What we do
Our main aim is quite simple – to improve the health and welfare of all cats and kittens who are brought to our notice by members of the public in our local area (our full name is “Sleaford and District Cats’ Protection” and we look after NG34, parts of LN4 and parts of NG32). We look after the full range of felines from pregnant mummies, tiny kittens, lost tomcats who go off looking for girls then can’t remember where they did live months before… feral colonies, found and dumped strays in all shapes, sizes and health. In short, if it is a domestic cat, we should be able to offer help and advice. We can’t take in every cat we would like to due to space restraints, so the homeless have priority and unwanted owned cats have to join their place in the queue. We also keep a lost and found log and offer vouchers for about 50% neutering costs for those on low income.
We can be looking after cute little kittens early one day and trapping very angry feral toms by the evening! All of us here at local level are unpaid volunteers and in a little branch like this we might have a designated role but we all have to muck in and do a bit of everything at times.
We currently have seven fosterers (six with outdoor pens, one indoor) but are always looking for a new fosterer or two. Outdoor pens can be standard single, large single or double and we have one large “family pen” to take either four adults from the same house or several mummies and kittens from the same house. We have a treasurer, fundraising coordinator, web mistress and home checker plus assistant, about 8 regular helpers but also spouses, mothers and children are rounded up when all hands on deck are needed! So if you love cats and want to get involved, there is always work to be done. Some people can only spare a few hours a month but we do need people to be reliable and only major excuses are acceptable!
The majority of our cats are kept in pens as this means they cannot pass disease to our cats or vice-versa and also cannot escape, most importantly. The pens, bases, electricity, food and vet costs are all paid by the branch, so a volunteer provides lots of TLC (and a lot of scrubbing, washing and poo picking – hygiene is paramount).
During 2016 we re-homed an unbelivable number of cats, 413 in total which is an 38% increase comparing to 2015 when we re-homed 299 cats and 300 the year before (2014). That also means more neutering has been done, more sick babies to look after – so we are trying hard and we could do even better with more volunteers!
We hand rear babies if necessary and three ordinary looking little black boys were taken into CP care at 10 minutes old. Mummy was a sick feral with a dead kitten inside her, so she had a caesarean/spay and the boys were hand reared as mummy wouldn’t recognise them as she was under anaesthetic. Mummy then went back to where she lived previously after she had recovered. The boys suffered from colic in early infancy just like human babies, but despite it all they thrived and are now huge chaps weighing about 5.5kg at 9 months... Two are in their own home, the fosterer adopted one of them though!