There are lots of charity animal rescue centres all over the UK, most with a mix of moggies, mongrels, and breeds. We’ve previously posted about six dog shelters that specialise in certain breeds, but if you are into pedigree cats instead, there are also rescue options available.
5 things you should know before adopting a pedigree rescue cat
1. Many specialist cat shelters may require that you have had experience as an owner of a particular pedigree before. This is because some special breeds can have behavourial issues that may be exacerbated by the trauma of losing their home. Since unscrupulous people sometimes try to profit from selling these rarer breed rescue animals, the shelter might also want to be careful that the new owners have shown they are committed to that particular breed.
2. While pedigree cats can be unique in appearance or character and it is great to rescue an animal in need of a home, don’t forget that there are always many more lovely moggies that also need new homes. Consider whether you might be just as happy adopting one of the many non-pedigree cats that are waiting to be adopted and might face a longer wait for new owners.
3. Do your research. Some breeds require quite a bit more extra care than a normal crossbreed cat, or might have personality traits that are not suited to your household. Some breeds get on very well with dogs and children, while others can be highly strung and would better suit a calm and quiet environment. Make sure the breed you are interested in will suit your lifestyle and you can give it the care it needs.
4. Be patient. Pedigree cats do not come up for adoption as often as moggies, so you may be facing a longer wait.
5. Most rescue shelters rarely get pedigree kittens, as the majority of the time these are returned to the original breeder if for some reason the buyer can’t keep the animal.
Where to find pedigree cat rescue shelters
Most local animal shelters will take in any cat or dog (or sometimes other pets too) needing a new home, as long as they have the space. This means that sometimes pedigrees do come in – talk to your local shelter and put your name down with them so that they can get in touch if a suitable animal comes in. Bear in mind that there may be a waiting list! Find a charity shelter close to you with our advanced charity search form.
The Oriental Cat Welfare Trust provides a rescue and re-homing service for Oriental cats. They also give welfare advice for owners of cats with Oriental bloodlines. The charity is run by volunteers in East Sussex, but they re-home cats all over the country, including England, Wales and Scotland.
London Persian Rescue works with breeders, Persian organisations, and other animal shelters such as Mayhew Animal Home, Celia Hammond Trust, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, and Cats Protection League to offer rescue and welfare advice on Persian cats. They evaluate any cats for adoption in a home environment, getting to know the animal’s personality so that they can create the best match with their new owner.
Birman Welfare and Rescue became a registered charity in 2008 and are one of the larger pedigree rescues in the UK. They were awarded the ‘Best Rescue Award’ by GCCF in 2014. Abandoned, lost, or rescued Birmans are cared for in safehouses across the UK while the charity tries to either find their owner (if lost) or search for a thoroughly vetted new home. All cats are microchipped and neutered before adoption, and their vaccinations brought up to date.
Rushden Persian Rescue is a rescue charity based in based in Rushden, Northamptonshire, which rehomes Persians (and occasionally Persian crosses or other exotic pedigree cats) in the region. They carry out home visits before approving new owners for adoption, which means that if a suitable animal does then come in, you can take it home straight away. All of the cats they offer for adoption cats are microchipped, neutered, vaccinated, groomed, wormed and vet checked.
The Burmese Cat Club rehomes around 400 cats each year, with temporary safe houses all around the UK. The club has a waiting list of people wanting to adopt a Burmese, and take care to match cats to the best homes as closely as they can. They also keep a lost and found register, as the friendly and fearless personality of Burmese cats often means they end up far from home.
Cat Chat is a web based charity which is dedicated to finding homes for abandoned cats through an easy to use online portal featuring rescue shelters across the UK and Ireland. We love the fact that one of their charity patrons is Bagpuss! Their website has sections including cats needing homes, a harder to home ‘overlooked’ cats, and a list of pedigree cat shelters including contact details and websites. Most of these pedigree shelters are not registered charities, but many are affiliated with the association of cat clubs - The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy.
The Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (GCCF) is the official body for the breeding and showing of pedigree cats in the UK, with over 150 member clubs. GCCF do not offer rescue cats themselves, but advise that if you are interested in a particular breed, you contact one of their affiliated member clubs. The individual clubs, although not usually registered charities, often have a welfare officer who will arrange rehoming for cats of the breed they specialise in, and they can also offer advice on the needs and character of that particular breed and explain how it may fit with your own lifestyle before you decide to adopt. The GCCF also have their own charity, the Cat Welfare Trust, which funds studies in veterinary areas.
For more general tips on adopting a cat or dog from a charity animal shelter, read our guide to adopting a rescue pet.