The joys of fostering

kittyContrary 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

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Meet the team: Tiffany, our social media officer

Cats Protection Brighton & District was set up less than a year ago and is run by a group of cat-mad volunteers. We thought you might like to know who these volunteers are, so we’re running a series of profiles about each and every one of them. Here’s our third profile…

Meet Tiffany

Tiffany, social media officer

Tiffany, social media officer

What is your volunteering role, and the best thing about it?

I am part of the publicity team, so my aim is to get everyone in and around Brighton aware of our branch of Cats Protection – although that might take a while.

I help manage the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts and write a lot of the blog posts we publish each week. I get such a kick out of seeing our ‘likes’ and ‘followers’ increase and it has been a great challenge to get the blog started. There was a big sigh of relief when I realised the first post had actually been read by some wonderful cat lovers.

The best thing about being a volunteer is helping to find cats new homes and knowing they will be loved and cared for for the rest of their lives. Although the hard work is done by our rehoming manager Natalie, I hope the noise we make around the cats in our care on our social media accounts helps find more cat lovers for our kitties.

I also love it when a missing or lost cat that we have posted about is found – that is extremely satisfying.

What is your job outside Cats Protection?

I am an ex-journalist and currently write content for a marketing agency in Worthing, where my job is basically to write blogs for our clients to put on their websites. It’s a really varied and exciting role and it’s right by the sea – much more picturesque than London, where I used to work.

Do you have any cats?

I have two kittens who will be fully grown cats in a matter of weeks. They are rescue cats from the Cats Protection Worthing branch and they are house cats because they suffer from slight brain damage. But they are healthy and happy and it just means they need to be played with a bit more frequently, otherwise they won’t let me sleep!

The moment you knew you were a cat person…

When I couldn’t live without my first cat, a stray tabby cat called Tiger, who my Mum took in shortly after my Grandad died when I was a child. She was my best friend and showed me that cats have real personalities.

Kitty profile
Forrest & Bluebell: Both almost 1, domestic long-hair
Likes: Fishing rod toys, any type of food, waking up early, wrestling
Dislikes: The hairdryer, closed doors, not being able to jump out of windows

What would you do if you were a cat for an hour?

I would sunbathe and purr very loudly. I’m so jealous of my kittens when I’m getting ready to go to work and they’re relaxing on my bed in the light of the window.

Two interesting non-cat related facts about yourself?

  • I have a Beastie Boys tattoo behind my left ear, which I got when member MCA died
  • My other half has banned me from eating golden syrup after watching me drink it from the bottle one pancake day

Another volunteer profile will be up soon! Find out more about Cats Protection Brighton & District and how you can help us.

Our first year as the Cats Protection Brighton & District branch

We celebrate our first year as a branch this month. Our co-ordinator, Richard, looks back on what we have achieved so far.

Happy 1st Birthday to us!

Rich, co-ordinator of Cats Protection Brighton and District

Rich, co-ordinator of Cats Protection Brighton and District

It’s been a great journey over the last twelve months, setting up a new Cats Protection branch in Brighton.

Back in May last year when we signed up for our various roles we really didn’t know exactly what it would be like, but we all came together knowing that we wanted to use some of our free time to help cat welfare in the local area.

We all wanted to make a difference and to help cats.

At first, our committee meetings were all a bit of a mystery with everyone learning on the job our roles and responsibilities.  We had great support from Cats Protection HQ and over time we have arrived at the point now, when actually I think we are doing quite well and have achieved a fair bit.

In the early days, we quickly got up and running on supporting and promoting neutering in the local area thanks to great organisation from our neutering volunteering. Once that was going we needed to think about how we were going to raise funds to support our activities. We had success in street collections, our pub quizzes, support from Pets at Home and who could forget the two comedy nights the Twitnits put on for us? Our publicity team deserves a mention too, doing a great job keeping Facebook, Twitter and Instagram updated and also launched the blog in February.

It has taken some time for us to find the right people who could help us foster cats in the local area, but it’s great now that we have three amazing people looking after them for us. This has to be our biggest achievement so far.

Finally, the best thing for me has been meeting such great people all coming to together to make a difference and help unwanted cats find their forever home. Maybe you would like to join us, so we can continue growing and helping improve the welfare of cats?

If you would like to become a volunteer for Cats Protection Brighton & District, you would like adopt a cat or make a donation, please take a look at our website.

Meet the team: Natalie, our rehoming manager

Cats Protection Brighton & District was set up less than a year ago and is run by a group of cat-mad volunteers.

We thought you might like to know who these volunteers are, so we’re running a series of profiles about each and every one of them. Here’s our third profile…

Meet Natalie

Natalie, CP Brighton Rehoming ManagerWhat is your volunteering role, and the best thing about it?
I am the Rehoming Manager which basically means that I carry out home visits to ascertain people’s suitability to adopt a cat, match the right cat with the right owner, then carry out the adoption process so that the cat goes to his or her forever home. I have also become involved with helping the fosterers now that we actually have three, and they all currently have cats so I like to go and visit! I have carried out many home visits for other branches, but the best thing was when I rehomed Brighton’s first foster cat, Luna (aka Britney). She went to an amazing home and I still get texts from her new owners, like the one I got yesterday that said “thank you for her little furry face”! I’ve also made some really great friends in the other branch volunteers.

What is your job outside Cats Protection?
I work for the Home Office in central London – the job is ok and the people are great but the commuting can be a pain, especially as the trains are constantly being delayed.

Do you have any cats?
Yes, two – both from Cats Protection – Orinoco, 13 and Tatiana, almost two. I have had Orinoco since he was one, and I got Tatiana in July last year when I went to the NCAC for training as part of my volunteering role – I didn’t intend to get another cat but I couldn’t resist – she chose me!

Tatiana, Natalie's catOrinoco, Natalie's cat

The moment you knew you were a cat person…
The moment I was born! Both of my parents were cat mad and I inherited their passion from the word go. I always had cats growing up and, as an only child, they were part of the family to me. I could not live without cats, they are everything to me.

What would you do if you were a cat for an hour?
I would eat some sardines then stretch out in the sun, purring.

Two interesting non-cat related facts about yourself?
I have given up smoking for one year and I am a Piscean.

Another volunteer profile will be up next week! Find out more about Cats Protection Brighton & District and how you can help us.

Meet the team: Adrian, our publicity team leader

Cats Protection Brighton & District was set up less than a year ago and is run by a group of cat-mad volunteers.

We thought you might like to know who these volunteers are, so we’re running a series of profiles about each and every one of them. Here’s our second profile…

Meet Adrian

Adrian, CP Brighton Publicity Team LeaderWhat is your volunteering role, and the best thing about it?
I’m the publicity team leader, and I make sure that what you see and read on social media, newspaper adverts, posters and the website fits the messages that Cats Protection aim to deliver.

The best thing about the role is working with a group of amazing cat fanatics who really care about the welfare of cats in Brighton and Hove. We’re still a young branch, but it’s also been great to see such a positive reaction from people who follow us online.

What is your job outside Cats Protection?
I’m a front end developer for an online travel company in London. In simple terms, I code websites for a living…which works out well for CP!

Do you have any cats?
Yes! My fiancée and I adopted Lolita and Cedric just over six years ago, and they’ve become the reasons we have to leave parties early.

Lolita, Adrian's catCedric, Adrian's cat

The moment you knew you were a cat person…
About eleven years ago, a cat called Samuel walked into our garden while we were having a summer barbecue and started eating the fish we had cooked. I didn’t really like cats before that, but Samuel was so adorable that I couldn’t help but change. We hugged him every day until he suddenly and sadly passed away just over two years ago.

What would you do if you were a cat for an hour?
I’d climb the tree at the back of our garden and look at the view over the houses.

Two interesting non-cat related facts about yourself?
1) I’m addicted to that Aussie soap Neighbours; so much so that I’d happily move to Melbourne just to share the same air as the cast.

2) I can eat a medium-thickness slice of white bread in 12 seconds, but I wouldn’t recommend you try and do the same.

Another volunteer profile will be up next week! Find out more about Cats Protection Brighton & District and how you can help us.

Meet the team: Richard, our coordinator

Cats Protection Brighton & District was set up less than a year ago and is run by a group of cat-mad volunteers.

We thought you might like to know who these volunteers are, so we’re starting a series of profiles about each and every one of them.

Meet Richard

Richard, your friendly branch coordinator!

What is your volunteering role, and the best thing about it?
I’m both branch coordinator and fundraising lead.

As a new branch, it’s been great meeting new people and setting up the branch. I’m proud of what we’ve achieved so far. It feels like things are coming together and I’m excited about helping more cats in Brighton.

When it comes to fundraising it’s really inspiring how many people make donations to help cats in our area. It’s nice talking to supporters about their cats too.

What is your job outside Cats Protection?
My day job is as a data manager for a large UK charity.  I’m really passionate about charities and making a difference in society.

Do you have any cats?
No 😦 I haven’t got a garden and my flat is quite small. I hope to be able to move in a year or so and then I’ll get one.

The moment you knew you were a cat person…
I grew up with cats – Sparky and Sam. We had Sam when he was a kitten, he was born in a pub on the river Wye and I remember my dad bringing him home one day. I loved him so much! He was such a good friend to me growing up. He passed away from old age eventually.

What would you do if you were a cat for an hour?
I’d find a sunny spot and a have a little nap.

Two interesting non-cat related facts about yourself?
I learnt to swim front crawl about 18 months ago and last year had an unsuccessful attempted at the Brighton Pier to Pier sea swim last summer.  This year I’m determined to crack sea swimming and I’m going to do the competition again. It’s really hard swimming against the current, though.

Also, I’m not too bad at baking cakes. Now I’ve said that I’ll have to bring some to the next meeting!

Another volunteer profile will be up next week! Find out more about Cats Protection Brighton & District and how you can help us.

Cat fostering with Cats Protection Brighton & District: what you should know

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.

Kittens in a straw box

Forrest and Bluebell rehomed from Cats Protection Worthing relaxing in a picnic hamper

5 things you need to become a cat fosterer

  1. 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’.

  2. Space

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. Flexibility

    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.

  5. 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: publicity.cpbrighton@gmail.com