A Thanet animal charity says it is caring for such a huge number of cats that costs for treating and caring for them can no longer be met,
Cats in Crisis is completely manned by volunteers who rescue and rehome cats in the Thanet, with particular concern for elderly cats and ferals.
The charity, which has been running some two decades, has more than 100 cats in its care being looked after in the homes of volunteers as there is no rescue centre.
Vet bills in September and October came to a staggering £10,000 with another £600 spent on food.
Charity boss Mary Knott said: “This year, like many other animal rescues, we have experienced massive problems with families being evicted, pets being abandoned and pet owners unable to pay for their own food with no funds for meeting bails for pet food and vets.
“As a consequence many sick and injured cats are being left to suffer as strays, often being picked up by kind members of the public who take them to a local vets.
“We then get asked if we can help. As some have serious injuries the resultants vet bills are extremely high and finding space for these cats to recuperate until sufficiently well to be considered for rehoming is getting more and more difficult.
“As fewer people come forward to give a cat a home, we are not freeing up sufficient space to take in all those waiting.
“With the colder weather now upon us, it is heartbreaking to know we are leaving cats to suffer.
“Sadly, we are now no longer able to meet the huge costs involved in treating and caring for such large numbers of cats.”
Cats in Crisis volunteers use their own homes, often building pens, to care for the cats and money is also raised through charity events and donations from the public. The organisation’s main income is from its charity shop at 55 Queen Street in Ramsgate.
Mary said: “We would ask people to come and support us [at the shop] to enable us to continue with our work.
“We have always said we try not to say ‘no’ when a cat is in trouble. Now it is difficult to say ‘yes’.”
Find out how to donate via https://catsincrisisthanet.wordpress.com/donate/