Battersea Dogs and Cats Home aims to always find the right home for the 7,000 dogs and cats that come in every year to give them the best chance in life.
While some cats go on to live a happy domesticated life in family homes, others have already lived a very different life and would struggle as a family pet.
Offering rural homes to these cats means that they still have stability in their life without them having to change who they are as cats. All they need is shelter, food and water laid down for them. The cats still have the freedom to go around as they please and to be themselves.Lindsey Quinlan, Head of catteries, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home
These are the cats that are under-socialised and most often come in as strays. Around 32% of the 3,000 cats that come into Battersea each year are strays.
The home places great importance on animal welfare, and for the under-socialised, Battersea experts seek out different types of homes or ‘outlets’ for them.
Locations such as smallholdings, stables or farms are an ideal environment for these cats as it suits their lifestyle but is still safe for them.
Lindsey Quinlan, head of catteries at Battersea, comments: “Offering rural homes to these cats means that they still have stability in their life without them having to change who they are as cats. All they need is shelter, food and water laid down for them. The cats still have the freedom to go around as they please and to be themselves.”
Battersea has a dedicated team that works on finding the right environment for a cat. In 2016, the Animal Partnerships team rehomed 110 cats to 33 outlets, but are now looking for more outlets to house these very special cats.
Rehoming of cats to outlets have all worked out successfully – for the cats and land owners.
Each cat is carefully assessed based on their individual personality and recommendations are then made in terms of location and environment that is best suited to the cat.
Like Roseanne, a four year old Tabby cat who arrived at Battersea in November 2016. She found a new location in a Winchester stable. In this particular case, the owner wasn’t specifically looking for a mouser, but she had previously adopted domestic cats from Battersea and had the space for a ‘rural cat’.
Roseanne has settled in well at the stables. The owners never see Roseanne as she is effectively living wild but she’s been spotted on the wildlife camera looking fit and healthy and comes back to the stables every day to eat the food that has been left for her.
Greenway Stables in Godalming, near Guildford, is also home to several ex-Battersea cats including Albus, Chilli and Luna who were all very nervous and under-socialised cats that came into Battersea in 2016. When they want to be, all three are very sociable and affectionate cats who choose to go into the home as well as in the stable. Chilli chooses to spend most of his time out in the yard and is a fantastic hunter.
Lindsey adds: “Cats will generally hunt due to their natural instincts and behaviour, but Battersea can never guarantee they will be mousers. Some can become great mousers, and some may never be seen but will return for food, and some may choose to come into the home and seek human affection at times. Every cat is different and so unique.”
Rehoming an ‘outlet cat’ means these cats have a second chance to live a safe and happy life with the freedom to be the way they want to be. Battersea is currently looking for rural homes or smallholdings to place under-socialised cats.
For more information, please get in touch with the Animal Partnership team on 020 7627 7886.