|Founded||May 16, 1927|
Cats Protection, formerly The Cat Protection League, is a UK charity dedicated to rescuing and rehoming stray, unwanted or homeless cats and educating people about cats and cat welfare. The organisation was founded as The Cats Protection League on May 16, 1927 at a meeting in Caxton Hall, London. The name was shortened in 1998.
- To find good homes for cats in need
- To support and encourage the neutering of cats
- To improve people's understanding of cats and their care
In 2011 the charity helped over 235,000 cats (rehoming around 45,000 of these and neutering 190,000) and its network had 29 adoption centres (formerly shelters), 260 voluntary-run branches, one rehoming centre, 66 charity shops and approximately 9,000 volunteers and staff located throughout the UK. The charity's income for 2010 was £36 million. The charity has helped more than one million cats over the past five years, 80% of this figure being neutering and 20% being rehoming. Alongside re-homing cats and kittens, the charity runs a neutering scheme for owners on a limited income, and a weekday national helpline, (03000 12 12 12) In addition, they monitor (and feed) feral colonies in the area including trapping, neutering and re-releasing (where possible) feral cats back to where they came from. They also work to educate adults and youngsters about cat welfare and run talks and educational resource programmes across the UK.
The charity operates in two ways: volunteer-run branches and adoption centres (formerly shelters). The main difference is that volunteer-run branches are people with a spare room or space in a garden for a pen (or two). Instead of visiting a dedicated adoption centre, the person wishing to adopt a cat usually visits it in another person's home. Anyone picking up a cat or kitten from a fosterer's home is still subject to the same home visits (pre and post homing) and the same terms and conditions as someone picking up a cat or kitten from an adoption centre. Volunteer-run branches do receive a small amount of funding from the charity's headquarters but are required to raise most of their funds from their local areas. They do not usually have any paid members of staff.
Dedicated adoption centres are of varying size and have paid staff in addition to volunteers on their team. The vast majority of the public visit these places to adopt a cat or a kitten. Adoption centres are funded centrally by the charity, though many also have "Friends of..." groups that raise funds locally. In addition, there is often the chance of cat cabin sponsorship where members of the public are offered the chance to have their name on a plaque attached to the pen in return for a monthly or annual donation. Most pen sponsorships are done by individuals, although in some cases companies may sponsor a cat cabin. As well as a plaque, the person sponsoring it usually receives a regular update.
In 2002, Cat Protection acquired the Isle of Thorns estate from the University of Sussex . The estate is now the National Cat Centre.
In 2008 the charity was one of a number affected by the financial markets crisis emanating from Iceland, losing £11.2 million of its financial reserves. In 2012, having suffered continuing financial losses, the charity was forced to make over 80 staff redundant, the majority of these being staff working on the operational front line in adoption centres or supporting branches.