Yorkshire Cat Rescue has recorded an 18% rise in the number of cats re-homed in October and a 68% increase in November compared with those same two months last year.

The charity found new homes for a staggering 100 cats in October and a record 118 in November. It is the first time Yorkshire Cat Rescue has broken the 100-cat barrier in a single month, let alone twice in a row.

In comparison, the charity hit a low point in April when only 40 cats found new homes.

Sara Atkinson, founder of Yorkshire Cat Rescue says the success is both uplifting and a reflection of the large number of cats that are abandoned: “It is always nice to see a lot of cats and kittens leave the centre and go to new, loving families; especially this time of year where they should be enjoying the warmth of a home instead of the temporary walls of our pens. The flipside, of course, is that we are taking in more cats than ever before, and kittens continue to be born all year round – not just in the summer months. More cats available often means better chances of people finding the one that is just right for them.”

In 2015, the charity found homes for 833 cats – a record it only needs to rehome another 23 cats to beat this year.

“This autumn, people are clearly adopting rather than shopping,” Sara says. She adds: “I dearly hope the trend continues into December. We have so many cats and kittens waiting for the right family that it’s hard to see why anyone would need to look anywhere else. Every time a cat is adopted, it frees up space for us to save another one in urgent need of help. So by adopting a cat, people aren’t just giving that one a loving home – they are helping us to save another life. The true spirit of Christmas.

“Anyone thinking of giving their cat a present this year would do everyone a favour by making sure they are neutered and chipped. Only by stopping unwanted breeding can we begin to curb the issue of unwanted cats.”