HOMELESS elderly cats are being left on the shelf, according to a Basingstoke animal charity.
Hilary Wells, co-ordinator of the Basingstoke and District branch of Cats Protection, said improvements in care mean cats are living longer.
But most people giving an abandoned cat a home still appear to choose a cute, fluffy kitten or young cat, putting a massive strain on the charity’s resources.
Ms Wells said: “While 10 years ago, the household moggie could have been expected to live to around 13, today’s life expectancy is much higher and we have seen many cats surviving to their late teens and early 20s in remarkably good health.
“However, their longer existence places the branch under strain because older cats can block up pen spaces for many months.
“It is a shame because older cats have a lot to offer, as they tend to be lap cats and have much more settled natures. Though the branch does its very best to care for older cats, life in a cat pen is no substitute for a permanent home so I would urge people to consider adopting an older cat.”
One older cat in desperate need of a home is 13-year-old Pilchard, who is friendly and sweet-natured. She was initially taken in by a kind lady as a stray. She is a lap cat and has not had a wonderful year, and really deserves a loving home as an only cat.
A pair of older cats looking for a new home is Alice and Nina, who are both 15 and need to be re-homed together because they have lived together all of their lives.