If you have concerns about a stray or need to re-home an owned cat, please read this first
Cat and Kitten Crisis
Help and advice if you are thinking of rehoming your cat. Sometimes rehoming can be avoided - find out how, and also what to do if re-homing is the only practical solution.
Many animal rescue organisations nationwide are having to close their waiting lists due to the number of cats needing to be re-homed. In part, this is due to the high number of un-neutered cats who are responsible for breeding - several times each year. There are huge numbers of 'stray' cats giving birth outside and rescue organisations are often full to overflowing. This is a very sad situation but rescue organisations are limited by funds and the number of volunteers that they have on board. Therefore, we are asking the public to help us to help the cats in this area. Please be a part of the solution - and not the ever growing problem - by having your own cats neutered.
Sick, Injured or Distressed Cats
If you have noticed a sick, injured mistreated, neglected or distressed stray cat, please contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. Alternatively, you can take the cat to any local vet so that they can assess the cat and provide any emergency medical treatment. They can also scan the cat for a microchip in order to try and locate the cat's owner. Darlington RSPCA
Un-Neutered 'Stray' Cats
If you notice an un-neutered stray cat, please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org we may be able to provide a neutering voucher. Even if we are unable to take the cat in at that time, at least by neutering it we will prevent it from breeding and making the situation worse. Cat population control is also very important to avoid the number of feral colonies increasing.
Pregnant Stray Cats
If you spot a pregnant stray cat, we may be able to help - contact us. It is very important that pregnant females receive the correct nutrition so please feed. Please provide some shelter in a shed, outbuilding or even a plastic recycling box tipped on it's side.
If a nursing mother seems in any discomfort or the newborn kittens are constantly crying, she could have mastitis. She will need antibiotics from a vet as soon as possible. Please take the cat to your nearest vets or contact the RSPCA.
Whilst we don't recommend handling kittens at too young an age, they will need to be handled frequently from three weeks old to prevent them from becoming feral. Handling should always be done by adults and not children. It teaches the kittens important socialisation skills. If their eyes are closed, the kittens are less than 7-14 days old, if their eyes are open but still blue, the kittens are less than 6 weeks old. Kittens should start weaning onto solids from around 4-5 weeks old. Once the kittens are fully weaned (at around 6-8 weeks), the nursing mother can be spayed. Please contact us to request a neutering voucher.
Neutered Stray Cats
If you notice a neutered and otherwise healthy stray cat, please pop them along to your local vets so that they can scan them for a microchip. They can also give an indication of age which can help with trying to locate a possible owner via the lost and found databases. Please contact us with details of the cat's gender, colour, age and whether short haired or long haired. We will then add to our lost and found database and also add to our social network sites in an effort locate an owner for the cat.
Bear in mind that cats do wander and go from garden to garden so if you are unsure as to whether the cat belongs to someone or not, try knocking the doors locally, checking the lost and found columns in local papers, and asking at your local vets.
If you need to re-home an owned cat, please be aware that our waiting is very long. The reasons for re-homing are many and varied but we will try to help you with the most common scenarios:
Moving to a rented property where pets aren't allowed
Landlords shouldn't refuse a reasonable request to own a pet. They may refuse to renew your lease at the end of the term but this is unlikely so long as the property has not been damaged by your pet. Landlords and tenants can find lots of information at the www.letswithpets.org.uk website.
In the case of allergy, try to restrict the cat's access to living and sleeping quarters. Provide an outdoor shelter for your cat if possible. You can also try a product called Petalcleanse which is widely available at pet stores and vets. It is an inexpensive product which you wipe over your cat's fur, thus, removing the dander which can cause the allergic reaction.
If your cat is toiletting in inappropriate places, they may be stressed or have a medical condition. Please take your cat for a check up with your vet to ensure there aren't any medical reasons behind the behaviour. Ensure your cat has been neutered - male cats especially are much more likely to 'spray' they are not neutered. If your cat is stressed by the presence of a child, try to keep them separate. It can help to restrict the cat to one room for a period of time to increase their sense of security.
Re-Homing in General
You may try the following to try and re-home your cat: -
- Ask amongst friends, relatives and work colleagues etc.
- You could also ask any local vets if you can put a poster up in their surgery (if you go to www.yell.com and search on vets in your local area, it will give you their contact details). Most vets are happy to put posters up - you could e-mail them or send a poster through the post.
- Some pet shops and supermarkets also allow members of the public to display a free advert.
Unless re-homing to someone you know or signing a cat over to a registered rescue, we do not recommend that you advertise any pets as ‘free to good home’. Whilst the majority of callers may be genuine, there are a small number of people who may not be honest about their reason for wanting to adopt. It can also de-value the pet advertised and encourage people to apply on ‘impulse’ why not ask for a donation for a charity instead? For your own peace of mind you should do a home visit and check up on your cat’s progress. A genuine person will understand that and will not mind at all.
Beware dealers who resist home visits and who just want to breed from or sell on your kitten for profit.
Look in your local Yellow Pages under 'Rescues' and contact as many as you can, explaining your situation and asking to go on their waiting list - the more lists you are on, the more likely you are to find a new home for your cat. However, PLEASE do let all the rescues know when you have found a new home for your cat so that they can take you off their lists.
Our Branch is run entirely by volunteers, many of who work and give up their spare time to help local cats and kittens. We depend upon the support and generosity of the public to continue our work. Please be patient if we cannot take a cat in - we are limited by space, funds and volunteers.
Thanks to Stourbridge and District Cats Protection branch for allowing us to adapt this advice for our branch.