The RSPCA is warning that Whittlesea has a cat welfare problem.
In 2018-19, 4059 cats and kittens were taken to the animal welfare organisation’s Epping shelter – accounting for 36 per cent of all felines accepted by the RSPCA between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019.
All up, the RSPCA received 11,200 cats across its seven shelters.
RSPCA head of operations Tegan McPherson said the organisation had noticed an ongoing cat welfare problem in the northern suburbs.
“The sheer volume of cats and kittens in the area is a problem,” she said.
“What we are generally seeing is that there is a really low rate of desexing and microchipping of cats and kittens. One undesexed cat and her offspring can have up to 2000 kittens in two years.
It’s just not good welfare when you have got cats roaming around with no one to care for them.”
Ms McPherson said cat and kitten reclaim rates were also low at the Epping Animal Welfare Facility, with just five per cent of felines reclaimed in 2018-19.
To address the problem, the RSPCA is offering low cost cat desexing programs in Whittlesea, Moreland and Darebin.
Under the program, male cats can be desexed for $25 while female cats cost $50. The fee also includes vaccinations and microchipping.
The RSCPA has also reduced the adoption fees for cats and kittens from the Epping shelter. Cats now cost $50 to adopt, while kittens are $120.