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Got a question about Lifeline? Take a look at our FAQs.

Which areas does Lifeline operate in, and will it expand?

Lifeline currently operates in London and the South East (Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Kent, Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire), East Anglia, the Midlands and Yorkshire.

Due to the specialist nature of the service, safety and confidentiality are extremely important. The service needs to be run specifically by the Lifeline team to ensure that all contact and information is kept safely within Lifeline. It is essential that Lifeline provides a high-quality service that meets the needs of our service users, volunteers and cats. For this reason, it has been vital to take our time and expand at a rate that allows the service to grow safely.

What can I do if Lifeline is not in my area?

If you are fleeing domestic abuse outside the area we cover, you can find other organisations who may be able to help in our guide.

If you are unable to find a fostering scheme, you may need to think about rehoming your cat. Please get in touch with the Lifeline team for advice and we will help to arrange a safe new home.

Does Lifeline only take cats on from people fleeing domestic abuse?

Yes. Lifeline is a member of Women’s Aid, so we specifically exist to enable people to flee domestic abuse. We are also members of The Links Group, a multi-agency interest group that promotes the welfare and safety of vulnerable children, adults and animals. To be able to maintain our important memberships to both, we offer the service only for people fleeing domestic abuse.

What about people being evicted or needing long-term hospital visits?

We regret that we’re unable to foster cats for those being evicted or needing hospital stays. We can signpost you to your local Cats Protection branch or centre who will be able to support you with rehoming, if that is your best option.

Who can make a referral to Lifeline?

We receive referrals from a number of professionals such as refuge workers, independent domestic abuse advisors (IDVAs), housing officers, social workers and police as well as owners themselves, or friends or family members. We will need written confirmation from a professional supporting the owner that they are fleeing domestic abuse and will have support in place.

Do you offer support to men fleeing domestic abuse as well as women?

Yes. The service is open to anyone of any gender identity fleeing domestic abuse. 

How long will you look after my cat for?

The initial service agreement term is five months. We need regular contact during this time and will provide regular updates on your cat throughout. If after five months you are not in a position to have the cat returned to you, we will consider extensions on a case-by-case basis, to be discussed with you and the professional supporting you.

Will my cat be allowed outside access?

All cats on the service will remain indoor-only. Lifeline provides enrichment, such as food games and toys to volunteer foster carers to provide adequate stimulation. If a particular cat was becoming frustrated with remaining indoor-only, we may consider giving them outdoor access in discussion with the owner and authorisation from the Lifeline team.

How can I cover my tracks online?

If you are worried that someone may be aware that you have visited this website, take a look at our safety information about covering your tracks online.

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