'State-of-the-art' £200k cattery opens at RSPCA North Somerset

PUBLISHED: 11:07 08 December 2016 | UPDATED: 11:07 08 December 2016

Nikki Tutton, Colin Strong and Rita Hinton opening the new cattery at RSPCA North Somerset.

Nikki Tutton, Colin Strong and Rita Hinton opening the new cattery at RSPCA North Somerset.

Archant

The North Somerset branch of the RSPCA has thanked its staff and volunteers for two years of hard work, as its new £200,000 cattery was officially opened at the weekend.

Staff and trustees of RSPCA North Somerset, which is based in Brent Knoll, opened the new Joan Martin cattery at a ceremony on Saturday afternoon.

The cattery means the branch has been able to double the number of cats it can care for from 40 to 80. However, the branch said strict licensing conditions imposed by the RSPCA’s head office, along with the planning requirements needed by Sedgemoor District Council, meant the long-overdue project had taken years to complete.

Centre manager Nikki Tutton told the Mercury: “It has been a two-year process getting everything organised and securing the relevant planning permission, and a lot of people have put in a lot of hard work.

“We are so excited – it is a unique, state-of-the-art design.”

Saturday’s opening also saw the unveiling of a new cat behavioural unit, assessment unit and a quarantine area.

The behavioural unit will be used to house stressed or aggressive cats who do not cope well being around other animals in the main cattery.

Nikki said the public will be able to rehome cats directly from the behavioural unit, and the assessment and quarantine areas will enable the centre to control infectious diseases, such as cat flu, more effectively.

She said: “If a cat is behaving aggressively but does not have any history of aggression, we know it could be because of the other cats. We can now put them into the behavioural unit and see if it makes a difference.

“The assessment cattery will be used when a cat first comes in – we will be able to settle them down and treat them there. The quarantine area means if a cat comes in with something like cat flu, then we can completely separate them from the other cats, which is brilliant.

“It will all be much more effective in controlling disease.”

The RSPCA also thanked the charity’s South West Somerset branch for providing funding for the cattery, and added it needed more people to donate so it could pay for the additional cats’ food and vet bills.

To donate to the centre, contact 01278 782671 or email enquiries@rspcanorthsomerset.org.uk

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