Ipswich cat shelter apply for new building to lodge animals

Ipswich & District Animal Welfare Centre have applied to build a new, purpose-built space.

Ipswich & District Animal Welfare Centre feel it is time to modernise the area where they keep their cats, and have applied to build a new, purpose-built space. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

An Ipswich animal shelter is hoping to modernise by securing permission to replace its current setup with new, purpose-built buildings where they can house their cats. 

Ipswich And District Animal Welfare Centre, on Cauldwell Hall Road, has been taking in cats from the area for decades after being established in 1925.  

Chief executive officer Nick Chaplin says that the cats’ current lodgings are well overdue a makeover. 

The centre would like to build a modern, UVPC building to house their cats to stay in.

The centre would like to build a modern, UVPC building to house their cats to stay in. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Nick Chaplin is the Chief Executive Officer at Ipswich & District Animal Welfare Centre.

Nick Chaplin is the Chief Executive Officer at Ipswich & District Animal Welfare Centre. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Susanne, Heather and Nick would like to see their building modernised, to give the cats a larger, and more pleasant space

Susanne, Heather and Nick would like to see their building modernised, to give the cats a larger, and more pleasant space to stay in. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

“Currently in our back garden, we’ve got two brick-build buildings with the cats inside. The brick buildings are probably from the 1970s, while the insides were probably done in the ‘80s,” he explained. 

“The proposal is to demolish and replace them with purpose-built UVPC plastic ones, so much like a conservatory design.  

“They'd be more energy efficient, easier to clean, healthier, and they’d keep heat inside. They'd be up to modern standards, and more pleasant for the cats, and for us to work in.  

“At the time, the buildings were as good as you could get, but it’s time to change.” 

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The new buildings would comprise 11 standard pens, one isolation pen and associated service space. 

“We’ll be able to cope with more cats, as each pen will be quite a lot bigger inside,” Nick said.  

“Currently, you can’t squeeze in more than one adult cat per pen. In a new one, if for example, they come in as a pair or a family, they will easily be able to stay together.” 

Susanne with one of the centres kittens. 

Susanne with one of the centres kittens. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Heather with one of the centre's cats

Heather with one of the centre's cats. The new building will have the capacity to keep families together. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

Susanne and Heather with kitten and mother cats.

Susanne and Heather with kitten and mother cats. Nick says that the centre is well-used by the community, with a constant stream of felines arriving and being adopted. - Credit: Charlotte Bond

In addition to caring for cats in need, the charity runs a clinic every week. 

“It’s open to people on benefits to come in, with subsidised vet access. I know the RSPCA do the same thing. We're talking about working together more closely, because there are so many people struggling with vet fees,” Nick explained. 

He says pet owners can get in touch, and bring their animals to the clinic for a £10 consultation. 

“It’s not just cats, it’s for anything domestic. We’ve had cats, dogs, hamsters, rabbits, the occasional chicken, and once a parrot.” 

Ipswich Borough Council will make their decision about the charity’s planning application in due course.