Astrid Åkesson, chairman of the association running the Södertälje shelter, is concerned about the increasing number of homeless cats in Sweden. The shelter receives more and more cats abandoned by their owners and this trend is worrying, according to Astrid: “Yes, it's very serious, we think we're seeing an increase in the number of homeless cats, including pregnant females, kittens, and kittens without mothers”.
At present, fifty cats live on Södertälje shelter which means that the maximum limit set by the administration is reached. Every day, the association receives several phone calls regarding found cats they cannot home anymore. In order to cope with the situation they collaborate with other cat protection associations, and ask for the public’s help.
Astrid Åkesson believes the issue is due to the fact that cats have low status, they are cheap and easy to get hold of. "It's not costless to have a cat, you should be aware. One should also know that it is a commitment of 15-20 years in the future” she says.
But can’t cats survive better than other pets? "No, that's something you want to ease your conscience with, they find it hard to find food outside, especially during winter time”.
In order to deal with the problem, she thinks that new legislation is needed. "We want a new animal welfare law that makes identification and registration mandatory for all cats, we also think that all cats should be neutered, excepted the one for professional controlled breeding.” (Swedish)