AN unexplained surge in the number of unwanted kittens in our region has prompted an urgent plea from the RSPCA for suitable homes.

The charity’s re-homing centre in Landing Lane, York, has 40 kittens looking for loving owners. The large number means some staff have had to find space in their own homes.

In the latest incident a kitten was brought in to the centre after being found in a cardboard box which also contained the dead bodies of two young cats from the same litter. Summer is traditionally the time for unwanted kittens to be brought into the centre after female cats come in to season earlier in the year.

However, staff at Landing Lane say they are uncertain as to why this year has seen an explosion in numbers. Tony Benham, manager of the York RSPCA centre admitted staff there were “slightly baffled”.

He said: “We have talked to other centres and they have said they are slow on re-homing too.

“And there are a lot of kittens about at the moment but there doesn’t seem to be any contributing factor.”

Regional manager, Angela Hunter, added: “We have staff looking after them in their own homes.

“The kitten season is usually pretty bad but it’s not usually this bad.

“On Monday, we had one brought in to us and the people who discovered it said they had found it in a box in a field near Ripon. Its brother and sister were dead.”

If you think you can offer a home to one of the kittens, phone the RSPCA re-homing centre in Landing Lane on 01904 654949. The kittens can be reserved but will only go to new owners following a successful home visit by RSPCA inspectors.