The RSPCA has seen a huge surge in searches for cats, as new figures show that on average the charity rehomes two cats every hour.
There was a 166 per cent increase in searches for cats on the RSPCA’s FindAPet website following the first year of the pandemic - 114,316 in March 2020 compared to 304,300 in January 2021.
Last year, the charity rehomed 17,868 cats - which is 53 a day or two cats rehomed every hour.
In Buckinghamshire there were 607 cats rehomed in 2020.
Centres and branches are also caring for more cats than any other pet, with nearly 3,000 moggies coming into the RSPCA’s care in the first eight months of of this year.
This month marks Adoptober, when the RSPCA shines a light on the animals in its care looking for homes.
And with more cats coming into the charity’s care than any other pet, this means there are plenty of feline friends looking to be adopted.
Sam Gaines, head of the RSPCA’s companion animals team, said: “It’s great to see so many people are interested in adopting cats from the RSPCA.
"The lockdown has really shone a light on the close bonds we have with our pets and, for many people, their pets have become a real source of comfort during these challenging times.
“We’ve seen a huge surge in pet ownership during the past year or so and, whilst it’s positive that so many people want to take on a pet, we are keen to highlight the importance of doing your research to ensure you’ve got the time, patience and money to care for that animal for the rest of their life.
“Our centres and branches are seeing lots of cats coming into their care at the moment.
This could be due to the end of the kitten season, when most cats are born, or more worryingly, it could be as a result of people buying cats on impulse earlier in the year, who are now struggling to cope with them.
“However, we’d urge anyone who has thoroughly done their research and is keen to take on a rescue cat to consider adopting from the RSPCA.”
Cats looking for homes in Bucks include one-year-old Liberty, who came into the care of Blackberry Farm Animal Centre, near Quainton, after being found as a stray.
Though the rescue centre doesn't think she has been owned before, she seems confident with people and is very happy to be fussed.
She adores being groomed, and purrs very loudly.
Although she’s young, she isn't too fussed with playing with toys at the moment but this may change when she goes to her new home.
Sam added: “We believe neutering cats from four months old will reduce the amount of unwanted and unexpected litters of kittens that are born and, sadly, end up in rescue centres.
"We understand that many owners may not have been able to get their pets neutered as, understandably, vets had to prioritise emergencies in the face of Covid-19.
"However, we would urge anyone with an unneutered female cat to get them neutered as soon as they can and keep them indoors until they have been spayed.”
For more information, visit the RSPCA Milton Keynes & North Bucks Branch website here.