OAP’s for OAP’s?
We know Britain has an ageing population. It doesn’t just apply to humans, however, as Worthing Cat Welfare Trust (WCWT) are well aware.
“With a feline head count around 8 million the number of British pussy cats needing re-homing is booming like the national debt”, says Jackie Riddles at WCWT. Sadly, it is often the older animals, which are hardest to place.
Kittens are adorable, but with life expectancy up to 18 years, youngsters represent a long-term commitment. Fine for young families, but possibly daunting for an older person, as Jackie points out, “A neighbour had been looking for a pet to replace her recently lamented 17-year old and was offered a gorgeous kitten. On reflection though, Kitty has a life expectancy longer than her potential owner and the thought of giving up a much-loved friend in the future put her off.”
That’s why WCWT are relaunching their OAP for OAP Scheme (Old Age Puss for OAP). The idea is to match older pets to homes, where longer-term commitment may be questionable. But there is still obvious anxiety about giving up a dear companion - no matter what age - if your domestic circumstances deteriorate.
But this can be overcome, explains Jackie, “Our re-homing scheme would place an older cat with a new owner, but the charity retains a full supporting role. Whilst the owner looks after the pet as normal, providing a loving home and food, we would guarantee to take Top Cat back if and when the owner could no longer physically manage. This could even extend to veterinary support if required. It really can be a win-win situation for owner and pet, freeing up WCWT resources to care for more of the backlog of needy cases.”
Sounds a bit like leasing. If it works with cars, why not cats!
Further details of Worthing Cat Welfare Trust: worthingcatwelfaretrust.co.uk or Jackie Riddles on 01903 883179 / 07818 824407.
Photo Caption: Jackie Riddles (right), Ollie-Cat and new owner Greta