Over 100 cat club is not one felines want to join

RSPCA’s long-term shelter cats wonder “what’s wrong with me?”

They’re getting well fed, have warm beds and receive occasional cuddles from their busy carers, but Derricka, Peanut, Heath and Tilikum need to go home – with someone.

RSPCA South Australia’s Cat Care team leader Jacky Barrett said watching these four long-stay cats vie for attention as potential adopters walk past their enclosures can be heart-breaking at times.

“They’re our most overlooked cats – they’ve all been in our care for more than 100 days,” Jacky said.

“There’s absolutely nothing wrong with them, they will make wonderful companions and they all have different stories behind how they came to be here in our Lonsdale shelter.”

Six-year-old tabby Derricka arrived at the shelter in mid-March with her sister Glenda, having both been surrendered by their owner due to his impending move interstate.

Glenda was adopted two weeks ago. Jet black Peanut is just seven-months-old and was found wandering alone near Willunga in February.

Five-month-old Heath also arrived as a stray, found meandering around the YMCA Recreation and Sports Centre at Mansfield Park.

But the cat who has had the longest stay is three-year-old Tilikum, who has been in RSPCA care for 176 days since being found wandering around the outskirts of Woodside.

Named by RSPCA staff after a whale at SeaWorld that spent 34 years in captivity, Tilikum was not the friendliest cat when he first arrived, but Jacky wants to reassure would-be adopters that this green-eyed moggie is a reformed character now.

“We named him Tilikum because, like that poor whale, he seemed to want to kill us at first,” Jacky confided. “But he’s now the smoochiest creature, all purrs and head bops – I think his earlier temperament was the result of a rough time on the streets…he just needed a bit of loving care.”

There are currently 800 cats in RSPCA SA care, with 249 of them living in supported care with volunteer foster carers.

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