London animal welfare charity, , has seen its highest ever weekly intake of abandoned kittens in May, having had 30 unwanted tiny felines left at their Kensal Green headquarters in one week alone from 16th to 23rd May 2022 – a 50% increase compared to the same period in 2021.
A record 202 cats and kittens were left at Mayhew between January and May this year by owners who could longer care for them, a 20% increase compared to the same period in 2021 when 167 cats and kittens came into the charity.
Mayhew, which looks after about 150 cats and kittens at any one time says that resources on its feline maternity ward are being “stretched to breaking point” as a result of the recent influx of kittens.
Lisa Guiney, Operations Manager at Mayhew, explains: “Our cattery has become a kitten orphanage in a matter of just a few weeks because there are so many abandoned mums and babies arriving at our door. This time of year is normally busy with litters because the warm Spring weather brings out cats’ instincts to mate, but because London has a very high population of unneutered cats we are literally overflowing.
Lisa continues, “The kittens are now taking over pens reserved for strays, and older cats and we are close to exceeding capacity in an already limited space. We urgently need volunteer kitten foster carers we can call on to help with the kitten crisis. However, should understand that being a kitten foster carer can be challenging as well as being incredibly rewarding. It is ideally suited to people who aren’t working, or to couples who can take on shifts to care for the kittens. People who work full time from home with a flexible work schedule might want to consider it, but my team and I are on hand to discuss what is involved with applicants.”
Financial reason and the current cost of living crisis are widely cited as one of the main reasons people were getting rid of their pets.