A Fife animal charity is facing a kitty crisis as it struggles to cope with an influx of abandoned cats.
Rhona Gordon, from the Fife Cat Shelter, said she is having to house animals at local catteries following a recent surge in the number of dumped pets.
She is particularly concerned at the number of pregnant cats being reported to her in recent weeks and warned the group urgently needs to rehouse cats before it could look after any more.
“We get a lot of pregnant cats at this time of year,” said Mrs Gordon.
“Owners find out that their cats are pregnant and think that they can’t cope with a cat and kittens.
“When we get them they can be pregnant for two or three weeks and then they are with their kittens for seven or eights weeks.
“Sometimes that means they can be taking up spaces in the shelter for three months.”
While the Kelty-based charity takes in animals throughout the year, summer is particularly busy.
As well as struggling to cope with pregnant cats, owners often simply leave their pets to fend for themselves while they go off on holiday.
Such is the scale of the problem in Fife that last year the shelter ran up a vets bill of £56,000.
It has since had to run what it calls “neutering amnesties” performing the procedure for just £25 in a bid to reduce unwanted pregnancies, though Mrs Gordon admits the charity could not afford to perform the operation for any less.
While keen to find new owners for the cats left at her shelter, she added that anybody interested in rehoming a cat had to be committed to the animal.
“People have to take it seriously and ask if they are in the right situation,” she added.
“Cats cost money and there are vets bills as well.
“It is a commitment and people have to think about that.
“Older cats are harder to rehome and because lots of cats are having kittens at this time of year, quite often people will take the kitten.”
Find out more at www.fifecatshelter.org.