A successful trial to match cats to potential adopters will be Cat Protection’s first new-normal process to roll out nationwide as the charity adapts to life in a world with Covid-19.
Hands-Free Homing is the response to the challenge of allowing people to meet cats while adoption centres remain closed to the public and forms a cornerstone of the charity’s commitment to remain #HereForTheCats.
The process matches a cat’s needs with the lifestyle of an interested cat lover. If they are compatible, the cat is safely delivered to its new home – and more than 1,000 cats have been homed in this way.
Cat Protection marked the success with the doorstep delivery of a mother and her kitten to Jenny Bell of Haslemere, Surrey.
Jenny said: “We’ve been looking for cats that would be right for our family and when we saw Zoe and Zizzi on Haslemere Adoption Centre’s Facebook page, we knew that they would be perfect. The contactless process was really straightforward; just a few phone calls and some paperwork and then, the next thing we knew, we had a date for their arrival.
“Since they arrived, the children haven’t left their side, even sleeping in the room with them and the cats seem to be lapping up all the attention. They have found their favourite spots; Zoe likes the window seat and they both like to snuggle in their cat tower.”
Zoe and Zizzi had been in care at the charity’s Haslemere Adoption Centre, before being homed by their neighbouring centre in Mitcham.
Cats Protection is responding to the pressures of the pandemic with a head-to-tail review of its processes to ensure that cats in need continue to receive benchmark care from a dedicated team of staff and volunteers.
Mark Beazley, Cats Protection’s Director of Operations, said: “Much of our work was paused following government advice and our priority was the ongoing care for cats already in our centres or with fosterers. Keeping an open mind about how we’ve done things in the past has been important as we review and adapt to new ways of working. Hands-Free Homing has been a tremendous success – hopefully the first of many.”
Transition to the new process will be phased across the charity, following assessment and consultation with centres and branches about how and when they emerge from lockdown.
Additionally, many of Cats Protection’s shops will reopen, starting from 1 July, with some outlets initially trading only on eBay. Strict cleaning and social distancing will be maintained and new stock will be held back from the shop floor for 72 hours before going on sale.