Last updated: 16 Sep, 2020
Published on: 13 Aug, 2020
What’s the scoop on cats?
Cat Haven, an awesome WA-based cat rescue group and one of PetRescue’s members, have found homes for a whopping 788 cats just this year! Incredible!
This month we caught up with Roz Robinson, CEO of Cat Haven based in Perth. With over 14 years experience rescuing cats and counting, we knew we were on the right scent when wanting to get the low down on everything cat. We even asked Roz to share her best tip for a long happy life for your cat with Australia’s cat owners (we figured she’s pretty well practised at it seeing as she's a cat parent to 23-year-old Shipton!)
Check out some insider ~scoop~ from Roz on all things cat...
What emerging trends have you seen in cat ownership?
With more people in higher density living situations, adopting a cat is a popular option.
Cats have also been popular with families adopting a pet for the first time and wanting to teach their children how to be responsible for a pet. Being a little easier than some other pets, cats can make a great option for a child/family first pet.
We still do have those lovely people come in who want to adopt the longest term cat or the less appealing looking cat and that is always just a wonderful thing.
With our faster lifestyles, cats can be an easier pet to care for. Also, we’ve seen an increase in foster carers who are FIFO workers. In this situation, they can offer short term care for up to a few weeks which is invaluable in the situation where a cat is recovering from surgery or a medical condition and needs short term extra care and TLC.
What was the impact of COVID-19 on your group and adoptions?
It was quite scary at times as we didn’t know if we would be allowed to stay open. Everything was closing, however, we knew we needed to stay open, particularly as people may be needing to surrender their cat. In collaboration with a few other local shelters, we lobbied the state government to ensure we were considered an essential service.
We still had to change our procedures which meant getting all cats into foster care and sadly losing a number of staff members as the shelter was not operating as normal. We commenced an appointment only system for adoptions which thankfully went incredibly well.
We were also overwhelmed with foster care applications from people who were working from home. People really wanted to help! Many foster carers ended up adopting their foster cat which is such a great outcome.
Did you see an increase in surrenders during this time?
There haven't been the returns as the media suggested. People came for the right reasons, plus all our usual adoption processes were in place. It was just they had been thinking of getting a cat (before), and with the slow down and change of pace of life, it created the perfect time to get a cat.
This has given us the opportunity to now start bringing in cats from regional WA where adoption options are more limited, so we feel so grateful that this has given us the chance to help more cats needing homes.
Catfie 📸: Roz with her hilariously unimpressed cat, Hamish
What is the most common reason for cats needing a new home?
The most common reason would be people not being able to find affordable rental accommodation that will take pets. This is very sad for the owners having to relinquish their cat and it really needs to change so that pets are not a hindrance for securing rental accommodation.
Other common reasons include owners moving to a nursing home or strata property, or are moving interstate and are unable to take their cat with them.
What is the one thing you would like all cat owners to know that would help their cat live a long happy life?
Cats are very complex creatures and it’s not always as easy to read them like a dog. It’s important to be in touch with your cat’s behaviour and look for changes because they are very good at disguising illness. If you notice anything unusual or any subtle changes take them to a vet and get them checked out.