RSPCA staff normally have the job of collecting abandoned kittens around the city of Bristol, but for one day only they will be dumping ‘kittens’ themselves - and asking the public to collect them.
Tomorrow (Tuesday 24th) is World Spay Day and the RSPCA in Bristol are marking the occasion by giving away five free cat spays – but with a Willy Wonka style twist.
Staff from RSPCA Bristol Clinic and Bristol Dogs and Cats Home will be out and about placing five special World Spay Day kitten vouchers on the outside of litter bins in the city.
The ‘kittens’ will carry a unique code, exactly like a pet that has been microchipped, and the five people who find them will be able to claim a free cat spay (female neuter) by bringing them into the Clinic to be scanned.
Veterinary Manager at RSPCA Bristol Mandy Stone said: “Litter bins were chosen as the location for our “kittens” to highlight the fact that there are still hundreds of litters that get “dumped” at animal rescues across the country, because pet owners didn’t quite get round to having their new kitten neutered soon enough.
“We want to raise awareness with pet owners that spaying kittens before puberty is an important part of responsible cat ownership and shows how much you care about both your own kitten and cat welfare in general.”
The RSPCA advises that female cats should be spayed by four months old - the age at which they start to attract the attention of tomcats and get pregnant.
Mandy Stone said: “When a cat comes into season her hormones will give off signals that she wants to mate - and she will attract local tomcats. This can happen while she’s still very young so it’s important to have your cat spayed early – ideally by four months - and before she is allowed outside.
“A common misbelief is that cats should be allowed to have a litter of kittens before being spayed - this just isn’t true. In fact, the sooner a cat is spayed, the sooner she is able to be let outdoors, once she’s fully vaccinated, to enjoy life without being pestered by tomcats.
“Male cats that haven’t been neutered are also more likely to roam and fight, putting them at risk of injury, infected wounds and contracting diseases, including FIV - the feline equivalent of HIV.”
Bristol Dogs and Cats Home is preparing for the spring “kitten season”, when they start to see the results of unplanned feline pregnancies flooding in.
Home Manager Jodie Hayward said: “We get kitten after kitten abandoned in boxes or handed over to us because homes couldn’t be found.
“Often it seems people imagine their litter doesn’t count, especially if they think they have homes lined up for them.
“But the truth is, every single kitten born adds to what is a cat population crisis in this country, and anyone who cares about cats should get their cat neutered.
“It has many benefits, for both the cats and the owner, as well as helping stop kittens ending up treated like rubbish.”
Anyone finding one of the five World Spay Day kitten vouchers will need to call the RSPCA Bristol Clinic on 0117 9724567, to find out how they can claim their free cat spay.