Horrified vets are warning of a surge in numbers of stray cats in Leeds after an abandoned pet was found dumped in a suitcase.
Staff at Holly House Veterinary Hospital, in Moortown, opened their doors to find the case on their doorstep last week and quickly took it to a consulting room to open. Inside was a frightened black cat.
The petrified moggy, now named Cinders, was fortunately given a place at Yorkshire Cat Rescue, in Haworth, and is now in the process of being re-homed.
But Amy Martin, practice manager at Holly House Vets, claims the incident points to the wider problem of increasing numbers of stray cats in Leeds.
Warning that vets don’t have the capacity to take in a lot of strays and that the issue of putting pets down can arise, she said: “It is unfair for healthy animals to be destroyed, obviously to the animals themselves, but also to the vets to whom the euthanasia of healthy animals is extremely distressing.
“We would recommend that all cat owners get their pets neutered so as to avoid unwanted litters.”
She said pet owners should also get cats microchipped and those seeking cats should first go to rescue centres.
Feline welfare charity Cats Protection was due to open its Gildersome cat homing centre in November last year but opened in October due to high demand.
Diane Mulcahy, centre manager, said the facility, which is full, takes around 70 calls a week from people wanting rid of cats.
She said: “It’s a constant battle of trying to keep up with it and help as many cats as we can.”
The centre helps re-home cats housed in its 12 pens, which have spent time with volunteer fosterers. Visit www.cats.org.uk to donate or volunteer.