Tragic story of black cat who hasn't had a single rehoming enquiry in 200 days at rescue centre

A black cat who has spent 200 days in an RSPCA branch has not had a single rehoming enquiry, as volunteers believe it is due to the colour of her fur.

Poor Zara hasn't had a single rehoming inquiry since being rescued by the RSPCA
Poor Zara hasn't had a single rehoming inquiry since being rescued by the RSPCA

Three-year-old Zara was rescued from the freezing cold in January alongside her two 24-hour old kittens, one of whom had sadly died.

She was found in Aston by RSPCA inspector Ben Jones, following a call to the charity by a concerned member of the public.

But despite being taken into the animal charity's care, the "fabulous mini house panther" has not had a single rehoming inquiry since her rescue.

Volunteers at the RSPCA's Stafford, Wolverhampton and District branch believe Zara’s colour might be putting people off - with black, or black and white cats, often taking far longer to rehome.

Zara and her kitten, Zoe, were initially placed in the care of one of the branch's fosterers, and it was initially touch and go as to whether Zoe would pull through.

But Zara proved to be a great mum, and as soon as Zoe was old enough she went off to her new home, leaving Zara to start the search for hers.

But despite her ‘perfect personality’ not one person has enquired about adopting Zara since she came into rescue, prompting a special appeal for potential adopters to come forward and meet her.

Zara is the longest-staying feline currently in the branch’s care and her plight has not been helped by the branch reporting a 65 percent decrease in people coming forward to adopt cats, with only seven finding new homes last month, compared to 22 in July last year.

Tracey Rogers, rehoming officer for the RSPCA’s Stafford, Wolverhampton and District branch said: “Zara is still looking for her special someone and has no interest at all, not a single call or rehoming enquiry, which completely baffles us as she is such a lovely cat - confident, friendly, playful, good with children, everything you could wish for in a feline family member.

“Unfortunately black and black and white cats are not as popular as their colourful counterparts - the tabbies and the ginger cats - and it always takes us considerably longer to find them loving new homes.

“Zara is the most beautiful cat with a perfect personality to match and everyone who meets her falls in love with her.

“All of the cattery assistants make time to play with her and to fuss her for longer, and it’s just so sad when the cats in the pens next door come in and go off to their new homes, leaving Zara still waiting for her happy ending.

“We are sure the perfect family is out there for Zara - they just haven’t met her yet. We’d encourage anyone who has been moved by her story, and can offer her a wonderful new home, to apply through our website.”

Poor Zara hasn't had a single rehoming inquiry since being rescued by the RSPCA

As well as Zara, the Stafford, Wolverhampton and District branch currently has another 40 cats in its care, but rehoming figures are down 30 percent on last year.

Rising living costs - which could mean people are more reluctant to take on a pet and the financial commitment they incur - are seen as one reason for the slowdown.

Nationally, nearly 20 percent of pet owners said they had concerns about being able to feed their pets in a recently-published RSPCA Animal Kindness Index.

At the same time, the number of people contacting the RSPCA branch to relinquish their cat has increased.

It’s thought that some owners may have taken on a cat for company during the Covid 19 lockdowns and no longer want a pet now they can go on holiday and get out and about.

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