Frequently Asked Questions

Many queries we receive crop up often; so our FAQ page aims to answer the most common questions. Please click on the relevant link below, depending on whether you are a member of the public or a rescue worker:
 
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Shelter Queries » Click here

Public Enquiries / FAQ's

 
ADOPT a CAT: I want to adopt a cat - where are my nearest rescue centres?

cat questions and queriesCat Chat's Shelter Listings cover the whole of the UK and Ireland, with currently over 1,300 rescue centres and rehoming groups listed, including branches of the RSPCA, SSPCA, Cats Protection, Blue Cross etc. plus hundreds of independent shelters. Go to our Rescue Shelter Listings, and choose your area from the lsit. You can also see cats for homing at shelters near you on our Cats Needing Homes section.

KITTENS: I want to adopt a kitten - where do I go?
Most kittens are born during the period April to October, but in recent years due to milder winters, litters have become more common during winter too. Find detail of your nearest rescue centres here: Rescue Shelter Listings, and choose your area from the list. If there are no kittens available at the time you enquire, ask the rescue centre to keep your name on file for when some come in for homing.
Or, visit our Kittens Needing Homes section (this is not a definitive list, so do still contact your local rescues as above)
Or, search for kittens on our Cats Needing Homes section (choose your area from the list)
Why Rescue? Find out why you should always adopt and not buy: Kittens - why rescue?

INDOOR CATS: I live in a flat - can I still adopt a rescue cat?
YES! Although a cat's natural instinct is to go outside, some cats can be better suited to an indoor environment: Deaf cats, blind cats, nervous, shy or elderly cats ('senior kittizens'), or cats who have previously been used to living indoors. Some organisations prefer to rehome their FIV positive cats to indoor homes. The indoor life can be enriched by providing toys, a scratching post, and a flowerpot growing common garden grass, as a cat's digestion is aided by eating a small amount of grass. For suggestions of how to make an indoor cat's life a happy one, visit: knowyourcat.info/getcat/indoorcats.htm or www.humanesociety.org/animals. Ask about suitable cats at your local rescue centre - go to our Rescue Shelter Listings (UK and Ireland), and choose your area from the list.

NEUTERING: I can't afford to neuter my cat - can I get financial help?
YES! For many people, neutering their pets just seems too expensive, but it is hugely important to neuter your pet - and help is available! If you are receiving benefit, are a pensioner, or are on a low income, you should be eligible for a neutering voucher, which covers part of the cost, and in some cases all of the cost. Most Cats Protection and RSPCA branches issue neutering vouchers, and many independent rescue organisations also offer neutering assistance.
To locate your nearest CP or RSPCA branch, choose your area from the list here: Rescue Centre Listings (UK & Ireland)
Our Neutering information page gives details of how and where to get Low Cost and Subsidised Neutering.
Or, ask about Neutering help at the following organisations: PDSA | Blue Cross | RSPCA | Cats Protection
 
LOST/ FOUND: I've lost / found a cat - what can I do?
If you have lost your cat, don’t panic too soon, cats often go ‘missing’ and then arrive home late, or even the next morning, wondering what all the fuss is about. If you believe your cat is lost, we have a page of advice and links to help you maximise your chances of finding them as soon as possible, plus advice on what to do if you have found a stray cat, here: Lost & Found Advice page
Also, post details under the 'Lost or Found' heading on our Forum, here: Cat Chat's Friendly Feline Forum
 
SPRAYING: My cat is spraying / urinating around the house - what can I do?
Check out our advice page, here: Inappropriate Toileting and Spraying
Also, the International Cat Care advice pages, here: Urine Spraying in Cats and here: Cat Soiling Indoors
Also, check out the 'Cat Spraying' information on the Feliway website, here: www.feliway.com/gb
Post your enquiry under 'Health & Behaviour' on our Forum, here: Cat Chat's Friendly Feline Forum
Or, try these: APBC | Cats Protection
 
SCRATCHING: My cat is scratching / clawing furniture - what can I do?
Check out the International Cat Care advice page, here: Scratching on Furniture & Carpets
Also, check out the information on the Feliway website, here: www.feliway.com/gb
Post your enquiry under 'Health & Behaviour' on our Forum, here: Cat Chat's Friendly Feline Forum
Or, try these: APBC | Cats Protection
 
F.I.V. - What is FIV and how concerned should I be?
There are many myths surrounding F.I.V., (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus) which continue despite the amount of research in recent years. Many cats are needlessly put to sleep each year on testing positive for this virus, when in fact they would in all probability have gone on to live a normal lifespan. If your cat has been diagnosed FIV positive, or you are considering adopting an FIV+ cat, find out more on our information page, here: F.I.V. Facts - not Fiction
Or ask other FIV cat owners on the 'FIV Owners Club' on our Forum here: Cat Chat's Friendly Feline Forum
 
CAT HEALTH: Other cat health / behaviour problem?
Check out the Cat Health & Care and Behavioural advice sites on our Links section, here: Health & Behaviour Links
Or email Cat Chat's behavioural adviser, here: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (non-urgent enquiries only please)
Or email Cat Chat's veterinary adviser: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (non-urgent enquiries only please - if urgent, contact yout own vet)
Post your enquiry under 'Health & Behaviour' on our Forum here: Cat Chat's Friendly Feline Forum
Or, try these: APBC | Cats Protection
 
REHOME MY CAT: I need to rehome my cat - what should I do?
There are many different reasons why people decide to rehome their cat. Some are sadly unavoidable, but in some cases rehoming is avoidable with a little help and encouragement. We aim to give hope and advice to help with both situations, please go to our: Rehoming Advice Page.
 
WORK with ANIMALS: I want to work with animals - how do I get started?
A good start is to volunteer to help at a local rescue centre, they are always in need of willing hands: Find your local rescue centres. Volunteering will gain you valuable experience and may help you decide which area of animal care you are interested in. The following websites have various opportunities for animal work: (1): www.charityjob.co.uk (2): www.jobs.thirdsector.co.uk Some of the larger rescue shelters may have paid vacancies, and organisations such as the Blue Cross, PDSA and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home post vacancies on their websites. To find out about working for the RSPCA go to: www.rspca.org.uk/utilities/jobs. It's also worth contacting veterinary practices in your area to ask about any voluntary or part time help needed. Ask your local college if they run any animal studies courses, or, there are home-study courses available, which are easily located on the web. Also, check out vacancies with any of the Animal Welfare organisations on our Links section: Animal Charities
 
VOLUNTEERING: I want to volunteer at a Shelter - who do I ask?
Shelters and rescue groups are always pleased to hear from anyone who can offer help. There are always lots of things to be done, and helping out is very rewarding, and is a great way to meet people. Most groups need drivers, home-visitors, foster carers, fundraisers, shop assistants, stallholders, administrators, builders, handymen, and of course willing hands to feeding, fussing, and emptying litter trays! Choose your area from the list here: Cat Rescue Centres (UK & Ireland)
 
FOSTERING: I'd like to become a Cat Fosterer - what do I need to know?
Many rescue groups and branches of rescue organisations rely greatly on foster homes, to care for cats whilst they are 'between homes', and are always pleased to hear from new potential fosterers. Most shelters have a waiting list of cats needing to come into care, so one extra foster home can make the world of difference! Our Cat Fostering information page explains all about the role of fostering, and what you need to know: Cat Fostering
 
SUPPORT: How can I support the work of Cat Chat?
Cat Chat currently sources homes for over 8,000 rescued cats annually, from shelters and rescue groups across the UK and Ireland. Our services are provided to rescue centres free of charge. There are many ways to support us, such as; making a donation, buying from our Webshop, joining our Friends of Cat Chat supporters scheme, saving used stamps, donating your old unwanted car, or leaving a gift to us in your will. You can also help Cat Chat by using eBay for Charity, shopping online through Easyfundraising, using our special links when buying at Amazon, or booking a Sykes Cottage break. Please visit our: Support Us page.  Public support and donations are vital in helping us to help more cats out of shelters and into homes. Thank you!
 
VIRTUAL VOLUNTEERING: I want to volunteer to help Cat Chat - what should I do?
Over the years, demand for our web-based services to Rescue Centres have grown enormously, and our Virtual Volunteers are a vital part of our operation. Please Note, Cat Chat is web-based; our volunteers work on-line, at home, working FOR cats, and not directly with them. Current volunteer opportunities appear here: Volunteers Page
 

Rescue Centre Enquiries / FAQ's

 
HELP for SHELTERS: How can Cat Chat help our rescue organisation?
Our services are free of charge. To find out how we can help your rescue, please visit our Help for Shelters page.
 
SHELTER LISTINGS: How can we get our rescue group listed on Cat Chat?
If your rescue and rehoming group is not yet included on our shelter listings, you could be missing out on many potential new homes. Currently around 1,300 rescue shelters, rehoming groups and sanctuaries from across the UK and Ireland are featured on our pages, including branches of the national rescue charities, and independent shelters of all sizes. How to get your organisation added our listings:
Cat Rescue Shelters: Please complete our online form here: Cat Shelters Listing Form
Rescue Shelters helping other animals: Email us your web address, and we will add you to our Links section: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
SHELTER LISTINGS: How can we get our listing amended?
If you would like us to amend, or update your entry on our shelter listings section, either send us the new details using our Cat Shelters Listing Form, stating that you would like your listing amended. Alternatively email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
HOMING PAGES: How can we get a Free Cat Rehoming Web Page?
Cat Chat's rehoming web pages are free to UK and Ireland-based cat rescue groups and shelters. You don't need to be a registered charity, but you do need to have stated policies regarding neutering and home suitability checks. If your organisation doesn't currently use the web to feature cats seeking homes, you are missing out on many potential new homes. Any cats placed for homing on your page will automatically appear on our central Cats Needing Homes section for your area. Full details here: Free Cat Re-homing Web Pages.
 

Log into Cat Homing PageHOMING PAGES: How do we Log in to our Cat Homing Page?
The login page is here: www.catchat.org/shelter_centre/admin (you could add that page address to Favourites /Bookmarks on your web browser for future reference). Or, click the purple "LOGIN" button (right) which also appears on our Help for Shelters page.

HOMING PAGES: Can we get help updating our Cat Homing Page?
YES! First, visit the ‘Help & Tips’ section within your Cat Homing Page, for easy to follow instructions on using your page (adding a cat, amending or deleting a listing, using your “homed” and “news” sections, photo tips and much more). If you need help adding cats to your page, use our online Submit a Cat form, and our volunteer Help Team will add the cat(s) for you. For any other help with your page, email the Help Team at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (please state your organisation name). Further information on getting the best from your Cat Homing Page can be found here: Top 10 Homing Page Tips.

OVERLOOKED CATS: How do we get a cat listed on the Overlooked Cats section?
If a cat on your Cat Homing Page needs extra help finding a home, or has been with you too long, ask us to put them on our Overlooked Cats section to give them extra publicity (and a slot on our Homepage!). Just email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. stating your organisation name, and which cat(s) on your page need to go onto the Overloooked Cats section.
 
KITTENS: How do we get listed on the 'Kittens Needing Homes’ section?
Our Kittens Needing Homes section brings in many and regular homing offers for kittens in shelters across the UK and Ireland.
If your organisation has kittens needing homes, please use our on-line form, here: Kittens for Homing form
Alternatively, send an email (please state the name of your organisation) to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
 
FERAL CATS: How can we get listed on the 'Feral / Farm Cats' section?
Our Feral / Farm Cats section aims to increase the number of rural homes offered to cats seeking outdoor homes, and is also a register of organisations able to help or advise the public regarding feral cats. If your rescue regularly needs to relocate feral or farm cats, and/or can offer help with feral cats, please email us to get added to the page: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (please state your organisation name).
 
FIV+ CATS: Can we feature FIV positive cats for re-homing on Cat Chat?
YES absolutely! Cat Chat has always worked hard to dispell the myths about this virus, and to help as many healthy FIV positive cats as we can to have the chance at a normal, happy life. Many FIV positive cats have found homes by appearing on Cat Chat. If your shelter already has a Cat Homing Page, the first step is to add them there. Then, if they are not homed quickly, you may additionally ask us to feature them on our Overlooked Cats section. If your shelter doesn't yet have a Homing Page, please ask us to set one up for you! Details here: Free Cat Re-homing Web Pages. Shelters may also post details of FIV+ cats needing a home, under 'Rescue & Rehoming' or 'FIV Owners Club' on our Forum here: Cat Chat's Friendly Feline Forum
 
VETS PRACTICES: Our vets practice sometimes has a cat/cats for re-homing, can Cat Chat help?
YES! If your vets practice is located in the UK or Ireland, then you can apply for one of our free Cat Homing Pages, to feature any cats you may have for homing. Any cats placed for homing on your page will automatically appear in our central Cats Needing Homes section for your area. Details about our Cat Homing Pages and how to apply appear here: Free Cat Re-homing Web Pages.
 

Cats Needing Homes UK and Ireland