Owners are having to give up their cats because they can no longer afford items such as cat food and pet medication.
That is according to Cats Protection, which revealed more people are giving up their cats because they can no longer afford them.
Peter Hepburn, chief executive of the charity, said that the surge in the number of unwanted cats received is "extremely distressing".
"We have seen a steady decline in homing over the past 18 months and it appears to be getting worse," he said.
"The toll of the recession on pets appears to be just as big as on people."
Alison Dickinson, deputy manager of Cats Protection's Birmingham Adoption Centre, added that they have around 30 calls a day with people needing help.
She explained that the centre has around 500 cats on its waiting list and only 105 pens, noting than they recently took in a box of nine kittens that had been dumped on the side of the road.