The true cost of kittens in care

Kitten season is upon us and the team at the National Cat Adoption Centre is busy caring for mums and their offspring.

So far this year we have homed 85 kittens. Currently, we have 63 kittens being raised in our maternity wing.

These will all be looking for a loving home once they have been weaned and had their first part of their vaccination course, been microchipped and been neutered also.

The height of kitten season is usually from April – September, although kittens can be born either side of these months but generally in lesser numbers. The reason is thought to be that these periods of time in evolutionary terms are considered the most risky to survival.

Cats Protection recommends neutering as the only effective way to reduce the number of unwanted cats in the UK. Cats are prolific breeders so, the cats that come into our care, alongwith their offspring, are neutered speedily.

In fact, one female cat can be responsible for 25,000 descendants in just five years.

Contrary to popular belief, there are no health or welfare benefits in allowing a cat to have a litter of kittens before she is neutered. Providing appropriate care for a mother and her kittens can be costly and time consuming.

To raise a kitten in our care costs: £215
- Full veterinary health check: £25
- Fully vaccinate: £50
- Blood test for FeLV/FIV: £15
- Neutering: £47
- Microchip: £5
- Worming: £5
- Flea Treatment: £5
- Nine weeks worth of food: £63

These costs do not take into account litter, laundry, cat care, and any other veterinary treatment required.

The average size of a litter is five kittens so, they would cost £1,075 - and that isn’t including mum.

We have 32 pens in our maternity wing. If the wing was completely full this would be £33,440.

This cost rises as one mum and litter are rehomed, another one is waiting to move in and this continues for 4 -5 months of the year. Again it does not include the costs for mum.

Please read our blog on one of our resident mums, Allie who is raising her litter of three kittens in our care.

Allie will be in our care for a lot longer than she would of needed to be. Had she come to us neutered she could have been in our homing wings in seven days.

Having arrived pregnant on the 16th July, the earliest she can hope for to be moved to the homing wings will be 21st September - meaning a stay of ten weeks, at considerable cost to Cats Protection.

We hope Allie's story will prove to be informative and highlight the importance of neutering for cats.

To support our work, please visit our Kitten Appeal Justgiving page: justgiving.com/ncac2013