- Written by Queen Munguti for Kenyakidz
Naomi Mutua is giving a chance to Kenyans to own a cat, which have been found to have a positive impact on mental health, through her cat adoption centre, Adopt A Cat Kenya.
A research conducted by Mental Health Foundation in the UK found that cats are a great source of comfort and help their owners reduce anxiety and stress, a concept referred to as the “purr therapy.”
“We surveyed more than 600 people, half of those people described themselves as having a mental health problem,” said Dr Eva Chylarova, the head researcher. “After adopting a cat, 87 per cent of the them felt that it had had a positive impact on their mental wellbeing, 76 per cent found that coping with everyday life was easier thanks to the cats and that stroking it was a calming and helpful activity.”
This is what Adopt A Cat Kenya is looking to do as Naomi said “it is often the human who needs saving, and cats are great at melting our hearts. There are plenty of cats around who need a good home, and we do our best to match them to loving forever homes.”
Naomi was inspired to start the organization because of her love for animals in general and her experience at a young age of adopting a stray cat. “I have always loved animals, especially cats, 17 years ago, I rescued my first one off the gutter and I can tell you there is nothing like having a cat on your lap, purring in contentment.
“I started the organization about 3 years ago after I met someone who was desperate to find a home for her four cats. I decided to foster them while I looked for a home for them and that is how Adopt A Cat Kenya was formed. I got into full swing about two years ago, after picking up three kittens off the street; I rehabilitated them then later rehomed them.”
Naomi however emphasizes that the organization is not a shelter and rescue center but they work with a few fosters and veterinaries to house cats that are desperate for a home or in dire situations.
“Unfortunately we do not run a rescue and shelter centre, so we cannot house the cats. They are usually in the care of their owners or fosters until they get their forever homes,” said Naomi. “Some of the owners’ potty train them, get them vaccinated, de-wormed, spayed and get them treatment for special cases.”
They gets requests for adoptions for day old kittens to ten year old cats but she recommends that kittens stay with the mom for up to eight weeks, which is the recommended nursing time for cats. There are no charges involved when adopting but they urge the new owners to give the best possible care and ensure that they are fed and loved.
“On good day, approximately 10 cats are adopted and the process is also quick, it is done within an hour of listing,” said Naomi. “I usually encourage cat owners to do home inspections, to ensure that it is suitable for a cat, before handing the cat to the new owner.
“Unfortunately we are not able to do neither the inspections nor the follow-ups personally because we lack the man power but we usually get weekly follow up reports from the new owners and they are usually positive.”
The procedure of adopting a cat from her organization requires one contacting them through their Facebook or Twitter on pages - Adopt a Cat Kenya- for either a cat that needs a home, or a cat that you want to adopt from our listing. From there they try and match you with the best possible fit.
“Cats are the most loving creatures, despite what people say and yes, it is possible to get a well-mannered cat - just invest the time to train it, and the patience to care for it,” Naomi said. “They also live a very long time, so only adopt one if you are ready to live with it for life.”