Mandy Cotter, co-founder of Cat Chat – an online charity that HiLife proudly su-pawts – explains why all cats are special and no kitty should be overlooked.
Q Why does Cat Chat believe it’s so important for cat lovers to adopt not shop?
A “The number of cats being given up for rehoming in the UK is at an all-time high, and yet still more are being bred for sale and profit. This means that most rescue centres are full, with waiting lists of cats - and kittens - needing to be brought in. No one likes to think of animals being homeless, so we would urge cat lovers to offer a home to a cat who currently doesn’t have one, rather than buying - which just brings more cats into the world while rescue centres remain full. It is also sadly the case that many ‘bought’ cats or kittens originate from cruel kitten farms that care little for the welfare of the cats. There are also many practical benefits to adopting a cat instead of buying, as shown on our ‘Why Rescue? page. Cat Chat believes that, if you love animals, adoption is the best option!”
Q What sort of cats fall under the ‘Overlooked Cats’ section on your website?
A “There are so many reasons a cat may be ‘Overlooked’. Often, it is that the rescue centre is so full, and the choice of adoptable cats is so wide that some cats just get passed by. If a cat has a shy or nervous nature, they may not push themselves forward to potential adopters, perhaps hiding away in their bed, and so the braver, more immediately friendly cat gets chosen. Some get overlooked simply because of their colour. Older cats are often overlooked in favour of youngsters, despite the mature moggy having so much love to give. Cats with minor health issues, such as diabetes or being FIV-positive, can also mean they are passed by. Our Overlooked Cats section gives some much-needed help to publicise the long-stay and harder to home cats; and, we are pleased to say, has a good success rate of finding homes. Cat Chat believes there is a home out there for every cat!”
Q Why do you think that adopting an ‘Overlooked cat’ is so rewarding? And what makes these cats special?
A “Adopting any cat is rewarding, but adopting one who has been overlooked, sometimes for months; and, in some cases years, is an incredible feeling. Rescued cats, particularly those who have been in care for a long time, seem to realise that you have ‘saved’ them and will repay your love ten-fold. When you adopt an overlooked cat, the bond can be especially strong because a loving home is what they had hoped for all that time - and you just made their dreams come true.
“The last cat I adopted, the truly wonderful Dave, had been in the shelter for almost a year through no fault of his own; Dave had been overlooked simply because there were so many cats to choose from, and he was just one black-and-white cat amongst many.
“I would urge anyone thinking of adopting to ask which cats have been waiting the longest - it could be your best decision ever!”
Q What does HiLife’s support of this section of your charity mean to Cat Chat?
A “HiLife has supported our Overlooked Cats section (#) for over five years now (since April 2014), and your help is invaluable. Naturally, the support we receive in the form of funding is a huge help. Our services to rescue centres is given free of charge, so HiLife’s support enables us to help more overlooked cats from rescue centres nationwide without it costing the shelters a penny. Equally important are the ways that HiLife helps us raise awareness of our charity and of the plight of the ‘Overlooked’ cats. Over the last five years, HiLife has been so supportive of our work, and we are very grateful indeed - and so, we expect, are many formerly ‘overlooked’ cats!”
If you are interested in adopting a cat, why not have a look where your nearest shelter is?