Women’s Refuge Residents Take Comfort in Cat Haven Cat

12 July 2016

It’s a win-win for this lucky Cat Haven cat, Jimothy, as he finds his new home and endless love & cuddles at a Perth Women’s Refuge. In a first for Cat Haven, the residents of Zonta House Women’s Refuge have taken in a homeless cat with a sad start in life, who in turn will help make their day a little brighter.

“Many of the women who come to the refuge have fled from a domestic violence or abuse situation and have had to leave everything behind, and sometimes this includes the family pet, so we hope having Jimothy live in the house will give them some comfort in what is a sad and distressing time for them.” Cat Haven’s Marketing Officer Chandra Woodley said.

For more than 30 years, Zonta House Refuge Association Inc. has supported women who have experienced family and domestic violence, mental health, homelessness and other life crises. Zonta House provides refuge and transitional accommodation, holistic support services and education to women over the age of 18.

Kelda Oppermann, CEO Zonta House Refuge Association said “Zonta House is always looking at innovative ways to support the women we work alongside. We are looking forward to being a part of the Companion Cats program and partnering with Cat Haven to provide a home for Jimothy. Our hope is that the beautifully natured Jimothy can help ease tension and improve moods for women in crisis who have experienced significant trauma. Jimothy has already settled into the refuge setting with little to no fuss and has already become a valued member of the house.”

“Considering his hard start in life, Jimothy is the most loving cat who craves human affection and likes nothing better than to sit on a lap and to be stroked constantly. He has a lovely calm nature and if the residents spend time with him, it will definitely lower their stress levels. This poor cat came from an unscrupulous breeder who kept him in a cage in the dark, with no affection or care. He developed a terrible eye condition whereby his eyelashes grew inwards and irritated his eyes making them extremely sore, so he couldn’t open his eyes at all. After his rescue, Cat Haven organized for him to have the specialist eye surgery he needed to open his eyes and relieve the pain.” Cat Haven’s Chandra Woodley said.

Cat Haven has successfully placed homeless cats in three nursing homes in Perth over the last two years as Companion Cats to the elderly residents there and it has proven to be a huge success, lifting the spirits of many of the older residents. It is well known that spending time with a cat reduces anxiety and depression, lowers stress levels, lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attack.

This is the first time the Shenton Park cat shelter has rehomed a cat to a Women’s Refuge and they hope that they can provide many more to similar organisations. Under the Companion Cats Program, Cat Haven supplies an older cat with a suitable nature to the home, and provides all the food and vet care the cat needs for its lifetime. The Home staff is just responsible for feeding the cat and ensuring it is safe and cared for, so there is no cost to the residence at all.

As a charity that relies on donations, Cat Haven takes in over 6500 homeless cats a year, but it also manages to assist the broader community by offering programs such as this to reduce loneliness and provide companionship. The shelter will accept cats in emergency situations such as domestic violence and fire emergencies, and they can also provide cat food in short term severe hardship cases. They also offer discounted cat sterilization and microchipping services for people who hold a concession card.

Anyone who wants to enquire about the Companion Cat Program can contact Chandra Woodley or Roz Robinson at Cat Haven on 9442 3600.


For all media enquiries contact Chandra Woodley on 0412 115 937 or email chandra.woodley@cathaven.com

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