RSPCA’s South Godstone Animal Centre Supervisor Liz Forbes-Dale gives us a look at the ways we put cats in our care at ease, offering some inspiration for how you might be able to help your own feline companion feel more at home.
Cats arriving at RSPCA centres can be frightened and confused. They may have been in several places before arriving, or they may have only lived in their owner’s home until now.
Cats are often seen as the ultimate control freaks who find any change in their routine and environment very difficult to cope with.
Domestic cats are very similar in their behaviour to their wild ancestors, so some of the measures we take help to allow them to follow their instincts in what is an unnatural environment for a cat.
The cattery at South Godstone has 40 cubicles in total, each with both an indoor pod and outdoor run.
Pictured left: A view of South Godstone cattery’s indoor pods, complete with feline resident.
We often know in advance when new cats are arriving, so we will set up a cattery pod with a number of different things in preparation:
Covered beds or cardboard boxes both inside the cubicle and in the outdoor runs give cats the chance to hide away from people if they choose to do so. The beds and boxes are filled with warm comfy bedding, sometimes partially covering the top so the cats can peek out. (Cats mostly prefer to be warmer than cold, so we try to make them as comfortable & warm as possible.)
We try to keep very new cats away from the public viewing areas. Like many catteries that the RSPCA run South Godstone is open for the public to view the animals, and this can be quite upsetting if the cats have just arrived. Cats are often more comfortable with new faces and experiences once they are familiar with and confident in their environment.
Our pods are made from lovely, easy