A farm has been overrun by more than 100 CATS – after the death of a local tom.
Animal rescuers have been called in after more than 60 adult cats and 30 kittens arrived at an elderly’s couple house.
The OAPs run a farm and say 100 cats have made it their home after the death of a local tom earlier this year.
The couple say there is not enough food for them to hunt so the couple have been putting out food to stop them from starving to death.
A local cat charity has been called in to help and is trying to rehome them.
Charlie Skawczynski, at New Start Cat Rescue in Huntley, Glos., who is leading the appeal to help the animals, said: “It’s a really unusual situation.
“We have never dealt with anything this big before. The number of cats and kittens has just exploded, and they are all hungry and need feeding.
“We had a phone call to say this couple had been overrun since the death of a Tom Cat who used to keep the other cats away,”
She said the charity has captured about ten of the cats so far – but each cat costs around £100 to be caught, checked for disease, cleaned up and neutered.
That comes to a total cost of £10,000 for the farm in Gloucestershire – and the couple, who do not wish to be identified, cannot afford to pay.
Charlie said that something has to be done, as the situation is “spiralling out of control” and she does not wish to see them put down.
“I haven’t been to the farm but I’m told there are cats everywhere and as soon as you put the food out they just appear from everywhere,” she said.
“We managed to trap 10 on the first day and most of them are now with foster carers.
“Some must have been pets at one point because they are very tame and let our foster carers stroke them.”
New Start is in the process of trapping the cats, of which they have currently caught about 30, and taking them to be neutered, fumigated, wormed and checked for FIV – feline HIV.
They are also checking for ownership chips so any pets can be reunited with their families.
Volunteers will try to rehome as many captured cats as possible on farms and small-holdings where the cats can continue to live outdoors in the wild.
Feral cats are susceptible to disease and without human intervention have an average lifespan of around just two years.
Consequently, Charlie said this it is important to get the kittens used to human contact at a very early age, so that they can be adopted before they go feral.
“Obviously this is a long and expensive process and we desperately need help,” she said.
“It’s so sad to see these poor cats but if we took them all in at once it would cripple us.
“We already have 60 cats and some of these have had to go to foster homes to make room. I think this is our biggest endeavour so far.”
The charity is feeding the cats and has set up a BT Donation page at https://mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/theresagarrod1.