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By DAVID HILL

The long, hot summer has left Cat Care Inc overwhelmed with abandoned kittens.

President Betty Jones says Cat Care has 42 kittens and seven cats in need of rehoming after “a third run of abandoned kittens” due to the hot summer and “irresponsible cat owners”.

“We’ve had our third-run kittens and we don’t usually have three,” she says.

Normally, Cat Care has a run of kittens from late November and a second one at the end of January.

The latest run includes seven kittens abandoned at Camside Road in Kaiapoi, which Betty says are “very social cats” and have all been given names starting with a B.

Another three kittens were found by a fisher at the Waimakariri River, but only one has been rescued.

Betty recommends that owners get their cats fixed to avoid them having kittens, with assistance available from Cats Protection in Christchurch.

She says she would prefer owners with unwanted kittens to get in contact with Cat Care, rather than abandoning them.

“If you dump kittens they can’t fend for themselves, so call Cat Care. Even if we can’t help we can offer advice or assist with cat food until we’re able to rehome them.

“We have to undo the damage done when a cat has been dumped and it ends up costing us twice as much because the cats need medical care from a vet and need to be re-socialised before being rehomed.”

Abandoned adult cats become feral and can breed more readily, creating a bigger problem.

Betty says there are many feral cats around Pegasus, which could have been avoided.

“People don’t leave their cats inside long enough when they shift house.

“They need to be inside for three to four weeks when they move to a whole new territory because other cats have already marked out their territory and can chase them off.”

To support Cat Care, or adopt a kitten, go to the Cat Care Incorporated page on Facebook, visit catcare.org.nz, or phone (03) 3133851.

Gizzy and Smokie need a new home and would be best staying together.