Psychologist weighs in on cat hoarding case

Psychologist weighs in on cat hoarding case (CNYCentral Photo)

The donations keep pouring in at the SPCA as people want to help the 112 cats that came into the shelter unexpectedly Wednesday night.

The SPCA says the 112 Persian cats came from a hoarding situation in Central New York. Dr. Rich O'Neill, a psychologist at Upstate University Hospital, says people who are prone to hoarding usually experience other mental health issues like anxiety and depression.

O'Neill says the person is likely isolated in some way with little to no social interaction.

"Basically, human beings want to feel loved by other people or by pets. A lot of people don't have a lot of people in their lives," he added.

Hoarding can have detrimental effects on a person's life including emotional, physical, social, and financial consequences. Often times, those who are hoarding in some way may not be able to realize they have a problem. Those who do know they have a problem may be embarrassed or unsure of what to do.

Doctors say it is key for other to recognize there is a problem and take action. O'Neill says the best way to approach a person who is hoarding with compassion.

"Think about that person as a person first who has a particular problem," O'Neill added. "One way to approach a person like that is to tell them about your concern, not to criticize them."

Officials with the SPCA say they are overwhelmed by all of the donations, and that some of the 112 cats came in sick and it will cost nearly $20,000 for the medication.

CLICK HERE for a list of items they need.

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