Outdoor pen a first for Brighton & Hove

outdoor pen.jpgBrighton and Hove Cats Protection now has its first outdoor pen, enabling cats from the local area to be taken in and fostered. The pen, at the home of Brighton & Hove branch coordinator Teresa Dee in the Surrenden area of Brighton, was launched with a party on May Day.

Measuring 13×14 feet in total, the pen was erected in just one and a half days. “There was no disruption at all,” says Teresa. “The material arrived in flatpack form and was put together and wired by CP approved builders and electricians.”

The result is a “very sturdy” outdoor pen with plenty of room for up to three cats (for example, a cat and her kittens) to be housed. The outdoor pens are important, enabling local cats to be fully health checked and transferred to indoor fosterers if necessary before rehoming.

Until the opening of the outdoor pen, CP Brighton & Hove could accept only cats for fostering from the National Cat Centre or neighbouring CP branches. The Worthing CP branch provided the funds for the Brighton pen and officers from that branch attended the launch party.

The owner of two pedigree cats, Teresa was keen to become more involved in cat welfare. After visiting the CP website, she noticed the vacancy for a volunteer branch coordinator and decided to apply. She also decided she had enough room in her garden to be able to host an outdoor pen.

“The pen is next to my vegetable patch, so I will be able to potter around that and have the company of the foster cat at the same time,” she says.

The outdoor pens comply with CP standards of accommodation, which require adequate ventilation, temperature control and electricity supply. The minimum space required includes a sleeping area of 3×3 feet (which is fully insulated and heated), an exercise area of 6×3 feet and a safety porch of 3×3 feet. The pens should be situated in a sheltered part of the garden that has access to sun and shade and where the cats are able to look out and enjoy access to fresh air without being exposed to extremes of heat and cold.

The cost of installation and ongoing maintenance of the outdoor pens is covered by CP through fund raising activities. Donations are very welcome via CP’s national Just Giving page: http://www.justgiving.com/cats

The first resident of the outdoor pen is Bob (pictured below), who was found as a stray and looked after by a local veterinary practice before coming to CP. He is undergoing health checks and CP is attempting to find his owner. If the search proves fruitless, Bob will be rehomed by CP.

Bob in pen

With many cats coming in for rehoming for a variety of reasons including economic, health and relocation, the opening of the Brighton & Hove outdoor pen is a welcome addition to CP’s work in the area. If you are interested in hosting an outdoor pen, please contact Teresa Dee at the following email address: coordinator@brighton.cats.org.uk for more information and to arrange a visit to see the pen.


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