They're having kittens at the Fraserburgh and Peterhead branch of Cats Protection!

A local kitten boom has highlighted the importance of feline neutering after 33 kittens were born to eight cats in care the space of a few weeks.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 8:55 am
Volunteers at the Fraserburgh, Peterhead & District Branch of Cats Protection have been helping to care for 33 new arrivals in the last few weeks. (Photos: Cats Protection)

Volunteers from the Fraserburgh, Peterhead & District Branch of Cats Protection have certainly been kept very busy, ensuring the pregnant and nursing mums are provided with sufficient nutrition and security to care for their offspring.

Kitten season in the area has come earlier than usual, and the numbers appearing in such a short period have certainly been challenging for the small but dedicated team.

Different factors are thought to be behind the explosion, with the knock on effect of the pandemic contributing to the rise.

Volunteers have been looking after lots of cute kittens!

Vet practices were initially forced to put most neutering cases on hold, and they continue to deal with a backlog now restrictions have eased.

Branch co-ordinator Ron Maclean said: “There are definitely a few different factors coming into play here for so many coming into care at the same time, but education is still the biggest concern and people need to realise that being a pet owner comes with great responsibilities.

“There have been people getting cats and kittens from various sources during lockdown, not getting them neutered, then getting bored and either abandoning them, or leaving them to stray; as well as people unable to cope with their pets because of financial or health restraints.”

While the branch has no problem finding homes for the kittens, with a lengthy waiting list already in place, it is concerned about the detrimental effects on the health and wellbeing of unneutered cats, both male and female.

A recent survey carried out by Cats Protection found that 77 per cent of respondents were unaware cats could get pregnant from as young as four months old, while 86 per cent did not know a female cat could produce up to 18 kittens in just one year.

Unneutered males are more likely to roam large areas looking for a mate, leaving them susceptible to car accidents and exposing them to diseases such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) and Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV).

The Fraserburgh, Peterhead & District Branch offers support with neutering for anyone on a low income or benefits.

This service is provided all year round.

The branch also runs regular ‘snip and chip’ campaigns where anyone can get their cat neutered and microchipped for £15. The next campaign is expected to run in August.

Ron added: “We are here to help, whether it be to give advice on cat welfare or to offer support with neutering.

"We just ask people to get in touch before situations get out of control.”

For more information on the work of the Fraserburgh, Peterhead & District Branch, visit the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/CPFraserburghandphd.