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Kittens at Oak Tree Farm
Kittens at Oak Tree Farm

These kittens are cute, cuddly and desperately in need of homes.

An animal charity, near Carlisle, has seen a significant rise in the number of young mums and kittens this year.

Four young mothers and litters are currently residing at Oak Tree Farm, Wetheral Shields.

The Oak Tree Animals' Charity is reinforcing the national message to pet owners asking them to neuter their pets.

The Cat Group, a collection of professional organisations dedicated to feline welfare and who represent major animal welfare charities in the UK, recommend that cats are neutered as early as practical and definitely before their first season which usually occurs around six months but can be as early as four months.

Anne Marie McGivern, veterinary nurse supervisor, said: "Cats can become pregnant as early as four months of age and can have up to three litters per year.

"It is important that neutering occurs in time to avoid pregnancy both for the young mother’s health and to prevent unwanted kittens.

"The litters we currently have in all have young mothers, who have had multiple litters and are consequently very underweight.

"In addition, the kittens from these young mothers are often very small and fragile."

She added: "Timely neutering can prevent unwanted pregnancies and kittens and allows the kitten to recover more quickly after neutering.

"Older cats can take days to recover from the operation, but kittens can be up and about after only an hour.

"Much research has been carried out into timely neutering, both in the UK and USA with no long-term medical or behavioural affects being found to be caused by the procedure.

"We would recommend that owners speak to their vet about neutering soon after the kitten’s vaccinations are complete."

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