Undertake work experience with us

We are always keen to support local people of all ages in gaining experience working with cats in a rehoming environment. 

Who can apply for a work experience placement? 
Any student aged 14 years and over is welcome to apply for a work experience placement. Our work experience programme is voluntary and unpaid. 

What will I be expected to do during my placement? 
We aim to make our work experience placements as varied as possible and you can expect to be involved in any of the following tasks: 
  • assisting with caring for cats in the cattery 
  • helping feed the cats 
  • cleaning the cats' accommodation 
  • washing bowls and litter trays 
  • assisting with deliveries 
  • assisting with customer enquiries 
  • general housekeeping tasks around the centre 
  • assisting with veterinary visits 
  • assisting staff with checking the health of our cats

When can I complete a work experience placement? 

Standard work experience placements are offered from Monday to Friday between the hours of 9am and 6pm for students aged 15 and over. For students under 15 years of age the hours are from 9am to 3pm. All students are entitled to a 1-hour break during their day. Our Duke of Edinburgh placements are usually completed over the weekends, and our volunteering shifts are 9am-12pm, 12pm-3pm and 3pm-6pm. These are very popular shifts and at times are fully booked. Please specify on your application form if you have a preferred shift time or day.

What is the recruitment process for work experience placements? 
To begin the process you will need to contact the Mitcham Homing Centre via email to request an application form. Once completed, you can return your form to us via email or post. If your application is shortlisted and the dates you have requested are available, you will be contacted for a telephone interview. Successful applicants will then be required to complete a work experience agreement acceptance form and an emergency contact form. Once these have been returned to the centre we will be able to confirm your placement and you will receive an induction on the first day of your placement. This application process can take around 4 weeks, so we would suggest contacting the centre at least 3 months prior to the dates you wish to begin your placement.

How can I apply? 
Due to their popularity there is limited availability for work experience placements, so please contact us as early as possible to avoid disappointment. Please email your full name, home address, place and year of study and preferred placement dates to Jess Wager, our Volunteer Team Leader, at southlondon.volunteer@cats.org.uk

What skills or experience do I need to complete a work experience placement with Cats Protection?
We do not ask for any specific skills or experience in order for students to be considered for a work experience placement, however we do look for students with the following personal attributes:
  • A willingness to work hard and involve yourself in all aspects of our work 
  • An interest in cat welfare 
  • The ability to follow instructions effectively 
  • The physical ability to complete the cleaning tasks required, which can be quite demanding 
  • A willingness to get involved in the messier jobs (without getting squeamish over a dirty litter tray!) 
  • The ability to work independently as well as alongside all of our wonderful team members


Here's what Aleks, one of our work experience students has to say...

“Since I was little I always knew that I wanted to work with animals and help the ones that need us. Getting my work experience placement with Cats Protection was the first step in the right direction. This opportunity has given me a lot more knowledge, experience and insight on how homing centres work. It was amazing seeing cats being given a second chance. After my work experience placement I knew for sure that this is the kind of place I want to work in for the rest of my life. Being part of an amazing team that does so much for these animals was beautiful.”