Britain's most forgotten cat in care

10 July 2015
Britain

Meet 19-year-old Pops from Radstock who is desperate need of a new family.

Across the UK more than six times as many kittens are being adopted instead of their older friends.

Nearly 10 per cent of cats in care are aged 11 or older, according to current figures from across Cats Protection’s 31 adoption centres.

WITH slightly matted ginger fur and glazed eyes Pops perhaps isn't the cutest cat in the care home.

But this crazy-looking feline does have one trick up her sleeve - her cuddly personality.

Incredibly Pops has reached the impressive age of 19 but is worried she will be left on the Cats Protection adoption shelf.

Not always the most popular choice, older cats like Pops take five times longer to home than kittens, with prospective families passing her by in favour of a brand new feline.

OAP Pops was found dazed and stumbling by the side of the road in Radstock, near Bath, in May this year.

Worried she had been struck by a car, the dozy feline was rushed to vets only to be told she was simply an ‘old lady’ who suffered with her sight and was nearly blind in both eyes.

Physically weak, ill-sighted but affectionate, Pops soon became one of the favourites among volunteers at Cats Protection’s Midsomer Norton and Radstock branch near Bath.

Volunteer Belinda Dark, who keeps a close eye on Pops, said: “It would be lovely to see her go to a loving family. We think she may have been abandoned after an elderly owner became unable to look after her.

“She was very confused when she came to us, her sight is very poor and she is a weak old cat but she loves being close to you and being petted - she’s incredibly friendly and doing well for her age.

“Pops is certainly the oldest cat we are aware of in our care. We’ve had a 14 year old before but never one as old as her.”

Belinda works with other volunteers who look after around 10 needy cats at a time, advertising the cats on social media sites and their website where prospective cat owners can check out the cats and then come to meet them.

Despite more than 500 people engaging with Pops’ story on Facebook in the last two months, as well as being advertised on Animal Search UK, no one has yet come forward to either claim or offer her a home.

Belinda added: “During the spring summer months we see a dramatic rise in kittens being adopted instead of older cats, it can be horribly sad to see them left behind.

“I think often older cats can get a little overlooked, much like second-hand items, but ultimately there is just as much joy in rehoming an older cat as there is a kitten.

“Life in a pen is no substitute for a permanent home so we would urge people to consider adopting an older cat.

“Pops is a loving, adorable cat who loves to be petted. If only cats could talk I feel Pops probably has a very sad story to tell - it would be lovely to give her the happy ending she deserves.”

Across the UK more than six times as many kittens are being adopted instead of their older friends.

Figures from across Cats Protection’s 31 adoption centres show currently nearly 10 per cent of cats in care are 11 years old and older.

On average older cats take around five times longer than kittens to be adopted.

However, during kitten season, which runs between April and September, older cats take six and a half times longer to be rehomed than kittens.

Cats Protection centres have found very young cats often only remain in care for up to 10 days in comparison to OAP cats who can be left on the shelf for up to 59 days.

The oldest cat ever, according to Guinness World Records, died in Texas, USA, in August 2005 at the age of 38.

To give Pops a new home, visit Cats Protection’s adopt a cat page via the website
www.cats.org.uk/midsomer/adopt-a-cat

ENDS

All media enquires please contact Emma Lowe or Annie Morris at Smoking Gun PR 01618391986/cats@smokinggunpr.co.uk


NOTES to Editors:
For the purpose of the study kittens are classed as 0-6 months and older cats as 11 years+.
These figures represent the amount of time from a cat being ‘ready to home’ to being adopted.
Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps over 205,000 cats each year through its national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 31 adoption centres.
Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.
Cats Protection’s registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland). Founded as the Cats Protection League in 1927, the charity adopted the name Cats Protection in 1998. We ask that you use the name Cats Protection when referring to the charity in all published material.
More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk