Cats awaiting their forever homes at the RSPCA Sussex North’s cat rehoming facility received lots of welcomed attention at the grand opening of the branch’s refurbished cattery.
Unveiling of the new lodgings took place from 10am on Saturday (February 8) giving visitors and supporters the unique opportunity to view the accommodation and the 12 cats currently up for adoption.
“It was a good atmosphere within the surgery and we had a steady trickle throughout the four hours so it was good,” explained Anita Marsland, the Sussex North contact for cat rehoming.
“We’re extremely grateful that people came and showed an interest and stayed and took part in our tombola that we had to raise the extra cash for the branch.”
A team of volunteers were on hand at the partnership clinic in White Horse Veterinary Surgery, Crawley Road, Roffey, to answer any questions on the cats, subsequent care and the services that the RSPCA can offer cat owners which includes a neutering clinic and vouchers.
“It’s too early to say whether we’ve had success with rehoming, but we had three quite interested people in various cats,” continued volunteer Anita. “But it will probably take us a couple of weeks before we know if we have a positive outcome of actual rehoming.”
The RSPCA are concerned about the current national cat over-population problem, with finding new homes for cats taking longer and longer.
“We are in crisis,” explained Pat Berwick, RSPCA’s Sussex North rehoming co-ordinator.
“I do realise that insurance is a massive expense and that doesn’t help our cause for rehoming.
“In four years we’ve rehomed 400. January was quiet but you get people that come here and recommend to people. I know from experience it will pick up again.”
The enhanced four new cat pens, each capable of holding up to three cats at a time, provide extra room and comfort whilst the cats are awaiting their new home. There is also a ‘family room’ in the case of cats being brought in with young kittens.
However, if cats are at the branch too long they are sometimes moved down to RSPCA’s Brighton accommodation in the hope that they will get seen by more people.
“It’s just important to let people know that there are lots of cats out there desperate for homes and people should come and rehome an adult cat rather than encourage people to breed more kittens,” added Anita.
“Also for people to think about getting their cats neutured, both male and female, to stop this cat explosion.”
The RSPCA claims to prioritise the victims of cruelty, neglect and suffering and RSPCA Sussex North branch provides vital support to the RSPCA inspectorate in Sussex, ensuring that they have somewhere safe for cats to be nurtured back to health.
“The only way we can really promote this is on social media because we can’t have people wandering through every day because it just can’t work in a veterinary practice,” continued Anita. “But I think definitely if we hold these events more frequently we’ll get more people coming in.
“The cats really seemed to love seeing all these different people. They’re always craving affection, which is quite sad in a way because we just want them to go to homes, but hopefully we will get things moving a bit.”
To find out more about RSPCA Sussex North branch, which covers Horsham, Crawley, Haywards Heath and the surrounding villages, visit www.rspca-sussexnorth.org.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org