Note – this page is meant to be read in conjunction or after reading this page first.
Large Scale Cat Rehomings – The Facts.
Very often, all welfare organisations are asked to take in “large” rehomings. These are groups of 5, 10, 20 or even more cats that are in need of a home.
The most common examples are
- A parent going into care that has many cats and no where for them to go
- A colony that is under threat with construction
- A hoarder or rescuer that has been evicted
There can be many other reasons this happens. But the outcome is still the same. A large group of cats needing an immediate outcome.
So . . the bad news first.
Unless the person/people who had the cats have put plans and support in place, there is very little no kill animal rescuers can do to take on large groups of cats. It is very much in control of the the people at the site, and it’s a long process. Big numbers of adult and potentially wild cats are impossible unless they go into a pound and many will die.
Why? Small charity rescue orgs like us are (by very nature) always full, every week they fill up available spots one and two at a time, depending on what they rehome. No one has “space lying around” for large groups (and if they did, it would be already full) as there is an endless, daily pressure to take in stray cats. That’s the facts.
The pound is also full, they make much more space available faster . . by killing everything that is “due”. So they have more space, and your large group of animals will mostly be killed within 1-14 days. That’s the way it works.
So . . what to do.
Some things you also need to consider and let rescuers know.
- Are there images of the cats? Good ones.
- Where are they and who is in control of them. If you have just seen a story on Facebook, walk away and ask the person at the site to make the call.
- Have they been socialized?
- What vet have they been using?
- Was there provision in a will or estate for their care (EG, if the owner is selling the house and there is funding to support the cats . . just like children . . this opens options). I know this sometimes annoys people to hear this, but this is the case. Money = care and space options as people and rescuers can quite literally pay people to take animals on . . but it’s not a good solution. No one profits, it buys space and time. Just like if it was children.
- How long do you have to act?
- Does anyone at the site drive and have a carry cage?
All the above is key. The question about the will/estate? Yes, that is important. If someone has a house full of cats and they are moving out . . those cats still need housing, that comes at a cost. If you have funding available, that opens doors. If your family is already planning the division of mum’s estate after selling her house . . you should consider her animals/children in that . . and it’s not cheap.
We say this as most times we get contacted by children who are selling the cat owners house as they have passed away . . and expect charity to come in like a clean up crew to take the animals whilst they go on a world holiday with the money. To us . . that is a loose end the owner should have looked after . . funding the animals future. We cannot do this for free, the more the numbers the more expensive it it.
Then, based on the above the project plan is
- Be prepared to rehome one animal at a time.
- Get very good photo’s done with a volunteer photographer
- Start sharing them around to rescue groups 1-2 cats at a time, anything more will scare them
- Be prepared to drive, trap, pick them up and drop them off.
Is there another way?
Yes, legally you can take them all to the pound and surrender them. As a surrender they can be put to sleep immediately under the law. Some pounds will try and rehome them but the numbers are very low that survive longer than 7 days. These are the numbers.
That’s the facts about large scale rehomings. The best thing to do is avoid this situation. If you have a friend, parent or other that is holding and maintaining large quantities of cats . . ask what they will do if something goes wrong. Plan early, rehome early and downsize.