful seeing a total of 31 cats neutered on the day. IT was also great to be able to chat to the local community and raise awareness about why neutering is so important.
“In preparation of the event, and with the support of the fantastic Cat Smart volunteers, we spoke to 200 people in the Arbourthorne area about the welfare needs of cats and the cat population crisis and why the scheme is so important. As a result of this, we were able to reach more people and neuter more cats.”
David Kearsley, client services manager at PDSA, said: “It’s been fantastic to be involved in a joint venture with the RSPCA and this opportunity had huge benefits for the local cat community of Sheffield, keeping them happy and healthy. The staff really enjoyed the event and felt like they had made a real difference to the cats and their owners.”
The PDSA Animal Wellbeing. (PAW) Report 2018 revealed that 9% of cats are not neutered which equates to 999,0000 unneutered cats in the UK. The top reasons for not neutering included that the owner hadn’t thought about it (24%), that the cat doesn’t go outside (15%), and they were too young (15%).
Last year’s PDSA report also found that 13% of owners of female cats said that their cat had at least one litter and 70% of those owners said that their cat’s pregnancy was unplanned.
Neutering cats from four months old rather than the traditional six months will have a significant impact on the number of unplanned litters and therefore reduce the large number of homeless cats.
The RSPCA rescued 893 cats in South Yorkshire last year and received 150,000 calls about cats to its national control centre making cats the most rescued animal.