Charities highlight the importance of neutering your cat
The UK faces a cat overpopulation crisis, according to the RSPCA.
Nine animal welfare charities -- including the RSPCA, Cats Protection, PDSA and Battersea Dogs & Cats Home -- have joined forces to encourage cat owners to have their cats neutered to prevent more unwanted kittens being born.
It comes after research by the PDSA revealed that 9% of cats are not neutered -- equating to to 999,000 unneutered cats in the UK. A survey of owners found that 70% of litters are unplanned.
Cats Protection recommends having your cat spayed at four months to protect her from getting pregnant. Many pet owners are allowing their cats outside after vaccination and ending up with accidental litters being born before the traditional six-month neutering.
Male cats should be neutered too, to help prevent them catching diseases and getting injuries from fighting. Neutered male cats are also less likely to spray indoors and more likely to stay close to home.
UK rescue charities offer financial assistance for neutering your cat to help cover the costs.
The RSPCA said that neutering from four months old rather than six months would have a significant impact on the number of unplanned litters, thereby reducing the large number of homeless cats.
Cat population control manager at the RSPCA Carrie Stones commented: "Sadly, cats are the most rescued animal by our team and we receive hundreds of thousands of calls about their welfare each year.
"The UK is facing a cat overpopulation crisis as there are simply not enough homes for the large number of cats we and other charities see. We believe the answer is to neuter cats from four months old to ensure that no more unwanted litters are born."