Updated: Oct 24
We are overwhelmed at the moment with cats and kittens. We are primarily a horse rescue but never turn away any animal but this year has been absolutely overwhelming. We have over 60 cats and kittens in residence currently. Between april and September we took in 93 cats and kittens. Some of the females have had kittens since they’ve been taken in - increasing numbers again.
We are still receiving calls and emails from people needing help with cats and kittens - at the moment usually a minimum of 10 new calls and emails each day about different ones needing help.
Unfortunately we are stuck at the moment with two many mouths to feed, not enough space and not enough time. Our rehoming takes a hit when there is a lack of time to do calls and visits - more than that at the moment we are finding that over 90% of applications we receive are from people who have either changed their mind or got kittens elsewhere. Supply and demand has a big part to play here - the demand for kittens isn’t any different to any other year, but the supply has increased exponentially.
We had 127 applications in for 2 kittens (a ginger tabby and a calico) and a further 11 applications for the rest of the litter who were black. Of those 138 applications we rehomed two of the kittens - one is still waiting and the other two were rehomed to another applicant for a different cat. The other 137 applications had either changed their mind, couldn’t be reached to arrange a meeting, or had already picked up a kitten somewhere else. As you can imagine doing 137 phone calls is time consuming. Especially since many we have to do callbacks or email to check numbers when can’t reach people. This time is split between two because they are the two most familiar with the cats and kittens and know the rehoming system. It is frustrating, exhausting and depressing in all honesty.
When we have rehomed we have had to be strict to our rules - all kittens have to be spayed or neutered by 5/6 months and proof needs to be sent to the sanctuary. Some need to be indoor only due to the fact that they have come in sick and have weaker immune systems. Some need to be crated or in one room for the first month or so to allow them to come around to their new home and owner as they are quite wild. We know the cats and kittens we rehome so rehome with advice to suit the individual. We give this advice with the hopes that the animals we rehome never end up back with us - but that doesn’t always happen and a lot of the time when we ask about the problem it is usually a direct result of the new home doing the opposite of what we have suggested.
People get mad when we offer advice at times, one person refused to have a litter tray - even when we explained it was just temporary until their new cat was allowed outside. They didn’t want it and said it wasn’t needed. The cat was locked in the home to get used to the place and so that they would know where their home was. The cat had no other option but to pee and poo in the house. We received angry calls that the cat wasn’t house trained. Eventually they got the cat a tray. The home was perfect other than that but it’s always little things, and it’s those little things that make rehoming so terrifying.
We have rehomed 55 cats and kittens this summer and have over 60 still in residence. Some will not be rehomed - one that was brought in this week is in his late teens and sick. He may not live very long but we will be making his end of days as comfortable and happy as we can.
Others are in constant assessment - with one lifted in August potentially needing an amputation and several others needed extensive time spent with them to bring them round to humans. Unfortunately we find people don’t want to rehome the more difficult ones. We also find people don’t want to rehome anything over 8 weeks.
We had a number of applications in for a group of orphaned kittens - they were sickly so we had been holding off until they were well enough to rehome - we advertised them when they were 9 weeks old and by 12 weeks we were happy with some of their progress to invite people up to meet them. Of the 4 people we invited up only one kept the appointment- the others all canceled due to the kittens being older.
One Potential home asked about the new lot of 3 week old orphans that had just come in - when we said that we wouldn’t be rehoming until they were at least 8 weeks old and we could assess their health etc. They asked to be contacted when we had young ones needing homes. By young ones they specified anything under 8 weeks.
We do rehome at young ages if we feel the people are able to offer the best care - unfortunately not many can commit to hand rearing or have no experience which makes it difficult to know if it will work out.
So many things playing against us this year, but we honestly never imagined it would be so difficult to rehome cute little kittens. We know a lot of the time we are too slow but when you’ve got 100 calls to make and over 150 animals to care for - things do take time.
Each year we help around 40 cats and kittens. This year we will have more than tripled that number!
We are asking people to spay and neuter as much as we can. We are reaching out to other organisations for help when we can.
We are a permanent home for 28 cats who cannot be rehomed due to health, behavior and duration of stay due to failure to find homes. They live in 5 family groups, with radios, TVs, beds, sofas, outside space etc. and of course the constant attention from staff and volunteers who spend not just time feeding and cleaning, but petting and brushing and cuddling.
So if we end up with cats staying permanently at least they will have a happy home - but what that means for next year is more calls and cats we need to turn away because we will have no more space, no more time, no more money. We don’t want that - we are a home for those who Cannot find a home elsewhere - but that is our last resort and we always want to try and see our rescues succeed. If we stop rehoming then we stop rescuing and it’s a scary thought and one we wouldn’t be able to live with.
Click Donate to help with the feed bills for the cats at the sanctuary!
When thinking about adopting please consider all of the above, know that what may seem like a few minutes on a phone can actually be a full day for us - commonly multiple days. Please only apply if you are ready to adopt and please do let us know asap if you change your mind or are sorted elsewhere. Fill out the forms to the best of your ability because this helps so much.
Our admin are just volunteers and in all honesty they are exhausted and feeling a little depressed at the sheer volume of work - they have jobs and lives of their own. They don't need to be attacked online - this should be a safe environment. Please bare that in mind.
If you don't like what we do, don't follow us, you don't have to support us. We need support of course, but we need to take care of the people who take care of the animals. We need to be kind, it is sad for us that we need to remind some people of that.
If you are concerned we have missed your application please let us know - send an email - yes it can sometimes take a few days for us to get back to you - in some cases longer depending on volunteers and whats happening. Our main admin was ill this past week and we have such a back log at the moment that they are trying to fight through. They are at home, ill and still working so please be paitent with us.
This is two of the babies currently seeking a home - home must be together.
Fill in a form here to be considered! https://www.crosskennanlane.co.uk/cat-re-homing-application
Click Donate to help with the feed bills for the cats at the sanctuary!