Vets neutered 26 cats in one day after a problem with feral felines on a north Cumbrian farm got out of control.

Paragon vets carried out a record amount of neutering in one day as part of a project with the Oak Tree Animals' Charity.

Lulu Parsons from Oak Tree said: “This Trap-Neuter-Return consisted of farm cats and feral cats. The farm started with one domestic cat that escaped before being neutered, came back with kittens, and other cats from the area started visiting, the farmer was feeding them so a feed source was in place.

“The farmer did get some cats neutered and found homes for the kittens but without getting all the cats neutered it spiralled out of control and became overwhelming for them.

“When the Community Team arrived there were approximately 22 adult cats and 16 kittens. Homes had been found for the kittens but it was difficult for the farmer to catch them.

“The cats in this case were in good health but there was a lot of fighting between the Tom cats; the colony became very stressed and the farmer felt it had become dangerous for the younger cats.”

The Paragon team neutered 26 cats in one day, and although it is a routine procedure that happens on a regular basis, this was an arduous task.

The benefits of neutering are something that the veterinary group preaches – kittens can have kittens at four months old, and numbers can quickly get out of control.

With both female cats and dogs, it can reduce cancers and pyometra, while males will also have their risk of cancer reduced. Unneutered males are also more likely to get into fights, which also increases the risk of serious injury.

Lulu continued: “The farmer has found the farm to be a much quieter and less stressful place to be, and all the cats are a lot happier.

“The earlier we get the feral kittens to our site the easier they are to rehome. Once the kittens are over eight weeks it is kinder to release them than try to rehome as there is a very short time span to be able to socialise a feral kitten.

“The welfare of the cats always comes first.”