London Animal Charity Urgently Appeals for Foster Carers After Unprecedented Intake of Kittens in May


London animal welfare charity, Mayhew, has seen its highest ever weekly intake of abandoned kittens in May, having had 30 unwanted tiny felines left at their Kensal Green headquarters in one week alone from 16th to 23rd May 2022 – a 50% increase compared to the same period in 2021.

A record 202 cats and kittens were left at Mayhew between January and May this year by owners who could longer care for them, a 20% increase compared to the same period in 2021 when 167 cats and kittens came into the charity.

Mayhew, which looks after about 150 cats and kittens at any one time says that resources on its feline maternity ward are being “stretched to breaking point” as a result of the recent influx of kittens.

Lisa Guiney, Operations Manager at Mayhew, explains: “Our cattery has become a kitten orphanage in a matter of just a few weeks because there are so many abandoned mums and babies arriving at our door. This time of year is normally busy with litters because the warm Spring weather brings out cats’ instincts to mate, but because London has a very high population of unneutered cats we are literally overflowing.

Lisa continues, “The kittens are now taking over pens reserved for strays, and older cats and we are close to exceeding capacity in an already limited space. We urgently need volunteer kitten foster carers we can call on to help with the kitten crisis. However, should understand that being a kitten foster carer can be challenging as well as being incredibly rewarding. It is ideally suited to people who aren’t working, or to couples who can take on shifts to care for the kittens. People who work full time from home with a flexible work schedule might want to consider it, but my team and I are on hand to discuss what is involved with applicants.”

Financial reason and the current cost of living crisis are widely cited as one of the main reasons people were getting rid of their pets.

Click here to read about becoming a Mayhew foster carer for cats and kittens and for more information about Mayhew visit

About Mayhew

Established in 1886, Mayhew is one of the most effective animal welfare charities in London. We help thousands of animals in need gain a better quality of life by delivering a broad range of community-based veterinary, social and education services in the UK and overseas.

Our team of Animal Welfare Officers work extensively with vulnerable pet owners across society, including the elderly, disabled, homeless and those facing a personal crisis, whether housing or health related. They offer a range of services including temporary foster care, a free pick up and return neutering service, free or low-cost preventative veterinary care and extensive animal behaviour and welfare advice.

We also work closely with local authorities to address pet ownership issues and collaborate with government and non-government agencies to address the challenges of misuse and mistreatment of companion animals.

Our animal therapy programme, TheraPaws, has 60 teams of humans and dogs who visit care homes, hospitals and hospices in 14 London boroughs promoting the human and animal bond and bringing well-being and joy to residents and patients. In 2021 alone, the team at Mayhew: –

  • Rehomed 55 dogs and 270 cats
  • Reunited 95 missing or lost pets with their owners
  • Treated 1,979 animals brought to our vaccination clinics
  • Neutered 1,099 animals across our UK outpatient and welfare work
  • Carried out 6,699 animal interventions in our clinic

To find out more about Mayhew’s work, visit

For adoption, clinic and general enquiries, call: 020 8962 8000. To donate, call: 020 8206 5870.


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