Battersea being inundated with kittens as Londoners fail to neuter their pets


Battersea Dogs and Cats home has been swarmed with “ridiculously cute” kittens with nearly double being born at the shelter in the past year.

Staff at the shelter said 133 were born on the south London site considerably more than any year in the past decade.

“We’ve had more than 130 kittens born on site this year,” Bridie Williams, Battersea’s cattery manager, told The Guardian.

“Normally it would be around half that.”

The cost of living crisis coupled with less access to veterinary care during the pandemic has resulted in far fewer pets being neutered, Battersea believes.

“We’re having more younger cats coming because owners can’t afford the cat or can’t afford to have them neutered,” Williams added.

“There are some others who didn’t have ops during Covid.”

‘Ridiculously cute’ Xena found a loving home (Supplied)
‘Ridiculously cute’ Xena found a loving home (Supplied)

Kittens are believed to have a “socialisation period” between two and seven weeks with anything not experienced in this window more likely to trigger a fear response later in life.

The home has struggled to find placements for them all during the vital early weeks so are playing vacuum and TV noises to prepare them for home life.

It came as the RSPCA said it has seen a 25 per cent rise in the number of abandonment incidents being dealt with by its rescue teams this year, as well as a 13 per cent rise in neglect incidents.

It has also rescued five puppies with their umbilical cords still attached abandoned in a box in London, two cats who had been abandoned after giving birth to kittens in the West Midlands.

The RSPCA’s most recent figures show that to October 2022, RSPCA rescuers dealt with 13,159 incidents of abandonment – up from 10,519 for the same time period the previous year.

The cost of living crisis and less access to veterinary care during the pandemic has resulted in far fewer pets being neutered.

An affectionate and confident cat named Zeke has spent his very first birthday in the care of animal charity Battersea after his owner was told by their landlord they couldn’t keep him.