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Britain's most forgotten cat in care is homed

15 September 2015
Britain Monday 17 August

With slightly matted ginger fur and ‘terrifying eyes’ Pops perhaps wasn't always the cutest cat in the care home.

But this crazy-looking feline captured the heart of the nation - with cat lovers from as far as USA and Egypt desperate to re-home her after her sorry tale of homelessness went global.

More than 200 pet owners came forward on social media and by phone, in a bid to take on 19-year-old Pops after Cats Protection feared she would be left on the adoption shelf.

Not always the most popular choice, older cats like Pops take five times longer to home than kittens, with prospective families passing them 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 always kept a close eye on Pops, said: "Our Homing Officer Mollie has been inundated with phone calls following the national news article about Pops.

“We had nearly 200 offers to our website to home Pops not to mention the offers via Facebook. We have had offers from the length and breadth of the country. As well as France, Germany, USA and Egypt.

“However as exciting as it would be for Pops to be a globe trotter it was important we re-homed her in her native Bath, she is an elderly cat and therefore it was important she didn't have to travel a long distance.

“Pops was 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. Its great to see her finally find a home.”

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 came forward to either claim or offer her a home until her sad story made national news headlines. Within a matter of hours Cats Protection was inundated with calls and emails from cat lovers keen to give the cat ‘with terrifying eyes’ a new home.

Belinda added: “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 is lovely to give her the happy ending she deserves.

“During the spring and 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.”

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 re-homed 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 see cats in need of homes in your area visit www.cats.org.uk

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

Notes to Editors:

1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.
4. 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.
5. More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk