The RSPCA is baffled as to why no-one wants to offer purr-fect Zara a home
A beautiful three-year-old cat, who was rescued in Birmingham, along with two of her newborn kittens – one of whom was found dead beside her – has not received a single offer of a home since coming into the RSPCA’s care in January.
Volunteers at the charity’s Stafford, Wolverhampton and District branch believe Zara’s colour might be putting people off – with black, or black and white cats, often taking far longer to rehome. Zara is the longest-staying feline currently in the branch’s care.
Her plight has not been helped by the branch reporting a 65 percent decrease in people coming forward to adopt cats, with only seven finding new homes last month, compared to 22 in July last year.
Described as a “fabulous mini house panther”, Zara was found all alone in freezing temperatures in Aston on 14 January by RSPCA inspector Ben Jones following a call to the charity by a concerned member of the public.
Alongside her were her two 24-hour old kittens, one of whom had sadly died.
Mum and daughter were placed in the care of one of the branch’s fosterers, and it was initially touch and go as to whether her kitten, Zoe, would pull through. But Zara proved to be a great mum, and as soon as Zoe was old enough she went off to her new home, leaving Zara to start the search for hers.
But despite her ‘perfect personality’ not one person has enquired about adopting Zara since she came into rescue, prompting a special appeal for potential adopters to come forward and meet her.
Tracey Rogers, rehoming officer for the RSPCA’s Stafford, Wolverhampton and District branch said: “Zara is still looking for her special someone and has no interest at all, not a single call or rehoming enquiry, which completely baffles us as she is such a lovely cat – confident, friendly, playful, good with children, everything you could wish for in a feline family member.
“Unfortunately black and black and white cats are not as popular as their colourful counterparts – the tabbies and the ginger cats – and it always takes us considerably longer to find them loving new homes.
“Zara is the most beautiful cat with a perfect personality to match and everyone who meets her falls in love with her. All of the cattery assistants make time to play with her and to fuss her for longer, and it’s just so sad when the cats in the pens next door come in and go off to their new homes, leaving Zara still waiting for her happy ending.
“We are sure the perfect family is out there for Zara – they just haven’t met her yet. We’d encourage anyone who has been moved by her story, and can offer her a wonderful new home, to apply through our website.”
As well as Zara, the Stafford, Wolverhampton and District branch currently has another 40 cats in its care, but rehoming figures are down 30 percent on last year. Rising living costs – which could mean people are more reluctant to take on a pet and the financial commitment they incur – are seen as one reason for the slowdown. Nationally, nearly 20 percent of pet owners said they had concerns about being able to feed their pets in a recently-published RSPCA Animal Kindness Index.
At the same time, the number of people contacting the RSPCA branch to relinquish their cat has increased. It’s thought that some owners may have taken on a cat for company during the Covid 19 lockdowns and no longer want a pet now they can go on holiday and get out and about.