The cat is a most brilliant animal! We would say that because we are cat lovers, but domestic cats (Felis catus) can be found just about everywhere in the world except in the very coldest of places. We think that there may be about 600 million cats worldwide and more than half of these are unowned! Many have very tough lives, and the problem is large, so we need to share as much information as possible and work together to improve cat welfare.
‘Unowned’ cats include cats that have been born and live on the streets, cats that have lived in our homes with us but are no longer wanted or cannot be kept, and pet cats which have lost their way and strayed or been abandoned and need some care. All of these cats need different help based on an understanding of the range of lifestyles which cats lead and their ability to live closely with people (or not).
The materials we have put together as part of this programme incorporate the latest research, working with veterinary, behaviour and ethics experts, and those working with cats in different ways, to provide clear and new insights to support people working with unowned cats. They range from Trap, Neuter and Return programmes, to International Cat Care’s Cat Friendly Homing programme.
No single charity can help all these cats – International Cat Care wants to support all the different people and organisations trying to work with cats wherever they may be based, and to give support with everyday decisions and dilemmas.
For those who work with unowned cats, we want to highlight the incredible work that you do to help them. We also want to show you that you’re not alone. There are so many of you working hard out there and it’s time to recognise your efforts! We’ve provided a world map that you can go into and point out your position. You may want to add a photo or a comment about your local community and all that you do to help unowned cats in your area. You may just want to say ‘hello’, so everyone knows you’re there for cats! We want to light up this map to celebrate locations and communities that take care of unowned cats.