Friday, 15 December 2017

Gifts to give your cat this Christmas

If you’re making your way through the last of your Christmas shopping, you might be considering what to get your furry friend.

If you’ve seen our 12 ‘nays’ of Christmas animation, you’ll be aware that the toys you buy will need to be safe for your cat to enjoy. To give you a helping hand, take a look at our top picks of festive gifts for you cat.

Santa’s Trouser Tunnel


Cats love a place to hide, especially at Christmas time when your home can often be noisier and busier than usual. This novelty play tunnel is an ideal gift to keep your cat calm throughout the festive season.

Buy it here

Feathered Boa Cat Toy

This Feathered Boa Cat Toy is a great choice to keep your cat busy. Great for chasing, toys like this simulate your cat’s natural hunting behaviour. It also provides good exercise and can help strengthen your bond with your cat.

Buy it here

FreakMEOWt catnip toys


If you’re seeking a fun gift this Christmas, these FreakMEOWt catnip toys fit the bill. Lovingly handmade and stuffed with catnip, they’re guaranteed to drive your cat wild. They also come in a variety of different shapes including fish, doughnuts and even festive penguins!

Buy it here

Feline crafty?

If you’d rather have a go at making your own cat gifts this year, take a look at the handy how-to videos on our YouTube channel.

How to make homemade meaty cat food treats



While human festive treats like chocolate and Christmas pudding shouldn’t be eaten by cats, you can make your own edible gifts with our step-by-step guide.

How to make a cat bed



Got a leftover Christmas jumper from last year? Treat your cat to the ultimate gift – a homemade cat bed with a festive feel. Purrfect!

If you’re ordering from the Cats Protection shop, you’ll need to make your order before 12 noon on the 19 December to receive your order by Christmas Eve.

Got a great gift idea for your cat this Christmas? Let us know by tweeting us @CatsProtection

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Feline festive? Make your own cat-themed snowflakes

With Christmas just over a week away, you've still got time to deck the halls. If you don't fancy boughs of holly, how about our crafty cat-themed snowflakes?

They're the perfect decoration for your home or office, as well as being very easy to make. Got little ones helping you? Make sure there is always an adult present to help when using the scissors as it can get a bit fiddly.

To make your cat-themed snowflake,  click on the image below and follow these steps:

- fold the template in half vertically along the dotted line
- next, fold in half horizontally, keeping your Christmas cats on top
- then fold diagonally so you're left with a triangle with the design on top
- cut out your design and unravel to reveal your snowflake

http://www.cats.org.uk/uploads/documents/COM_2891_Snowflake_template.pdf

Fancy showing us your handiwork? We'd love to see your cat snowflakes. Tweet us @CatsProtection with your pictures.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Festive animation gives cat owners advice on 12 ‘nays’ of Christmas

While Christmas is a time of merriment and joy for humans, cats can often find themselves confused by the festive season. Strange scents and foods enter the house, along with odd-looking decorations and unfamiliar people.

To help cat owners look after their feline friends during the festive period, we’ve put together a 12 ‘nays’ of Christmas animation. Made up of 12 easy-to-understand top tips, the animation offers advice on everything from gifts to give to your cat, to toxic plants that could cause them harm.
Are you concerned about keeping your cat calm when the family are around, or perhaps you’re not sure what you can and can’t feed your cat at Christmas time?

With our 12 top tips, you can have a hassle-free festive season that both you and your cat can enjoy.

You can watch the video below.



If you’d like to learn more about how to look after your cat this Christmas, or even take a peek at our special Christmas advert, head to our website at www.cats.org.uk/cats-and-christmas

Monday, 11 December 2017

Politicians feline festive at Cats Protection's Westminster reception

Every year, parliamentarians from all parties speak up for cats on important issues such as air gun licensing and kitten sales. To thank them for their support, Cats Protection invites them to our annual Christmas reception at the House of Commons for festive fun and refreshments.

Cats Protection cat biscuits
MPs and peers were treated to delicious cat-themed treats at our Christmas reception

This year we were delighted to welcome more than 60 MPs and peers to the event on Tuesday 5 December, which was hosted on our behalf by Kevin Foster MP and supported by Direct Marketing Services (DMS). Representatives from other animal welfare charities and professional organisations we work with were also in attendance.

Guests were given the opportunity to play our ‘find the sleeping cat’ game to test their knowledge of feline behaviour, and to personalise a bauble for our cat-themed Christmas tree complete with giant cat banner.

Kevin Foster MP at Cats Protection Christmas event
Kevin Foster MP with Cats Protection's Chief Executive Peter Hepburn
and members of our Advocacy & Government Relations team

Among those attending were Lord Gardiner, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity, and George Eustice, Minister of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, who adopted his cat Gus from our Mitcham Homing Centre in 2016.

Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations, said: “Cats are one of the nation’s favourite pets so it was wonderful to welcome so many politicians to our Christmas Reception.

“It has been a busy year, with our major campaign on kitten sales, our 2022 Agenda for Cats launched ahead of the General Election, and our petition calling for licensing of air guns in England and Wales in line with the new licensing regime in Scotland.

George Eustice MP at Cats Protection Christmas event
George Eustice MP with our cat-themed Christmas tree

“More than 47,000 supporters joined us in calling for better regulation of commercial kitten sales. We have also received over 75,000 signatures for our air guns petition and are delighted the Government has announced it will be reviewing air gun licensing. Sadly, air guns are frequently used to deliberately inflict harm and suffering on cats.

“All this shows that there are a lot of people who want to see real change to improve how cats are treated in the UK, so it's heartening that so many politicians came along to our reception to support Cats Protection.”

To find out more about Cats Protection’s advocacy work, please visit www.cats.org.uk/speakingupforcats

Friday, 1 December 2017

Festive Simon's Cat animation focuses on seasonal safety

The latest video in the Simon’s Cat Logic series is focused on the festive season. Christmas can often be a confusing time for cats, as Behaviour Manager Nicky Trevorrow explains. Unfamiliar scents, sounds and people can have an effect on stress levels too. Nicky gives plenty of advice on how to survive Christmas with cats in the home – from keeping decorations out of reach to ensuring your cat stays calm.

Simon explains that his cat Hugh was the inspiration for his short Christmas animations. He talks about the first year that Hugh arrived and his obsession with the Christmas tree. “He soon became quite the climber!” he exclaims.

Nicky explains that while cats love Christmas trees, it is best to ensure you have a sturdy base – this ensures the tree doesn’t come crashing down if your cat decides to climb it. She also points out that baubles and unwrapped gifts can be potential hazards and should be placed out of reach.
The video also shares advice on the other aspects of Christmas, including ensuring that your cat has a ‘safe room’ to hide away from the festivities going on in the house. As Nicky explains: “Keep aware that your cat might not want to join in. You can create a ‘safe room’ complete with food bowl, water bowl and litter tray – all resources will need to be easily accessible. Also give them a place to hide and get up high.”

The five short Christmas animations at the end are each focused on a different part of Christmas. ‘Santa Claws’ looks at a cat’s obsession with trees while ‘Sticky Tape’ focuses on the perils of gift wrapping with cats around! ‘Little Box’ shows a cat enjoying a cardboard box – the ideal Christmas gift for felines, and ‘Fowl Play’ is centred around a cat attempting to get hold of a delicious Christmas turkey.

If you want to watch more of the Simon’s Cat Logic videos, head to their YouTube channel.



 

Monday, 27 November 2017

'Are there any supplements I can give my older cat?' and other questions from our Mature Moggies Q&A

Recently we championed the joy of older cats in Mature Moggies Week. We focused on everything from how to look after your cat as they age, to the senior kitizens currently looking for homes. As a result, many of you took to Twitter and Instagram to show off your own mature moggies as well as taking part in a special Q&A dedicated to older cats.

older cat

If you missed our Q&A with vet Sarah, here’s a roundup:

Question: I have a cat called Eric who is 17 and a half. He seems to eat a great deal but isn’t getting fatter or thinner. He meows far more and wants to be joined to me. He wanders around to another room and then howls as if he doesn’t know where he is. Is this old age?

Answer: If you haven’t already been, it might be worth taking your cat to the vet. They’ll be able to give the cat a full health check and check that everything is ok. Older cats can suffer from cognitive dysfunction (similar to dementia in people) and medical conditions like high blood pressure could lead to similar signs. For more information, take a look at our leaflet: http://www.cats.org.uk/uploads/documents/cat-care-leaflets-2013/EG16_Elderly_cats.pdf

Question: I have a 12-year-old cat and wondered if there are any natural supplements that would benefit her in old age? Are there any oils or vitamins?

Answer: There are lots of really excellent complete diets on the market that are specially formulated for older cats. Older cats usually need fewer calories to compensate for reduced activity levels, as well as highly digestible protein. These formulated diets often have added omega 3 and essential fatty acids to help improve skin and joint health. Elderly cats are more susceptible to kidney disease, so making sure you have plenty of water available will help.

Question: Is it true that some cats go off to die? My 16-year-old went missing early in the morning almost six months ago. It was totally out of character and as she was thin and scrawny, I thought she might have been ill. Despite my efforts, she seems to have just disappeared.

Answer: I’m really sorry to hear about your cat. It must be difficult not knowing what happened to her. Our domestic cats have evolved from solitary ancestors and still retain that fierce sense of independence. This might be part of the reason why she took off on her own, but it is possible that if she felt out of sorts, she may have been disorientated and this prevented her from returning. Cats Protection can offer support with grief and loss through our Paws to Listen service – you can find out more here: https://www.cats.org.uk/what-we-do/grief-and-loss

sleeping cat


Question: My cat is 12 and has hyperthyroidism. She is on Thyronorm and her levels have stabilised. I have her booked in for a pre-op assessment this weekend to discuss a thyroidectomy. However, she’s just had a couple of dizzy spells and she currently has a cold so isn’t interested in food. Is this normal and related to the medication? Should I see an improvement following the thyroidectomy? I believe the medication can make cats more susceptible to colds.

Answer: Hyperthyroidism is one of the more common conditions we see in older cats. It speeds up the metabolism, so cats can often have trouble with digestion and tend to lose weight despite feeling hungry. They can also have a rapid heart rate and high blood pressure and become more susceptible to opportunistic illnesses like the viruses causing cat ‘flu.’ The medication can have some side effects, but the symptoms you describe might relate more to the condition itself. I’d advise to see the vet to check that everything is on track.  A thyroidectomy is a great option for treating the condition long-term, but it is a surgery, so the vet will want to make sure she is medically stable first.

If you’d like to learn more about living with an older cat, head to our website.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Get a head start on your New Year’s resolution and help cats!

If you’re thinking of taking on a fundraising challenge for your 2018 New Year’s resolution, it pays to plan ahead. This Black Friday (24 November) to Cyber Monday (27 November), Cats Protection is offering free registration for a range of next year’s most exciting events, from marathons to skydives!

By the time January comes around, New Year’s pledges can easily fall to the bottom of your to-do list, but signing up early is a great way to motivate yourself and save a bit of money in the process! As well as challenging yourself, your hard work will also raise vital funds for the UK’s leading feline welfare charity, enabling us to help thousands of cats and kittens each year.

To join our team of #CatChampions, just choose one or more of the events listed below and then head to the Cats Protection website between 24-27 November to sign up for free. We’ll then support you with fundraising resources and training tips to help you raise as much money as possible for the cats in our care.

Cats Protection fundraising challenge event


Running events:

Brighton Marathon, 15 April 2018
With a stunning backdrop of the sea, the Brighton Marathon finishes on the seafront with 150,000 spectators and an unbeatable atmosphere.

Simplyhealth Great North Run, 9 September 2018
Starting in Newcastle upon Tyne, the 13.1-mile route takes runners through the city centre towards the River Tyne where thousands of people will cross over the iconic Tyne Bridge, where if you're lucky, you might get a glimpse of the Red Arrows passing overhead.

Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon, 14 October 2018
The Royal Parks Foundation Half Marathon takes place each October, starting and finishing in the stunning Hyde Park. Over 16,000 runners take part in the 13.1 mile route through central London, taking in the spectacular sites of the capital and the beautiful Royal Parks.

If you need more convincing, watch our video filmed at the Great North Run for inspiration.

Cycling events:

Prudential RideLondon - Surrey 100, 29 July 2018
2018 will see more than 25,000 amateur cyclists take on a cycling challenge like no other through London and Surrey on a similar route to that of the London 2012 Olympic Road Cycling Races.

Prudential RideLondon - Surrey 46, 29 July 2018
This new event was held for the first time in 2016 as part of the Prudential RideLondon festival of cycling. The sportive (remember, it’s not a race!) comprises a spectacular 46-mile route on traffic-free roads.

Extreme sports:

Cats Protection fundraising skydive challenge

Zip line
Zip World Velocity, Bethesda, is the fastest zip line in the world and the longest in Europe. You will descend down the Big Zipper over the quarry lake often reaching speeds well in excess of 100mph!

Skydive
Thrill-seekers can complete an exhilarating skydive to raise money for Cats Protection. Visit our national charity skydive provider by clicking here to choose your own location and date.

Walks and treks:

Save up to £10 when you sign up for one of our Ultra Challenge events before 25 December, including the South Coast Path Challenge, Thames Bridge Trek and even an expedition to the Great Wall of China!

Find out what it’s like to complete a trek for Cats Protection with our video.

Good luck with your #CatChampions challenge!