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Dereham charity launches appeal for cat overlooked for two months

15 Jun Dereham charity launches appeal for cat overlooked for two months

Charity workers in Norfolk are appealing for a special someone to give a home to a mature moggy who has been overlooked for nearly 10 weeks.

Thirteen-year-old Merlin is experiencing an issue faced by many older cats who are passed over in favour of fresher-faced felines. It takes an average of one month for cats aged 11+ to find a new home, more than three times as long as kittens who take just eight days, according to Cats Protection.

After two months at Cats Protection’s Dereham Adoption Centre, the charity has received only one enquiry about Merlin – and even that fell through. Now his care team is hoping for some magic to match Merlin with a new home in time for summer.

Bethany Smith, Cat Care Assistant, said: “He is very friendly and will purr and rub himself around you, but he’s been with us so long now that he doesn’t really come out of his pen, which is sad to see. We really want to find him a home soon.

“We are looking for a home where Merlin can enjoy some fuss indoors and settle down for the night, but where he can also have his independence outdoors. In his previous home he used to spend a lot of time outside exploring so the ideal home would be with someone in a rural area, with no small children or other pets.

“Older cats have a lot to offer and can be incredibly rewarding and provide amazing companionship. Merlin is in good health and would be a great companion.”

When Merlin arrived at the centre, he needed an unflattering haircut due to badly matted fur. While that hasn’t helped his chances of being picked, he will be back to his handsome full coat in no time.

Meet Merlin via his YouTube video here:

Cats Protection has created Mature Moggies Day (16 June) to remind people of the benefits of adopting a senior kitizen, to share inspirational stories and provide information and advice.

To better understand why older cats are overlooked in favour of fresher-faced felines, Cats Protection commissioned a survey of 2,000 people who own or have previously owned cats, which showed that 23% of respondents would consider any cat aged over five years as ‘older’, whereas a five-year-old cat is considered to be only 36 in human years and a cat generally isn’t classed as a senior until it reaches 11 years of age.

Less than a quarter of respondents said they would be likely to consider an older cat compared to 68% of respondents who would be likely to consider a kitten. The top reasons given for not considering an older cat were that it might not live long (72%), it would be more likely to get ill (56%) and it would cost money if unwell (40%). Almost a fifth (19%) of people who were unlikely to consider an older cat said one reason was that older cats are not very playful.

Cats adopted from Cats Protection have been health-checked and vaccinated and come with four weeks free pet insurance which will cover any new conditions that arise after adoption.

Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery has funded the care of an average of 52 cats at the centre over the past year. “We’re really grateful to players of People’s Postcode Lottery whose support helped us look after Merlin during his stay,’ said Bethany.

To find out more about Merlin, contact the centre on: 01362 687919 /