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24th September 2019

A survey released today from Cats Protection shows how the household moggy has evolved to become an essential part of the family, especially for five-year-old Marnie Quince from King’s Lynn.

Black-and-white cat sitting in grassMarnie finds making friends difficult. Having been diagnosed with autism, she often struggles to communicate and interact with other people, but her life has been transformed by her new feline best friend Domino.

Adopted from Cats Protection’s Downham Market Adoption Centre by the Quince family in April 2019, black-and-white Domino has already had a big impact on her new owners.

Marnie’s mum, Nissa (32) said: “Since coming home with us Domino has slotted straight into our family. She’s cheeky and loves a game, but the biggest thing for me is how much having Domino has helped my little girl. Marnie and Domino are best friends and always together. This in turn has helped Marnie with communication.”

Cats Protection conducted the research as part of its More Than Just a Cat campaign, which highlights the many ways cats enhance and enrich people’s lives. It showed that 93.5% of cat owners think that owning a cat has a positive effect on their mental wellbeing¹.

The charity’s research also showed that around half of the cat owners surveyed said that they have shared a secret with their cat.

“Marnie can be often be found talking to Domino, telling her she loves her, reading her stories and asking her to play outside or come upstairs with her. It’s amazing to see them together,” added Nissa.

“Being only a year-old, Domino is very playful but seems to understand Marnie and has never once scratched or bitten her when they are playing together. She even comes to find Marnie when she is upset and helps her to get up in the mornings for school.”

The Quince family say Domino is more than just a cat, she also helps with Marnie’s bedtime routine.

Nissa added: “Part of Marnie’s autism means she doesn’t sleep very well and struggles to get to sleep and get up for school in the morning. At night-time Domino comes into Marnie’s bedroom to sleep and this helps Marnie understand that it is bedtime.

“From the bottom of my heart I would like to thank Cats Protection for bringing this gorgeous little cat into our lives, she has helped us all so much and we couldn’t imagine our life without her now.

“Domino is more than just a cat, she’s my daughter’s best friend.”

To get involved with the campaign, visit Cat Protection’s social media pages (Cats Protection on Facebook and @CatsProtection on Twitter and Instagram) and use the hashtag #MoreThanJustACat.

To see cats in need of homes in your area visit

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For further information, photos or an interview, please contact Cats Protection’s Media Office by emailing on 01825 741 911 or email

¹The survey of 2,000 cat owners was conducted for Cats Protection by 3 Gem Research and Insights during August 2019

Notes to Editors:

  1. Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs
  2. Cats Protection’s registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland).
  3. 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.
  4. More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at
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