The number of stray cats roaming the streets of Blackpool is growing, say local cat rescues.
Blackpool cat shelters Nine Lives and Tender Paws have both seen steep increases in the number of stray cats reported, with one charity more than doubling its intake of strays in just one year.
Cath Middleton, of Blackpool Nine Lives, said: “The number of cats is definitely increasing, It’s the same for all cat rescues in the area. It’s an overall problem.
“Kittens who were on the streets this time last year are now having kittens themselves.”
The rescue rehomed 20 stray cats in 2016, compared to more than 40 in 2017 – with numbers continuing to rise.
Cath said: “People say they can’t afford to have their cats neutered but they don’t understand there is help out there.
“All they need to do is ring one of the rescues.”
Christine Meryem, of Tender Paws, added that many of the strays suffer from feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), which is transmitted during mating, and passed down from mother cats to their kittens.
She said: “When a male mates with a female, it often breaks the skin on the back of the neck with a bite, and it’s transmitted through that.”
The sanctuary rehomed 93 stray cats in 2017, and has brought in more than 20 strays this year so far.
She said: “I get called three or four times a day. We had two cats come in last week, and they are both pregnant.
“It’s so important to have your cats neutered if they are going outside. We always make sure the cats leaving our care are neutered and chipped.”