Chesterfield RSPCA centre is inundated with requests from cat owners wanting to rehome pets
Animal carers at Chesterfield RSPCA have been deluged with requests to find new homes for cats from owners whose circumstances have changed.
Steph McCawley, supporter engagement officer, said: “We have experienced a high number of owners wanting to rehome their cat which has meant we are currently having to hold a waiting list, as we do not physically have the capacity to help every owner at any one time whilst dealing with priority cases from RSPCA inspectors.
"Thankfully, we are able to find homes for all of them very quickly and with our current remote adoption process they are much easier to adopt."
The charity’s Adoptober campaign has been running throughout October. Steph said: “We encourage anyone who is looking to adopt a cat to think of their local rescue centres first and fill out the online application form to be considered."
Three-year-old Nora arrived at the Chesterfield centre in September 2020 as part of a welfare case where she was found alone in horrendous conditions. She had had very little human contact and would spend her days hiding away trying not to get noticed.
Carers worked wonders with her and Nora now plays with her toys and looks happier and more relaxed.
Nora has obviously won the heart of a prospective new owner because she is now on the reserved list.
The animal welfare charity reported that 582 rescue cats were rehomed in Derbyshire in 2020.
At the Chesterfield centre Steph said: “We have seen the demand for cats rise over the last 18 months.”
Last year the charity rehomed 17,868 cats across the country which is 53 a day or two cats rehomed every hour.
Nationally, there was a 166% increase in searches for cats on the RSPCA’s FindAPet website following the first year of the pandemic (March 2020 numbered 114,316 compared to Jan 2021 which numbered 304,300.)
Sam Gaines, head of the RSPCA’s companion animals team, said: “It’s great to see so many people are interested in adopting cats from the RSPCA. The lockdown has really shone a light on the close bonds we have with our pets and for many people, their pets have become a real source of comfort during these challenging times.
“We’ve seen a huge surge in pet ownership during the past year or so and whilst it’s positive that so many people want to take on a pet we are keen to highlight the importance of doing your research to ensure you’ve got the time, patience and money to care for that animal for the rest of their life.
“Our centres and branches are seeing lots of cats coming into their care at the moment. This could be due to the end of the kitten season when most cats are born or more worryingly, it could be as a result of people buying cats on impulse earlier in the year who are now struggling to cope with them.”
Support your Derbyshire Times by becoming a digital subscriber. You will see 70 per cent fewer ads on stories, meaning faster load times and an overall enhanced user experience. Click here to subscribe.