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. Continue reading
Brighton 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. Continue reading
Contrary to what many people assume, saying goodbye to a foster cat is a rewarding experience, says Brighton-based Cats Protection volunteer, Olivia. In only one year of being a fosterer, Olivia has helped five cats to find their forever homes.
“I can recommend that someone considers fostering cats,” says Olivia. “Many people have said to me they think they wouldn’t be able to give a cat away, but it is much more rewarding than people think. It is a great feeling to know that a cat is going to a really good home and it is also the nicest circumstance to say goodbye to a cat.”
Olivia decided to become a fosterer for several reasons. She doesn’t have access to any outside space, so felt having a cat on a long-term basis would not be fair on the cat. Also, she is unsure for how many years she will live in Brighton so didn’t think she could commit to having a cat for a long time. “I did have a cat that lived for 18 years, so while it is lovely to have a cat, at this stage I can’t really have a cat for that many years.” Continue reading
5 things you should know before becoming a cat fosterer
Fostering can be a difficult role: you look after the cat or kitten in need night and day but eventually the little ball of fur will be rehomed to a permanent owner, which is can be tough when you have formed a bond with the pet.
However, fostering is extremely rewarding too, as these cats might have been in abusive homes or left out on the streets. It is the Cats Protection fosterers that are able to save these unfortunate felines and get them back to health so they can find a new owner to cuddle up to.
We at Cats Protection Brighton and District are looking for our first cat fosterers. Since launching this branch last year we have been raising money and awareness of the charity. Now, as we begin to rehome cats in need we are seeking those special people who can give up their precious time to help our wonderful feline friends.
But before you sign up it is important to ensure you can give a rescue cat what it needs and that you fully understand what fostering involves.
Forrest and Bluebell rehomed from Cats Protection Worthing relaxing in a picnic hamper
5 things you need to become a cat fosterer
Be able to say goodbye
The best but also the hardest part of fostering can be to see one of your cats go to a new home. It certainly can be a bittersweet role but knowing that you are helping to find a forever home for cats in need makes it all worthwhile. As the saying goes, ‘If you love them, let them go’.
Cats need a place where they can sleep, go to the toilet, play and feel safe, so setting aside a room for the cat is a perfect way to provide all the creature comforts they need. It is particularly important if you own cats yourself, as the fostered cats will need to be kept separate. If you have a spare room this can help get you started with fostering before you fully commit. Cats Protection will also provide a purpose built cat cabin for your garden if you do decide to become a fosterer.
Time and patience
Cats that come into your care will have very different personalities and habits depending on their situation and where they have come from. It will be your job to look after them, so this can mean trips to the vets to ensure they are healthy, training them to have good habits, particularly if they are kittens, and being prepared to look after the cats 24/7 for as long as it takes to find a good home.
As a fosterer you will need to take calls and visits from the public who are interested in rehoming the kitty in your care, which will mean having people call at your house to look at the cats. The more accessible you are then the more likely it is that the cat will be rehomed.
Be a cat lover, of course
It is important that a cat fosterer has had experience of cats before and really wants to take care of them, as it can be a demanding job. Cats are wonderful creatures with high intelligence, which means they need to be stimulated every day so that they stay healthy and happy. Plus, it is important that you communicate how to look after a cat to any prospective owners.
Cats Protection will provide all the support you need to be a fosterer, including equipment, and we will pay for all trips to the vets. The most important thing we need is you!
If you think you would like to volunteer as a fosterer, please email: email@example.com