Contactless homing proves a success for Cats Protection

Cats Protection has rehomed more than 1,000 cats through its new ‘hands-free’ homing process, helping hundreds of families to find their perfect pet despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Like other animal charities, Cats Protection put rehoming on hold during the initial months of lockdown while continuing to look after the animals in its care.

But the charity has now adapted its procedures to the ‘new normal’ and is offering contactless homing at adoption centres across the UK.

Members of the public can search for a cat in their area and then fill in a form to start the process, with everything done online or by phone.

Once staff at the adoption centre have confirmed suitability and the adoption fee has been paid, arrangements are made for the cat to be delivered to its new home in a Cats Protection van, with no human contact. And the charity makes follow-up calls over the following weeks to check that the cat and its owner are both happy.

Zoe and Zizzi, a mother cat and her kitten, are just two of the cats that have found a furever home in this way.

Their new owner Jenny Ball said: “We’ve been looking for cats that would be right for our family and when we saw Zoe and Zizzi on Haslemere Adoption Centre’s Facebook page, we knew that they would be perfect. The contactless process was really straightforward; just a few phone calls and some paperwork and then, the next thing we knew, we had a date for their arrival.

“Since they arrived, the children haven’t left their side, even sleeping in the room with them and the cats seem to be lapping up all the attention. They have found their favourite spots; Zoe likes the window seat and they both like to snuggle in their cat tower.”

Mark Beazley, Cats Protection’s director of operations, said: “Much of our work was paused following government advice and our priority was the ongoing care for cats already in our centres or with fosterers. Keeping an open mind about how we’ve done things in the past has been important as we review and adapt to new ways of working.”

He added that hands-free homing has been a “tremendous success”.

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