Our history

Cats Protection 90th web page banner
During the 1920s, cats were not seen as the companion animals they are today. Rather than pets, most were thought of as nothing more than pests. 

Concern was expressed at the general ignorance of many people regarding the needs of the domestic cat, so much so that on 16 May 1927, a group of like-minded people gathered together at Caxton Hall in London to form the Cats Protection League, an educational society to raise the status of cats.

"It is the League's chief aim to create and stimulate an ever-growing admiration for the cat as he is found to be by those who have taken the trouble to study his character and understand his ways."

The Cat's Mews-sheet January 1931 

At first, the charity was run from a small office at George Bell & Sons publishing house in London, but in 1935 a property was secured in Slough which remained as the charity's headquarters until 1978 when it moved to Sussex.

In its early years, the charity was formed of a few 'cat clubs' in Slough, Ilford and Liverpool. Today there are over 250 branches from Shetland to Southampton, Bridgend to Bournemouth, Coleraine to Cambridge...beyond and between!

The charity pioneered the campaign for neutering cats, which initially was not an easy task as many cat lovers were often shocked by the idea of neutering. Cats Protection persevered, believing this was the only effective way to reduce the number of unwanted cats in the UK - introducing voucher schemes to assist owners with the cost of neutering in the 1960s. We now run the largest single-species neutering programme in the world.

The dedication and commitment of our volunteers and staff has never waned; it has survived war and recession; defying the odds and helping as many cats as possible. Our aim remains the same as it did in 1927, no matter what the challenges, we will provide better and brighter futures for the thousands of cats that come through Cats Protection's care.

In 90 years, Cats Protection has

• rehomed over 1.5m cats and kittens*
• neutered over 2.5m*
• helped over 3m*
• championed the rights of cats
• helped people of all ages to understand cats and their needs


*conservative estimates, taken from the figures listed in available Annual Reports since 1927