Four Cumbrian animal charities are working together to increase awareness about the importance of neutering your cat.

It follows a year in which the charities say they were overwhelmed with the huge number of unwanted and unplanned litters of kittens.

Oak Tree Animals’ Charity, Animal Rescue Cumbria, Animal Concern Cumbria and RSPCA Westmorland have focused their campaign to coincide with World Spay Day, taking place today.

Oak Tree and RSPCA Westmorland both runs a voucher scheme supporting cat neutering for those struggling financially. Animal Concern Cumbria is also running a voucher scheme today.

For more information, contact the individual charity in your area of Cumbria.

Caroline Johnson, general manager of Oak Tree, explained: “Every year in Cumbria, animal charities see hundreds of unwanted kittens where litters have not been planned and owners are overwhelmed with the new arrivals and either look to rehome, abandon them or in some cases kill them.

“This unnecessary suffering can be easily prevented by having your cat neutered in a timely way to protect them from getting pregnant.

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with three other animal charities in our region to try to raise awareness of this issue and to encourage owners to have their pets neutered to prevent the kitten crisis we saw last year.”

Christine Lowe, branch manager of RSPCA Westmorland Branch, said: “It is such a serious situation that we need to highlight awareness of this to our community. Westmorland RSPCA will be running their voucher scheme all year.”

A spokesman for Animal Concern Cumbria added: “We are delighted to work alongside these charities to help raise awareness and support owners in responsible pet ownership by participating in running a voucher scheme on the day.”