I want to help cats. How do I do it?
I am sat here typing this and I have little idea about how to answer the question that I have posed in the title. Well, actually, I have one or two ideas but I can’t just look up a directory headed “Volunteers Needed at These Cat Rescue Organisations”. I wrote this page on Oct 12, 2013. I am republishing it with a couple of minor amendments. I’d like to air the topic again. Also, some useful comments have been added. Back in the day readers used to comment much more. Times have changed. If you want to advertise for volunteers, please feel free.
A recent post about a lady who established a cat rescue operation at home but failed, in some ways, gave me the idea for this post. She wanted to help cats in need and started a full-blown rescue operation but could not cope. Could she have helped cats in a different way? A more manageable way that was legal and more sensible? I think that could have been the answer for her – to find a better outlet for her desire to help unwanted cats. Perhaps, the solution was not to set up a cat rescue organisation in her own home in the suburbs but to find organisations where she could indirectly help cats.
There are quite a lot of ladies who look after community cat colonies and they are in danger of provoking the wrath of neighbours, some of whom will object. Even doing something like that can be difficult, perhaps impossible.
Although there are individuals who simply just start by trapping feral cats and taking them to shelters or veterinarians for a check-up and sterilisation. Sometimes they socialise feral cats. There is a lady in Australia who does this. I had a long chat with her on the phone and recorded it. See link below. It seems that the focus on helping must be feral and stray cats. These are the abandoned ones. They need to be in homes.
I would quite like to help cats. I am retired and work on this website but it would nice if I got out a bit more and met like-minded cat loving people. But where are they and do they need me?
In the UK, the one organisation that springs to mind immediately is Cats Protection. You can apply to be a cat fosterer. Rightly so, the standards are high and you’ll need some facilities. Personally, I don’t think you can be a cat fosterer from a small two bed flat in a busy city when you already care for a male cat. The obstacles are substantial. I would have thought a freehold house with a garden in the country or a small town would be far more suitable. Also, there is not a demand for fosterers in every area. However, Cats Protection would be an excellent way to help cats in England provided you have the setup, time and abilities to do the work.
As I recall you have to have your fostered cats in cages at all times. You can’t let them run around. I found that odd initially (if you don’t have cats). But it must be to ensure that the fostered cat or cats don’t escape and disappear. This might be a distinct possibility as they are in a strange place with strange sounds.
There are other cat rescue organisations that require fosterers (both are based in London):
- Celia Hammond Animal Trust (CHAT)
- Battersea Dogs and Cats Home — “We have an urgent need for volunteer cat fosterers who can provide a safe and calm foster home for pregnant mums and their kittens.”
I am sure there are others.
You can become a volunteer at an RSPCA center. Of course, the RSPCA deals with all animals so it is not just about helping cats. As an outlet for a person’s desire to help cats it does not tick all the boxes. This page on their website has a list of vacancies and one them is “Community Cat Champion”. This is an interesting role based in Birmingham. It about “Talking to people and explaining the benefits of having their cats done” (neutered). The RSCPA train you. Nice work but it seems that this vacancy is no longer open.
If I am honest, this is slim pickings. There is not much out here.
People think that feral cats are a problem in the USA so volunteers to manage feral cat colonies are welcome. The Humane Society of the United States provide some very useful information on ways to successfully manage feral cats. It is not just about feeding them. People who feed feral cats are kind-hearted people who I admire but it can create problems. Feeding should be combined with TNR. It is best to join a local organization which is involved in TNR programs. HSUS has a nice page on this subject.
In some places there can be heated debates about TNR programs and volunteers. There are quite a lot of people who disagree with TNR. They want feral cats eradicated and not treated humanely.
Cat Shelters – Animal Shelters
I am finding it hard to track down cat shelters that are looking for fosterers. I know that Elisa fosters cats or did foster cats from Grenville Animal Shelter. There should be opportunities for people wishing to help cats if they seek out their local shelter and make enquiries.
Yes, Singapore has their Cat Welfare Society. Wonderful, and they need volunteers. One of the roles appears to be a front-line role: Community Cat Caregivers/Mediators. An on-the-ground at the sharp end job. Ideal for a real cat lover who wants to get stuck into the reality of cat welfare.
Based on Cat Havens request for volunteers, I’ll presume that shelters in Australia look for volunteers from time to time.
Cat Haven rescue, rehome and raise awareness about cats in Western Australia. Volunteers have to be over 18 years of age, fit and commit to one 3-hour shift per week.
There are lots of good reasons to doing voluntary work at animal shelters. Here’s three: (a) meeting like-minded people (b) getting career experience (c) helping animals so you feel good and they live a better life.
This is a website where organisations can advertise for volunteers and volunteers can find opportunities. It appears to be worldwide but mainly focused on USA opportunities. Website.
- This page contains external links, which sometimes don’t work. Sorry but people delete pages and even websites sometimes.
- If you know of some other ways people can help cats, please leave a note below. Thanks.
Below are some more pages on volunteers.