6. Solitary: Cats Protection
Providing for their needs at Cats Protection...the choice to be solitary
Cats are housed separately if coming in from different sources and may be separated even if they have come from the same source if they aren’t seen to be in the same social group. This may be more obvious in care due to the forced close proximity of cats sharing a pen.
Cats will be aware of the sights, scents and sounds of other cats in the facility which causes stress and their efforts to use scent to mark safe and fearful areas of their ‘territory’ are frequently removed through necessary cleaning and disinfection.
Humans are a social species, and so it can be difficult to us to comprehend that cats do not feel the need to socialise with other cats. It can be especially tempting to let cats mingle if they have been in Cats Protection care for some time, as we may feel that they must be bored and would appreciate some company of their own kind.
Fostered cats (cats that are cared for in a volunteer's home prior to rehoming) should not be mixed with other Cats Protection cats (unless they had lived together previously), or the Fosterer's own cats and should not allowed to free roam. Here are the reasons why this is imperative for their protection and welfare. Further information on CatNav (only available to Cats Protection staff and volunteers).
This video will give you an overview of solitary behaviour in the Cats Protection environment.A text transcript is available for this video (this link will open in a new window).
A row of pens at the National Cat Adoption Centre, solid barriers between pens prevent cats from looking directly at each other which helps to decrease this stress.Image author - Cats Protection/Martin Dewhurst , licence - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Image author - Cats Protection/VET Team, licence - CC BY-NC-ND 2.0