Updated: Monday, 1st June 2020 @ 12:58pm

Manchester and Salford RSPCA facing cat crisis as black beauties shunned for ‘sparkly’ tabby and ginger felines

Manchester and Salford RSPCA facing cat crisis as black beauties shunned for ‘sparkly’ tabby and ginger felines

By Helen Le Caplain

A Manchester animal charity is facing a black cat crisis with noir cats and kittens taking on average three times longer to re-home than others.

The RSPCA’s Manchester and Salford Branch is being forced to turn away scores of abandoned animals due to soaring numbers.

This, coupled with low adoption numbers, means kittens like these three tiny new recruits pictured right (who have yet to be named) could be fully grown before they find a loving home. 

Branch Manager Susie Hughes explained that those willing to home an abandoned animal have more choice over which animal they take home.

She explained: “I think people are attracted to things that sparkle and they go for the jewel because, especially this year, there are so many unwanted cats that people are able to pick and choose.

"The tabbies and ginger cats tend to get adopted first. In my opinion I don’t think it’s down to people being superstitious about black cats, they just have more choice.

"I don’t think we live in such a religious society that superstition would come into it.”

The charity is currently looking after 61 cats, double the number that the branch normally houses, and has recruited additional foster carers to help look after more animals.

They have had kittens waiting for homes for more than three weeks – an unprecedented wait due to the fact that those animals with the so-called ‘cute factor’ tend to appeal most to would-be owners.

“We have had three girls who are five months old in our care since July 9. We have not had any interest in them which is really sad as they are really beautiful cats.”

And it’s not just abandoned black kittens that are languishing in care; the charity is also struggling to re-home the many abused animals that come through their door.

She underwent emergency surgery and has been nursed back to health over the last few weeks by loving foster carers.

Seren, a 12 month-old black cat, was found garrotted by a plastic cable tie in South Manchester in what RSPCA officers believe was a deliberate act of cruelty.

Although there has been some interest in her Seren is still patiently waiting at the Wythenshawe cattery for someone to take her home.

Susie said: "We are appealing for a home for her, she's awesome!

"She's so friendly, such a little monkey and incredibly affectionate. She was hurt and kicked and yet if you meet her she's adorable and so friendly."

The Manchester and Salford branch of the RSPCA has had a significant fall in the number of adoptions.

By the end of July 2013 they had re-homed 123 cats, compared to the same period last year when 150 were given new homes. 

Susie explained that the issue could easily be brought under control if cat numbers could be managed.

She said: “It’s entirely about over population of cats – I really want to neuter people’s cats!

“We’re providing help with neuteuring in the M7/M8 area of Salford but so far have only had seven people take us up on the offer.

“It would need to be means-tested but if people qualify they could get the animals neutered for free and prevent all these unwanted kittens and a lot of strain on owners.”

If anyone is struggling to look after their pet, or would like their cat to be considered for the free neutering programme, contact RSPCA Manchester and Salford Branch on 0161 8820680.

Pictures courtesy of RSPCA Manchester and Salford branch, with thanks

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