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Our Lewisham centre took in a large family of cats in June after their elderly owner became unwell and needed help. 

We were contacted by health services because their owner needed an operation but would not go into hospital until he knew that his beloved cats were safe.   They told us that he had "more than five cats" 

Kelley and James from our rescue team visited his home and could immediately see that the situation had got completely out of hand.  The majority of the cats were unneutered and were breeding uncontrolled, their owner was trying to find homes for the kittens but could not do so as fast as the cats were breeding.   Conditions in his home were really poor, amongst the worst we have seen in a long time,  there were overflowing dirty litter trays, the cats had destroyed the furniture , the  house roof was leaking and everything was filty dirthy.   Some cats were living in the loft and had become very nervous. 

The cats however were all well fed, but their owner had more cats than he could possibly manage and numbers were growing.   The "more than five"  eventually added up to be forty nine cats and kittens - mainly shy ginger adult cats up to middle age.   

Our vets have neutered, microchipped and vaccinated all of the cats. We have so far rehomed 6 adult cats and 11 kittens.   

Their owner has had his surgery and is now staying with a relative for his recovery. He may be able to have a small number of neutered cats reunited with him in future provided his house can be cleaned up and repaired and he recovers sufficiently to be able to live independently and be able to care for the cats properly.  

Taking in a large number of cats like this in one go in the Summer which is our busiest time of year puts our Lewisham centre team under a lot of strain with accommodating and caring for these cats.  

They are shy cats but were friendly with their previous owner and used to all sit with him in his living room watching TV.  We have them loose in a large room and our staff and volunteers are spending time playing with them, many are curious and playful and given time and the extra attention that can be provided in a home they will grow in confidence. 

Homes are sought for these cats in a minimum of pairs, they are used to going outdoors so do need homes with a garden and cat flap and will need experienced adult homes who can allow them time to settle in. Foster homes who could look after a pair of these cats at a time would also be very helpful to provide the cats with the extra individual attention that is difficult for us to provide to a large group of cats in the centre - foster homes can be indoor only homes. 

UPDATE 14th DEC: We now have 15 cats from this group still awaiting new homes.  They are shy but are curious and generally relaxed close to us but not quite sure about being stroked yet. This will come in time (weeks and months) but they are going to require patient homes with people who are experienced cat owners who can let them be and not expect too much from them too soon. 

Any enquiries please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


ADOPTION PROCESS:  The coronavirus pandemic did mean that we have altered our usual homing procedures. Pre-coronavirus we would meet potential adopters in their homes (home visit) this was an informal visit to provide advice about caring for cats or kittens e.g health care, feeding, settling in and also an opportunity for us to feel reassured that you could provide a good home.  We have replaced our usual home visit with a video call via What'sApp or similar to provide the same advice and so that you can also show us the cat relevant areas of your home e.g garden, location of a cat flap etc. 

Following a successful home assessment we can make an appointment for you to come and meet our cats. 

We are prioritising homes that are local to our centres.  Lewisham Branch  Homing catchment area: All SE London and BR (Bromley) postcodes. Also N.Kent (Welling, Bexley, Sidcup, Swanley, Dartford), Croydon and SW London (SW8, SW9, SW2, SW11, SW4, SW12, SW16) If you can offer a home to a 'harder to rehome' cat we will consider homes outside our usual rehoming areas.