The kitten season has started with a vengeance.
Having had a few quieter months, Hounslow Animal Welfare Society (HAWS) is now under the impression there is a stray mother cat and her kittens, in every shed in West London.
They are tearing their hair out - helping a particularly large number of stray cats who have been found in open sheds or elsewhere with their very young kittens.
This involves a lot of work on their part as the mother cat usually has to be trapped (which is time-consuming) in order to make sure they can take the mother and kittens together.
If these cats don’t receive help, the kittens are likely to die or will grow up as feral cats and the un-neutered mum will have more kittens.
It is clear to HAWS that many of the mother cats they are helping were once domesticated cats who have, most likely, been thrown out after becoming pregnant.
Take Violet, for example. This young cat is gorgeous, gentle and friendly. She has obviously been someone’s pet in the past.
However, as an un-neutered stray, she has already had three or four litters of kittens.
This time, when she was pregnant, HAWS heard about her and one of their helpers rushed round and retrieved her just in time so that, instead of her kittens being born wherever Violet could find meagre shelter, she gave birth safely indoors.
Violet’s six kittens were born on March 16 and the whole family is now in foster care. Violet’s foster Mum describes Violet as the best mother cat she has looked after and she should know – Violet’s brood is the ninth mum and kittens she has fostered.
The kittens should be ready for homing towards the end of May. They can be reserved beforehand by approved adopters who have had a successful home visit.
But while thinking about the kittens, don’t forget Violet, who also deserves a home where she can blossom into a much-loved pet. If you would like to home Violet or one or two of her kittens call 020 8560 5443 or see haws-animals.org.uk.
Meanwhile, next week, in order to address the number of unwanted cats, I will be giving an update on where you can get free and low cost neutering carried out locally.