May, 2016

A cat charity has come up with an unusual new way for people to interact with the animals in its care - by installing a live webcam feed. Thanks to two new webcams, people will be able to go to the Cats Protection website and follow the antics of whichever cat is currently staying in one pen at the National Cat Adoption Centre. The pinhole cameras have been installed in the top and side of the pen at the charity's centre in Chelwood Gate, East Sussex. They will be on every day when staff on duty between 8.15 am and 4.45 pm so viewers can watch the mogs eat, play and sleep. Cats Protection's virtual homing manager Clare Kiernan said the charity hopes that by giving cat lovers an insight into the daily life of some of its cats, more people will choose to adopt through its branches or adoption centres. She said: "We're always looking for ways to tell people about the many wonderful cats we have in our care throughout the UK that need a new, loving home. "The webcams seemed like a brilliant idea to us, so people can see for themselves just how funny, charming and entertaining cats can be. "Whether you're taking a sneaky break from work to log on, or watching online with the kids, the live stream is endlessly entertaining. "From the high-energy mayhem created when the pen is occupied by a litter of kittens, to the calming and relaxing vibes from a resting older cat, we hope that by tuning in viewers will get a sense of what they're missing out on." Cats Protection is thought to be the first UK cat charity to install cameras in one of its centres. The idea is not completely new, though, as The Donkey Sanctuary in Devon and Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland also have similar cameras installed. Clare, who joined the charity last July, said the cameras will always be in the same pen but the cats people get to see will change as they find new homes. She also said the home plans to put in more cameras in the coming months. She said: "The cat on show will probably change every week or so as the cats go to their forever homes. "We hope to have some kittens in there soon - we did when we were trying this out and it was very entertaining. "We hope to scale it up and put cameras in other branches of the charity. "Some of them are quite remote so it would hopefully highlight the cats there more." All camera-ready cats are ready to go to a new home and first in the hot-seat is two-year-old Eric. He has been at the home for just under two weeks. Clare said: "We picked him to be first because he is a very affectionate cat. "His previous owners said he acts like a dog because of the way he follows people around. I don't think he will be here long."

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