Second Chance Portsmouth Cats has been re-homing cats for over 25 years and is run on an entirely voluntary basis, everyone giving their time freely. We rescue, rehabilitate and re-home cats in all areas as well as operating a Trap, Neuter and Return program with Ongoing Support for a number of feral colonies in the Portsmouth and surrounding area.
Although we never turn our back on any cat that needs our help we primarily try to concentrate on the most vulnerable and the most deprived. So often they are totally ignored, sometimes even other rescues turn a blind eye, as the medical and rehabilitative costs can be expensive. Finding the correct home for them is also extremely time consuming and difficult.
We are part of and work very closely with Second Chance Animal Rescue in Southampton which has been in operation for more than 40 years. They are first and foremost a rescue for dogs, all the kennels come with central heating and outside runs. Over the years, however, their care of cats has steadily increased so that today they now have two large purpose built and centrally heated catteries, one has an isolation ward and the other a large, secure outside recreation area.
Due to a lack of space at Portsmouth Cats we use a network of foster homes to keep our cats safe and warm while we search for their forever home. This gives us the chance to learn more about their personalities in a normal environment with regular human contact as well as giving us a good indication of the type of home that will be best suited to them, plus, there is the added advantage of it being a lot less stressful for the cat.
It has always been our policy that all Portsmouth Cats are neutered and unless they are too young this will already have been done before they leave our care. If young kittens are adopted from us we always insist they are neutered as soon as they are old enough (we can arrange favourable rates if required).
Male domestic cats are more docile and content when they are neutered, they are much cleaner and their homes do not smell as they have no cause to mark their territory, nor do they need to fight to protect it. Female cats come into season at a very young age and it is not uncommon for them to be pregnant with their second litter by the time of their first birthday. At that age they are still little more than kittens themselves and the trauma of giving birth so young and having their babies repeatedly taken away from them puts tremendous pressure on them both physically and emotionally.
Neutering is so important as the number of unwanted cats and kittens coming into the world and being discarded is impossible to keep up with. Unlike wild animals, domestic cats are no longer adapted to life without human support. Without human care cats often experience considerable pain, suffering and harm. Cats that are unwanted, abandoned, stray or feral do not get the vaccinations or any other medical help that a cat in a loving home is given resulting in overpopulation, disease spreading rapidly and sickly kittens being born into what is usually a short, miserable existence.
Every year we spend a considerable amount of our funds on neutering the cats in our care. Second Chance Animal Rescue and many other rescues do the same but it is never enough. Unfortunately there are far too many people all over the country irresponsibly and prolifically breeding cats for quick profit. They are heedless and indifferent to the misery they are inflicting, barely giving a thought to the terrible welfare issues they are creating nor do they consider the long term health problems that are being caused to the queen, the kittens or to future generations.
It has been a legal requirement to have your dog microchipped since 2016 and we feel very strongly that this should apply to all cats as well. It is an important part of modern pet care and is something we wholeheartedly encourage all cat owners to have done especially as it is an inexpensive and simple procedure to carry out.
Every cat we re-home is microchipped before they leave our care but it is important for owners to understand that it is their responsibility to ensure the chip is registered to them and to keep it up to date whenever their details change.
If all cats were microchipped there would be far more reunited with their very anxious owners and although this is happening more frequently it is unfortunate that the majority of missing cats bought to our attention have still not been chipped, their details have not been kept up to date or very often have not been registered in the first place.