Ark News

Scuffs returned to where trapped

Scruffs (a feral queen) has today been returned to the Butchers Arms public house from where she was trapped. Sadly, she was too feral and though young, sadly she was well past the formative stage of development when one may stand a reasonable chance of domesticating a feral cat.
Still not all is bad news! As feral sites go Scruffs is so lucky to have a fairly expansive protected sheltered area away from wind, cars, dogs and many people. Pub owner Joan and her daughter watch over and care for the cats and put out fresh fish food for them every day. Really, Scruffs is very lucky to have this which is more than most feral sites offer. Also, (thanks again to Westway Vets in Fenham), Scruffs is now spayed so won't be bothered by tom cats any longer or giving birth again under a staircase!
Thanks to Emma, Cath and Sharon who cared for Scruffs during her stay with us and to all who donated food, treatments, towels and newspaper.

Recently someone chose to bring a cat that we had agreed to admit into the Ark otherwise than in a secure carrier. This is a very precarious and dangerous way to take a cat anywhere, especially in relation to a stressed adult cat.


Many cats have been lost forever when they escape the person trying to cling on to them, or have quickly become road traffic casualities due to such a lack of judgement by people.


Choosing to carry a cat outside in this way is not a smart or cute way to transport a cat. Some of our volunteers have witnessed first-hand people overestimating their ability to hang on to a frightened and panicking cat and seen the real misery resulting from such short-sightedness.


When bringing a cat to the Ark (or a veterinary surgery or anywhere else) a secure cat carrier should always be used other than perhaps in the most dire of circumstances such as with a severely ill or injured cat where a carrier is not available or appropriate.


Westgate Ark will not allow cats to leave the Ark other than in a secure carrier and anyone wanting us to admit a cat should only bring the cat in a secure carrier!


Yet another cat was abandoned outside the Ark building soon after Lucky (below). This cat was not so fortunate as her owner left her in a carrier between midnight and 1 a.m. and soon after a passerby responded to her cries by releasing her from the carrier. All Ark volunteers found the following morning was an empty cat carrier and an anonymous note!

'Lucky' a ten year old spayed queen was recently left outside our door in a carrier on Sunday 4th June. A note simply gave her name, age and confirmed that she was spayed (information which is important for us to know and which we are grateful for, if we are not to have to waste further funds on a second unnecessary spaying).

This cat has proved to be easygoing, clean and is very affectionate, she will make a great cat for someone!

Rescue from Hadrian's Wall



Bernicia and her new borns were rescued from an outhouse in the grounds of a small-holding at the request of the landowner.



The mother cat who we named Bernicia, chose this building to give birth to her kittens in. Their was an empty caedboard box inside which she though was a suitable shelter.

The entire family were rescued and brought to the safety of the Ark. The mother had to be trapped as a feral cat and have had to be put into a specialist feral cat pen.


One kitten, a little boy, is a 'runt' about half the size of his siblings.

From the Butcher's Arms to the Ark

We got a plea for help from Joan and David the owners of the 'Butchers Arms', a traditional pub in the County Durham town of Chester-Le-Street.


In their small pub garden to the rear a feral cat had moved in and was using the spot to rear her kittens.

This mother had had a least two kittens in the recent past that are now full ferals and Joan and David were determined to help the mother keep her new borns alive and also to prevent them from becoming doomed to a short and miserable life which is the lot of non-domestic cats unless supported on a farm or similar site.

With help from the local pet shop opposite, an insulated and water-proof shelter was put out the back of the pub for the feral mother and her brood.

This temporary shelter helped to keep the kittens warm and safe until they could be rescued!

Westgate Ark were asked to help with the rescue following a lack on assistance from other organisations.

The rescue took two days and was achieved with the help and co-operation of Joan, David and their daughter. A feral cat trap was used in the rescue and baited with the muscles which Joan knew that the mother cat couldn't resist.


All these kittens are now in the care and safety of Westgate Ark. They are all black & white and are about three weeks of age, weighing between 330 and 360 grammes each.

Westgate Ark would like to express their gratitude to all the customers of the 'Butcher's Arms who supported this family with donations of food. Also great thanks to the pet shop opposite who provided the polystyrene insulation box (designed for fish) that was adapted to protect the mother & kittens from the elements!

Jade leaves the Ark for new home!

Whatever happened to Gizmo?

Gizmo is now with his new family and in his new home!

Who is a Clever Boy?





Wilson, now neutered and homed. 


Concerns about Stray Queens

If you have concerns about a stray, uncared for or feral cat that you have reason to believe is pregnant or has young kittens then please cotact us at Westgate Ark for a fast track admissioin process to get the mother and kittens to safety.

Kittens born outside seldom live long or happy lives, they die early from disease & malnutricion.

Fluffy and her brood

Fluffy is a terrific and attentive mother to her kittens who are now between two and three weeks of age. She and the kittens were admitted to the Ark at the request of a family member of a senior citizen who would like Fluffy back once spayed and free of the kittens. She is well cared for there and the gentleman would like to protect her from the large number of unneutered tom cats that patrol the area.

The kittens eyes have now been open for a week but they are not at the exploration stage yet.

Rescued cat Pip leaving the Ark on 3rd May for her New Life!

Pip was rescued some moths back from the PipeTrack Lane are of South Benwell. She had been living on the street for about two years and had previously had a least one litter of kittens on the street.

Kindly local residents had built her a makeshift shelter between houses and had adopted her previous kittens between them.

When she became pregnant again, neighbours called the Ark who rescued her and brought her to the safety of the Ark.

Here she eventually gave birth to her kittens and they have all grown and developed well without incident. All will be going to their respective homes for life very soon!


Pip has now been spayed thanks to the care and attention of Westway vets in Fenham, so she can now enjoy the love and home offered to her by her new family without the stress of endless litters of hungy kittens to feed!

Thanks to all who helped her here, but especially to Robin, her husband and to Sharon for the many hours put in to help socialise the kittens.




Pip - with her five kittens.

All thriving an off to their respective new homes soon!


Postcard from Maggie




Maggie inspects her new catio!


Maggie (formerly Coco) homed earlier this year is now well settled in her happy new life.


No more wandering the streets or teen-age pregnancies to worry about, just the spring and summer to look forwards to!

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