MORE than 8500 cats were surrendered to Perth’s busiest cat shelter last year due to an increase in people parting with their pet due to economic hardship and homelessness.
Cat Haven in Shenton Park says it rescued 1865 more cats last year than in the previous seven years combined.
Cat Haven representative Chandra Woodley said much of the increase was due to “owner surrenders”, with 1000 more cats handed in than came from metropolitan council rangers.
She said the key reason given by more than 900 people was economic hardship or moving interstate or overseas.
“The figures have doubled in those who are homeless and can no longer keep a cat,” she said.
Cat Haven also saw a jump in people surrendering their pets due to moving to nursing homes or apartments, where pets were not allowed.
It accepted about 1000 animals from regional rescue groups as far north as Karratha and south to Esperance, indicating an increase in dumped cats statewide.
However the shelter managed to find homes for a record 6438 happy felines.
They also managed to keep their euthanasia rate down to a very low 12.5 per cent.
But the shelter said its funding had been stretched to the limit.
“We desperately need more government or corporate assistance or we simply can’t carry on,” Ms Woodley said.