A RESCUE centre is urging cat owners to neuter their pets after being swamped with kittens.
Woodchurch Animal Centre is at saturation point, currently caring for 21 kittens that all need new homes.
Manager Clive Martin said: "It's that time of year when you see an increase in the number of kittens being born, but this year is particularly bad.
"People are not neutering their cats and it is causing all sorts of problems.
"Pregnant cats are being dumped, newborns are not being neutered and so the problem continues."
To prevent more unwanted kittens, the centre will hold a clinic on Wednesday morning, which allows people to get their cats neutered at a discounted rate.
Mr Martin has worked in animal rescue for more than 18 years and said this season's intake of kittens is one of the biggest he has even seen.
"The economic state of the country has not helped, because people are struggling to afford vet bills and to feed their animals.
"It's a nationwide problem, there is no law pertaining to the movement of cats, so as they wander, they breed."
The crisis at the centre has led to a waiting list being drawn up.
Mr Martin said: "It's not unknown for people to dump animals here, but we can't take any more until we find homes for the cats we already care for."
The centre charges a small adoption fee which covers the pets' inoculations.
They also book appointments for cats being rehomed to return to the centre to be neutered.
Mr Martin added: "When people rehome an animal with us they have the assurance that they will be vet checked, vaccinated and booked in to be microchipped and neutered."
To rehome an animal, make a donation or volunteer at the centre, call 01843 826180 or visit http://rspcathanet.org.uk/
The cat neutering clinic will be at Woodchurch Animal Centre on Wednesday from 8am to 1pm. Appointments must be booked in advance on 01843 826180.