SunLive – Cat rescue needs help as kitten season begins

Catherine Sharp has become Katikati’s go-to lady when residents discover colonies of abandoned, stray, or abandoned cats and kittens.

Catherine and her team of volunteers – including daughter Rebecca, grandson Tydence, Rylous, Millie and Ying – have rehomed over 200 cats since their inception around two years ago.

But the Katikati Cat Rescue itself needs help – not only are the group’s coffers nearly empty – but kitten season has arrived and they still have 27 kittens and older cats in need of homes.

“This time of year is really difficult because it’s kitten season,” says Catherine. “People would rather wait for a cute little kitten than take one of those older kittens or cats.”

The rescue is based at Catherine’s Katikati home – her garage is full of kittens and older cats ready for their forever home.

“When I moved into my house, I didn’t have a cat flap, so I left my garage door open. A cat came in and beat my cat. We couldn’t find her for a month.

“When she came back, she was walking on the back of her legs; she had removed the skin from her hind legs.

“We tried everything to make her feel better… but in the end we couldn’t get over it. So we thought we’d give back for all those cats out there — and we had no idea what we were getting into.

Catherine Sharp, with her daughter Rebecca and grandson Tydence, who hold three beautiful black cats in need of a home or homes. Photo: Grotte de Merle.

Without veterinary experience, Catherine quickly learned to take care of felines – and she has always loved cats. Growing up, his father had a fish shop in Waihi Beach and kept the population from spreading there.

“We had 49 cats at one point. I used to catch the kittens and put them in bags to take them to people to adopt – I had blood in my arms because they were wild.

Catherine is now taking calls from the public as well as the SPCA to collect, trap and rehouse cats in Katikati. Cats are trapped, if necessary, and quarantined for two weeks. Newborns are hand raised and older strays are tamed and socialized to ensure rehomed felines settle in successfully.

Katikati Rescue Cats smells like an oily rag – recently spent its last batch of money. From now on, the SPCA’s Snip ‘n’ Chip service will perform cat de-sexing.

“What people don’t realize is that KRC can’t get those funds back until the cats are rehomed,” says Catherine, who also offers accredited microchipping to raise funds for the rescue.

Beautiful older or adult cats have no chance of being adopted with kitten season now here – but Catherine Sharp is pleading with BOP residents to consider adopting one. Photo: Grotte de Merle.

Rescue costs include large amounts of kitty litter, food, veterinary care, and health care. The rescue does not receive funds from the SPCA, but instead depends on donations of products, care and funds from the public and local pet-related businesses. Out of The Wild Pet Food and Marion’s Gardens Bins and resident Lee Drummond are big sponsors of the rescue.

“I have a huge network that helps me – I’d like to thank the foster families who helped me train the feral cats – but it’s not easy financially,” says Catherine, who knows firsthand at least three cat colonies in the world. Katikati region.

“What happens is people feel sorry for them and feed them. They think they’re doing a good thing, but they don’t de-exercise them. They nurse what we call ‘the queen’ and she will have up to six or more babies – they grow up and start having babies.

The results are cats living in neighborhoods with no formal residence, healthcare or owners.

“Tom cats can smell cats in heat for miles – and the problem only exacerbates,” says Catherine.

Katikati Cat Rescue has older kittens that are ready to be rehomed. Photo: Grotte de Merle.

In addition, the colonies allow the inbreeding of cats “and that’s where the health problems arise”. The group is also contacted by Katikati residents who discover abandoned cats.

“There has been a lot of dumping this year.” Some people move and don’t take their cats, some can’t afford it anymore, others don’t understand how to educate cats.

“We’ve collected around 80 so far this year alone – and kitten season is here.”

To relocate a cat, call Catherine on 021 401 806 or see: Katikati Rescue Cats’ on Facebook.

To donate, see: or purchase a Office of Professionals raffle ticket at Katikati.