RSPCA launches rehoming campaign to help find outdoor homes for nervous cats

Lifestyle / Fri 6th Aug 2021 at 10:34am

THE project aims to find homes for farm cats and other nervous felines who need less human interaction than a typical domestic cat. The aim of the project is to educate the public that not every feline is happy to be a lap cat and to find outdoorsy homes for these cats much more quickly.

Farm cats are often nervous around people but still need someone to provide food, water, shelter and veterinary care when needed. As the name suggests, they would most likely be best suited to a farm, smallholding, or riding stables but some have even found quirky homes such as a model village, an orchard and a gazebo company.

Potential owners don’t necessarily need to have a farm or riding stable to rehome a cat who enjoys the great outdoors, the charity is looking for homes of all different types to match the variety of different cats we have. 

This International Cat Day (Sunday 8 August), the RSPCA reveals it rehomes over 20,000 cats a year and even during the pandemic, 18,274 cats were rehomed in 2020.  

A recent survey* carried out by the RSPCA found that 90% of centres and branches find it harder to find suitable homes for outdoorsy cats than other, more sociable, cats. 

Alice Potter, RSPCA’s cat welfare expert, said: “One of the most interesting things about cats is just how varied each of them are. No one set home is going to fit all cats. Cats’ personalities are a varied spectrum with an affectionate, lap cat, an ‘inbetweener’ cat who needs less but still some interaction, and all the way to a feral cat who will happily live independently from humans.

“There are all sorts of reasons why some cats need this type of lifestyle. They may have lived for a long time as a stray and aren’t familiar or comfortable being close to people or it may relate to their early experiences or genetics. Whatever the reason, we try to find the perfect home for them.

“We know that our centres and branches often struggle to find homes for our farm or outdoor cats and often one of the reasons cited is that there is a lack of awareness amongst the general public that these cats exist and that they will be much happier living an outdoorsy lifestyle.  

“Many people think of a cat curled up on the sofa, popping in and out of the cat flap for fuss but actually the kind of cats we’re talking about here may never come inside the home, they may never come for fuss but they need someone to look out for them and provide them with year-round shelter such as a shed, barn, stable or even a treehouse where they can sleep at night. They’ll also need constant access to water, to be fed daily and to receive veterinary care whenever needed.

“This is why we have launched this rehoming campaign for farm cats on International Cat Day to help raise awareness of the different homes these independent cats need.”

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