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International Day of Charity

05 September 2021
International Day of Charity

Our history

Over 90 years of Cats Protection

Today Cats Protection is the UK’s largest feline welfare charity. In nearly 100 years, we have rehomed over 2 million cats and kittens and championed the rights of cats. But where did it all begin?

During the 1920s, cats were not seen as the companion animals today – instead of much-loved pets, they were considered as nothing more than pests. Concern was expressed at the ignorance of many people regarding the needs of the domestic cat. In an attempt to raise the status of cats, a group of like-minded people gathered together at Caxton Hall in London. They formed the Cats Protection League.

Since its humble beginnings, the dedication and commitment of our volunteers and employees has never waned. Surviving war and recession and defying the odds to help as many cats as possible, our aim remains the same as it did in 1927.

1927 - Cats Protection is founded as the Cats Protection League by animal welfare campaigner Jessey Wade

1935 - Charity headquarters are set up in Slough and remain here until a move to Horsham in 1978

1940 - Tailwavers Scheme is introduced to help relieve suffering among cats in the blitzed-out areas during World War 2

1949 - Cats Protection formally begins to champion neutering to control cat numbers

1950s - A legacy enables the charity to open its first shelter at Haslemere

1960s - Cats Protection launches its first neutering voucher scheme, called Cat Population Limitation. This is extended nationwide from January 1970

1977 - The charity reaches over 10,000 supporters

1979 - Our three objectives are published for the first time: rehoming cats and kittens, informing the public about cat care and encouraging neutering

1990 - Cats Protection publishes its first teaching pack for use in schools

1994 - Cats Protection introduces microchipping into all its shelters

1998 - The charity changes its name to Cats Protection, with a new logo and branding

2004 - Headquarters move to Chelwood Gate, Sussex alongside the UK's largest cat adoption centre

2006-2011 - Cats Protection helps one million cats in just five years

2015 - Cats Protection launches the first Manifesto for cats

2017 - The charity celebrates 90 years in action and reaching 10,000 volunteers