By Leah Conway –
The Halifax, Huddersfield, Bradford & District branch of the RSPCA is preparing for a record influx of kittens this spring. April is normally dubbed as the start of ‘kitten season’, which is when cats are most likely to give birth.
However, the RSPCA has predicted that the effect of three lockdowns will cause a record-breaking season this year due to the fear many cats may not have been neutered throughout the lockdowns.
Staff at the local RSPCA branch have partnered with the ROKT Foundation to help raise funds to pay for the food, medicine and care that the influx in kittens will need. ROKT is a foundation that provides climbing, bouldering, caving, and abseiling activities to people who would not usually have access to such adventures.
Together the charities have invited people to take on the ‘Scratching post challenge’ on Yorkshire’s highest indoor climbing wall.
The RSPCA is appealing for people to sign up for a sponsored climb and have ago, by doing so, the fundraiser will raise vital funds to support the charity this year.
The fundraiser will take place at ROKT base in Brighouse on April 1.
“Our busiest ever influx of cats and kittens”
Lauren Moore of the RSPCA said: ‘’Many people still don’t realise that even a young cat at four or five months old can become pregnant. And given the lockdowns and difficulty in being able to access veterinary services as a result of the pandemic, we fear a huge number of cats won’t have been neutered as they usually would have.
“Even when services have been back open, the change to people’s lives mean the usual things may have been forgotten or they haven’t been able to afford to do so and it all adds up.
“So we’re preparing for our busiest ever influx of cats and kittens this spring and with that comes a lot of associated costs to make sure these animals get the care and treatment they need.
‘’Even without a major influx during kitten season, we still face rising costs for the basics to provide care for all our animals until we can find their forever homes
“That’s why we’ve teamed up with the ROKT Foundation charity to run this unique fundraiser because although we will need to raise funds to cover the significant costs for their care, we also want to raise awareness of the importance of neutering or spaying your cat too.”
Katie Kinsella, ROKT Foundation’s Director for Community & Business Engagement, said: “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a seasoned climber or a complete novice, we have climbing routes for everyone and the team at ROKT Foundation will help get you up the wall and raise some much needed money for this wonderful charity.
“Cats love to climb and so do we, so it’s a perfect partnership to raise funds and attention for a very real problem our local RSPCA faces. But with everyone’s help, we can all make a difference.”
There is a registration fee of £10 and the charity will appreciate any sponsorship climbers can raise for their challenge. There are limited spaces available. To sign up, visit the RSPCA website here.