COVID-safe Cat Rehoming Scheme Matches over 10,000 Cats with New Owners

A pioneering new scheme launched by Cats Protection has helped over 10,000 felines to find their forever home since the beginning of the COVID crisis.

The leading animal charity launched their ‘Hands-Free Homing’ scheme—a doorstep delivery system to ensure cats could still be rehomed during the lockdown period.

Using interactive video calls the charity matched would-be cat owners with potential feline friends and delivered their new pet to their doorstep if a match was found.

One of the first cats to find a new home was twelve-year-old Jess, who was welcomed into the North Yorkshire home of Claire and Paul McGinley.

Mrs McGinley said the couple wanted to adopt an older cat. “It was hard choosing from the worthy cases on the website. “There were a few tears shed by me when we had to choose one because I am so soft and felt sorry for the others we couldn’t have.”

Jess’s previous owner had recently died, and Mrs McGinely spoke of how the black and white cat has ‘brought joy and laughter into our lives’.

Mrs McGinley added: “We renamed him Shane because he has lost quite a few teeth and my husband’s favourite singer is Shane MacGowan from The Pogues.”

Berkshire couple, Sandra and Anthony Fludgate, also used Hands-Free Homing to adopt a six-week-old kitten called Hans from the Harrow Homing Centre.

Mrs Fludgate said: “We felt totally safe in their care, which was important to us as my husband is disabled and vulnerable and was shielding. He loves cats and, as we’ve discovered, kittens definitely keep you young.”

To date, the Hands-Free Homing scheme has helped the charity to match 10,859 moggies with new owners since the start of lockdown.

Mike Elliott, Cats Protection’s director of field operations, said the 10,000-cat landmark was “an achievement worth celebrating”.

“Lockdown forced us to rethink how best to support the welfare of cats in need. We had to find new ways of working and fast.

“This milestone is testament to the teamwork, commitment and dedication of our volunteers, staff and fundraisers who pulled together for the sake of the cats,” he concluded.