Nine wins for cats


This International Cat Day, we’re reflecting on a few of the ways you’ve “purrsonally” helped cats in need.

“Cat” is an anagram of “Act”. And, with your support, that’s exactly what we’ve done: sprung into action to help cats and kittens around the world – wherever the need is greatest. Cats are believed to possess nine lives, so here are nine stories about cats’ lives that you’ve helped save. 

Win #1: Irma the ginger kitten

In September 2017, Hurricane Irma tore through the Caribbean. Many island countries were devastated, and local populations evacuated their homes. World Animal Protection deployed teams to work with local partners on the ground to distribute food, assess the type of need required, and provide aid.

On the island of Barbuda, all animals were abandoned when residents were forced to evacuate. Our team found a tiny kitten which they named “Irma” – after the massive cyclone. Irma, pictured below, took a liking to a policeman named Corporal Williams who was very sad to say goodbye to her.

Update: After the hurricane, Irma was taken to Antigua and looked after by the Humane Society who have informed us that she has been happily adopted out to her new “furever” home. 

Watch Irma's story: 

Win #2: Cats in Sri Lanka's floods

Last year, following a monsoon and a cyclone, floods and landslides hit parts of Sri Lanka. World Animal Protection's disaster response team were on the ground to provide support and assess the welfare needs of animals including cats, as pictured below, in Malabe, a suburb of Colombo.

Win #3: Cats after Ecuador's earthquake

In early 2016, an earthquake struck the west coast of Ecuador. It caused widespread damage and a state of emergency was declared. World Animal Protection provided funding for food and vet care and training on animal management in disasters. We went back six months later to assess the situation and meet some of the animals helped. Leonardo's house collapsed, and he was concerned about his kittens, Alejandra and Lucia, pictured below, and his dog named Sammy. Our partners Fundación Rescate Animal Ecuador looked after the cats for him and he was reunited with them (and Sammy) within a few months.

Win #4: Stray cats at the Rio Olympic Games

In 2016, in the lead-up to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, more than 100 stray cats had been living at Maracanã Stadium, where the opening ceremony was held. We partnered with the Organising Committee to help rescue the cats and keep them safe during, and after, the Games. The cats were taken to vet clinics to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, and dewormed; then to a shelter built with World Animal Protection’s support.

Natalia Kingsbury, an animal protector who has dedicated 20 years of her life to helping these cats, was relieved to see some of the weakest animals finally rescued: “I am so happy, I thank the World Animal Protection for taking care of the Maracanã cats. They were the first ones that ever helped us.”

Image credit Dado Galdieri

Win #5: Cats and kittens in Peru's floods

In April 2017, following heavy rains, many parts of Peru were affected by floods and landslides. The El Nino climate phenomenon caused muddy rivers to overflow along the entire Peruvian coast, isolating many communities and neighbourhoods. We worked with local organisations and municipalities, in the Piura region (northern Peru), to provide much needed food and vet care to 11,000 of the most vulnerable farm animals and pets – such as these hungry kittens, pictured below.

Image credit: Ernesto Benavides/AFP

Win #6: Wild cats removed from the exotic pet trade

In July 2018, World Animal Protection rescued seven wild cats (four servals, two caracals, and one savannah cat) that were being kept in Buffalo, USA, by a man who allegedly intended to sell them illegally as pets. Working alongside the New York State Department of Environment Conservation, the cats were rescued, given immediate veterinary care, and transferred to two sanctuaries where they will permanently reside. Pictured below is one of the caracals receiving vet checks.

Update: Three of the cats are now in their new sanctuary home in Nevada. Although they're still in quarantine, they are all looking much healthier than before. We’ll continue to keep you updated on their progress. 

Win #7: Cats in Madagascar's cyclone

In January 2018, tropical cyclone Ava hit the eastern part of Madagascar, with many rivers overflowing, roads cut off, and bridges submerged. Following the disaster, World Animal Protection visited the field and, with local partner (Animal SOS), covered several locations with two mobile teams to feed and deworm animals such as cattle, dogs, cats, chicken, ducks, geese, and pigs. Pictured below is “Mimi” being dewormed by the team.  

Win #8: Cats after Vanuatu's volcanic eruption

In Vanuatu, Ambae’s Manoro volcano started erupting violently in March 2018. The Government of Vanuatu ordered the evacuation of all Ambae island residents and relocated all animals to nearby islands. We deployed staff to provide technical assistance to help the Vanuatu Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock Department evacuate and care for 56,029 animals including livestock, dogs, and cats. Pictured below is resident, Mr Lamarsdel Lolo, who was forced to leave his beloved animals behind. 

Win #9: Stray cats in Romania

World Animal Protection has been working with “Save The Dogs”, a shelter in Constanta, Romania which provides a home for stray, injured, or abandoned dogs. Together, we’re protecting stray dogs from the threat of culling in Romania. And, in Sept 2016, we began helping them fund a new vet clinic, pictured below. The clinic also rescues other animals including many cats. 

Three rescue cats at a shelter in Constanta, Romania

Image credit: Yienna Bitetti for Save the Dogs

Thanks for taking the time to read about some of the fortunate felines you’ve helped. And, rest assured, whether it’s due to a natural “cat-astrophe”, or an illegal “cat burglary” from the wild, with your support, we’ll be there to protect the lives of cats and kittens around the world. 

Would you like to help protect cats in disaster zones?