Cats Protection’s Derby Adoption Centre is encouraging owners to get their cats neutered after rescuing a young stray who had given birth to an incredible eight kittens, double the average litter size.
The charity is looking after the feline family until they can either be reunited with their owners, if possible, or found loving new homes.
This work is kindly supported by an award from Postcode Animal Trust thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who have been raising funds for Cats Protection since 2018.
One-year-old Mitush was found in a street, along with her eight kittens who were only a few days old, at the end of January. The person that found them contacted the adoption centre team, who were able to take them into the maternity wing straight away.
Despite her young age, Mitush is a very good mother, especially considering the size of her litter which is one of the largest the centre has seen. The kittens are doing well and will be ready to find new homes around early April, once they have been weaned, vaccinated and neutered.
Another young stray cat, now called Feia, and her kitten Lindo came into the centre on 17 January, when Lindo was just two weeks old. Feia is estimated to be around 18 months old and the pair were found in a garden. The owners of the house had a good look around and did not see any more kittens, so managed to bring them inside before handing them over to Cats Protection.
As the only kitten in the litter, Lindo is thriving and being well looked after. He is getting more and more playful by the day, watched over by his proud mum.
Adoption Centre Manager, Helen Wood, said: “As well as Mitush and Feia, we’ve taken in a heavily pregnant cat and another mum with new-born kittens recently.
“Having started taking in kittens quite early this year, it looks like this kitten season might be a busy one. We’d really encourage cat owners to get their cats neutered to ensure there will be fewer unwanted felines in the future.”
“We recommend that cats are neutered from around four months of age, as this is when they can start breeding. This means that at just six months of age, a kitten could be a mother herself.”
Neutering offers many solid benefits to cats and owners alike. A neutered cat is less likely to spray, less likely to roam and also less likely to fight. Neutering also helps guard against disease, as fighting cats are more at risk of life-threatening diseases that can be transmitted through biting and saliva.
Cats Protection believes that population control for cats is vital, as felines are prolific breeders. As one unneutered female cat could potentially produce up to 18 kittens a year, owners who do not neuter their cats may unwittingly be contributing to more cats being abandoned in the future.