Cats Protection is planning to make 80 members of staff redundant to save the charity £2m a year.
It is blaming the cuts to its 500-strong workforce, which will be made across the organisation, on the "impact of the current unprecedented economic conditions".
The feline welfare charity has started a 30-day consultation on its restructuring plans and said it was seeking suggestions from staff and volunteers about ways to cut costs while protecting its work and minimising redundancies. Any decisions will be made after the consultation closes on 19 October.
A spokesman for Cats Protection, which had an annual income of £36m in 2011, said: "Over the past few years the charity has implemented a series of cost-reduction exercises both in its head office functions and adoption centres and also across the Cats Protection branch network. These cost saving exercises have realised substantial savings and our supporters have maintained their giving despite the economic pressures.
"However, these savings and a modest increase in income have not been sufficient to match the sustained high levels of inflation in the economy."
The spokesman said that the prospect of only very limited growth in its key income streams in the future had left the charity’s trustees and directors with no choice but to consider a programme of redundancies.
The charity’s spending has exceeded its income in each of the past three years, according to figures on the Charity Commission’s website.
The charity, which joined last week’s Remember A Charity Week campaign to encourage people to leave a gift in their wills, recently revealed a decline in legacy giving could affect its services. It helps more than 235,000 cats and kittens every year, with half of those benefiting from funds raised by gifts in wills. The recession has meant the value of legacies it receives has gradually declined over the past few years.