Adopt a new friend this International Cat Day

Published: Tuesday 8th August 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Today is International Cat Day. We spoke with Hull Animal Welfare Trust to find out how you can change the life of a furry friend.

HAWT has its roots in the 1982 Hull Animal Welfare Club. It was set up by a group of people who wanted to do something practical about animal cruelty and abandonment in the Hull and East Riding area.

Their first animal shelter opened its doors in 1991. Since then, they have rehomed tens of thousands of cats, dogs and small animals.

“At the moment, our cattery is extremely busy. This is because we are right in the middle of kitten season. Many female strays get pregnant at this time of year and people begin to find small kittens on the streets and bring them to us,” explains Trustee Leah Elvidge.

“It’s a huge problem as cats can have up to three litters per year. This is why we neuter any cats that come into the centre.”

In Hull, specifically, there is a massive issue with cat colonies. Many feral felines cannot be rehomed as they are not used to domestic life or being in close contact with humans. So the centre works hard to humanely control the populations by neutering and trying to rehome the babies.

Meanwhile, strays that have previously had a home can be put on the adoption list.

“It’s very sad, many of these cats have been dumped or people have moved away without taking their pets with them,” Leah tells us.

“We also have quite a lot of older cats. In this case, the owner might have died or had to move to residential care, where their beloved companion isn’t allowed. It’s heartbreaking because these pets were well-loved, but now have to come into a cattery.”

“We’re currently looking after a huge range of cats,” Leah adds. “There’s Ribbon, a ten-year-old female tabby, Harper, a male who’s three and a half; and Magic and Merlin, who were only seven months old when they arrived here.”

Hull Animal Welfare ensures that each of its rescue animals is rehoused in a safe and suitable family home.

“We do our best by carrying out strict home visits and vet checks. If the owners have had a cat before, we give their vet a call to see if their previous pets were well-looked after, with regular vaccinations,” Leah explains.

“Meanwhile, if you haven’t had a cat before, that’s fine, but we will pop round to your home to be sure that it’s suitable and answer any questions you may have. We’re happy to give out tips on litter trays and when to bring them in at night.”

Leah stresses that they don’t look for a specific family when it comes to rehoming, as it all depends on the moggy.

“However, we would usually advise families with really young children to avoid getting kittens. Cats are much better at handling situations with little ones if they’re being a bit too boisterous; they can easily get out of the way. Whereas kittens will scratch and bite and will feel trapped.”

In the meantime, kittens can also be a tripping hazard for elderly people and those unsteady on their feet.

“At the end of the day, cats and all animals are not discriminative, and all we want is for you to love them and take care of them properly. So don’t hesitate to come in and have a chat with us if you are considering an adoption,” Leah adds.

On top of this, if you can’t commit to adopting a puss, you can help the cattery out in many other ways; from donating a small amount of money to volunteering at the shelter.

You can find out more information about rehoming on the Hull Animal Welfare Trust website.

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Published: Tuesday 8th August 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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