A charity has urged people who invest in cat food to have their feline friends neutered in a bid to control the UK's cat population.
Cats Protection revealed that it spent £5.6 million last year neutering over 176,000 owned, stray and feral cats.
Many owners are not aware that cats can get pregnant at just four months, so the charity is asking people to get their cat neutered as early as possible, as this is the only way to keep the population under control.
Ian MacFarlaine, the charity's neutering manager, said: "Cats are such prolific breeders that if we didn't neuter them, we would have a population explosion that would end up with sick stray and abandoned cats roaming the streets.
"We are working with the veterinary profession and the public to encourage cat neutering around four months of age, which is a significant move away from the traditional six months."
He added that early neutering will prevent the surprise litters that end up being handed over to animal welfare organisations.