Our 100 plus weekly volunteers are mature students with an interest in
animals. Many are studying Animal Management at Lackham or Cirencester College with the view to become veterinarians
or veterinary nurses. We also have students who want to become zoologists and a
couple of students who want to perform post-mortems with a future aim of eradicating certain viruses/diseases.
We have students who are completing their Duke of Edinburgh Awards
where they are required to complete Bronze (Three months), Silver (Six months)
or Gold status (One year). These students have a real passion for animals.
We also have volunteers who simply love animals and dedicate their time for the love of the British Shorthairs… let’s face it, what’s not to love about this incredible breed.
"Joining Silver British Shorthairs team of
volunteers has been a wonderful experience, I have always been a cat lover and
was looking for something to dedicate my time and cuddles to, I am a recent
member to the team and loving every minute. The cats are just delightful,
loving and full of purrs and so beautiful, each one has different markings all
of them are stunning. All the team are dedicated to looking after and caring
for the cats in any way they can, we have hours of fun, cuddles and chats -
they answer back in their own unique way of purrs and nose rubs. I love seeing
the different nature of each cat. Sangria is a loving mum to her new kitten (we
have named him Dumbo) who is a ball of fluff and now full of cuddles and milk.
Oscar is the male of the gang, he has his own Royal Palace beautifully designed
and built by the owner. The girls all have their own homes kitted out to a very
high standard. I look forward to my time with the cats it's lovely to get to
see them so happy in their environment." - Elaine Snowden
“I have been volunteering for the cattery for just over 2 years. I enjoy working with lovely animals and with a lovely bunch of people. I have learnt so much and the owners are lovely, friendly people and are always there to help if needed. Courtney trained me when I first started and has taught me well. I hope to carry on working at the cattery, meeting new cats (which are so adorable) and learning more new things.” Molly Starmer-Evens
Above Amber (left) and Chloe (Right) were enjoying spending time with Dumbo the first kitten born in 2019's kitten season. Here they were learning about the birth, how the mother is protective over her kittens, how she carries them safely, how a kitten successfully latches onto the mothers nipple to suckle, and of course having cuddles while mum had some food and water and a rest!
"The cattery has helped me communicate with others and has helped me to push myself further. The cats are extremely friendly and are really calm around all types of people. Inside the cattery is warm and clean. No one is judged in the cattery and everyone is welcome." - Chloe Pullen
While newborn kittens are beautiful, the adults are just as
important. Our volunteers spend lots of time making sure their private spaces
are clean, the litter trays are changed six times per day, food and water is
topped up and fresh, bedding is washed every other day or more if needed. The
volunteers learn how to care for our cats and meet all their needs, they learn
how to groom them, handle them, give medication i.e. worming tablets, scatter
feed, keep their living conditions is immaculate condition, and how to provide
each cat with sensory toys to stimulate them. Mental health is just as
important as physical health. Above is Luke who attends the cattery with his older sister.
"Having started my Silver Duke of Edinburgh award, I feel the
cattery has given me a new experience in animal care and welfare which to start
with was completely out of my comfort zone, but upon attending the cattery soon
I realised that cats are really lovely, playful animals that you quickly
develop strong bonds with. The cattery has helped me develop a love for cats
and has given me new perspectives on animals. It has given me experience in a
working environment, leadership, being a problem solver, helping others know
the works and overall giving the kittens what they need to assist them into
their future lives." - Tyler Bourne
"I decided to volunteer at the Cattery as thought after not being in work for a while and caring for a daughter with special needs, it was something that could fit into my lifestyle more easily. It also is something I knew I would enjoy as love animals, and adore cats. The Cattery has helped me with gaining confidence in handling animals, training volunteers and meeting new people. It has given me a sense of achievement by caring, nurturing, exercising, entertaining cats & kittens, along with working as part of a team and helping out when needed. Working at the cattery has made me feel happier and more content. The cattery has a relaxing and friendly atmosphere where it is warm and welcoming with familiar sparkly cat’s eyes staring at you to greet you as you open the door. There is also an Amazon Alexa system installed that you can use to play music which cats and humans alike can enjoy. The cats are adorable, beautiful with striking markings; they have friendly temperaments, patient and gentle. They all have their own personalities and enjoy being pampered. The kittens are a joy and mischievous extremely cute and loving balls of fluff". – Jenny Ucar
Our volunteers learn a huge amount about adult cats and kittens of all ages, they learn maturity, responsibility and here are a few examples of tasks they carry out: