Friday, 15 February 2019

Our next top models – can you home a cat for London Fashion Week?

Today marks the beginning of London Fashion Week, a mainstay in the calendar of keen fashionistas. In an alternative to the fashion catwalk, we have put together a list of our next top models – the purrfect cats in our care waiting for their fur-ever homes.

Whether you’re looking to buy into Spring/Summer’s stripes trend or you’ve got a penchant for designer labels, you’ll find a cat to suit you.

Charlie



Embracing this season’s trend for stripes and showing off his bright blue eyes, Charlie would make a welcome addition to your home. Ideal for a family with older cat-savvy children or a couple, he’s a very sociable cat, proving that style can also have substance. A handsome six-month-old kitten, he was born with impaired sight but doesn’t let it affect his personality.

If you’d like to give Charlie a home, please contact Harrogate Branch on 01423 889 598

Cleo



They say that black never goes out of style and Cleo is the epitome of style. At 14 years old, she is a vintage beauty with an affectionate nature. She makes the perfect companion but will need some extra love and attention. As she has diabetes, she needs daily injections – although she handles them in a fuss-free fashion.

If you’d like to rehome Cleo, please contact Coleraine branch on 07488 527 707

Chello and Gucci



A sophisticated pair with monikers to match, these moggies are seeking a home to call their own. Approximately six years old, Chello and Gucci came into care when their owner sadly passed away. Gucci is a black female, while Chello is a dark tortoiseshell.



Both girls can be shy and nervous around people but once they get to know you, they love a fuss. Chello has a previous pelvis injury that will need looking after. Due to Chello’s condition and because the girls have never been outside, Gucci and Chello are looking for an indoor only home with no stairs.

If you’d like to home this fantastic duo, contact Bedford & Biggleswade on 0345 260 2505

Wicksie


Wicksie is quite the cutie – definitely a trend-setter rather than a follower. Originally a stray, he developed a terrible mouth infection that unfortunately caused his eye to become infected too. Despite being treated, the muscles in his face will never regain their full strength, making his right eye slightly sunken. He is also recovering from a wrist injury and will require daily pain medication. Even with all of this, Wicksie is an affectionate boy with an amazing purr.

Can you give Wicksie a warm bed and a few treats? Please contact Bedford & Biggleswade on 0345 260 2505

Tabby and Mim

This fashionable duo are looking to be homed together as indoor cats. A pair of eight-year-old sisters, Tabby and Mim sadly came into the centre’s care after their owner went into care. With plenty of personality, these two aren’t divas – although they do both like a fuss.



Tabby is more outgoing, while Mim is the shyer sister. Neither are particularly happy with other animals and would prefer to live with a family with older children.



If you’ve got a Tabby and Mim shaped space in your home, contact Bedford & Biggleswade on 0345 260 2505.

Michael and Arthur

These two vintage beauties are looking for a quiet home that they can relax in. Michael is a shy boy with a love for the great outdoors and spending time inside on a comfy sofa. After spending 51 days in care, he’s desperate to find a forever home.


Arthur has recently undergone thyroid surgery and after being in care for 41 days, this dapper gent is looking for an estate to call his own. He’d rather have a home with plenty of peace and quiet, although he still enjoys an independent lifestyle. An eccentric gent looking to fill your home with his own unique sense of style.


If you'd like to home Michael or Arthur, contact Downham Market branch on 01366 382 311

While we don’t condone cats as fashion accessories, it’s safe to say that cats never go out of style, whatever trend you’re looking to buy into.

If you’d like to find your own next top model, go to www.cats.org.uk/find-a-cat where you can search for a cat in your area.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

How to plan the purrfect Valentine's date night with your cat

Valentine’s Day is all about showing that special someone in your life how much you care, but it’s not just our human companions who deserve to be shown some love.

Snuggling up with your beloved moggy will make for a truly pawsome Valentine’s Day and best of all, they won’t judge if you want to spend the evening in your PJs!

If you’re planning a night in with your feline friend, here are some top tips to make it extra special…

ginger cat with all you need is cat sign

A delicious meal

Your moggy will be pretty easy to please when it comes to dinnertime, so you don’t need to go to the effort of preparing a three-course meal. All you’ll need is a bowl of their favourite complete cat food  and a separate bowl of fresh water (make sure there’s some distance between the two bowls as your cat will prefer to drink away from their favourite eating spot). For an added treat, you could even heat up their meal to room temperature to really enhance the food’s enticing aroma. Then, unless you find a bowl of meaty chunks particularly mouth-watering, you can spoil yourself with whatever you fancy – time to dig out the takeaway menus!

The purrfect present

ginger, white and grey cat in a cardboard box

Cats are pretty cheap dates, so instead of getting them flowers and a box of chocolates (chocolate is toxic for cats and many types of flower are poisonous to them too!), they’ll be more than happy with a good, old cardboard box to sit in. Alternatively, you could treat them to a new toy to play with, or get creative and make one yourself. After all, homemade presents are the best presents.

Quality time

tabby cat playing with a toy mouse

The best way to strengthen your bond with your kitty pal is to get them stalking, chasing and pouncing with their favourite toy. Playtime causes the release of happy hormones in your cat’s brain, so they’ll be grateful for the chance to burn off some energy after their tasty meal. The best toys are balls they can bat around, or fishing rod toys that they can chase as you drag them along the floor. Just make sure you keep your fingers and toes out of the way!

Get cosy

tabby and white cat having cheek stroked by human hand

Curling up on the sofa for a cat nap is a great way to end the evening. Find a nice soft blanket that your moggy can knead with their paws and give them a gentle chin rub or stroke behind the ears to get them purring. You could even have a moggy pampering session and brush their fur to keep it looking soft and shiny.

The look of love

Wondering if your moggy date loves you back? Look out for the signs in our video to find out!

 

Who is your kitty Valentine? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Top marks for infant school as they help keep cat safe

Cats Protection is commending the teachers and pupils of Squirrels Heath Infant School after they helped care for a sick cat. The cat wandered into the playground, where the children were playing, on Thursday 10 January.

Staff decided to keep the cat safe in the school’s playhouse, covering it in a tarpaulin. They quickly called Cats Protection’s Hornchurch & District Branch, who arrived to find the cat in a sorry state.
Squirrel, named in recognition of the school, was weak and in such poor health that he put up no fight while being put into a cat carrier. Kathy Edwards and Debbie Priestley, volunteers from the branch, decided to rush him to the vets.


At the vets, it was found that he was severely underweight, making him look a lot older than his estimated age of five years. The examination showed he had two broken teeth and a slight heart murmur.

After a short stay at the vets, Kathy is now fostering Squirrel so that he can make a full recovery at her house before finding his forever home.



Kathy said: “We cannot thank the children and teachers at Squirrels Heath Infant School enough for acting so quickly and for doing all the right things. Not only did it help Squirrel but it was also great for the children to see how to help a sick and injured animal.

“Some beautiful get well cards were made for Squirrel, wishing them good luck and I’m sure if he could talk, he would want to say a big ‘thank you’ to both students and teachers.”

Squirrel will soon be ready for homing. If you’d like to adopt him, please call Hornchurch & District Branch on 01708 755 211.

Five-year-old Ollie with thank you card

Monday, 4 February 2019

Top tips for protecting your cat from cancer

Sadly, humans are not the only ones at risk from getting cancer as cats and dogs can suffer from this terrible disease too.

Although cancer is not very common in cats, it can be particularly aggressive and so prevention and early treatment are important for improving their chance of recovery.

If you notice any change in your cat’s health or behaviour, or if you find any lumps in their skin while stroking or grooming them, take them to the vet as soon as possible.

tabby cat sleeping on back of sofa
Moggies could be less likely to develop cancer than purebred cats

There are a multitude of different cancers that cats can get and as yet we do not fully understand all the reasons these cancers develop. However, it is likely that in most instances a variety of factors are at play.

In other species we know that genetics play an important role in the likelihood of cancers developing, and there is no reason that this wouldn’t be the case in cats also. Potentially this could mean that our moggies, which have a more varied genetic background compared to a purebred cat, could have less chance of developing certain cancers (this is certainly the case in dogs), but as yet the research into this is limited.

There are many different chemicals that can increase the risk of cancer in all animals and these are called carcinogens. Carcinogens act by stimulating cells to become abnormal in some way, for example they may trigger cells to replicate out of control. Research is still ongoing into looking at different chemicals and the role they play as carcinogens.

Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce your cat’s risk of getting cancer…

Limit sun exposure 

black and white cat lying in the shade outdoors
Make sure your cat has access to shady spots for snoozing
Your cat may enjoy lounging in the sunshine during hot weather, but just as UV rays can be dangerous for humans, they can also put your moggy at risk of developing skin cancer.

Cats with white or pale ears and noses are particularly susceptible as their skin doesn’t have a pigment called melanin, which provides protection against UV.

To keep your cat safe, keep them indoors during the hottest part of the day and speak to your vet about a suitable sunscreen.

white cat with head tilted upside down
White cats are more at risk of skin cancer
Make sure they’re vaccinated 

The viral infection Feline Leukaemia Virus (FeLV) can attack cells within your cat’s bone marrow, leading to the development of leukaemia (a cancer of the circulating white blood cells) and a cancer called lymphoma (a solid mass of cancerous white blood cells).

The good news is that the chance of your cat picking up this virus can be dramatically reduced by getting them vaccinated against Feline Leukaemia Virus. Speak to your vet about making sure your cat is protected.

Get them neutered 

As well as preventing your cat from producing any unwanted kittens, neutering also has lots of health benefits, including reducing the risk of them developing certain types of cancer.

For female cats neutering will significantly decrease their chances of developing breast tumours, and for male cats it reduces the likelihood of them picking up viruses such as Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) which can increase the risk of cancer by weakening their body’s immune response to cancer cells.

It’s best to get your cat neutered from four months of age and Cats Protection could even help towards the cost. Find out more at www.cats.org.uk/neutering

Keep them healthy 

tabby and white cat with toy
Make sure you cat has plenty toys to play with, either shop bought or homemade!
Ensuring your cat receives all the nutrients they need and does not become overweight will help to set them up for a long, healthy life.

Make sure you give your cat a high quality complete cat food that’s suitable for their age and avoid overfeeding them with treats and leftovers from your plate.

It is also important to establish a routine so that they get plenty of exercise. If your cat isn’t naturally active it can help to set aside time to have regular play sessions with them each day. You could also try using puzzle feeders to keep them moving. This will help your cat burn off some calories and therefore reduce their risk of obesity and cancer.

Many owners want to do everything they can to reduce the chance of their cat developing cancer. While we can never predict or prevent this entirely, following the steps above will certainly help to safeguard your cats’ health in the long term.

For more advice on keeping your cat happy and healthy, visit the Cats Protection website

Thursday, 31 January 2019

Cat lovers’ dreams come true volunteering with Cats Protection

Beki and Mike Thackwray from Erdington had always dreamed of having a cat, but didn’t think they could because they live in a flat with no outside space.

However, when they saw an appeal on Facebook for indoor cat fosterers for the Cats Protection North Birmingham Branch, their luck changed.

blonde woman holding tabby and white cat and waving its paw
Beki with one of her foster cats 
Beki, who works in child and adolescent mental health, said: “Coming home to our foster cats really is our dream voluntary role.

“We worried we might want to keep the cats, but we needn’t have. Instead, we love to socialise and have fun with the cats and kittens – and then see them go off to their forever homes with their adopters who’ll give them a happy home for life. It couldn’t be more rewarding.”

So far the cat-loving couple has fostered three pairs of kittens and several adult cats.

White-and-black moggy Panda, who is FIV-positive, was the last cat they fostered. Happily, he’s already been adopted and moved to his permanent home.

man with black and white cat on his lap
Mike with Panda the cat
Although Mike, a park ranger, initially thought Beki would be more involved than he would, it hasn’t turned out that way. He said: “We’ve both completed online courses so we know how to care for the cats, and we’ve had lots of help and encouragement from Cats Protection.

“Sometimes Beki will greet the viewers and potential adopters. Then I’ll get the adoption paperwork completed and register the microchip so everyone can go home smiling and purring.

“We’re so glad to be involved with helping cats and kittens in need – we can have breaks whenever we want and it’s all at no cost to ourselves. We love it!”

Cats Protection fosterers care for cats and kittens in a spare room, in part of the house or in purpose-built garden pens. The cats can’t go outside or mix with other pets.

If you think you could foster for Cats Protection, visit www.cats.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering to find out how to get involved.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Miracle kitten survives two weeks alone in freezing weather

Libby the kitten used up at least one of her nine lives after she was abandoned in a country lane in Fareham in the freezing cold.

Volunteers from Cats Protection’s Fareham Branch found her cold, hungry, underweight and with an injured nose two weeks into her terrifying ordeal and were able to get her to safety.

black kitten with injured nose
Libby the kitten survived two weeks in the cold
Libby’s four siblings had been rescued a fortnight earlier when a member of the public contacted Cats Protection to say she had spotted some kittens in a lane near Botley Park golf course.

Lorri Seymour, Coordinator of Cats Protection’s Fareham Branch, said: “It was after 8pm and in the middle of nowhere, so it was very dark and scary – there’s just fields and a narrow lane so we only just got the car down there.

“Members of the public had managed to catch two kittens and we used traps* with food inside to catch two others – it took a couple of hours but the kittens were really hungry so they were eventually tempted inside.

ginger and black-and-white kitten cuddled together
Two of Libby's siblings enjoying being safe and warm
“The lady who called us said she’d seen five kittens, but there was no sign of the fifth. We waited as long as we could, but we needed to get the other kittens checked over – it was an awful dilemma.”

By 1am Lorri and fellow Cats Protection volunteer Trudi Farrow had taken the rescued animals to safety, but remained concerned there was another kitten who needed help.

There was no sign of her for two weeks, but against all the odds the same member of the public who had originally spotted the animals called again to say she’d seen a black kitten in the lane.

black and white kitten with black nose
The kittens were all given a full health check after their ordeal 
"Trudi, her husband Mark and I headed straight back to the lane and, thankfully, this time we managed to find and catch the remaining kitten,” said Lorri.

“It was a miracle Libby was still alive and it was so cold out there I don’t think she would have made it through another night. She must have been terrified.”

Lorri has been caring for the first four kittens at home – despite her partner being allergic to cats – and a volunteer fosterer is caring for Libby, feeding her a teaspoon of food every hour since she was rescued.

By the time Libby arrived, her siblings – some of whom might actually be similar-aged kittens from another litter – were recovering well, gaining weight and quickly gaining confidence.

four cats on a scratch post tower
The kittens have all found their forever homes 
They were all given full health checks, flea and worm treatments, and a blood test and antibiotics for some of the kittens.

Because they were found near Bishop’s Waltham, volunteers named the kittens after bishops and also people named Bishop: Lily (Bishop, American author), (Thomas) Becket, Desmond (Tutu), (Lord) Ramsey and now Libby (Lane).

The first four kittens, thought to be about 12 weeks old when they were rescued, have already been adopted and moved to their forever homes  and the branch has a list of people waiting to adopt Libby when she’s well enough.

“The number of cats being dumped is a major problem for us because it can take weeks and sometimes hundreds of pounds to nurse just one unfortunate cat back to health,” said Lorri.

“We seem to be living in a throwaway society where some people think nothing of just dumping cats.

“I urge owners to get their cats neutered as they are such prolific breeders. Just one unneutered cat can produce up to 18 offspring in a year so neutering will help to prevent more unwanted kittens like these in the future.”

 For more information about the importance of neutering, visit www.cats.org.uk/neutering  

 *Cats Protection’s Fareham Branch was able to buy new traps which were used in this rescue and other vital equipment thanks to a grant from Support Adoption for Pets.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Meet our moon-inspired moggies looking for homes

Did you know that ‘Luna’ was the most popular cat name of 2018? According to data from microchip company Identibase, this moon-inspired moniker was the top name for cats registered for a microchip between January and December last year.


While it is not clear how Luna, which means ‘moon’ in Latin, became a favoured name for felines, there are some theories.

Dr Peter McClure, Honorary Professor at Nottingham University’s Institute of Name Studies says: “An explanation could be that cats hunt at night and their eyes shine in the dark, so they have an affinity with the moon. However, the rapid rise in popularity of Luna as a female cat name suggests that something else is going on.”

Other theories suggest that characters such as Harry Potter’s Luna Lovegood has resulted in an increase in the name’s popularity.

Whatever its mystical origin, if you’re looking for a Luna to love, we’ve got some that are still waiting for owners. With 18 Lunas currently in Cats Protection’s care, it is clear that their popular name isn’t proving any luck in helping them find forever homes.

Here are just a few of the Lunas waiting for a home.

Luna from Dereham, Norfolk


A laid-back cat who loves to be pampered and brushed, she would be an ideal pet for a family home. If you live in the Dereham area and want to adopt this adorable bundle of fluff, please call 01362 687 919.

Luna from Bredhurst, Kent


A fun-loving and energetic cat that is always on the go, this Luna would be best suited to a busy household and an experienced cat owner. If you can’t resist those eyes and want to give her a home, please call 01634 232 471.

Luna from Coventry, Warwickshire


A shy cat with a close affinity to her brother Loki, black-and-white Luna would be looking for a home where they can remain together. If you’ve got space in your heart for two gorgeous moggies, please call 02476 594 116.

To make a search for all of the cats in our care and those in your area, go to www.cats.org.uk/find-a-cat