Saturday 25 May 2019

NWSPCA has no room to take any more cats

North Wexford SPCA cattery is full to capacity with over 100 cats and kittens, resulting in many being turned away

Meg Murphy and Rosie McKenna
Meg Murphy and Rosie McKenna
'Tom the Boss'

Sara Gahan

North Wexford SPCA (NWSPCA) is appealing for new homes for a number of cats currently in their care at the facility situated on the Arklow Road at the Veterinary Hospital.

The cattery is now full to capacity with over 100 cats and kittens needing good homes.

As a result, NWSPCA said due to unprecedented demands on their resources they regret that they are unable to take in any cats or kittens until further notice.

Meg Murphy, an NWSPCA volunteer, said a big problem they face is most kittens or cats that they rescue or are brought in are not in great health.

'Viruses and diseases spread very easily among cats and kittens,' said Meg. 'We simply can't afford the vet bills and we need to get through this backlog before we can take anymore in.'

The FBV virus spread through the cattery last year, killing nearly all of the kittens. Meg said it is a tummy virus that is highly contagious.

'It is very disheartening to lose them like that,' added Meg. 'We urge cat owners to vaccinate the mother cat so at least the kittens are protected when they are born.'

Other volunteer Rosie McKenna said another medical problem they have noticed in some kittens due to mother cats not being vaccinated is Wobbly Kitten Syndrome (cerebellar hypoplasia).

'It is a brain defect which affects the kittens coordination, balance and motor skills,' said Rosie.

Both volunteers said if a stray cat comes along to a persons house, do not feed it if you don't want to keep it or have the responsibility for it having kittens.

'Too many times we have people call in and say they have a stray cat they have been feeding for a few months and now it has kittens,' said Meg. 'They just leave the cat and kittens with us and we simply just can't deal with all of them right now.'

Meg said an unspayed female cat, her unneutered mate and all of their offspring, producing 2 litters with 2.8 surviving kittens per year, can total 11,606,077 cats in only 9 years.

NWSPCA is encouraging cat owners to make sure they get their pet spayed (€80) or neutered (€50) if they don't want more kittens.

To help alleviate the situation, NWSPCA has eight fosterer's to take care of some of the cat residents while they wait for them to be adopted. Meg currently takes care of 16 cats and kittens, while other volunteer Rosie has 11.

The NWSPCA is appealing to members of the public to also consider becoming a volunteer as numbers are very low.

Meg said they need two people per shift. There are three shifts throughout the day - 9 a.m., to 11 a.m.; 2 p.m., to 4 p.m.; and 6 p.m., until 8 p.m.

Volunteering includes looking after the cats and kittens currently in the cattery, cleaning out their cages, administrating any medicine they need and giving them a cuddles.

NWSPCA has been in operation for over 70 years. Last year, they helped over 400 cats and kittens, but this year the figure will be closer to 600.

The cattery runs a very successful TNR programme for feral cats, which are a big problem in Wexford. They trap, neuter, treat for fleas/worms and return the cats who can then lead healthy lives without the burden of raising litters.

The facility would like to give a big thank you to the Veterinary Hospital for their ongoing support.

Gorey Guardian