The number of unwanted cats has hit an all time high due to the tough economic climate, according to welfare charity Cats Protection.
Financial struggles are prompting many owners to abandon their animals, as they can no longer afford to care for them. It has been reported that shelters around the country are running out of space, while gangs of feral cats are running amok in domestic neighbourhoods as they search for mates and cat food.
The charity said reports of strays were up by a third since 2009, with more than 20,000 estimated reports of stray felines and requests to give up an animal made between July and September this year.
"Since the UK entered recession we have received many more requests from people to take in their cats, with owners saying they are losing their jobs, their homes, or moving into rented accommodation," said Kate Bunting of Cats Protection.
Feral cats are prolific breeders, and as such raise the population and cause more problems. Owners are advised to always neuter their pet cat, but in the event of financial difficulties that obviously becomes less of a priority.