May marks the 90th anniversary of Cats Protection, a charity established in 1927 by a group of cat lovers, led by Miss Jesse Wade. The purpose of the then-named Cats Protection League was to “exclusively” promote the interests of cats, at a time when cats were generally regarded as pests. The name was changed to Cats Protection in 1998. By 2012, CP had rehomed its 1,000,000th cat.
Today, there are an estimated 11 million pet cats in the UK, which represents around one quarter of all households owning a cat. CP is undertaking research to establish numbers of stray cats (estimates are 2 million). More than 150,000 stray and abandoned cats enter shelter care in the UK every year.
During 2016, CP helped nearly 190,000 cats and kittens through its network of 250 volunteer-run branches and 34 centres. Among the felines who were helped were the 43,000 cats rehomed, 3000 lost cats reunited with their owners and 20,000 feral cats that were trapped, neutered and returned to their environments. In addition, 152,000 cats and kittens were neutered during 2016 – the largest single species neutering program in the world. In theory, one unneutered female could be responsible for more than 20,000 descendants in five years.
In 2016 Cats Protection had around 9800 volunteers and around 675 full-time and part-time staff. Volunteers’ hours were estimated at 5 million hours of work in 2016, an estimated value to the organisation of £67.4 million.
To celebrate its anniversary, CP has launched a fund-raising campaign. You can help us to provide another 90 years of caring for cats by texting kitten800 to 70660 to donate £5. Terms and conditions apply: http://www.cats.org.uk/terms–conditions