The lockdown has led to a boom in people buying kittens in Worcestershire, and the RSPCA fear that spells trouble.

There have been 459 cases of cat ‘incidents’ in the county, including sick kittens who have not had the right care or vaccinations.

The animal charity are concerned that internet searches for kittens have gone through the roof. In one case the search term ‘Kittens near me’ has risen nearly sevenfold.

Isolation has led to many people thinking a pet would help keep them company, but – while not as bad as puppy farms – there are unscrupulous kitten breeders around.

The RSPCA and cat charities have come together to create The Kitten Checklist and are also appealing for people to take a rescue cat as their homes are so full.

Alice Potter, the RSPCA’s cat welfare expert, said: “We are braced for a kitten season boom next year as routine neutering procedures had to be put on hold during the lockdown.

“whilst the UK is already facing a cat overpopulation crisis, we may now see even more unplanned litters of kittens.

A total of 373 cats were rehomed in Worcestershire last year, one a day.

To offer an RSPCA rescue cat a new home visit to find your purr-fect match.