It may be the dog days of summer, but it’s cats and kittens who are urgently needing homes.

The BC SPCA says its shelters are being overwhelmed with felines.

BC SPCA chief prevention and enforcement officer, Marcie Moriarty, said this year has been especially taxing due to a record number of cruelty investigations.

“We’ve seen large numbers of animals either coming in under a warrant or through surrender, in what typically we’d call hoarding cases,” Moriarty said.

BC SPCA spokesperson Lorie Chortyk said when cats come in from neglectful situations, they often require extensive behaviour modification and care before they are ready for adoption. 

“This means these animals are in our care much longer and we are challenged to find space in our facilities and foster homes for other cats coming in.”

The BC SPCA is urging anyone looking to adopt a cat or kitten to visit a local branch or view its adoptable animals online at spca.bc.ca/adopt. (Nikki Love, Vista Radio)

The BC SPCA is currently caring for 1,283 homeless felines across the province.

This includes 485 adults cats and 798 kittens. 

Last year the BC SPCA adopted out 9,649 cats and kittens.

Closer to home, 66 cats and kittens are being cared for at shelters in the Comox Valley, Campbell River, and Powell River.

Chortyk said many BC SPCA shelters are at capacity throughout the province and face overwhelming pressure to take in more animals in need.

On a bright note, Moriarty said more people are seeing the value of spaying and neutering cats.

“That’s where we’re seeing reductions overall in trends in cat intake, but we’re not there yet,” she added. 

The BC SPCA is urging anyone looking to adopt a cat or kitten to visit a local branch or view its adoptable animals online at spca.bc.ca/adopt.

The BC SPCA also reminds pet owners to spay and neuter their pets to help stop pet overpopulation.