During 2023, funding awarded by Postcode Animal Trust, who People’s Postcode Lottery manage lotteries for, is helping to cover cat care costs at our centres as well as supporting our Paws to Listen grief support service and our advocacy work to make a better world for cats.
Funding also helps our behaviour team to deliver cat behaviour advice to our network and cat adopters, as well as aiding our insights team in monitoring performance and driving improvement throughout Cats Protection, ultimately enabling us to have greater impact for cats and people.
Caring for cats is at the very heart of everything we do at Cats Protection so we are incredibly grateful to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who are helping us to cover the costs of looking after cats in our centres while they wait to find new homes.
From food, water and shelter through to veterinary treatments, people and utility costs, this funding helps us to continue providing the best care possible to cats during their stay with us. Some are with us for a matter of days, while others can be with us for months before finding a new home.
For any cat, coming into a rescue environment can be stressful. While our main aim is to get each cat adopted into a suitable and loving home as quickly as possible to minimise this stress, we are dedicated to caring for their physical and emotional needs to the best of our ability during their time in care.
Our behaviour team provides information and support to our branches and centres to help them care for cats’ behaviour needs and get them ready for adoption.
Despite being one of the nation’s favourite pets, sadly, many cats continue to be victims of cruelty, neglect or poor welfare. Our Advocacy team speaks up for cats and campaigns for change across the UK, working with and influencing politicians and decision makers to create a better world for cats.
All advocacy campaigns are driven by issues of cat welfare, but often also have benefits for cat owners or potential cat owners, such as our Purrfect Landlords campaign which aims to get more landlords to allow pets. Since our campaign launched, the government has introduced a new Model Tenancy Agreement for landlords which means consent for pets will be the default position for any landlord that uses this.
Other priority issues include compulsory microchipping of owned cats, licensing of cat breeding, air gun licensing, strengthened legislation around fireworks, a ban on snares, pet safe stickers on flowers which are non-toxic to cats, the scanning of feline victims of road traffic accidents and how cats can help people overcome loneliness.
We were delighted to receive a government commitment to introduce compulsory microchipping for owned cats under The Action Plan for Animal Welfare, launched on 12 May 2022. We will continue working with the government on the delivery of this commitment.
Cats mean so much to their owners and it can be difficult to find emotional support at times of loss. Paws to Listen is a free and confidential grief support service, connecting callers with a volunteer listener over the telephone or via email.
There are 10.8 million pet cats in the UK and 26% of households own a cat. For many people their cat is a much-loved part of their family, for some it may be their only source of companionship.
Whatever the circumstances surrounding a loss, grieving is a distressing but natural part of the process. That’s why we provide a free grief support service, Paws to Listen, to help those who may be faced with a difficult decision regarding their cat’s quality of life, who may recently be bereaved, or whose cat is missing.
Since we established the service in 2016, Paws to Listen has helped many people across the UK to come to terms with their feelings, feel truly understood in their grief, and be provided with practical information when appropriate.
Many people feel the loss of their pet deeply, but believe that others may dismiss these thoughts and feelings as a cat is ‘only a pet’.
Our volunteers are here to listen in a non-judgmental manner, and they understand that every loss is deeply personal and meaningful. Grief can often bring up other issues – so volunteers have a comprehensive list of organisations they will signpost callers to when appropriate and can direct callers to resources on our website.
As the UK’s leading feline welfare charity we are committed to supporting cat owners, and Paws to Listen is there for anyone who needs us.
Catherine Joyce, Paws to Listen Team Leader explains:
“Due to Covid restrictions in the past year or so, it has often been the case that people have not been allowed to be present with their pets at the point of euthanasia, which has compounded people’s grief. Pet loss is a type of loss not always fully recognised in society as a significant loss, causing many to be reluctant to talk about their grief.
Coupled with the pandemic where recently there has been so much human loss could potentially increase the reluctance to talk about the loss of a pet, so it is so important for our service to continue to normalise pet grief and let people know it’s OK to talk about it and they’re not alone.”Find out more about grief support
In 2020 and 2021, funds raised by players supported our cat care and advocacy work. Players helped us care for 1,900 cats and kittens until they were found loving new homes. Funding also helped us to speak up for cats and campaign for change to create a better world for cats.