Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Cats looking for a home this winter

Through the long, cold winter it’s lovely to be able to snuggle up under a blanket with a hot drink. It’s even better if you have a doting cat by your side.

But there are thousands of cats in our care still without warm, loving homes – can you give any of these moggies the care they deserve?

Misty

Seven-year-old Misty came into the care of our Horsham & District Branch due to a change in family circumstances.

She is a friendly, affectionate, playful girl who enjoys being groomed but lets you know when any sensitive areas are reached!

Misty is looking for a home this winter

Misty had a sore eye which was causing her discomfort, and since having it removed, she’s been a much happier cat. She does have sight in her remaining eye, but it is slightly limited.  She is deaf as well as partially sighted, and this means she will need a quiet and predictable home life.  She would make a wonderful addition to the right home!

An ideal home for Misty would be one where there is someone around for at least part of the day and has a secure garden in a safe location where she can potter with her new owners. She’d like a home where she is the only cat.

Misty has been overlooked time and time again – we’d really like to see her in a home. If you’re interested in adopting her, please contact the branch directly on their homing line 07805 654 881 or email adoptacat@hotmail.com

Clarissa

Clarissa is around 8-10 months old and is in the care of our Peterborough & District Branch after being rescued from a garage with her three kittens.

Clarissa needs a home this winter

She is wary of people but happily comes for food and eats like she's never been fed before! She needs a home with experienced and patient owners, who initially won't demand too much from her. She may also benefit from being homed where there is a resident friendly cat.

To find out more about Clarissa or to register an interest in her, please call the branch on 0345 371 2750 or email cphoming@talktalk.net

Tommy and Bella

Tommy and Bella are four-year-old siblings who are being looked after by our Folkestone & Hythe Branch. Sadly, they lost their home when their owners moved and could not take the pair with them.

Tommy is looking for a home this winter
Tommy
Bella needs a home
Bella
They are both affectionate and playful and would love a garden of their own. Tommy is a lap cat and will sit contentedly be stroked, whereas Bella is more adventurous and curious.

We’d like them to be adopted as a pair – if you think you can offer them the home they deserve, please contact the branch on 01303 247 540.


When adopted, all cats have been health-checked, neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, de-fleaed and wormed and come with four weeks’ free pet insurance.

To search for a cat looking for a home near you, please visit www.cats.org.uk/find-a-cat

Monday, 16 January 2017

Get cosy with hygge

Hygge (pronouched hoo-gah), is a Danish concept that has really struck a chord with us in the UK. Although there isn’t an English word that perfectly captures the true meaning of hygge, it roughly translates as cosiness, conviviality, togetherness and intimacy.

Over winter Danes are wrapped up getting hygge. They’re relaxing in candlelit rooms, eating dinner with friends and getting fresh pastries from the bakery.

Today, 16 January, is Blue Monday – reportedly the most miserable day of the year – so we thought we’d share some of our top tips for cat lovers to embrace the Danish art of hygge.

How to ward off Blue Monday


  • Spending time with your cat – a study carried out in conjunction with the Mental Health Foundation has shown that cats have a positive impact on our wellbeing. You can strengthen your bond with your cat by playing with them – a feather fishing rod toy is ideal. Remember not to use your fingers and toes as part of a game as this can encourage kittens to direct predatory behaviours towards you.
  • Have a colouring in session – colour your way to peace and calm by getting arty with our feline colouring illustration (download here). 
  • Relish a purr – the soothing sound of a cat’s purr has therapeutic benefits for their owners, so enjoy!
  • Treat yourself – why not indulge yourself and your cat by getting to some gifts that will help you to fully adopt hygge?

Creating the perfect hygge night in


Knitted Cat Microwavable Hottie

This feline-shaped hottie is the perfect companion for those long cold nights. The insert is heatable in the microwave and it smells of lavender, perfect for a snuggly night in.

Feline-shaped hottie


Knitted Cat Eye Mask

Get the best night’s sleep with this lavender-scented satin eye mask.
Lavender-scented cat eye mask

Knitted Cat Hand Warmers

These adorable cat knitted hand warmers will have your hands toasty in no time – just click the metal disc inside, pop in your coat pockets and you’re good to go!

Cat knitted hand warmers

From Kittens with Love Hot Chocolate Mug

This winter-themed cat print mug is perfect for a delicious hot chocolate while sitting in front of the fire. It even has a decorated spoon that slots into the handle.
Festive cat mug

Let it Snow Jigsaw

Team up with your loved ones and enjoy a good old fashioned jigsaw puzzle.

Festive scene jigsaw puzzle

Top Cat Bath Mallow

Made from natural butters and infused with pure Neroli and sweet orange essential oils, this kitty bath bomb will leave your skin feeling lovely and soft.
Kitty bath bomb

Winter Village Candle

Candles are hygge heaven so enjoy the soft, cosy lighting this festive candle creates while you’re cuddled up on the sofa. Never leave a cat alone with a candle though!

Festive candle


Cosy Cats Tea Cosy

Keep your teapot snug this winter with this fun cat-shaped tea cosy.

Cat-shaped tea cosy


Diamanté Cat Gloves

Rock cold days in style with these gorgeous soft grey diamanté cat gloves.
Sparkly cat gloves

Hygge for your cat

Don’t leave your cat out of the mix; these gorgeous beds will allow your pet to snuggle up in cold evenings too.


Snuggle Plush Pyramid Cat Bed 

This cosy plush cat bed is ideal for cat napping – and it’s fully washable.

Plush cat bed


Kumfy Kradle

Attach this radiator bed to your radiator and your cat has a warm sleeping spot – why haven’t these been invented for humans yet?!

Cat radiator bed


If you fancy winning some cat-themed hygge products, keep an eye on our national Facebook page today (Monday 16 January) for details.

Friday, 6 January 2017

A royal name generator

Most cats get the royal treatment so we think it’s about time they had a fitting name too.

Want to find out your cat’s royal name? Just follow these easy steps:

1. Find your cat’s home town initial
2. Find your cat’s first name initial
3. Find your cat’s surname initial
4. Put them together!

To enlarge, click on the image
We’d love to hear your results – add a comment below!

Share this image on your site:


Sunday, 1 January 2017

Do something daring for 2017 – skydive for Cats Protection

The New Year marks a new start so many take it as an opportunity to resolve themselves. But rather than making a resolution you know you’ll never stick to past January, why not try something challenging that will benefit you and help your favourite animal at the same time?

You could pledge to do a sponsored tandem skydive to raise funds for your local Cats Protection branch or adoption centre.

Feel the sensation of flying through the air in the adrenaline rush of a lifetime – you’ll see stunning views of the earth from about two miles above ground. This will be one of the best experiences of your life.



Cat lover Katherine Sargeant did a tandem skydive for Cats Protection in 2015. Here is her story:

“In the summer I had a moment of madness and believed I was capable of a tandem skydive. The night before I had spotted a link from Facebook through to Cats Protection’s fundraising challenges and a seed was planted in my mind: could I do something to help support the fantastic team at the Bracknell & Wokingham Districts Branch who had introduced us to Gracie last October? I made some enquiries, hesitated for around two hours and then bang – I couldn’t help myself – the challenge was irresistible. I paid the deposit and somehow I was committed.

“I should point out that other than my teenage son and our CP cat, Gracie, I have one other passion in my life: running. If it took me a matter of hours to sign up to the jump, I had many more to consider the consequences of something going wrong and never running again. The thought of a life without my running friends, marathons and half marathons was a real concern. But if you’re asking people to part with their hard-earned cash to support you, it has to be a true challenge and, being petrified of heights as well, this couldn’t have been a truer one.

“What I had also initially failed to consider was that skydives don’t always happen when they’re planned. The scheduled date was too cloudy – it made it impossible to jump. It was rebooked for 8 October. It was a beautiful day and I realised this was it: no more hoping, wondering, fearing, postponing or talking about jumping.

Cats Protection sponsored tandem skydive

“I have to say, an amazing calm came over me as I drove to the airfield. As with my running, I knew that if I concentrated on the training and kept my composure that all would be fine and I would achieve one of the most brilliant dreams of my life. I arrived first, very early as I was determined that if anyone was jumping it was going to be me! And so it was: first plane-load up and first out of the hatch. And it is a hatch which is lifted at 13,000 feet (it takes around 10 minutes to fly that high) and my instructor, Nathan, who was clipped to me by four hooks shuffled me to the opening, dangled me out and then out we dropped into this amazing rush of wind, moisture and frantic noise, with blue sky above and grey cloud below.  It was the most awesome place to be – a bubble in which there was me, Nathan and Alex who was filming and taking photos.  These guys are seriously amazing men!

Cats Protection tandem skydive

“The 45-second freefall was the bit that had freaked me out over-and-over in the many weeks of the summer. Forty-five seconds is a LONG time to be plummeting, I had thought. In the end it was, for me, probably the most fantastic bit – just because it was like we were in a little cocoon way up above the world.

Cats Protection fundraising skydive

“Then WHOOSH, the parachute is opened and I’m drawn back upwards and I’m thinking ‘no, I need to go down!’ We’re sailing over fields, with tiny roads and trees, looking at miniscule lorries and cars – and Nathan says ‘look, there’s the Isle of Wight’. I did take a moment to look at the scene beneath me and remember all the cats, thinking that trying to help them had brought me to this amazing place and moment in my life.

“Another weird bit was the approach back down to earth as you have no concept of the height: are we close or not? It’s very deceptive. But I did it, I landed safely on my bottom, sliding along on the mud, laughing my head off while simultaneously thanking Nathan for the most fantastic experience, and delivering me back to earth without a bump.

“Seriously, I cannot recommend this experience enough.  If you would like to get out of your comfort zone and raise some money for the CP cats GO AND DO IT!”

A sponsored tandem skydive for Cats Protection

To sign up for a #CatChampions Cats Protection skydiving event please visit www.cats.org.uk/skydiving

Cats Protection #CatChampions

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Happy Christmas

Merry Christmas to all our supporters, volunteers and staff! Thanks to you, we’ve helped thousands of cats this year. We couldn’t have done it without you.

We hope you enjoy our festive animation.

Love Cats Protection (and the cats!) xxx




Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Why cats hunt

In the latest video in the Simon’s Cat Logic series, creator Simon Tofield and Cats Protection’s Behaviour Manager Nicky Trevorrow have teamed up to talk about Simon’s Cat’s behaviour in the video ‘Nut Again’ and explain hunting behaviour.



Simon describes once watching his cat Teddy running down the garden after a squirrel. “I’ve never seen him run quicker – I thought ‘What’s he going for now?’ and going even faster than Teddy was a squirrel,” he says. “Seeing Teddy running after this squirrel – it made it up the tree – and Teddy went up the tree after him, I thought, I’ve got to do an idea of a cat chasing a squirrel and what can happen.”

“Cats are perfectly adapted to hunting,” says Nicky. “They have excellent eyesight so they can see in low light levels, they have really good hearing for hearing tiny little squeaks of their prey species, they’re very fast and agile and they have an excellent sense of balance.”

A cat’s hunting drive is separate to the hunger drive, so cats will hunt even if they’ve just been fed. Interactive play, with toys like a fishing rod toy, will simulate this behaviour and release feel-good hormones.

If you want to learn more about your cat’s behaviour and why they act the way they do, visit our online behaviour hub.

Is your cat a hunter? Let us know on Twitter @catsprotection and use the hashtag #SimonsCatLogic.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Furry therapists: how cats improve our lives

Listening to the heart-warming stories of the positive impacts cats and kittens have had on the lives of entrants to this year’s National Cat Awards reminds us of the many benefits that spending quality time with our feline friends can bring.

Announced as the overall winner in August’s star-studded award ceremony held at The Savoy, Tink raised the alarm when his owners’ house caught fire, ensuring they escaped from an horrific situation that could have cost them their lives. But while Tink’s heroics represent an extremely palpable — and, thankfully, rare — benefit of owning a pet, there were also many moving accounts of cats who, simply through their comforting personalities and loving natures, improved the lives of their owners.

Katie Paine with cat Skye
National Cat Awards finalist, Skye with her owner Katie; Photo: Koray Erol - Caters News
Take 15-month-old Skye, a finalist in the Most Caring Cat category. Skye's owner, Katie Paine had suffered from debilitating panic attacks and agoraphobia for 15 years, making everyday actions like collecting her children from school a terrifying prospect. 

However when Skye arrived, Katie's life was changed. Skye’s calming influence has played an important role in helping ease her depression and the moggy’s apparent instinct for knowing when she is most needed has ensured that she is always by Katie’s side at exactly the right time.

During the competition, Katie reflected on her husband, doctor and mental health worker all commenting on how much more relaxed and calm she had been since Skye arrived. She noted that she was sleeping better, enjoying going out and smiling more. “Our lives have improved no end,” Katie said, “My children are happier because I’m happier and I’m doing more things with them.”

And Katie isn't alone in feeling that her relationship with a feline friend has improved her sense of wellbeing.

A succession of scientific studies — including one carried out jointly by Cats Protection and the Mental Health Foundation in 2011 — have trumpeted the psychological and medical advantages of interaction with cats. On its website, the Mental Health Foundation lists the benefits of pet ownership for those suffering from depression and autism, children with ADHD, the elderly and people who live on their own.


One moving story of this process in action hit the national headlines earlier this year. Six-year-old Iris Grace Halmshaw  had been diagnosed with severe autism and her parents were warned that she may never be able to talk or develop relationships. After trying a number of therapies, Iris’s parents took the decision to introduce her to a Maine Coon kitten, whom they named Thula, and the transformation in her was incredible.

Thula became Iris’s constant companion. Not only did Iris talk for the first time in Thula’s presence, the kitten also helped her overcome her fear of water by sharing baths and, ultimately, swimming with her. In the same way that Skye seemed to innately understand when Katie needed her, Thula would come to Iris’s aid when she sensed she was required, even bringing her toys when she woke at night.

Iris’s mother, Arabella, who shared her daughter’s amazing story in a book, described Thula as a ‘guardian angel’. Her constant presence at Iris’s side, whether she’s sleeping, playing or reading, has brought about a change in her that few thought possible.

However, while there are many more touching stories like those of Katie, Iris and their families, we shouldn’t ignore the positive impacts moggies have on those of us who aren’t faced with such life-changing challenges — those who are simply stressed out and laid low by the everyday demands of life.

Tests have discovered that spending time with cats causes the release of the so-called 'happy hormone' oxytocin, while simultaneously reducing levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. This results in lower stress and anxiety levels, which in turn reduces blood pressure.

It’s no wonder, then, that cats and kittens are being turned to by those in high-stress environments like hospitals, workplaces and educational establishments.

There have been a number of stories in recent years of universities introducing ‘kitten rooms’ during stressful exam seasons and inviting students to sit with, stroke and talk to their furry friends. But undergraduates at the University of Southampton have taken this relationship a stage further by appointing a cat as their Student Union’s honorary president.


Named after the initials of the Union in which she has spent so much of her life, Susu has been entertaining and de-stressing students since 2002, when she first arrived on campus as a stray. Once name-checked on University Challenge, she has now been awarded the ultimate honour in return for her “contribution to reducing students’ stress levels.”

But, as deserving as they are of our adulation, cats don’t need awards or fancy titles to recognise their benefits to us super-stressed humans. Whether we’re facing seemingly-insurmountable challenges or have simply had a bad day, nature’s stress-relievers are always there for us, fixing us with the healing powers of their contented purring, soothing us with the sensation of their soft fur and comforting us simply through their presence. It’s hard to argue that cats are a breed apart!

Don’t believe us? Take a peek at our #CatTherapy video!