A cute kitten with a bow around its neck might make the perfect Christmas gift for the animal-lover in your life - but while fluffy youngsters are quickly snapped up by eager adopters, older cats are often sadly overlooked.
Blackpool cat rescuers Nine Lives and Tender Paws both said that, when it comes to rehoming the cats in their care, people almost exclusively wanted kittens, or young cats less than two-years-old.
That’s why The Gazette has teamed up with the charities in the hope of giving some of their older feline ladies and gents a second chance at finding a loving home.
Can you find a place in your heart and home for any of these furry friends?
Click here to meet the cats!
Cath Middleton, of Blackpool Nine Lives, said: “The majority of calls we get are from people wanting to adopt kittens.
“Even black kittens, people will want to adopt over an adult cat, and black is the least popular colour. The most overlooked are the black adult cats.
“It’s a shame because all kittens grow into adult cats eventually.
“With adults, they are already litter trained, they don’t climb your curtains or attack your furniture.
“They have already gone through that boisterous phase and grown out of it. Their personalities are fully formed.
“With kittens, you don’t know what they’ll be like when they get older.
“More often than not it’s the older generation that looks at adopting older cats.
“We do get some older people who want kittens, but we try to talk them into older cats, because when it comes to adopting kittens, chances are something will happen to the owner before something happens to the cat. Some cats can live for 20 years or more.
“We always get excited when someone adopts an older cat, especially if they have been here for a long time.
“When you’re hands-on with the cats, even though we are a rescue, we do get attached to them in a way, and when someone comes along and wants to adopt them it can be very emotional.”
Christine Meryam, of Tender Paws, said: “Kittens are much easier to rehome. Here at Tender Paws we generally take in strays and unwanted cats.
“The older cats are looked over. When they’re six, seven or eight-years-old people just don’t want to know, and yet cats can live until they are 22 or even older.
“These cats can be really healthy all their lives until they pass over.
“Cats are nice when they get older – you can see what they have turned out to be.
“They have great personalities and often, with the strays, they are so grateful. Often they come to us dying, covered in faeces, they have diarrhoea because they have been eating rubbish. Cats can’t get food from wheely bins nowadays. At this time of year, a lot of stray cats will curl up and die from hypothermia.
There’s a lot of older cats who need homes. Why not rehome an older cat? All cats deserve a loving home?”