Influx of abandoned cats in area

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There has been an influx of abandoned and stray cats in the Waitaki region over the last few weeks, SPCA Otago executive officer Sophie McSkimming says.

This time of year was always busy for the SPCA because of kitten season, people going away and cats getting lonely.

Ms McSkimming said many of the calls they’d had were from neighbours of owners who had gone on holiday and had the cats visiting them.

The neighbours would not often know the owners had gone away and assumed the cats were strays or abandoned.

“It’s really important if you’re going on holiday to just make sure that people know you’re leaving.”

Even if owners have someone feeding their animals, the cat will often go to other neighbours for company.

There has also been an increase in abandoned cats and the SPCA has been holding up to 30 felines at a time, which then get sent down to Dunedin to be adopted but can be brought back up here if needed, she said.

“There’s been lots of kittens and cats that have been dumped in Waitaki.

“This has really happened in the last couple of weeks.”

Ms McSkimming said she still could not confirm when Oamaru would get an SPCA facility but they were looking forward to getting into the area.

In October, 2013, it was announced that the North Otago SPCA would merge with the Otago branch and a new central facility would be developed.

A building had been found for an Oamaru facility in May last year but council still needed to approve consents, she previously said.

At present, they have a staff member in Oamaru who is carrying out work for the SPCA.

Anyone who sees a stray or abandoned cat can call the Otago SPCA on 03 473 8252 extension 0.

Animals to be adopted can be found at www.spcaotago.org.nz.

By Ruby Harfield

PHOTO: Holidays can be a lonely time for cats.