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Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and our vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs. Cats are at the centre of everything we do and our objectives are: homing, neutering and educating people about cats and their care. We help thousands of cats across the UK each year thanks to our network of dedicated volunteers, staff and supporters.

A bit about this role

Unfortunately thousands of cats each year are abandoned or have strayed and rely on charities like Cats Protection for help. Becoming a TNR volunteer is one way you can make a real difference to cats in your local area. Our TNR volunteers help reduce the number of feral cats by raising awareness of our TNR programmes, setting humane traps to safely capture cats, taking them to local vets to be neutered, and hopefully returning them back to their territory. Local TNR programmes are crucial, as feral and abandoned cats present a huge challenge for communities across the UK.

What can you expect to be doing? 

The role might also include:

A bit more information about this role and the team

Can you help Cats Protection on Orkney with its vital feral cat neutering work?

Cats Protection’s Caithness branch needs to recruit a team of Trap-Neuter-Return Volunteers to oversee its vital work in controlling feral colonies of cats throughout Orkney.

The branch, which is run entirely by volunteers, needs people who can spare a few hours a month to help prevent colonies of feral cats breeding out of control.

As feral cats are not domesticated, it is not possible to tame them so the charity runs a Trap, Neuter, Return (TNR) programme to humanely capture them before transporting them to a vet to be blood tested (for fatal and infectious viral diseases), neutered, health checked, parasite treated, and given one vaccination, then finally releasing them back to their home territory.

“The branch does a huge amount of work to help local cats in Caithness but now we really need people to join our Trap-Neuter-Return team on Orkney and take part in this vital part of our operations,” Deirdre Campbell, branch coordinator said.

“It’s a unique role, so we do not expect new volunteers to have experience in this area, and we can provide all required equipment, assistance and training. However, we do need people who love cats, enjoy being outdoors and have bags of enthusiasm.

“By sparing just a few hours a month it can make a huge difference to the quality of life for ferals. We are sure whoever takes on the role will find it incredibly rewarding. It’s also a great way to make new friends – both human and feline!”

Neutering of cats is vital as they are prolific breeders and, left unchecked, a feral colony can rapidly grow out of control. As one unneutered female cat could potentially produce up to eighteen kittens a year, owners who do not neuter their cats may unwittingly be contributing to more cats being abandoned in the future and joining such colonies.

In accordance with the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (as amended): Section 16 (4) (c), in Scotland cats can only legally be released back “into the wild” by individuals or organisations who hold an annually-granted licence from NatureScot. All of our volunteers therefore carry out TNR under the auspices of the charity’s licence.

Cats Protection is the UK’s leading cat charity and the Caithness branch is part of a nationwide network that helps around 200,000 cats each year.

As well as its work with ferals and finding new homes for unwanted and abandoned cats, the charity also offers cat care advice to the public.

What are the benefits to you and the cats?

You will develop new skills, expand your knowledge and make a significant contribution to improving the lives of cats and kittens by helping reduce the number of unwanted cats and improving the lives of cats in your local area. You will also meet new people, make new friends and be part of a dedicated team of volunteers.

We’re looking for someone with

Time expectation 

This is a flexible role and the hours will vary depending on the number of cats identified for specific TNR campaigns. Our current TNR volunteers spend about 2 to 3 hours per week in this role which can be shared by more than one volunteer if needed. 

Support, guidance and keeping you safe

At Cats Protection we believe our volunteers should be happy and confident in their roles. We provide support and guidance from our National Cat Centre and through our regional and local volunteer groups and teams. We offer engaging online and face-to-face training, expenses and have policies and processes to help volunteers get the most out of their time with us.

The wellbeing of our people is important and at Cats Protection we are committed to safeguarding children, adults at risk and all those that we come into contact with as part of our activities.


Closing Date:

07 Aug 2024

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