Our cat intake room is an area in which new cats are placed when they first arrive to undergo their assessments, determine their health status and stay until they are available for adoption. It also offers much-needed space for those times that our catteries are full, to allow us to accept even more needy cats into our Centre. Up until recently this room simply consisted of temporary accommodation, without runs, which was far from ideal and didn't allow the space we wanted to give the new cats in our care.
This room had been high on our list of priorities for a while but as we rely on donations we had to wait until money was available to allow us to make the dream a reality. This year, thanks to legacies left by kind supporters, we were ready to start drawing up plans! As anybody who has visited our site will be aware, we're not a very large Animal Centre and we have to do the best with the space we have. As a result we're very inventive and try to use space to its full potential. We knew we wanted every cat to have its own large run so calculated that we could hold 7 pens. After the plans had been submitted the work was ready to begin!
We knew that the next few months would be difficult as we would have no intake room for new cats, however it would be short-term loss for a long-term gain. The work was extensive - the floor was levelled, new easy-to-clean flooring was fitted and a new air exchanger system was put in to assist with infection control, all before we could think about fitting the new cat pens.
By the end of June the room was ready to go - and it was almost immediately filled with new cats! For staff this room is such a wonderful achievement. Now every cat who arrives at the Centre has access to their own run with plenty of space for enrichment activities. The pens are walk-in, meaning staff and volunteers can go straight in and socialise the cats, which really helps with nervous cats. We have removable shelves in the pods - if we have injured cats, such as Gareth and Delfina, we can remove the shelves to avoid them jumping up and down. However mother cats love the privacy that the shelves offer as their kittens are unable to follow them up there!
We have recently been absolutely inundated with kittens - already this year we have had 123 kittens arrive in our care, 53 of which were brought in during July and August - so this room has been essential in helping us to cope. Without the generosity of the public allowing us to refurbish existing areas and build new areas at our Animal Centre, we simply would not be able to help as many animals we currently do. This year we have rehomed over 400 animals so far and none of this would be possible without the support of the public. Have a look at the pictures below to see our new intake room!
As always, thank you from the staff and the animals here. If you'd like to find out further information about legacies, and how you can make a difference to animals in the future, click here.