In the UK one of the best ways of providing for your cat on your death is to register with the Cat Guardians service provided by Cats Protection, a leading cat charity. This is a really clever, win-win idea if you can’t be sure of finding a relative who will look after your cat(s) when you die.
For young people, making sure that your cat is OK after you die is not on the radar. But there are a lot of older people who get a lot of comfort from their cats. They have a close relationship with their cat and at a certain age people are likely to die before their cat. This is the opposite to what usually happens.
In the UK, from the ages of 64 to 85 the risk of death varies from 1 in 65 to 1 in 21 (high). Over 85 the risk is 1 in 7 (very high). This is morbid information but older people have to digest it because it affects when and how they make their Will. Everyone should make a Will. And as cats live to about 15-20 years of age your Will during your seventies (and ideally well before that age) should contain a clause that:
- gives (bequeaths) a gift to the Cats Protection and;
- makes reference to the Cat Guardian service which you have signed up to for well in advance. There should be a clause which instructs the executor or executrix to contact Cats Protection to alert them that it is time for them to take your cat into their care before rehoming.They recommend the following, “My Executors should contact Cats Protection (Registered Charity Numbers 203644/SC037711) of the National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath RH17 7TT to arrange for the care of any cats that I may own at the time of my death.“
Cats Protection will then arrange for your cat to be rehoused. Cats Protection say that they will never euthanise your cat. That is very reassuring.
I think this is a brilliant idea. You can download the Cat Guardian’s service registration form on this page.
Cats Protection should gain from this as it encourages people to make a gift to them in their Will and your cat gains because he will be cared for in a proper way. It takes the worry out of making sure your cat will be alright.
I know that in my mother’s case she had not made provision for her four cats. The two blue British Shorthairs were driven to a home over 100 miles away to someone who expressed a wish to care for them. I took in Charlie and the other cat, whose name I forget for the moment, probably went to a rescue facility. There was quite a lot of hassle involved if I am honest.