An Island cat rescue centre is within a whisker of closing unless more volunteers can be found.

The Cats Protection League Lewis and Harris Branch rescues and rehomes hundreds of cats each year.

But organisers fear it is now in danger of shutting down unless more moggy-minded helpers come forward.

Coordinator Karen Cowan, who oversees the centre at her home in Stornoway, often singlehandedly cares for up to 20 cats and kittens at a time.                                                                                          

“Recently I have been doing most of the work - alongside my day job – so I’m desperate for some more volunteers to help lighten the load,” said the animal-mad mum of three.

She said that adverts on their website, Facebook and through the local volunteer centre have proved fruitless.

“I’d be devastated to see such an important service close but its got to the point where we are having to say no to people who get in touch with us to take their kittens or cats because we are so over-run.  We are worried that this might portray the wrong image to people.”

Karen is appealing for three or four adults to come forward who are willing to give a morning a week each to help clean the cages, feed and “cuddle” the cats which arrive at the centre from all sorts of backgrounds. 

The branch is also looking for foster carers to look after rescued cats at home when the facility, which consists of several specially heated runs, reaches capacity.

“These people would have to love cats but preferably don’t have their own, or have space to keep them separate form their own animals,” said Karen.


As well as rehoming and rescuing cats the Lewis and Harris Cats Protection branch also plays a key role in tackling feral colonies in the islands which, uncontrolled, can produce multiple litters throughout the year.  These animals can also spread disease amongst the domestic cats who come in contact with them. 

It also offers a subsidised neutering scheme to help reduce the number of unwanted cats and kittens locally.

All cats that come into the centre are vet-checked, wormed, micro-chipped and neutered before being re-homed with all proceeds or donations plied back into the care of the animals.

If you have time to lend a hand or support Karen and her team in any way please contact the Cats Protection League Lewis and Harris branch on (01851) 702761 or via the website