The RSPCA has been working with International Cat Care to help spot the signs that a cat may not be suited to a typical home environment.
International Cat Care is a charity, which works to improve the health and welfare of cats.
The Cat Friendly Homing trial involves identifying specific behaviour that indicates the cat is not socialised with humans and finding alternative homes where they can be happy, such as farms, smallholdings and gardens with a shed.
The RPSCA Canterbury and District branch are raising awareness about the need for these types of owners. Beth Hixson, centre manager at RSPCA Canterbury branch, said: “We have been working with International Cat Care consultant Vicky Halls on this for a while now. The trial aims to spot the signs that a cat is not suited for a rehoming centre or home environment and hopefully they can then go directly to an alternative lifestyle home.
“When cats like this come into our centres, they are so stressed out and being here is very traumatic for them. Sadly these kinds of cats, who aren’t going to be really friendly and want a fuss when people come to visit, end up being with us for much longer.
“We want to start building up a list of people who want cats like this and have a waiting list ready for when they come in. Sadly, when someone comes to look around an RSPCA centre, no one wants the cat that hides away and retreats. “
Vicky Halls, cat behaviourist consultant, said: “Cat Friendly Homing is an exciting project to work on as it pulls cats and their welfare at the very heart of everything. We have to think laterally and work differently to give each individual cat the tailored outcome they need.”
There are a number of cats at the Canterbury branch that are looking for alternative homes, including Stumpy, a five-year old male who does not cope well in the cattery. He enjoys being around humans, but doesn’t like being handled – any interaction has to be in his terms.
For more information contact the RSPCA Canterbury and District branch or visit www.rspca.org