Women, who are usually the victims of domestic violence, are sometimes reluctant to leave the family home because of their cat companion. This also applies to other pets, of course. If the woman has to find temporary accommodation outside of the family circle it can be difficult for her to leave with her cat. Family cats usually can’t be left behind because there are many examples of partners hurting the family cat out of spite.
Mashable.com state that 48% of female cat owners in the US stay in an abuse relationship because of their pet. They also state that resources for domestic violence victims with pets are ‘incredible limited’. Back in 2014, of the 50 domestic violence shelters in New York City only one provided a pet service. Although I understand the situation is changing for the better. Also, rental accommodation often forbids pets.
It is possible that some shelters already provide this service. However, my research does not reveal a widespread service of this type in the US. In the UK, Cats Protection, do now provide a foster care service for victims of domestic violence. It allows cats to be placed in temporary accommodation with a cat lover while the victim sorts out her life free of domestic violence. Cats Protection is entirely based on foster carers and covers large parts of the UK.
Going forward, once the woman has become settled, she can be reunited with her cat. It appears to be an excellent idea and an extension of the services already provided by cat rescue centers.
A lot of cat shelters already employ volunteers to foster cats in order to extend their facilities in a flexible way. Does anyone know of shelters in America providing a foster care service to women who are the victims of domestic violence?
P.S. Sometimes men are the victims. Also sometimes men are the primary carer of the family cat. I don’t wish to stereotype the situation.