2018 marks the 60-year anniversary of International Cat Care.
Previously known as the Feline Advisory Bureau, a charity working towards a vision that all cats, owned and unowned, are treated with care, compassion and understanding.
Sixty years ago almost nothing was known about cat diseases, and feline medicine was greatly neglected. In 1958, one woman decided that the suffering of cats due to lack of knowledge could no longer be tolerated. Joan Judd, a cat lover and breeder, believed that an organisation should be set up to fund research into feline health, and form a platform for exchange of information and veterinary medical studies. Thus, she founded the Feline Advisory Bureau (FAB).
FAB at first consisted only of one or two dedicated volunteers. They were faced with a list of unknowns about cat health that was infinitely long, and an empty money pot, making the task ahead of them dizzyingly vast. And yet they persevered. Today, the charity has been renamed International Cat Care, to reflect its role in feline medicine and welfare all over the world, and consists of a professional staff of 22.
International Cat Care’s work has helped to create a different world for cats, where knowledge of health issues has led to vaccines, treatments and a desire to improve the care of cats in ways unrecognisable all those years ago. By providing advice and training on cat health and welfare to vets, nurses, breeders, cat professionals and owners, it is estimated that the charity touches the lives of over 25 million cats worldwide annually. Hopefully Joan Judd would be pleased!
Now, the charity wishes to turn additional efforts towards unowned cats, the welfare of which has not really changed a great deal in those 60 years. International Cat Care has the expertise to help unowned cats, looking at the underlying causes and collaborating to develop sustainable solutions to overpopulation and abandonment, and has several 60th anniversary projects with this aim.
The first project is the charity’s new ‘International Declaration of Responsibilities to Cats’. This is an important document defining best practice for governments, local authorities, vets, charities, breeders, cat owners and other individuals working with cats, emphasising the need for all these groups to work together to improve the welfare of unowned cats as well as owned.
In February the charity will be launching its new ‘Cat Cocktail Party Packs’ – free packs designed to help cat lovers throw a cat-themed cocktail party to raise vital funds for the charity’s 60th projects. International Cat Care is grateful for every donation, and the more it receives, the more it can continue to help make the world a better place for cats, owned and unowned alike.