It is most unusual for us to communicate in this way. Our normal manner is to pen a press release in a slightly jovial style, in the hope that people detect the underlying serious message.
This, however, is a story that we felt should be expressed more directly.
Recently, we accepted care of a small group of pedigree kittens from a woman who had started breeding cats in the hope of making some income while staying at home.
The mother cat had contracted cat flu when the kittens were not yet old enough to be weaned.
When this happens, the kittens have to be taken away from their mother and bottle fed.
This leads to immune and nutritional deficiencies as the kittens grow, as well as social maladjustment when it is not handled adeptly.
Unfortunately, the woman did not understand the risks of cross-infection, and tried to reintroduce the mother and kittens.
When the mother was no longer able to nurse them, the woman found herself unable to cope with the role of surrogate mother.
Consequently, the kittens that arrived at our office were full of flu, as well as riddled with fleas and worms.
Some of the litter had already died, and the ones that made it to us were half-starved and caked in their own faeces.
One was severely dehydrated and would not have lasted the night without our intervention.
This is one of many similar cases that our volunteers have dealt with, but it perfectly illustrates the point that nobody should try to make a profit out of breeding cats, and nobody should support cat breeders by buying from them.
There are too many variables for it to be possible to be a profit-making responsible breeder, and when people risk an animal’s life with so many variables, they are not acting responsibly.
We apologise for bringing this to you in such a direct and forceful manner, but we hope you appreciate why we had to.
Photographs of the kittens would be too distressing to publish.