CatKind call for cat owners in Wales to take part in a focus group

CatKind, an inter-agency partnership focused on improving the health and welfare of cats through research and neutering initiatives, is looking for cat owners in Llanelli and Swansea to join an hour-long online focus group.

The focus group will help provide information for a multi-charity initiative – called CatKind – to better advise and educate the public on how to care for their cats.

The 10 charities, consisting of RSPCA, PDSA, Cats Protection, Celia Hammond, Blue Cross, International Cat Care, Battersea, WoodGreen, Scottish SPCA, and Mayhew, have come together to promote general views on the health and welfare of cats and in particular the Spaying Attitude. This work will have a direct impact on the launch of the CatKind initiative and a public campaign in 2022.

Carrie Stones, RSPCA’s campaign manager, said: “Unfortunately, Covid has curtailed efforts to control the cat population – whether because veterinarians cannot offer routine appointments or charities cannot support the public as much by offering advice and about soil castration schemes.

“We know the demand for animals has increased as our statistics show that more and more people are looking for ways to adopt cats and kittens. There is concern that if we fail to convey the right messages to these potential new owners, we could face a welfare problem later.

“Now more than ever, it is more important than ever to reach out to the public and ensure that our messages about the health and welfare of cats are resonant and stimulate action. That is why we need your help. If you own a cat, please get in touch and sign up – your participation will lead to real action and improve the lives of animals across the country. “

RSPCA research on Google keyword searches showed that there were 17,000 searches for “kitties near me” during the April 2020 lockdown, compared to 1,600 searches in April 2019. As of April 2021, the figure was 4,400.

Between March and August 2020, there were 1,229,424 visits to the RSPCA Find a Pet page specifically looking for “cats”. That’s a 114% increase over the same period in 2019 – before the lockdown.

As of July this year, the RSPCA has taken care of 2,271 cats that have been victims of neglect or cruelty.

You are looking for 15 people to share their views on our online discussion group.

To book your spot, please visit: www.cats.org.uk/discussion