Monday, 19 March 2018

Cat lover beats the odds to run 66th marathon for unwanted moggies

An inspirational cat lover from Shepton Mallet, Somerset, is gearing up to run her 66th marathon for Cats Protection, despite suffering from a serious health condition.

45-year-old Emma Challis has been a volunteer cat fosterer for Cats Protection’s Glastonbury & Wells Branch since 2010 and has represented the charity at every marathon she has run so far.

Emma began running long distance in 2013 as a way to help her strengthen her muscles after recovering from two serious accidents; she damaged her spine in a car accident in 1997 and then fractured her pelvis after falling down the stairs in 2007.

Then, in 2016, Emma was diagnosed with a long-standing blood clotting condition which had caused her pain for many years. At a hospital visit a few days after completing the Taunton Marathon she was told that she had ‘multiple prominent clots’ in her lungs.

“I’d been suffering from the condition for around 15 years but it had never been diagnosed,” Emma explained. “Now, with treatment, I’ve been able to reduce my marathon running time to under four hours!”

Emma’s doctor has recommended running as a good way to prevent her blood clots, and so after recently completing the New Forest Challenge Marathon she is now preparing for her next few events; the Taunton Marathon on 8 April and the Brighton Marathon on 15 April – her 66th marathon.

Last year, the amount she raised in sponsorship from her runs, plus adoption fees for cats she rehomed, totalled an incredible £1,100.

Emma, previously a vet nurse and now a mobile beautician, also has two rescue cats of her own, a tabby-and-white female called Diddy Kitty and a black female called Isis.

She added: “I absolutely adore cats, they’re just beautiful creatures. I love helping animals in need and it’s amazing to see how a little TLC goes a long way.”

To support Emma’s fundraising efforts, visit:

If you’re interested in taking part in an event for Cats Protection, visit: email or call 01825 741 960.

To find volunteering opportunities in your area, visit:

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

10 facts about cats and sleep

Cats are the masters of sleep – falling asleep anywhere, anytime and often in the strangest positions. As part of National Sleep Awareness Week, we asked owners to send some snapshots in of their kipping kitties.

Here’s our top ten sleeping beauties, as well as some facts you might not know about cats and sleep.

1. They sleep a lot

Domestic cats sleep for 12-18 hours a day - zzzzz.......

2. A cat’s need to sleep is a result of evolution

In the wild, cats have to hunt in order to eat and the stalking and chasing of prey burns a lot of energy.

3. Cats are crepuscular

This means they are more awake and active at dawn and dusk, favouring sleep during midday and in the dark of night, which explains the early wake-up calls!

4. Most cats rotate their preferred sleeping area

This is why you might find them lazing around all over the house, sleeping on fresh laundry, snoozing next to radiators…

5. Cats are on alert, even when they’re sleeping

It’s in their nature to act quickly at a moment’s notice, so you’ll notice how quickly they can spring into action – even if they’re having a cat nap.

6. You shouldn’t disturb your cat when it’s sleeping

While it might be tempting to stroke a snoozy cat on your lap, they might become disorientated and react defensively with their claws.

7. Cats do dream

Cats in deep sleep are usually curled up with their eyes tightly closed. If you spot their whiskers or paws twitching while their asleep, there’s a good chance your cat is dreaming.

8. Age makes a difference

Kittens are more active than adult cats, and sleep more. Senior cats (those in their mid to late teens) sleep more hours each day than they might have done as a younger adult cat.

9. Cats even snore

When cats are in a relaxed sleep, the soft palate relaxes, causing them to make those cute little snore-like sounds.

10. The weather affects sleeping habits

Don’t be surprised if your feline friend seems sleepier on rainy or dark days. Whether you’ve got an outdoor or indoor cat, you might notice a difference in their sleeping habits.

Thank you to everyone that shared snapshots of their sleeping cats. If you’d like to share yours, head to our Facebook page.

To find more about cats and sleep, go to

Kitten watch: Daisy’s kittens have been given names

Follow the progress of Daisy and her kittens over the next few months with our kitten watch series.

The four tiny new arrivals at Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre are now one week old and all doing well thanks to the devotion of their mum, Daisy.

Daisy seems to be enjoying motherhood and his been providing her kittens with plenty of attention and ‘cwtches’ (Welsh for ‘cuddles’), as you can see in the photo below.

Cats Protection Bridgend Daisy & kitten
Proud mum Daisy cuddling one of her kittens
Shortly after the kittens arrived, the Bridgend Adoption Centre asked for name suggestions on their Facebook page, and have now chosen the winning names. There’s one male kitten and three females, and their names are inspired by their date of birth, 1 March.
  • Dewi – Welsh for David, as it was St David’s Day
  • Emma – as the UK was being battered by Storm Emma
  • Eira – Welsh for snow, as the centre was covered in a blanket of snow
  • Daffodil – as it was the first day of spring
Cats Protection Bridgend kittens
Left to right: Dewi, Emma, Eira and Daffodil
Each kitten has had a check-up from the vets and been declared fit and healthy, and they are already starting to crawl around on their own. Their eyes began to open when they were four days old (quite early for kittens!) and their ears are beginning to stand upright. Interestingly, all kittens are born with blue eyes which change colour when they are around six weeks old.

Cats Protection Bridgend kittens
The kittens have had a complete health check
The kittens are feeding on their mother’s milk every two to three hours, and to ensure she passes on plenty of nutrients, Daisy herself is being fed regularly with nutrient-rich kitten food.
Over the next few weeks and months, we will keep you updated on Daisy’s and her kittens' progress, but if you would like to help towards the cost of her care at the Bridgend Adoption Centre then you can sign up to become a Cats Protection sponsor. Daisy is one of our many sponsor cats, so from as little as 19p a day you can sign up to help us provide her with the shelter, food, medical care and love she needs and receive regular updates about her and the other cats you are helping in return.

Alternatively, if you would like to make a one-off contribution to Daisy's care, you can donate via Bridgend Adoption Centre's Just Giving page.

Although the arrival of kittens is exciting, giving birth can be incredibly stressful for a cat and the kittens would need to find new homes, so we recommend getting them neutered from four months old. There are already thousands of cats waiting to find loving homes across the UK, so neutering is the most effective way to reduce the number of unwanted cats coming into our care. To find out more about the importance of neutering, visit the Cats Protection website.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Meet the sponsor cats – Theodore

At Cats Protection, we have thousands of cats in our care at any one time, each needing to be fed, health-checked and given plenty of TLC. Many of these cats stay in sponsor pens at our adoption centres across the UK and receive the care they need thanks to our kind Cat Sponsors.

Theodore is the resident of a sponsor pen at our Warrington Adoption Centre. This 14-year-old mature moggy was brought into our care when his owner sadly passed away. He arrived with a bad injury to his tail, which unfortunately had to be amputated, and has stiff joints, but this hasn’t stopped him from living life to the full. He has a great temperament and although he can be shy when he meets new people, he is a friendly cat when he gets to know you. You can see Theodore in action in our video below:

If you would like to become a Cat Sponsor, you can sign up on the Cats Protection website.

For as little as 19p a day you can help us to provide shelter, warmth, food, medical care and love for the cats in our care, and in return will receive regular updates about the cats staying in your pen. Sponsorship is a fantastic way to see exactly how your kind donations are helping the cats in our care and also makes a purrfect gift for cat lovers!

Monday, 12 March 2018

Rogue spirits and ruined toys: strange reasons people have given up their cat

Cats Protection takes in thousands of pet cats that are given up by their owners each year.

Usually the reason given is something like moving into a rented property with a ‘no pets’ policy or behaviour issues the owner can no longer cope with, but recently the charity has seen a worrying spike in more unusual reasons.

Bizarre reasons for people wanting to give up their cat include:
  • spirits telling a cat to knock ornaments off shelves
  • the cat causing damage to a model train set
  • frustration that kittens acquired online and believed to be female were in fact male
  • the cat cannot be ‘unspayed’
Cats Protection cat
Thousands of unwanted cats are cared for by Cats Protection each year
As a result of this worrying trend, the charity is urging owners to think carefully before adopting a new feline friend.

“Although these reasons for giving up a cat may seem light-hearted on the surface, they highlight how important it is to research the impact of bringing a cat into a household and how a cat may impact the home environment,” says Cats Protection’s London Region Centre Manager, Michelle Igoe.

“Cats are engaging, fun and loving but care must be taken to ensure their needs are met and they can express their natural behaviours. At Cats Protection we look forward to taking the time to get to know prospective owners to ensure they fit the cat and the cat fits them.”

To find information about things to consider when choosing a cat, visit the Cats Protection website.

Anyone wishing to adopt a cat should visit to find cats in their area.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Feline-friendly flowers and plants for Mother's Day

If you haven’t already marked the date in your diary, Mother’s Day is coming up this Sunday. Before you head off to the florist for a bunch of beautiful blooms, did you know that some plants and flowers are toxic to cats?

Lilies are particularly dangerous and aren’t advised for a household where a cat resides – from the stamen and pollen to the flower and bulb and even the water in the vase, they can be extremely toxic to cats. Other commonly used flowers like poppies, peonies and cornflower are also harmful when eaten.

To find out more about feline-friendly flowers, take a look at our visual guides below.

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How do I know if my cat has eaten something poisonous?

While the symptoms of poisoning aren’t always obvious, here are a few of the most common signs:
- increased thirst
- confused/uncoordinated
- drooling
- difficulty breathing
- fitting/seizures
- vomiting

What should I do if I think my cat’s eaten a poisonous flower or plant?

If you’re concerned that your cat has ingested something, take them to a vet immediately. Give your vet information about what you think your cat has consumed and make sure you keep all other pets away from the source. Don’t wait for symptoms or assume they will go away and don’t try to make your cat vomit or feed them salt water.

For a full list of dangerous plants and flowers, head to

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Meet the sponsor cats - Garfield

Every day, hundreds of unwanted cats are signed over into Cats Protection’s care for varying reasons. In our latest series, we’ll be meeting some of the cats that have stayed in sponsor pens across some of Cats Protection’s adoption centres. First up is gorgeous ginger cat Garfield.

Garfield is five years old and was a stray cat before being handed over to our Bridgend Adoption Centre. He had surgery on his eyelids but is now feeling healthy and happy. He enjoys feeding enrichment toys and the occasional snuggle! He’s also a particularly active cat, as you can see from the video below.

We’re delighted to announce that Garfield has now found his forever home. His pen is now occupied by Bridgend’s new sponsor cat Daisy, who is the star of our kitten watch blog series. You can read more about her and her adorable newborn kittens here

You can sponsor a cat pen from just 19p a day, providing cats like Garfield and Daisy with shelter, warmth, food, medical care and the love they need. It’s easy to become a sponsor right now. To find out more, click here