What we do
Cats Protection as an organisation rehomes around 200,000 cats in the course of one year. Volunteers at Tain & District Branch are trying in their small way to help rehome the many stray and abandoned cats and kittens which come into our care each year. We try to encourage owners to have their cats neutered between 4/5 months if they are not being used for breeding purposes. Neutering can help prevent male cats fighting and female cats having up to three litters of kittens per year. Over a five year period, one cat can be responsible for 20,000 decendants.
We are sometimes thought by the public to be in the employ of Cats Protection but we are all volunteers and give every bit of time free and any time spent trapping, which sometimes means hiding behind trees, in all weathers, in a field waiting on a feral cat(s) going into a trap and transporting it/them to the vets for neutering and any treatment necessary and returning it/them to the original site. Depending on the size of the colony, this can take up to 3 weeks - 4 days a week. Taking and collecting cats to and from the vets, answering the phone, picking up stray and abandoned cats etc. is all done in our own leisure time.
Some of our group are in full time employment and have to fit in all their 'cat work' after a full day at work. Fostering on its own is very demanding on volunteers' time as sometimes cats in care become almost a 24 hour task, depending on the age and health of the kittens/cats. Some kittens have to be hand reared. This means feeding kittens every 2/3 hours during the day and during the night too. Fundraising too takes up a lot of time as this usually takes place at a weekend. Most volunteers do so to help the many stray and abandoned cats and kittens who through no fault of their own come into our care. Some are just thrown out, some folks move away from the area and just leave the cats to fend for themselves others just get fed up having a cat that they want to give them up.
It is often perceived that because of our name, Cats Protection, every Branch is a large one with lots of space to house stray and abandoned cats. Our Group is a very small one consisting of 7 people, four of whom are fosterers, each with a double pen in their gardens. This is the only accommodation we have to house stray and abandoned cats/kittens. It is very difficult, therefore, to take in every cat we are approached about. Sometimes because of the nature of the medical problems or behaviour problems some cats may have, we can have a cat in our care for many months.
We are often approached by owners of cats who wish to give them up, for a number of various reasons. As stated above, we do not have the accommodation to take in owned cats. Sometimes the only thing we can offer is for the owner to send us a photograph of their cat and we can advertise the cats on our website. We also suggest that the owners advertise their cats in the local vet etc. We have to try and give priority to stray and abandoned cats/kittens.
We are desperately looking for a Fundraising Team Leader who will perhaps manage to attract a few like minded people, who enjoy fundraising. They would be responsible for booking the events, collecting items for sale, also someone who has new ideas on how we could raise much needed funds.
We carry out home visits prior to homing any of the cats in our care, when queries and worries can be dealt with. We know this must worry some people, but it only making sure that the appropriate cat is rehomed with the appropriate family.
We are often asked to rehome feral cats. Unfortunately, we do not have a specific place to home feral cats and the only thing we can offer is to trap, neuter and return them to the site they were living as a colony. Once a colony is neutered, it should become kitten free. To remove a colony is to invite, within a matter of weeks, another colony to come in and take over that space, where they know there is a food supply readily available. If you can offer a home to a feral cat or cats, please contact us.
As we are all volunteers, our telephone line is NOT manned 24 hours a day. If we are unable to take your call, please leave a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible, perhaps not that day, but any delay in replying will be down to work commitment.
Our Telephone Number is: 0345 3712737 - Email Address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cats Protection do have an extensive range of leaflets available, giving all sorts of down to earth information about keeping and looking after kittens and cats. These leaflets can be downloaded from the website - www.cats.org.uk