There was a 166% increase in searches for cats on the RSPCA’s FindAPet website following the first year of the pandemic (March 2020 numbered 114,316; January 2021 numbered 304,300). 

Last year the charity rehomed 17,868 cats which is 53 a day, or two cats rehomed every hour. In Herefordshire and Worcestershire there were 303 cats rehomed in 2020.

Centres and branches are also caring for more cats than any pet with nearly 3,000 moggies coming into the RSPCA’s care from the start of the year (Jan 1- 31 Aug).

This month marks Adoptober, when the RSPCA shines a light on the animals in its care looking for homes, and with more cats coming into the charity’s care than any other pet this means there are plenty of feline friends looking to be adopted.

Sam Gaines, head of the RSPCA’s companion animals team, said: “It’s great to see so many people are interested in adopting cats from the RSPCA. The lockdown has really shone a light on the close bonds we have with our pets and for many people, their pets have become a real source of comfort during these challenging times. 

“We’ve seen a huge surge in pet ownership during the past year or so and whilst it’s positive that so many people want to take on a pet we are keen to highlight the importance of doing your research to ensure you’ve got the time, patience and money to care for that animal for the rest of their life. 

“Our centres and branches are seeing lots of cats coming into their care at the moment. This could be due to the end of the kitten season when most cats are born or more worryingly, it could be as a result of people buying cats on impulse earlier in the year who are now struggling to cope with them. 

“However, we’d urge anyone who has thoroughly done their research and is keen to take on a rescue cat to consider adopting from the RSPCA.”

Cats looking for homes in Herefordshire & Worcestershire include:


Two-year-old Stirling has been in the care of the RSPCA’s Worcester and Mid-Worcestershire Branch since July; and sadly this boy’s early life made him very nervous and he has difficulty trusting people. Stirling came into the branch’s care from a hoarding situation, where his former owner had more animals than they could cope with.

Stirling had obviously had to fight for his food; which was apparent from the scratch scars on his face. While he eats, he is still uncomfortable being watched and is constantly looking around, suspicious of it being taken away. At first he was very shut-down and unresponsive and would hide away in his bed; but he has progressed greatly since being in the RSPCA branch’s care and now sits out at the front of his pen taking in everything going on around him.

Stirling increasingly wants to interact – but he is clearly still very conflicted and sometimes he will swipe if he becomes overwhelmed and feels crowded. Stirling now needs a forever home where he can come around at his own pace and learn to trust people. He would need to be the only pet in the household, and would also need to be with someone who can accept that, for the time being at least, he is very much a “hands off” cat – so would not be suited to a home with young children. Unfortunately, Stirling is a cat whose mental and physical wellbeing were negatively impacted at the hands of humans in the past – and he deserves the chance to realise that he can let his guard down and finally enjoy the sort of life he has previously been denied. Anybody interested in adopting Stirling can find more information on the RSPCA’s ‘Find a Pet’ website.

Sam added: “We believe neutering cats from four months old will reduce the amount of unwanted and unexpected litters of kittens that are born and sadly end up in rescue centres. We understand that many owners may not have been able to get their pets neutered as understandably vets had to prioritise emergencies in the face of Covid-19. However, we would urge anyone with an unneutered female cat to get them neutered as soon as they can and keep them indoors until they have been spayed.”

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.