RSPCA Lancashire East branch seeks new cat and kitten foster carers

Volunteers will play a vital role helping felines find permanent homes  

The RSPCA Lancashire East Branch has launched a recruitment drive for dedicated foster carers who can help give cats and kittens a new start to their lives.

Staff at the animal centre at Altham, near Accrington, care for animals that need help and foster carers will be able to provide temporary accommodation until new homes can be found for the felines.

As well as being animal lovers, the fosterers will need to demonstrate they have skills of empathy and patience to deal with animals who have experienced difficult times.

The RSPCA rehomes thousands of animals, but many need help to make the transition to a new home while many have to wait some time to find forever homes, which is where foster carers play such an important role.

Sue Abraham, fostering co-ordinator at RSPCA Lancashire East Branch, said: “Foster carers play an invaluable role in the work we do and are vital members of the RSPCA Lancashire East  Branch. We regularly need new people to take on the role of fostering.

“Currently, we don’t have a cattery at the centre so we use foster carers to support the care we provide to as many cats as we can. Our foster carers often save the day by looking after adult cats, mother cats and kittens. They all need warmth and attention, especially in those first few important weeks of new life.”

The branch’s foster carers play an important role by offering their experience of previously caring for animals, while they will need to have enough time to devote to the animals who will be staying with them for short periods of time.

Typically the onset of ‘kitten season’ during the first two months of the year is a busy time for the animal centre’s staff who need to find homes for rising numbers of felines. Unneutered females are in season in January and cats typically give birth to two litters a year with numbers ranging from two to even eight or nine kittens.

With mother cats usually coming back into season again when their kittens are six weeks old and kittens able to breed from six months old, there can be a huge problem of cat overpopulation.

Sue added: “During kitten season we receive calls daily requesting that we help mother cats with their kittens or orphaned kittens that have been discovered. Without a cattery it is impossible for us to help without the support of our dedicated cat foster carers who are willing to share their homes and give up their time to help.

“Each week we receive numerous calls and that is why we need help to accommodate and care for these needy young families until they can be found permanent new homes.”

There will be no costs incurred by any of the branch’s foster carers and they will be supplied with all equipment, food, toys and litter trays while vet bills are also covered by the centre.

If you can help the RSPCA Lancs East branch as a cat foster carer you can visit their website to download an application form at www.rspca-lancseast.org.uk or call 01254 231118 or email fostering@rspca-lancseast.org.uk for more information.

You can find the pets looking for forever homes at the branch here.

This year the RSPCA celebrates its 200th birthday. To mark this special anniversary the animal welfare charity wants to inspire one million people to join their movement to improve animals’ lives. To find out how you can join their million-strong movement for animals visit www.rspca.org.uk/200

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