Bushy Tail Cat Aid is a small, home-based rescue. We are located in Bushey, Herts, but our passion for helping felines has taken us to volunteering in other countries such as Egypt, Poland and the USA. We have no paid staff and our voluntary service to the cats in need is fitted around full-time jobs.

Our history

Our rescue was founded and funded by a vegan couple, Marta and James. As long-time volunteers for various animal welfare charities, our home has always served as a stopover for the stray cats awaiting rescue space. Growing up at home surrounded by rescue cats, dogs and wildlife back in the seventies has definitely shaped our choice of lifestyle as well as the type of the property we have bought. Back in 2010, after adopting Poppy, a cat with life limiting illness, who taught us a great deal about providing palliative care, our home slowly became a safe haven and a hospice for cats.

With the opportunity of the C4 Scheme funded by the large UK charities, which covers neutering cost for stray and feral cats, we organised booking procedures as well as transport and foster space for the first pair of cats during Christmas 2010. Shortly after, we purchased cat traps and we got on board with the TNR (trap-neuter-release), always aiming to rehome them. Initially we would wait for rescue space, but it quickly became obvious that there will never be enough room for all the cats in need, and putting them back on the streets is not something we were keen to do. As long time volunteers for ,the RSPCA, fully trained in performing pre-adoption house checks and providing them for a number of other charities, we started doing this for the cats in our care. This is how, essentially, our home became a shelter. As well as rehoming our cats via other charities, we started direct adoptions. The same standards were applied, and no cat has ever left our home that would not be: neutered, vaccinated, microchipped, flea and worm treated and FIV/FeLV tested and health checked.

In 2022 we rehabilitated and rehomed over 200 cats, and we care for over 20 cats daily.

To ensure sustainability, we have established  relationships with the vets who provide care for our cats at charity rates. Our friends at other rescues have been very helpful with the cost of some of the expensive treatments, particularly with palliative care strays. The majority of funds, however, has always come from our full-time jobs. Today, our budget as a rescue is what we have and what people can spare. Those requiring end of life care stay with us until the veterinarian advises on euthanasia.

We mainly use two vets: a newly opened Catcuddles Cat clinic run by our long-time friends from Catcuddles Sanctuary, and our local vet. Blythwood Vets, Bushey, have been looking after us since 2011. They are not just compassionate and ethical in their approach, but this is also a team of some of the most highly skilled veterinarians in our area with two well equipped hospitals. Our veterinary training and advice is also provided by Primo-Vet: a veterinary clinic and animal hospice run by our friend Dr Ula Skowron. She donates her time to teach us how to care for end of life care cats or cats with disabilities.

Bushy Tail Cat Aid is run voluntarily: this is unpaid work in our private time, using our private home as rescue facilities. We do this while juggling full time jobs. James work in the public sector, and Marta is a death and bereavement specialist. Our volunteers come either from other cat rescues or the local council from Environmental Health and Animal Welfare background.