A local charity is appealing for donations in readiness for the approaching kitten season.
The Scratching Post is run by the Stratford Companion Animal Trust. The charity was set up in 2012 to reduce the number of unwanted cats in the district and help people on low incomes to desex their pets.
Trustee Karma Andrews says the charity is in need of cat food, litter, and newspaper in preparation for the approaching kitten season.
"We're mainly after wet foods and pet milk. When we get the kittens they are quite little and we have to move them into foods, and wet food is the best. It's important to have that in preparation for all the kittens. We also go through a lot of litter as well."
Karma says she expects the season to be busy.
"Last year was our busiest season yet. Due to the lockdown, we couldn't get the kittens in to be desexed. We were twice as busy and we're expecting the same for this reason. We expect kittens to be coming in from Labour weekend onwards and we need to ensure we have our shelves stocked."
She says the Covid-19 lockdown has impacted their fundraising efforts.
"However we have two fundraisers planned for October."
As well as funding the kittens, Karma says the charity needs funds for other costs the charity faces.
"We need some help with meeting our operating expenses, such as administration costs, the rent on the building and all the other bills that come with having a physical location for the trust."
Those costs add up to around $1300 a month. Having the physical location for the charitable trust is very important, she says.
"Obviously we have the kitten adoption room, where the kittens spend time being socialised and people wanting to adopt can come in and meet them and see if they are a good match. We have the space to sell items such as cat toys, beds and other items for fundraising.
"Then there is the fact it means we can meet with members of the public safely, rather than having each of our volunteers give out their home address if someone wants to see a kitten. It's important to have a location in central Taranaki."
As the kitten season approaches, Karma says it's important for cat owners to do their part and help to reduce the number of unwanted cats.
The trust runs 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.
The discounted cat desexing scheme is available to cats belonging to people living in the Stratford District.
Owners also need to have either a community service card or a gold card to qualify.
The scheme reduces the cost substantially, making it $65 for a female cat to be desexed or $45 for a male cat.
Karma says to be eligible, cats must be five months or older and be people-friendly, so they are able to be handled by the vet.
People wanting to apply for the scheme, or to find out more about how they can help can contact the team at The Scratching Post.