This is my article published in the Euro Weekly News on Thursday. It talks a little about the marketing challenges of trying to re-home so many cats and kittens.
The more time I spend helping the strays, the more I realise how individual these lovely animals are, not only in their colouring and coats, but in their unique character traits. Of course I love them all, but some of our rescues have been a little more special to me, like Tommy, the big old, battered, bruiser street cat, who turned out to not really be a street cat at all, but the most loving tame boy.
Finding homes for our strays in Germany, via web sites, however presents a particular challenge; how do prospective adoptants get an idea of a cat’s character just from photographs? This is where cuddle and play photos are so important,and where possible, video, particularly of the cats interacting with people. All of this doesn’t change the fact however that colour and appearance are extremely important, when it comes to adoptants chosing a cat or kitten.
Kerstin in Germany hates the fact that some cats are so hard to find homes for because they are less beautiful, but even I have to acknowledge that some colours and types of cat initially appeal more to me, until of course I meet them when any cat can charm me with its personality. In all this selection, it is interesting to note different preferences in different countries.
In Spain siamese cats are not valued highly, and there are many stray siamese mix and pure cats and kittens, whilst in Germany it is extremely rare to see a stray one. The Germans also LOVE ginger or red, as they call them, cats, which is why I found it so easy to re-home 3 ginger boys from PAWs who had been overlooked in Spain for a year. Personally I love pure black cats, and then black and white ones, but I am also a sucker for the spots on a real tabby’s tummy, and have been known to fall for a siamese, and most recently a little 4 colour kitten!
I have become increasingly aware the more I have worked with the girls in Germany, of which breeds and colours of cats are re-homed the fastest, and whilst I will try to re-home any cat, at this time of year when there are so many cats and particularly kittens to help, I find myself selectively reserving the most appealing ones first. Sometimes I also have to take into account which cats are already on the web sites in Germany. For now they seem to have loads of beautiful tabby kittens, and really need choice. So I am trying to send them ginger and siammix kittens, or black and white ones.
This does make them seem a little like commodities, but I can’t afford to clog foster homes and as in anything I need to be realistic. If I can quickly re-home the ‘beauties’, then cattery space, foster homes and resources are freed up to help the others. Re-homing the strays becomes as much about marketing in the end as about care and love.
We will try to find loving homes for all the cats and kittens we hear about, of all types, colours and personalities, but right now what is really needed is for prospective tabby kitten adoptants to come forward. We need to hear from you! along with anyone who can foster some kittens for a few weeks to help us get the ones we know about safely off the streets, while we find a more permanent solution. More help is always needed.
Cute Tabby Kittens