02 August 2021

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As the UK’s leading feline welfare charity, Cats Protection’s vision is of a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.

Players of People’s Postcode Lottery have raised an incredible £3.5 million to support the charity’s work. Funding is currently helping cover the costs of looking after cats in centres while they await new homes as well as supporting the charity's advocacy work and its Paws to Listen grief support service. Paws to Listen is a free service that connects bereaved cat owners with volunteer listeners who provide practical information and emotional support.

Cats Protection works hard to create lifelong companion animal bonds that are beneficial to both cats and people. Therefore, when faced with the challenges of lockdown restrictions in 2020, the charity quickly developed a new hands-free homing initiative. This enabled cat homing work to continue while also keeping adopters, employees and cats safe. Prospective owners would browse for a new pet and apply online and cats were then delivered to their new homes across the UK, while maintaining social distancing measures.

In the first year of hands-free homing, the charity found homes for 20,000 cats and kittens using this innovative approach.

Frances Jeater, an actress from Richmond in Surrey, was one of the first people to find her perfect companion this way.

She said: "My beloved cat Bertie died in January last year at the ripe of age of 13. I swore to myself that I wouldn’t get another cat but as the weeks passed I realised how much I was missing having a cat in the house.
"When we went into the first lockdown and all the adoption centres closed, I thought I’d missed the boat until a friend mentioned hands-free homing. I went onto the Cats Protection website and immediately spotted five-year-old Molly. Obviously, I couldn’t go and meet her but the lovely Cats Protection staff provided lots of information about her personality.
"A week or so later, Molly was delivered to my home and settled in beautifully straight away. She is utterly enchanting and makes me laugh every single day. I live alone and I’m not in a 'bubble' so if it wasn’t for Molly, I wouldn’t have touched a living thing for over a year. Touch is so important to humans and being able to stroke and pet Molly has been wonderful.
"I have also found that having a routine with Molly – from nap times to feeding – has given much needed structure to my days over the last 12 months. Lockdown without Molly would have been very grim indeed."