REDLANDS is being swamped with dumped kittens, with veterinarian Katria Lovell taking in 21 kittens in just one day.
With this bringing the total of rescued cats and kittens in their care to 49, Dr Lovell said she had never experienced a cat breeding season this bad.
Six of the kittens were in intensive care because they were starved and too young to be away from their mother.
“We had to tube feed them the first few days because they were too weak to eat,” she said.
“Two are on oxygen and intravenous fluids because they are so little they can’t maintain their own body temperature.”
Among the cats dumped were three pregnant cats who gave birth to their litters at Dr Lovell’s clinic.
One litter was found abandoned in a Cleveland park.
“It has never been this bad,” she said.
RSPCA spokesperson Emma Lagoon said they were at capacity across Queensland.
“We are incredibly busy in breeding season and we’re relying on foster carers to help looking after kittens,” she said.
Dr Lovell said websites that offered free advertising of pets for sale encouraged kitten farming where people bred animals for re-sale.
The RSPCA has a campaign against puppy farms where dogs are kept and bred in overcrowded and squalid conditions.
Dr Lovell said she regularly came across advertisements for cats that were not microchipped, desexed, vaccinated or vet-checked and were younger than eight weeks.
She said people bought kittens through these websites to rescue them, but were actually encouraging kitten farming.
“It is really a worry,” she said.
“Puppy farming is becoming a taboo, but perhaps kittens are seen as more dispensable than puppies.”
Dr Lovell said some websites had banned the sale of live animals.
Ms Lagoon said the RSPCA could not respond to complaints about animals that were being sold without being microchipped or desexed.
However, she said some councils could investigate cats that were not microchipped.
Cats breed when temperatures are higher and the warmer weather may have resulted in an earlier breeding season.
Dr Lovell said anyone buying cats should get them from an accredited rescue organisation and ensure that they are desexed.
She said the RSPCA and Animal Welfare League held regular desexing campaigns and clinics tried to keep down the costs for desexing pets.
“Remember a pet is for life, not just for Christmas,” she said.
“The big message is to desex them.”