We spent an afternoon as a volunteer cat in Darlington

FOR anyone considering adopting a cat, this cattery in Darlington is the perfect place.

However, for some unfortunate felines, it can be their home for months before they find the right home.

About 30 cats currently live at the RSPCA Cat Re-homing Hub in Darlington and as soon as one is adopted another takes its place.

Unsurprisingly, kittens and young cats are quickly taken up by people looking to adopt a four-legged friend.

However, many older cats can be just as affectionate and, based on past experiences, may appreciate an owner’s love even more.

Pluto the kitten. Photo: STUART BOULTON

Although some cats were abused and therefore not very confident to begin with, the majority of these cats were either strays, had been abandoned, or for some reason their previous owner could no longer care for them. .

The Northern Echo: We spent the afternoon at the RSPCA Cat Re-homing Hub in Darlington to see what it's like for volunteers.  Photo: STUART BOULTONWe spent the afternoon at the RSPCA Cat Re-homing Hub in Darlington to see what it’s like for volunteers. Photo: STUART BOULTON

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The Echo of the North: A curious kitten.  Photo: STAURT BOULTONA curious kitten. Photo: STAURT BOULTON

Each cat has its own “pod” with a transparent door in the placement center, so potential new cat parents can see which cat they might be interested in adopting.

These modules are surprisingly spacious and contain comfortable beds and cushions for each cat.

The carrycot also has a small door at the back which leads to a larger play area and this is also where the litter boxes are kept.

The Northern Echo: Ted and Emily, a very daring duo.  Photo: STUART BOULTONTed and Emily, a very daring duo. Photo: STUART BOULTON

The Northern Echo: The feline version of Tarzan.  Photo: STUART BOULTONThe feline version of Tarzan. Photo: STUART BOULTON

Usually, cats are adopted fairly soon after arriving at the Cat Hub, however, sometimes older cats can stay there for up to six months before a forever home is found.

The role of a cat socialization volunteer is to help felines who may need a little encouragement to feel more comfortable and confident around people.

It involves playing with cats and being in their space, reassuring them that interacting with a human isn’t (always) scary.

Sophie Moran-Barker, relocation coordinator, said: ‘They have all been vet checked, vaccinated, neutered, microchipped and dewormed but if you go to a pet store you don’t really know what you are buying.

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Jonathan Reay, who has volunteered at the Cat Hub for three years, said his favorite part of the job was playing with the kittens, while the hardest part was watching some cats stay at the center for months without being adopted. .

He said: “I’m aware that’s a much nicer aspect of what the RSPCA does. I couldn’t work in the rescue side and see animals in distress after being mistreated, I’d rather be on this side.

L'Écho du Nord: A cat socializing voluntarily for an afternoon.  Photo: STUART BOULTONA volunteer socializing cat for an afternoon. Photo: STUART BOULTON

Sophie and Jonathan pointed out that they do not currently have the capacity to have more cat socialization volunteers, however, they are always keen to hear from anyone interested in fostering and collecting. community funds.

They are also interested in hearing from the drivers who will be responsible for transporting cats from the cattery and foster homes to veterinary practices, collecting prescriptions from vets and picking up donated goods, including cat litter and food. .

For more information on these roles, please email Sophie at [email protected]

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