An animal charity has opened a new £2.4 million cat care centre in Cambridgeshire to provide care for thousands of cats.
Wood Green, an animal charity, has opened the Snowden Cat Care Centre - a 43-acre site with 60 units - equivalent to the size of about 22 football pitches.
The Godmanchester charity can house up to 500 animals - and the new development has increased the charity’s on-site capacity to care for cats by 50 per cent.
Vanessa Cunningham, director of care and veterinary services at Wood Green, said: “Since we opened our doors as a charity in 1924, two things have remained true: the UK is a nation of pet lovers, and there have always been pets in need of our help.
“However, we now have a much greater understanding of their needs and we must continually adapt to provide the right care, and the right services, in order to fulfil our purpose."
The centre is named after Sheila Snowden - who left the charity a legacy donation of almost £900,000 - which provided around 40 per cent of the project’s total £2.4 million budget.
Inside the centre there are 60 adaptable units which use sliding doors to create separate, climate controlled sleeping areas.
The units also feature ‘catios’ - which offer the cats in care access to vital outdoor space to exercise and display natural behaviours.
Around 3,500 pets are rehabilitated and rehomed each year and the improved facilities have elevated the quality of care that the charity is able to provide.
By improving overall welfare, cats can be rehabilitated and rehomed quicker - decreasing the average length of stay by an estimated 10 per cent.
Vanessa added: “A new cat care centre has been a part of our plans for a number of years, and I couldn’t be happier that we have been able to go ahead - despite the impact of Covid on the charity and thanks to the generosity of our supporters.
“This project is incredibly close to my heart and I’m delighted to see the first residents settling in so well and benefitting from the space as we had envisaged they would.”