CATS Protection is the UK's leading feline welfare charity, helping about 200,000 cats every year through a network of more than 250 volunteer-run branches and 36 centres.

This year, the charity has renewed calls for a change in the law across the UK to ensure that all owned cats, like dogs, are microchipped. Microchipping is a safe, permanent and cost-effective method of identification which ensures cats can be reunited with their owner should they go missing.

Cats Protection's Wrexham Adoption Centre rehomes many un-microchipped cats which have been taken in after being found straying on the streets. These cats may be needlessly rehomed because their original owner cannot be identified.

The charity is also a leading voice on cat welfare and is calling on politicians to speak up for cats and support its 2022 Agenda which highlights priorities for improving feline welfare. This includes introducing legislation on air gun ownership in England and Wales to help prevent attacks on cats, and encouraging landlords to have responsible pet policies and tenancy agreements that allow cats. The charity also promotes the benefits of neutering for a happy and healthy pet and produces a wealth of cat care information to encourage responsible pet ownership.

"I have seen it a number of times sadly," says Wrexham Adoption Centre manager, Suzan Kennedy, as she nuzzles Pristine - a stray who has been found with an air gun pellet lodged in her jaw. "Pristine is one stray that has come into the centre and is now awaiting rehoming. She's clearly very tame and must have been someone's pet, but because she wasn't microchipped we couldn't find an owner."

Cases like Pristine's are one of the reasons the adoption centre are looking to replace their existing facility at Madeira Hill and move into a new £2.1m facility on Bradley Road, which was previously home to North Wales Fire and Rescue Service. The redundant fire station had been vacant since 2016 and contractors have already demolished the existing building in preparation for the state-of-the-art rehoming centre.

"It's so exciting as we've been waiting for this new building for a long time," says Suzan. "Everyday I drive past and can see it getting bigger and bigger. We are hoping the building will be completed by the end of the summer and, fingers crossed and all being well, we will be in there before Christmas.

"So much has been going on behind the scenes, so that's why it is so brilliant to finally see that it is physically happening - we are all very excited."

The charity is looking to boost the number of local cats and kittens it can help to about 500 a year and believe the new building will see the number of pens increase from 30 to 48, and offer a more fulfilling environment for the cats while they're awaiting their new owners.

"The building was beginning to need more and more repairs and from a cost basis there is only so much you can do with the facilities you've got," says Suzan as she shows me around their current location. "When we looked at it, it was decided we should look at a bigger site with the ability to have more pens and house more cats.

"We currently have 24 pens here and six more for poorly cats which come into our care, but the new centre will have 48 pens. It will help us help more cats but will also allow us to help more people - by helping the cats we help the owners."

One way the centre hopes to help existing owners is through its microchipping campaign with the charity saying it offers cats a safe and permanent method of identification and increases the chances of a lost feline being safely reunited with its owner.

"For me the best days in work are when we have a cat that has come in as a stray but it is microchipped and we reunite it with its owner," says Suzan. "Each microchip has a unique number which is stored on a national database. A scan of the chip reveals the owner's name and address from the database's records

"A microchip is slightly smaller than a grain of rice and is inserted under the cat's skin between the shoulder blades but the procedure is very simple and is no more painful than an injection and a cat will not be aware of the microchip's presence once inserted."

Cats Protection and RSPCA Cymru are currently running a neutering campaign across Wales. Under the campaign you can get your pet cat neutered and microchipped for just £5.

"Part of our role is to promote responsible ownership," continues Suzan. "Having a cat is more than just getting it and putting it outside, which is why education is so important.

"The other thing about getting your cat microchipped is if it's involved in an accident and it is found at the side of the road, the owner has that closure and knows what has happened.

"Fingers crossed it is something the Government will continue to look at and it is something our advocacy team will continue to campaign for. If we can get the message across hopefully there will be a cultural change and it will become the norm to get your cat neutered and microchipped."

Suzan adds that staff numbers at the centre will increase and there will also be opportunities for more than 40 volunteers who play a vital role in running adoption centres.

"I just adore cats and I adore every single one which comes into our care here," she adds. "I love the fact that we as humans are still trying to understand so much about them and understand their needs. You can have so many personalities and I love interacting and playing with them and I love the fact a cat can be something as simple as a companion. There is nothing nicer than after a long day sitting down and having my cat curl up on my lap and you hear that gentle purring sound."

If you would like to discuss the criteria for eligibility to have your cat neutered and microchipped for just £5, please contact the neutering team directly on 03000 12 12 12 (option 2) Monday to Friday, 9.30am-1pm.