The toll of the recession has had as big of an impact on pets as it has on people, a charity has said.
Cats Protection has rehomed over a million cats over the past five years, but there has also been a dramatic increase in the number of owners asking for help.
The charity has found the number of people enquiring about cat adoption has dropped by 30 per cent over the last two years.
Pete Hepburn, chief executive of Cats Protection, said: "For every cat we find a home for, there are many more waiting to come in.
"The only solution is to get the adoption message out to as many people as possible in the hope more homes will be found for the thousands of cats currently in our care."
He added that centres are being asked to take in cats who are owned by people who have lost their jobs, can no longer afford them or are moving into rented accommodation.