THERE’S NO room at the inn – That’s the sad festive message from a Coventry animal sanctuary after being inundated with stray cats and kittens.
Volunteers at Coventry Cat Group have been turning away unwanted and abandoned felines after they found themselves unable to cope with demand for their services.
The Allesley-based centre can sensibly care for 70 cats at any one time, but following a recent influx it has been operating at nearly double capacity.
Treasurer and trustee of the charity, Angie Williams, said staff believed the influx was due to people not understanding the importance of neutering their cats and many getting lost as the winter nights draw in.
She added: “We’re desperately trying to do the best to help the cats so we’ve had to make the difficult decision to close the door.
” We’ve had a lot of cats having babies – including a young cat who came in and delivered prematurely which was very distressing for staff.
“This not only leaves us with more animals to re-home, but means we cannot help other cats which need our help.”
But the charity does not want to encourage people to simply adopt a cat for Christmas – arguing instead that this can often cause more problems.
“It’s a traditional festive image of the pretty kitten on the box,” Angie added.
“But we don’t want to simply encourage people to get cats in time for Christmas without making sure they understand the real responsibility and cost of being a pet owner.
“We don’t want to add to the number of cats and kittens which are adopted or bought at Christmas that end up abandoned and on our doorstep again just weeks later.”
Angie instead suggested that people who are thinking of giving someone a cat for Christmas should give them the promise of a cat instead.
She added: “Part of the fun of getting a pet is going out and picking it, or letting it pick you.
“But if you give someone the promise of a pet they can properly think about whether they can cope with the responsibility and enjoy the excitement of choosing the pet for themselves.”
Anyone interested in volunteering for the charity or who wants to make a donation should visit www.coventrycatgroup.org.uk/