A LEADING animal charity received 51 reports about cats in Oxfordshire since the start of lockdown.

The RSPCA revealed it is facing a 'cat crisis' as it cares for more felines than any other pet and with 'kitten season' underway the numbers are expected to increase.

There have been 6,630 reports of incidents on its hotline across England and Wales, and with considerable lack of funding the charity has launched a fresh emergency appeal to raise vital cash to continue its work.

Dr Samantha Gaines, head of the RSPCA’s companion animal department, said: "We are currently caring for more cats than any other pet throughout the coronavirus crisis.

"Every year the scale of the cat overpopulation problem becomes even more apparent from May to September when most cats are born as the RSPCA is often overwhelmed with kittens.

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"We believe neutering cats from four months old will help tackle the cat overpopulation problem the UK faces.

"This will reduce the amount of unwanted and unexpected litters of kittens that are born and sadly end up in rescue centres."

Last year there were 108,190 incidents reported about cats with 807 reported in the county.

While many owners may not be able to get their pets neutered at the moment as clinics are prioritising emergencies in the face and restricting other procedures and face-to-face contacts, the charity urged people to follow the veterinary guidance and keep their cats indoors.

Dr Gaines added: "If you have a male/female pair or really cannot keep them inside, call your vet to discuss options.

"Our frontline officers will continue to rescue as many cats as we can and our animal centre staff, hospitals and branches will carry on caring for them."

As of May 13, the RSPCA is looking after 1,013 felines.