The three guides entitled, ‘caring for your indoor cat’, ‘cat behaviour problems’, and ‘introducing cats to others’, have been published in both Ukrainian and English to make them as accessible as possible. The guides can be downloaded for free from the Cats Protection website.
Bruce Fogle MBE, said: "When I first met Ukrainian families who had travelled to the UK, I was impressed by what these good people were doing to keep their pets safe. They had travelled by bus and train, through five to nine different counties, with a cat carrier in one hand and a suitcase with cat food and a litter tray in the other. I am just as impressed by the British families I’ve met who are giving sanctuary to their unexpected guests and their pets.
“Cats Protection has been brilliant. Within a day of asking them for help, information in Ukrainian and English on caring for cats stressed by travel, quarantine, new people and new homes, was promised and work was underway. We felt providing a dual translation of the materials was the best way for us to a) help host families understand caring for new cat guests and b) to welcome refugee families by saying we understand what you’re going through, and we’re here to make you feel welcomed and safe.”
Thousands of Ukrainian refugees have settled with host families in the UK, many bringing their beloved cats with them. However, moving a cat into a new home can cause behavioural issues, which owners may need veterinary support to help them overcome.
Preparing both host families and Ukrainian pet owners for these behavioural changes will enable them to settle their cats calmly into their new home and to spot early signs of stress before they escalate into more complex behavioural issues.
Alison Richards, Cats Protection’s Head of Clinical Services, said: “Just like their owners, these cats have been through an unimaginable and horrifying experience. Their whole lives have been uprooted and they now find themselves thousands of miles from home in an unfamiliar setting. Cats are very sensitive animals, and they can find it very hard to adjust to sudden changes.
“We wanted to provide guidance to help reduce any stress that these cats may encounter, such as new environments, family members, pets and changes in their access to outside.
“We hope the leaflets will be a valuable resource for those settling in the UK and we offer an open door to anyone who needs additional guidance or advice. All UK vets working with Ukrainian families will also be able to access a copy of these leaflets to share.”
Alongside the translated guides, Cats Protection is currently working to establish a grant to provide financial support for Ukrainian refugee cat owners, has neutering vouchers readily available, and will provide other cat care resources where necessary.