A Bristol animal sanctuary says it has seen a ‘huge surge’ in the number of cats being brought in due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Holly Hedge Animal Sanctuary in Barrow Gurney says its cattery is currently ‘full to the brim’ and there is now a waiting list of animals waiting to be brought in.
The sanctuary is currently looking after nearly 70 cats at its base and has more in foster care awaiting new homes.
Holly Hedge spokeswoman Hannah Goodwin-Sharman said: “There is not a pen spare at the moment and we also have a long waiting list of cats waiting to come in.”
Hannah said the spike in cat numbers was due largely to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and for a number of reasons.
Many charities have been forced to halt neutering schemes due to the pandemic meaning a spike in the number of cats breeding.
People have also lost their jobs and been forced to move to alternative accommodation where animals are not allowed.
Others are being forced to rehome their pets after becoming homeless while some have fallen victim to relationship breakdowns.
“There has been a surge in cats needing to be rehomed and this has been for a variety of reasons as a result of the pandemic,” said Hannah.
“We are seeing a constant stream of animals and many more than we have seen in previous years.
“So many have been displaced due to issues related to the pandemic.”
All cats that are rehomed are neutered before they leave.
“We ensure all our cats are neutered,” said Hannah.
“One un-neutered cat can give birth to multiple litters practically one after the other.”
Hannah said she expected to see the issue of stray cats also worsen over the coming months.
“Due to neutering programmes run by many charities having to be paused due to the pandemic, we expect to see a major spike in the stray cat population this year and in future years,” said Hannah.
As well as an influx of kittens the sanctuary is also currently home to a large number of older cats.
“Some have come in as strays and are not used to having lots of human contact,” said Hannah.
“They take some time to bring round and get used to humans again so will need owners who can give them lots of time and love.”
The sanctuary currently has a number of moggies looking for new homes.
For more information and to apply visit the Holly Hedge website or call 01275 474719.