NEW statistics released by the RSPCA reveal the charity rescued 456 cats across Hampshire last year following calls to its national cruelty line.
As the animal welfare charity, which has a base in Stubbington, enters Cat Week as part of its month-long rehoming drive Adoptober, it reveals RSPCA inspectors rescued the equivalent of more than 60 cats per day across the country - or 22,000 over the whole year.
This is more than any other animal nationally and is four times the number of dogs, which stands at 5,930.
Cat welfare expert Alice Potter said: ‘Sadly we do know that cats are an extremely misunderstood pet and can often find themselves the victims of poor care.
‘Our inspectorate is getting calls every day from worried members of the public reporting the cruelty of these animals - and the number of cats we are rescuing is equivalent to 60 per day which is far too high.’
The charity is calling for cat owners to neuter their cats at around four months old, rather than six months, which can greatly reduce the risk of them getting pregnant and owners being stuck with an unwanted litter.
Alice added: ‘If you are thinking of taking on an animal we would always urge people to look into adopting a rescue pet, as our centres are full of loving cats of all shapes and sizes looking for forever homes.’
There are lots of cats at The Stubbington Ark looking for homes, including eight-year-old Henry who is described by staff as a ‘sensitive soul’ looking for a calm forever home.
Carers think Henry would flourish in a home with a large private garden, and an owner who is experienced with nervous cats and a hands off approach.
Five-year-old Willis is also searching for a home after settling into the Ark and showing off a playful, energetic side.
Staff advise that Willis could live with children and perhaps another cat but would not want to live with a dog.
To offer an RSPCA rescue cat a new home visit www.rspca.org.uk/findapet to find your perfect match.