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Charitable trusts and foundations make a real difference to our work. Find out how our supporters have helped us and how you can get involved

While some have supported our work in general, others have provided funds towards specific projects – from refurbishment of local rehoming centres, to helping implement neutering schemes in localised areas.

Below are just a couple of examples of how generous benefactors have supported Cats Protection, and how you can get involved.

Petplan Charitable Trust funds new maternity accommodation

Petplan Charitable Trust is the charitable arm of Petplan Insurance and has been a regular supporter of Cats Protection branches in recent years.

The Trust has generously made a donation towards the costs of our new maternity accommodation at our Exeter Adoption Centre which is due to be rebuilt in 2021.

The new centre will be purpose built, providing the cats with excellent accommodation and a suitable environment for them to express their natural behaviours. The centre is such an important facility in the local community and volunteers are part of the family, working alongside staff in a variety of roles.  Whatever the circumstances for a cat coming into our care, all of them are given the love and attention they need, and found new loving homes quickly.  Funding from Petplan Charitable Trust will help enormously towards our vision for the centre enabling us to create a place where nursing queens and their kittens receive the best start in life.

Pets at Home Foundation supports the vital cat welfare work of our branches

Pets at Home Foundation (formerly Support Adoption For Pets), has been a loyal supporter of Cats Protection and provided invaluable support to our branches over the last year during the Covid-19 outbreak. Fifteen of our volunteer run branches around the UK have benefitted from donations towards their veterinary expenditure during a period when their face-to-face fundraising activities were completely halted and yet their cat welfare expenditure still had to be met.

In March 2020 we had to pause homing because of government restrictions on movements but from May we were able to introduce a hands free rehoming process which has proved hugely successful. Cats and their potential adopters are matched through an online process and cats are then then delivered to the door of their new owners. Cats Protection volunteers and staff stay in contact, providing advice and support to owners, ensuring that cats are given the best possible chance of a new loving home. This process has resulted in fewer cats being returned to us than before.

Given the lockdown circumstances, we have not been able to carry out our usual level of activity for Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) work with community and feral cats. And owned cats also went unneutered as most vets were not performing neutering procedures during lockdown due to social distancing requirements. This, coupled with the economic impact of Covid-19 on household finances, means that many unplanned litters has added to the population of unneutered cats in 2020 and 2021. Cats Protection estimates that an additional 80,000 kittens have been born during the Covid-19 outbreak. As our branches have restarted their neutering work the pressure on their finances has, therefore, been significant and so funding from the Pets at Home Foundation for our branch work has been vital over the last year.

The Hatcher Animal Welfare Trust has generously funded our Paws to Listen service

Paws to Listen supports 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 or has been reluctantly rehomed.

For many cat owners, their cat is more than a pet. Their cat is a constant companion, a reason to get up in the morning and a much loved family member. Whatever the circumstances surrounding a loss, grieving is a distressing but natural part of the process. That’s why Cats Protection provides a free phone helpline, Paws to Listen. Our Paws to Listen 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.

With an estimated 11.1 million pet cats in the UK, Paws to Listen provides compassionate support for many people who may have no one else to turn to. Pet loss is often referred to as a ‘disenfranchised loss’, meaning it isn't always seen as a significant loss and is at times not even recognised in society to be a bereavement. Since Paws to Listen was established in 2016, we have helped many cat owners across the UK to come to terms with their feelings, feel truly understood in their grief, and provided with practical information when appropriate.

We are most grateful to the Hatcher Animal Welfare Trust for supporting this important service.

Support for a branch tackling overpopulation in their local area

One particular charitable trust, with a focus on improving animal welfare in the UK, has assisted one of Cats Protection’s volunteer-led branches. The trust has issued a grant for three consecutive years to help the branch tackle overpopulation of cats in their local area.

This support has enabled the branch to run subsidised neutering schemes in the area over a period of time, resulting in more than 400 cats being neutered.

Not only has this helped to prevent further possible abandoned cats and kittens, but it has also ensured these cats lead better, heathier lives. Neutering is the single most effective thing we can do to improve cat welfare and remains one of Cats Protection’s key aims.

This dedicated group of volunteers have found that promoting the neutering message is an ongoing challenge, especially in areas where people face financial hardship. Thanks to the generous help of the trust, this branch has been able to assist hundreds of cat owners who would otherwise have struggled to pay the full cost. The grant also helped pay for the neutering of feral cats, who were trapped, neutered and returned to their colonies.

It is important to keep our supporters informed about how their generosity has helped us improve the lives of cats. In this instance we have provided the donors with a report each year, showing how their donation has been spent wisely and effectively.

The volunteers at the branch are hugely grateful for this trust’s support, without which they simply couldn’t have neutered as many cats.

If you’d like to know more about how you can help us improve the lives of the UK’s cats, email trusts@cats.org.uk

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