Celia Hammond Animal Trust
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Fostering Appeals
Fostering appeals

Non Destruction Policy

Toto has been adopted on a long term foster scheme due to her age and is blissfully happy in her new home CHAT is proud of its non-destruction policy. Once an animal comes into our care, it will be safe for life. The only exception to this rule is if the animal has no quality of life, because of a terminal illness, or if it is hopelessly injured. Under these circumstances, we would humanely put it to sleep.

Some animals coming into our care are elderly, disabled or have long-term health problems that require prolonged treatment. Prior to the opening of the London neuter clinics, the Sanctuary near Hastings provided a haven for all our un-homeable animals. Many of these are still living at our Sanctuary under our sponsorship scheme, whereby people send money regularly for their food and treats. There are still some cats at the Sanctuary waiting hopefully for someone to sponsor them, so do please check this website for their photos and details.

LONG TERM/RETIREMENT FOSTERING

Since the clinics opened there have been many more unhomeable cats coming into our care and the Sanctuary is unable to provide homes for them all. The solution has been found with some wonderful, caring, selfless people taking these cats on a foster basis into their own homes to give them the love and care they deserve. If you live near one of our clinics or sanctuaries, perhaps you might consider being a retirement foster home for one or more elderly or unhomeable cats.

Many people, who would take on elderly cats or those with health problems, may not do so because of the likelihood of high veterinary expenses from the outset. These cats would not qualify for pet insurance. CHAT removes this worry - when a cat is homed on a long-term foster basis, it can be brought to us for veterinary treatment. Since we have our own veterinary surgeons, the cost to the charity is reduced to the lowest possible level. This relieves pressure on the clinics and our Sanctuary in that we do not have to take on more animals than can be realistically cared for, and the cats benefit from the individual care and attention they receive in a home environment.


kitten fostering is a real delight BUT be warned it is hard work!

Short Term Fostering

Throughout the kitten season, approximately April to December, CHAT receives countless emergency calls for help when abandoned cats give birth to kittens wherever they can - often in the most dangerous and unsuitable places.

Where possible, we prefer mother cats to be able to rear their kittens in a home environment. Alternatively, kittens have to remain with their mother in a pen with us until they are weaned at eight weeks. However much we play with them and try to keep them stimulated, it is preferable that they are socialised at this early stage of development within a home situation.

In this way, they will receive more handling and have more space to run around. Crucially, since they are not old enough to be vaccinated, they will be at low risk of catching cat flu, which is always a constant risk in rescue centres where a lot of stray cats come in and out. Sometimes we are lucky enough to find a new permanent home that will take on a mother and her kittens, until the kittens are old enough to be homed.

We always place mother cats where they will be allowed to keep one, or even two, of their kittens.

Foster homes are also very valuable in the process of taming feral kittens. Feral kittens need lots of handling and socialising. Although rescue staff do their best to play with these kittens, a foster carer usually has more time to devote to them on an individual basis.

If you think you could provide a short term foster home, do please give us a call or email info@celiahammond.org You will need a spare room to devote to the cat and kittens. This allows the cat peace and quiet and keeps small kittens from straying. It is also necessary to keep them separate from your own pets as a new mother cat is naturally protective of her babies and will not appreciate the curiosity of resident pets. Short term fostering is offered by our Lewisham, Hastings and Canning Town Branches.

LEWISHAM BRANCH GUIDE TO FOSTERING MOTHER CATS AND LITTERS OF KITTENS.....


Please Click Here for an informative guide about fostering mother cats and litters of kittens


Here is an account of the experiences of Carol, a foster carer...

By the end of today I will have my spare bedroom back. I'm trying to feel positive about this. Certainly my own two cats will be delighted. They have been holding a silent vigil at the door or wailing piteously, imploring entrance. Strange, as normally they are not in the least interested in this room. Now it seems it is the one place they are desperate to be. But, much to their chagrin, for the last nine weeks it has been occupied by the beautiful Megan and her family of kittens.
megan and kittensThis has been my first experience of fostering. It has been hard work and time consuming but above all utterly, utterly rewarding.

As soon as I saw Megan (right), my heart went out to the starved, pathetic little creature, hardly more than a kitten herself, nursing her tiny family. She was a stray from Shepherds Bush and had given birth to her four kittens in a privet hedge adjacent to a main road. Happily, the little family was detected and a concerned member of the public called CHAT and asked for our help. Mid-summer and all CHAT's centres were overflowing with stray, abandoned and homeless animals. Could I help? How could I refuse?

I made my spare bedroom as comfortable as I could and waited for my foster family to arrive. They soon did, accompanied by a mountain of cat food. 'Surely I won't need all that?, I protested. 'Oh, you will' the CHAT volunteer said, knowingly. How right she was. They ate like gannets. (A million thanks to those generous people who care enough to donate pet food to the Trust. It really is appreciated!)

Spare Room

I don't think I have ever had a more appreciative guest. From the start Megan made it abundantly clear how much she enjoyed the sanctuary of my spare room. We became firm friends as we looked after the kittens together. Three days after Megan and her family arrived, I received a phone call from CHAT just before midnight. Three orphan kittens had just been picked up, their feral mother having been killed on the road. The kittens were cold and starved and would require round the clock attention at the Sanctuary, which was already packed to capacity. Was there any possibility Megan and I might help? An hour later, three tiny day old kittens, black like tiny spiders, were curled up besides their tabby foster siblings whilst Megan purred proudly over them.

The kittens thrived. They grew before my eyes. I couldn't believe such tiny creatures could purr so loudly. One tiny mum cat and her seven kittens and my room sounded like an upturned beehive.

New owners

Weeks passed. Megan, spayed now, was looking sleek and shiny. Gradually, her kittens were off to their new homes. (My grateful thanks to the home vetters who check the homes so carefully, to ensure the safety and care of the animals). This morning the two little black brothers went. Now only Megan and Fleur, her smallest tabby kitten remain. To be honest, I am feeling a little forlorn as I wait for the knock at the door that heralds the arrival of their new owners. It isn't easy to say goodbye. But as soon as their new owners arrive, I feel delighted and at ease. A lovely couple, whose last beloved cat, formally a CHAT rescue, had sadly had to be put to sleep after having shared their home for over twelve years. They said how empty the house had seemed. I just knew Megan and Fleur would make it come alive again and that they would be utterly adored.

The final farewell, promises of photographs and progress reports and they are gone.

I wander back upstairs. Typically, my own two contrary and spoilt pets are no longer in the least interested in the spare room. Perhaps I should decorate this room now, while I have the chance. I search half-heartedly for the colour chart.

Later that evening the phone rings

A tortoiseshell cat with five kittens has been found in a derelict house and CHAT is wondering if there is any possibility... Of course, there is! I go and dig out another furry cat bed. Looks as if the Wedgewood Blue will have to be put on hold.




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FERAL CAT FOSTERING

Pam, one of our volunteers, has given up part of her garden to provide a retirement home for a small group of elderly feral cats.

Pam has two heated cattery pens, constructed by CHAT, the doors of which she leaves open, so the cats are free to come and go. She feeds the cats inside the pens so that if any of them need veterinary attention, the door can be closed to enable them to be caught.

Pag and Nell, 12 and 13 years old, lived in a tyre yard in New Cross. They came to us when the lady who fed them became too unwell to continue daily feeding. CHAT trapped the cats, and took them to Pam, after they had been to the clinic for dentals and checkups. They are now enjoying their retirement in Pam’s beautiful garden.

Ollie came to CHAT about a year ago, soaked in engine oil. He had appeared at a scrap yard in Deptford. After trapping, he was anaesthetised and bathed, but we were left with the concern that he may have ingested oil and thus damaged his internal organs. He is elderly and had previously been neutered. Routine blood tests showed some degree of kidney trouble, which may have been related to swallowing the oil. Ollie is now happily settled under Pam’s watchful eye and appears to be otherwise in good health.

Ned came to Pam 18 months ago with his friend, Jenny, who unfortunately had to be put to sleep nine months ago, due to kidney failure. Ned and Jenny were strays who had lived in the gardens surrounding a block of flats in Greenwich, which were being demolished. Ned is becoming quite bold and Pam can now stroke his head.

If you are interested in fostering feral cats in your garden, do call us for more information. An old shed can easily be converted to a cosy home, or we may be able to provide a ‘cat house’ if needed.




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