Monday, 20 August 2018

The Unadoptable Stories – all cats deserve to find their perfect match

PURINA® and Cats Protection have teamed up to help find every cat their perfect match.

We believe that no cat is unadoptable and to prove it we’ve found some heart-warming stories that show there is the perfect owner out there for every cat. Read about Elaine and her moggy Sam, Samantha and her cat Belle and Sam and his kitty Coco below.

Purina has been the charity’s partner for over 35 years and through The Unadoptables Stories campaign hopes to spread awareness of our work and encourage people to adopt.

Lookout for more stories on our Facebook and Twitter pages over the next few weeks, and on 7 September pop into selected Sainsbury’s stores to learn more about the cats in our care and pick up a money-off coupon!

Elaine and Sam


white cat Purina and Cats Protection

When Elaine found out that moggy Sam had hearing problems, she wasn’t put off. “‘So what?’ I said. I’m profoundly deaf, I wear two hearing aids, it’s just one of those things,” explained Elaine. “Anyway, if people annoy me I can always turn them off.

“I’d lost my last cat and my husband within a very short time of each other and it hit me very hard. When I met Sam he was so affectionate, I’d like to think he knew I needed a friend. He made himself at home right away. I wouldn’t say he’s spoilt but he will have the armchair and I get the foot stool. He doesn’t take up much room, that’s because he’s always lying on top of me. And he keeps me on my toes. I wish I could keep up but he’s got four paws and I’ve only got two legs.

“There’s something special about cats. They don’t ask for much. They don’t answer back. And they love cuddles. Just look at him all curled up with his eyes closed. If my husband was still here, he’d love him too.”

Samantha and Belle


black and white cat Purina and Cats Protection

“I’m allergic to cats, so I’m not exactly what you’d describe as a typical cat person,” said Samantha. “I’ve always wanted my son Henry to feel the happiness that cats can bring but I couldn’t have a cat living in the house. When I chatted to Cats Protection about adoption, rather than look at me as if I was bonkers, they saw me as the possible answer to one of their cat’s very unique needs. That cat was Belle.

“She had always loved being outdoors as she was a little anxious around people. After nine months in care, Belle’s need and love of the outdoors made her the most adoptable cat in the centre. She really is the perfect cat for me and Henry. It just feels so good to be able to give her a home. She now has her own warm, dry outbuilding and lots of land to explore. We take it in turns to feed her and she can be affectionate but she’s also a real character. Belle is now enjoying her new-found freedom and her confidence has greatly improved. She is allowed to venture into the house which she may do from time to time, if her busy prowling schedule allows it.”

Sam and Coco


black cat Purina and Cats Protection

“We first saw Coco when we looked into adopting a cat for our little girls,” said Sam. “Being young, they had their hearts set on a kitten, while Lara, my wife, had always wanted a black cat. This came from her childhood love of witches. Her favourite TV show growing up was Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and the witch had a talking black cat as a pet.

“We could not believe it when Cats Protection told us that many of the cats in their care are actually black, because many people simply don’t want them. She made up her mind right there that Coco was going to be ours. She even thought about renaming her Salem, after the cat from the TV show! But thankfully, we persuaded her to keep the name Coco. The girls weren’t at all sad that she’s not a kitten, they absolutely love her.

“Although Coco is the family cat, I’m definitely her favourite, which I really like. I guess it’s because I don’t follow her around and I feed her in the morning. I do have black hair though, so perhaps she’s adopted me.”

Purina is partnering with Cats Protection to help find every cat their perfect match. Find your perfect match today at www.cats.org.uk/unadoptables  

Saturday, 18 August 2018

Can you give one of these long-stay cats a home?

Cats Protection has thousands of cats waiting for their forever homes, but sadly some stay with us longer than others.

It could be because they’re older, a little shy or have special medical needs, while for some it’s simply down to their colour. Unfortunately black cats take 13% longer to rehome than their more colourful counterparts, but beauty is much more than fur deep.

Through no fault of their own, these moggies get overlooked time and time again when all they want is a cosy home to call their own.

Could you be the hero they’ve been waiting for? Meet some of the poor pusses who could be your new feline friend…

 

Smudge



Ten-year-old Smudge was found as a stray and has been at our National Cat Adoption Centre in Sussex for more than five months. This handsome boy is inquisitive, playful and loves attention. He would make a wonderful pet and, with the right introduction, could live happily with children. If you can offer Smudge a home, email cattery.reception@cats.org.uk or call 01825 441 330.

Tink


Tink is a mature moggy at 15 years old and arrived at our National Cat Adoption Centre in Sussex when his owner moved house and could not take him with them. He has been at the centre for over three months but is very friendly and would love a garden to explore. If you can offer Tink a home, email cattery.reception@cats.org.uk or call 01825 441 330.

Lovey


Nine-year-old Lovey has sadly come into the care of our Bridgend Adoption Centre for the second time, as the person who previously adopted her had to return her. She's an affectionate cat, but on her own terms, and would suit a home where she can be an only pet and there are no young children. If you can offer Lovey a home, email bridgend@cats.org.uk or call 01656 724 396.

Pippy


Pretty Pippy is 11 years old and has epilepsy, so needs an understanding owner who can give her medication every day to help control her condition. She came into our Bridgend Adoption Centre almost two months ago when her previous owner had to go into care. If you can offer Pippy a home, email bridgend@cats.org.uk or call 01656 724 396.

Muggins


Muggins is a four-year-old ball of energy and hasn't coped well with life in a pen. He has been at our York Adoption Centre for over four months and desperately needs a home where he can run around and enjoy himself. He can be a bit of a handful so needs experienced new owners who know how to deal with excitable moggies. If you can offer Muggins a home, email york@cats.org.uk or call 01904 760 356.

 

Rose


Two-year-old Rose is lively and quirky and needs a loving home where she can burn off some energy. She's affectionate on her own terms and extremely playful but will let you know when she's had enough. She’s been at our Exeter Adoption Centre for around five months and didn’t get on with the young children in her previous home so needs somewhere with older teenage children or none at all. If you can offer Rose a home, email exeteraxhayes@cats.org.uk or call 01395 232 377.

Lollie


Golden oldie Lollie has FIV (the feline equivalent of HIV) and so needs an indoor-only home where he is the only pet. He’s 13 years old and came to our Exeter Adoption Centre after getting stressed in his previous home, where there were lots of children and dogs. He has been in our care for nearly three months and just needs a nice relaxing place to stretch out and snooze in peace. If you can offer Lollie a home, email exeteraxhayes@cats.org.uk or call 01395 232 377.

Cagney and Lacey


This mother and daughter duo are in need of a new home together as a result of the death of their owner. Currently being cared for by our Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough & District Branch, they have been searching for a new home for four months. They lived alongside another cat for a while and found the experience stressful so they will need to be the only cats in their new house, although they could live with calm dogs. If you can offer Cagney and Lacey a home, call 01892 516 377 or get in touch here.

 

Zeus


Ten-year-old Zeus is on prescription food to prevent urinary tract discomfort, so needs an owner who can invest time and patience in caring for him. He arrived at our Wrexham Adoption Centre over three months ago after getting stressed by the arrival of a new baby in his previous home, so would need to live with no other children or pets. If you can offer Zeus a home, email wrexham@cats.org.uk or call 01978 313 574.

 

Gloria


Gloria is five years old and can be a nervous girl who needs time to build a bond. She can be quite affectionate, but she's also independent and likes things to be done on her own terms. She was given up because her previous owner was severely allergic and has been at our Wrexham Adoption Centre for over three months. She would suit a mature household where she can be the only cat in the house but, with a slow introduction, could live with a calm dog. She also needs a home with outdoor access as she likes to spend time outside. If you can offer Gloria a home, email wrexham@cats.org.uk or call 01978 313 574.

Chuckles

Credit: North News

Chuckles has a congenital narrowing of her windpipe, which doesn’t affect her too much but causes her to have a bit of a wheeze if she gets stressed. She also makes a ‘chuck’ sound when she eats, which is how her previous owner came to name her Chuckles. She is 10 years old and has been at our Tyneside Adoption Centre for over three months, where she is waiting for a quiet home to relax in. If you can offer Chuckles a home, email tyneside@cats.org.uk or call 01916 531 052.

Lily


Eight-year-old Lily was found as a stray and has been at our Tyneside Adoption Centre for over two months. She has a very sweet temperament and loves everyone she meets so would make a wonderful addition to your home. If you can offer Lily a home, email tyneside@cats.org.uk or call 01916 531 052.
 
Can't find your purrfect partner here? Visit www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat to find more cats available for adoption in your area.  

Friday, 17 August 2018

Kitten Academy: Apple and Apricot have found their forever homes

Catch up on our Kitten Academy series to see how much Apple and Apricot have grown.

Once they turned eight weeks old, Apple and Apricot were finally ready for rehoming and unsurprisingly it didn’t take them long to get adopted. The cute sisters were reserved straight away and can now look forward to having their own space to explore in their new forever homes.

Apple and Apricot waiting to explore their new homes
Before they went, both kittens had a trip to the vets for a full health check and were found to be happy and healthy. They were vaccinated to protect them against common feline diseases, microchipped so their new owners can register them and be reunited with them more easily if they go missing, and neutered so that they don’t have to suffer the ordeal of having kittens themselves.



They bounced back very quickly from their operation, running around their pen and chasing their toys like normal the next day. Apple is wonderfully fluffy and playful and loves to run, pounce and jump on anything that moves. She is still the bigger kitten, both in size and personality, but Apricot has also come into her own and has become quite skilled in stealing the toys from her sister when she’s not looking. She is now almost unrecognisable from the tiny bundle of grey fur she once was, having grown into a beautiful black kitty.

In other equally fantastic news, mum Annie has also found her forever home. She is such an affectionate cat so will no doubt love getting fuss from her new owner, including her favourite – head rubs. She has also now been neutered so can relax without the worry of having another litter. She definitely deserves a rest after doing such a good job with Apple and Apricot.

Annie will get lots more fusses from her new owner
We hope to be able to update you on Annie, Apple and Apricot’s adventures in their new homes in the future but in the meantime you can catch up on how they got on at Kitten Academy here.

For more information about caring for kittens, visit the Cats Protection website.

If you would like to adopt your own feline friend, find the cats available in your area at www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Terrified tabby Whiskers trapped in garage for seven days

Reuniting cat owners with their moggies is an important part of Cats Protection’s work, but sadly it’s not always an easy task.

Many cats that wander away from home seek shelter in cosy sheds, garages and outbuildings, only to be accidentally locked in by unsuspecting property owners.

Linda Potham-Reynolds, a fosterer for our Teignbridge & Torbay Branch, knows all too well the stress this can cause. On Mothering Sunday in 2017, her tabby cat Whiskers went missing from her home.

Tabby cat Whiskers
Whiskers wandered away from home last year
She said: “It was a lovely sunny day, she was in the kitchen at midday when I was getting ready to go to work but when I came home just after 5pm she didn’t come running when she heard the car and she wasn’t indoors, so I immediately knew something was wrong.”

Straight away Linda began searching for her moggy, asking neighbours if they had seen her and posting about her on social media. When she had no luck, she hoped that Whiskers’ collar and microchip would result in a happy reunion. “When she was lost it was the not knowing which was the worst.”

Linda never gave up hope, and one week after she had last seen Whiskers, she was thrilled to see her cat wander down her driveway. “She was looking dazed and shaky, her eyes were sunken and she’d lost her collar. She ate and drank immediately and was obviously very pleased to see us.”

A little while later, a neighbour knocked on the door with Whiskers’ collar in his hand. “He said the day she went missing his garage was open because he was gardening,” said Linda. “He was storing some furniture including a sofa in his garage, obviously Whiskers thought this was a good place for a snooze. Sadly she wasn’t noticed when the door was closed.”

Seven days later, the neighbour had gone back into the garage to move the furniture and Whiskers had run out. He then noticed the collar on the floor and, realising how long she must have been trapped for, decided to visit her owners to check she was ok.

“Whiskers quickly made a full recovery,” said Linda. “Sadly I don’t think that the same can be said of the sofa as the neighbour explained that she had used it as a litter tray!”

Sadly, stories like Whiskers' are all too common, and not all of them have such a happy ending. Cats Protection received almost 2,000 calls about missing cats to its National Information Line over the last year, with the highest numbers reported in the last two months. And these figures are just the tip of the iceberg as many more cats are reported missing via social media and directly to each of the charity’s 250 branches and 36 centres across the UK.

“Cats tend to wander more during warmer weather which explains why we’ve seen a rise in missing cats over the last couple of months with the UK experiencing such a heatwave,” said Cats Protection’s Behaviour Manager, Nicky Trevorrow. “They are notoriously curious creatures and like to investigate their surroundings meaning they can often become trapped in outbuildings. In addition, cats won’t always meow for attention if they are afraid, making it more difficult to realise they are there, so we’d recommend having a really good check before locking up any outbuildings, particularly if you are aware of any cats missing in your area.”

To help prevent other cats like Whiskers from suffering, Cats Protection has launched the #LookBeforeYouLock campaign to encourage people to check their sheds, garages and other outbuildings regularly for missing cats.

We’ve even created a handy door hanger that you can put on your shed or garage door to remind you to look carefully before you lock up. Download it from www.cats.org.uk/check-your-shed where you’ll also find lots of advice for what to do if you’ve lost or found a cat.

Cats Protection Look Before You Lock

Monday, 13 August 2018

Wispa lost 2kg after being locked in a garage for 20 days

When Molly Rayment’s cat Wispa went missing from her home in St Albans, she quickly feared the worst.

It was very unlike the black-and-white moggy to be gone for more than a few hours, so when Molly woke at 3am on 8 May to find her cat wasn’t home, she knew that something was wrong.

After a thorough search of the house and surrounding streets, Molly then went knocking on the neighbours’ doors and handing out over 200 posters, asking people to check their sheds and garages in case her cat was shut inside.


black and white cat Wispa
Adorable Wispa before she went missing
“She’s called Wispa because she doesn’t meow,” said Molly, “so I knew that if she was locked in anywhere she would have been very scared but wouldn’t be able to let people know she was there.”

When none of her neighbours came back with any news, Molly then began putting up posters on lampposts and bus stops, posting about Wispa on social media, and contacting local forums and charities, including Cats Protection’s St Albans Branch. Knowing that Wispa was microchipped, she also notified the microchip company and made sure her details were up to date.

“I couldn’t have done any more to find her,” explained Molly. “I didn't sleep because I didn’t want to miss her if she did come home and I also went to places at night where people had said she may have been seen so I could call for her when it was quieter.

“I contacted the local vets and even the local council in case they had found any dead cats. I was getting people sending me photos of dead cats to check if it was her. It was very stressful but it was the not knowing that was the worst.”

Then on 27 May, 20 days after she had last seen Wispa, Molly got a call from one of her neighbours. They had found a cat in their garage and thought it was her missing moggy.

“I immediately thought the worst,” said Molly. “I didn’t think she would have survived 20 days on her own. But then they told me that she was alive and still hiding in the garage.”

Molly went round immediately, and as soon as she opened the garage door, she knew it was Wispa inside. “I could see her black and white fur all over the floor. She must have been pulling it out because she was so stressed.”


black and white cat Wispa
A skinny Wispa recovering after her ordeal
When she eventually saw Wispa, Molly was shocked by the terrible state she was in. “She was desperately dirty and thin. I think she must have been living off of rain water that leaked in from around the door and maybe some insects or small mice.”

A trip to the vets revealed that Wispa weighed just 1.9kg, 2kg less than her normal healthy weight. She was put on a drip for the next three days and then over the following three weeks, Molly had to be careful to only feed her small amounts every few hours.

“She was so hungry she wanted more than the quarter of the small pack I could give her, but if she was fed too much too soon her heart would have given out. The vet said she wouldn't have survived another couple of days.”

Thankfully, Wispa is now almost back to her regular weight and is enjoying lots of fuss and cuddles again. Molly said: “I have four cats and I know I shouldn’t have favourites but Wispa is my little snuggle buddy.”

Molly is now keen to urge the public to be extra vigilant if they know a cat is missing in their area.

“The garage owner felt awful,” said Molly. “She said she had looked after I first mentioned Wispa was missing and had opened the shed once a week since to get the lawn mower out. But she would have been too scared of the mower to come out!

“I would urge everyone to make sure they have a thorough check, not just a sweeping glance. Check under boxes, tables etc. Don’t assume there won’t be a cat in there. Wispa could have been found on day one not day 20. She didn't deserve this.”

Sadly, stories like Wispa’s are all too common, and not all of them have such a happy ending. Cats Protection received almost 2,000 calls about missing cats to its National Information Line over the last year, with the highest numbers reported in the last two months. And these figures are just the tip of the iceberg as many more cats are reported missing via social media and directly to each of the charity’s 250 branches and 36 centres across the UK.

“Cats tend to wander more during warmer weather which explains why we’ve seen a rise in missing cats over the last couple of months with the UK experiencing such a heatwave,” said Cats Protection’s Behaviour Manager, Nicky Trevorrow. “They are notoriously curious creatures and like to investigate their surroundings meaning they can often become trapped in outbuildings. In addition, cats won’t always meow for attention if they are afraid, making it more difficult to realise they are there, so we’d recommend having a really good check before locking up any outbuildings, particularly if you are aware of any cats missing in your area.”

To help prevent other cats like Wispa from suffering, Cats Protection has launched the #LookBeforeYouLock campaign to encourage people to check their sheds, garages and other outbuildings regularly for missing cats.

We’ve even created a handy door hanger that you can put on your shed or garage door to remind you to look carefully before you lock up. Download it from www.cats.org.uk/check-your-shed where you’ll also find lots of advice for what to do if you’ve lost or found a cat.

Cats Protection Look Before You Lock

Friday, 10 August 2018

Kitten Academy: Apple and Apricot graduate to find their forever homes

Catch up on our Kitten Academy series to see how much Apple and Apricot have grown.

Kittens Apple and Apricot are now seven weeks old and ready to graduate from the kitten socialisation programme.

It’s amazing to see how far they have come, from sleepy little bundles of fur to fuzzy cats full of character and energy. Apple is still the bigger, more confident kitten, but Apricot is gradually catching up with her sister as she’s now much more playful and able to get her fair share of time with the toys.

Black kitten at three weeks (left) and seven weeks (right)
Apple at three weeks (left) and seven weeks (right)

The plastic straw is still their favourite plaything. Apple loves to hide underneath the ramp in the pen and then suddenly jump out to pounce on the straw (as you can see in the first video below) – giving you a bit of a shock if you don’t know she’s under there! Apricot likes to chase the straw around, getting lots of exercise as she follows it up and down the ramp again and again (watch her demonstrate in the second video below).


Black kitten at three weeks (left) and seven weeks (right)
Apricot at three weeks (left) and seven weeks (right)
All of the new experiences the kittens have encountered over the past five weeks have really helped them to grow in confidence, as they are no longer fazed when a human approaches their pen. They still need a bit of encouragement to come forward for a fuss, but rattling a ball or dragging a straw along the floor usually does the trick.


After listening to the radio and a CD of household sounds, they’re also not bothered by a bit of background noise, and don’t even seem to notice when some of their kitten neighbours make a noise in the pens next door. They also happily bound around on a variety of different floor surfaces and are used to a range of different food flavours and litter types, hopefully meaning they won’t be too fussy in their forever home.


Once they turn eight weeks old, Apple and Apricot will go to the vets for a check-up and the handling they’ve had should mean that they won’t be too stressed when being examined, vaccinated and microchipped. They will then have a very important operation – neutering! This will protect them from a number of diseases and means they won’t have to go through the ordeal of having kittens themselves. Mum Annie will also be neutered, so she doesn’t have to worry about having another litter, and then all three will be ready for adoption.

Saying goodbye is always emotional for our kitten socialisers, but seeing all that hard work pay off and knowing they have set the kittens up for a happy future in their forever homes is a wonderful feeling. Plus, it won’t be long before another litter arrives and enrols in Kitten Academy – the work never stops!

That’s all for our Kitten Academy series, but we will update you when Apple, Apricot and Annie finally find their forever homes!

If you would like to volunteer for Cats Protection, you can find the opportunities available in your area here.  

For more information about caring for kittens, visit the Cats Protection website.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Rescued cat saves his new owner’s life in return

When Shane rescued a poor moggy from a horrific attack, he gained a feline friend that turned his life around.

Shane had a tough start in life. Growing up in care, he suffered abuse that caused him to become shy, withdrawn and develop a stammer in his older years. He found it difficult to build relationships with others, and problems with alcohol and drugs meant he led a very chaotic lifestyle.

After moving into shared housing, Shane found himself living alongside drug users and would shut himself in his small room, struggling with his mental health alone. Then one day, his whole life changed.
Baby the cat was rescued from terrible abuse
Hearing a loud banging from the room next door, Shane went to investigate and was horrified to discover a small bundle of grey and white fur being used as a football. The poor, terrified kitten had followed his neighbours home and was being kicked and punched around the room for their cruel entertainment.

Angered by this abuse, Shane ran in and grabbed the innocent cat, taking it back to the safety of his room. He named it Baby, thinking it was a girl, and decided to care for the cat to protect her from any more cruelty.

Since he took Baby in, a homeless charity with support workers has helped Shane move into social housing, complete with a communal garden that’s perfect for a cat to explore. Although the landlord has a ‘no pets’ policy, they’ve made an exception for Baby because of the way this wonderful cat has helped to transform Shane’s life for the better.

Shane's new feline friend has turned his life around
Shane suffers with severe epilepsy and before Baby arrived he was having five to six seizures a week. However, now he has a purring kitty to keep him calm, this has reduced to just one or two a week, making a huge difference to Shane’s quality of life. Shane is also now trying to quit drinking and smoking for good so he can be fit and healthy for his beloved moggy companion.

“I’ve never had a cat before but I knew I needed to rescue it,” said Shane. “Baby has really transformed my life, calmed me right down and given me more focus. I have previously thought about taking my own life, but Baby has given me something to live for.”

After finding out about Baby, Shane’s support worker contacted their local Cats Protection branch to see if they could give him some financial assistance with neutering and offer advice on how to care for his new feline friend. The Telford & District Branch were more than happy to help and offered to fund Baby’s neutering and microchipping.

A trip to Haygate Veterinary Centre soon revealed that Baby was in fact a boy, and after a thorough check-up he was found to be 100% healthy. When Baby returned home from the vets, Cats Protection also helped kit him out with everything he needs, including bowls, a litter tray, a scratch post and toys. The branch also gave Shane some helpful tips on how to care for him, including that as much as Baby may love Marmite on toast, it’s really not what he should be eating!

Cats Protection volunteer Tracy was happy to help Shane and Baby 
Tracy, Neutering Officer for Telford & District Cats Protection, said: “Baby now has all he needs to thrive in his new home. We have given Shane our leaflet on the five cat welfare needs and he has stuck it up on his wall to help him remember how to care for his new pet. He was so grateful for all the help we were able to provide and has even given us a lovely thank you card.

“Our branch was very touched by the love Shane has for his cat and that he was so keen to learn how to care for Baby properly. He had plenty of questions for me on the five welfare needs and applied them immediately.”

Baby has settled in really well to his new home and Shane added: “Baby loves playing with his toys and exploring his new garden. The whole community has taken him in and all of the neighbours love him.”

After learning how to make sure Baby stays happy and healthy, Shane was keen to sign up for Haygate Vets’ Healthy Pet Club, a subscription service that covers pets’ basic health care. Unfortunately, as Shane has no personal ID, birth certificate or bank account, he is unable to sign up until he gets his paperwork in order, but after hearing Baby’s story, the vets stepped in to help. They’ve now launched an annual award, giving one deserving cat or dog a year’s free membership to their club, and Baby has been chosen as the first winner.

Tracy added: “The vets have really gone above and beyond to help Shane and Baby. It seems this one little cat is starting to do so much good for Shane, helping him turn his life around. It makes volunteering for Cat Protection so rewarding when we can make such a huge difference to not just cats but their owners too. We are hoping Shane’s story will help convince other landlords to let their tenants keep their cats with them. Shane and Baby have proved that with just a little help they can become the purrfect tenants.”

To find out more about the important work Cats Protection does, visit www.cats.org.uk/what-we-do