A pioneering scheme which saw 104 stray cats neutered is being celebrated following a dramatic decline in stray cat numbers.
The project was launched in Bulwell in September 2016 to tackle the growing problem of unowned cats living on the streets in the area.
The neutering scheme has been such a success, that according to Cats Protection for the whole of 2018, no kittens were born on Bulwell’s streets.
Cats Protection is now using the scheme in other parts of the UK, with the aim of better controlling the nation’s stray cat problem.
Jane Clements, Cats Protection’s Head of Neutering, said: “Our Bulwell Cat Watch scheme was the first of its kind ever undertaken in the UK, using a completely new approach.
“Rather than simply offer to neuter cats, we invested heavily in time, resources and energy into working closely with the community. This involved building up a committed group of volunteers, forming close links with partner organisations such as police, housing and education services, and being highly visible both in the area and online.
“After working intensively for over two years, the project is now self-sufficient and we feel confident we can hand the scheme over to the community to run into the future.”
To mark the success of the project, Cats Protection is holding a free celebration afternoon at Ken Martin Leisure Centre on Sunday, May 5, from 1-4pm.
Along with children’s activities, tombola’s and free refreshments, the event will give cat-loving residents the chance to find out more about getting involved in the project.
Jane added: “Thanks to community involvement, we were able to neuter 104 stray cats and 51 were rehomed. Seven turned out to be lost and were reunited with their owners.
“Cats which were not suitable to be rehomed to domestic settings were returned to live as community cats. But crucially, as they are now neutered they cannot breed and contribute to the stray cat population.
“Had these cats not been neutered, their numbers would have quickly grown, with one female cat capable of producing up to 18 kittens a year.”
Cats Protection is the UK’s largest cat charity, helping around 200,000 cats every year through a national network of over 250 volunteer-led branches and 36 centres.
To find out more about the Bulwell Cat Watch project, please email Bulwellcatwatch@cats.org.ukor find the scheme on Facebook by searching ‘Bulwell Cat Watch’.