Yoko the kitten is undeniably cute, but there are too many kittens like her in need of homes, says Karma Andrews, a trustee of the Stratford Companion Animal Assistance Trust.

Since 2012 the trust has run a cat desexing programme in the Stratford District, offering eligible cat owners access to a substantial discount on the cost of having their pet cat desexed.

"This has only been possible through ongoing fundraising and donations," says Karma.

In the past seven years, the programme has helped fund the desexing of 450 cats, and Karma says the scheme is now being extended to residents of the South Taranaki District.

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"Recently we received a couple of donations from South Taranaki supporters and knowing the same problems occur in that district re unwanted kittens and an overpopulation of cats, we decided it was fitting that these donations be spent in the South Taranaki area."

Karma says she and her fellow trustees encourage car owners to act quickly and get their pet desexed soon.

"The cat breeding season will be in full force again in a couple of months. Plus, all cats desexed through this programme over the next three months will also get a free worm and flea treatment for their cat as well."

Karma says the cat desexing programme, which covers both make and female cats, will only run while funds are available, so people should apply soon.

The eligibility rules are straightforward, she says.

Owners need to live in the South Taranaki or Stratford District and hold either a current Community Services Card or a Gold Card. The cat must be five months or older and be people friendly - able to be easily and safely handled by the veterinary team.

Kittens such as Yoko are available for adoption through The Scratching Post, which is operated by the Stratford Companion Animal Assistance Trust.

"We strongly advocate the need for pets to be desexed in order to reduce the number of unwanted animals and overpopulation of cats in the community."

Yoko was a stray kitten, found at six weeks old and is now ready for adoption, says Karma.

"She has been in a multi cat/dog foster home so is well socialised. She is about 10 weeks old now, has been desexed, vaccinated, treated against fleas and worms, vet health checked and litterbox trained."

Anyone wanting to apply for the scheme, or interested in adopting Yoko or another kitten, can contact The Scratching Post on 027 292 6167 or via Facebook "The Scratching Post – Stratford". Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 10am until 2pm.