Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Caring cat lovers give stray Toby a new home

When Jagoda and Michael from Norfolk found a poor, flea-infested cat roaming the streets, they were immediately concerned that he had lost his home.

They called up Cats Protection’s Downham Market Adoption Centre to see if anyone had informed them of a lost cat in the area, but when there was no match with any of the local missing moggies the branch listed him on the Lost & Found section of their website.

Next Jagoda and Michael took the cat to the local vets to get him scanned for a microchipped, and were relieved to find that he did indeed have a chip! However, their excitement turned to disappointment when the contact details listed turned out to be a dead end.

Tabby and white cat

The vets administered flea and worming treatments to help with the poor cat’s infestation and then took some photos of him to post on their Facebook page, in case there were still owners out there to claim him.

As he was unable to stay at the vets, Jagoda and Michael offered to give the cat a temporary home while the search for his owners continued. They prepared a room in their house that he could have to himself, away from their own pet cat, with all of the resources he would need.

They also continued to put up posters around the local area, but after four weeks had passed, there was still no sign of any owners coming forward.

Having become quite attached to their temporary house guest, Jagoda and Michael made the decision to make him a permanent part of the family. They named him Toby and took him back to the vets to get him checked over and vaccinated, then registered their own details on his microchip.

Tabby and white cat lying on back

Next came the tricky task of introducing Toby to their other cat, Fluffy. Thankfully, Cats Protection was able to help, as by following the steps on our helpful video guide, Jagoda and Michael were able to make sure the introduction went smoothly. They said: “They now get on very well together. They have their moments, but seem to be enjoying each other's company most of the time and even share their food!

“We just wanted to say thank you to Cats Protection’s Downham Market Adoption Centre for listing him on your website and for the advice you've given us on how to help him. We got really attached to him, he's such a friendly and grateful fella.”

If you find a stray cat, follow our advice at www.cats.org.uk/found-a-cat to give them the best chance of a happy reunion or finding a loving new home.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

Black cat stars of movies and TV

Cats Protection finds loving homes for thousands of cats each year, but sadly some moggies often get overlooked by potential adopters.

Black cats can take 13% longer to be rehomed than cats of other colours, yet over 40% of the kitties taken in by our centres are black or black and white.

Some may believe that black cats are boring, but we disagree. You only have to look at the many monochrome moggies that have appeared on the big and small screen to see why.

Here’s our pick of our favourite black cat stars…

Salem (Sabrina The Teenage Witch

via GIPHY

Sabrina’s talking sidekick was always delivering witty one-liners and coming up with plans for world domination, but most remember him for his insatiable hunger and wonderful singing voice – something many cat owners may recognise in their own moggies! Although Salem hasn’t been on our screens for over a decade, he is about to return in Netflix’s upcoming Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, although we’re not yet sure if he has a speaking part!

Binx (Hocus Pocus)

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Although he began the film as a human boy, Thackery Binx was soon transformed into an immortal black cat by the movie’s witchy main stars. Despite his family no longer recognising him, he still guarded their house every Halloween night, hissing at potential spooky intruders. Do you have your own black cat bodyguard?

Sylvester (Looney Tunes

via GIPHY

Whenever Tweety Pie ‘tawt he taw a puddy tat’ it was usually tuxedo moggy Sylvester creeping up on him. The cunning bird often managed to outwit his feline assailant, causing Sylvester to exclaim his classic catchphrase ‘sufferin’ succotash’ – if he’d been chasing a fun fishing rod toy around, he wouldn’t have been left so disappointed!

Snowball II (The Simpsons

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Although the original Snowball was white, the somewhat unimaginative Simpson family decided to keep the snowy name for their second cat, even though she was black. Snowball II was really Lisa’s trusty feline friend but also got on quite well with the family dog, Santa’s Little Helper – proof that sometimes cats and canines can be good friends.

Isis (Star Trek

via GIPHY

There were actually a couple of black cat stars in Star Trek, and they both happened to be shapeshifters. The monochrome moggy called Isis could communicate telepathically when in her feline form, while the cat in episode ‘Catspaw’ switched between being a woman called Sylvia and a mysterious feline that Spock took a shine to. Of course, on Earth the only shapeshifting cats do is to try and fit in their favourite cardboard box.

Figaro (Pinocchio

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First appearing as Mister Geppetto’s cheeky pet in Pinocchio, Figaro went on to star in many other Disney short films on the insistence of Walt Disney himself. Walt loved the little kitten so much, he even made him Minnie Mouse’s own pet moggy. If owning a black cat is good enough for Minnie, it’s certainly good enough for us!

To celebrate the beautiful black cat, get involved in National Black Cat Day on 27 October. Visit www.cats.org.uk/black-cats to download our colour chart to find out your own black cat’s true shade or find a monochrome moggy you can give a loving home.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Kittens rescued from locked car after 2,000 mile voyage from Cyprus to UK

Three tiny kittens have survived a week trapped inside a car with no food or water on a voyage from Cyprus to the UK.

The cruising kittens, who have been named Neptune, Sinbad and Galene, were discovered inside a vehicle on board MV (Military Vessel) Eddystone midway through a 10 day, 2,000 mile journey from Limassol in Cyprus to Southampton.

Tabby kitten
Neptune the kitten. Credit: Kris Bird
After being looked after by the ship’s staff, the kittens were given a clean bill of health by a UK vet and have now begun a three-month stay in quarantine, being paid for by Cats Protection who will find them a new home.

The kittens were found by crew at the end of September during a routine check of the ship’s cargo. They contacted the Sea Mounting Centre in Marchwood, Southampton where the boat was due to dock on 4 October.

black kitten and tabby kitten
Nepture (left) and Sinbad (right). Credit: Kris Bird
“The staff were surprised to see three kittens sitting on the car’s dashboard staring out at them,” said Patrick Fortnum, the ship’s agent who is based at the centre.

“The kittens were about three or four weeks old and were in remarkably good condition considering they’d had no food or water for a week. Their survival is miraculous.

black, tabby and tabby and white kittens
Galene (left) and Sinbad (right) with Neptune in the background. Credit: Kris Bird
“Our staff quarantined them in an empty cabin for four days and kept them fed and warm. The kittens were very friendly, and weren’t timid or shy at all.

“We don’t know how they got into the car and they must have kept very quiet when the car was driven onto the boat because the driver didn’t hear or see anything odd.

tabby kitten and black kitten
Neptune (left) and Sinbad (right). Credit Kris Bird
“The car was locked at the port of Limassol so it’s possible their mum had exited the car sometime before and is still on the island.”

The cost of the kittens’ quarantine, and finding them a new home is likely to reach over £2,000 so Cats Protection would be grateful for any donations towards the cost.


To give to Cats Protection’s Cyprus kittens appeal, please visit www.justgiving.com/cats-protectioncypruscats or text CATZ83 and an amount of £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070. 

Please note all funds raised in excess of the Cyprus appeal will be used to help other cats in the charity’s care.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Big cat challenge raising money for little cats in the UK

On Saturday 13 October, 10 fabulous Cat Champions will travel to India to trek through the Himalayas and spend time with a tiger conservation project, all to raise money for Cats Protection.

The team have been busy fundraising for the past 18 months and have so far raised an incredible £40,000 to help unwanted moggies in their local communities.

Naomh is going to India in support of her local St Neots, Huntingdon & St Ives Branch and has been getting creative with her fundraising from day one. She has had lots of fun hosting a Pawsome Afternoon Tea, selling items at car boot sales and on eBay and even auctioning off a tiger painting created by a well-known local artist. She also asked people to donate Tigger toys to create a huge Tigger tree display, and then sold the toys to raise funds. All of this amazing work has resulted in Naomh surpassing her fundraising target by £300.

Cats Protection charity stall
Naomh selling items to raise money for Cats Protection
To read more about how the team’s fundraising is going and find out their individual reasons for taking on the challenge, visit their group JustGiving page.

Cats Protection offers supporters the opportunity to take part in a big cat international challenge every year, each time helping to raise in the region of £60,000 for the charity’s important work.

The next challenge will involve a trip to Africa to spend three days canoeing down the Zambezi River and then visit a lion conservation project in Livingstone. You’ll also get the chance to spot other magnificent wild animals on a safari tour.

Elephant and canoes
Sign up for the Zambezi challenge in 2020
To find out more and sign up for this once-in-a-lifetime trip, visit www.cats.org.uk/zambia20

If you’re worried about not raising enough funds for your challenge, Cats Protection’s Events team can help to support you every step of the way.

Still not convinced? Here are some previous big cat challenge Cat Champions to purrsuade you…

Kelly

Kelly Eyre, 27, from Wales was one of the first people to sign up for the 2017 Himalayan trek and tiger conservation project. Kelly worked as a Cat Care Assistant at Cats Protection’s Wrexham Adoption Centre for three years before studying to become a vet nurse. At the time she worked at the vet practice that looks after the cats in the centre’s care and has adopted a couple of unwanted moggies of her own, called Jelly and Smokey.

As well as raising much-needed funds, Kelly motivation was that training for her Indian adventure would also help her to shed a few pounds and improve her fitness.

“Anybody who knows me will know full well that I DO NOT like walking up hills or any slight incline, and I can't even make it to the top of Moel Famau!” said Kelly.

“When this opportunity arose, I thought it was the ideal thing to inspire me to get fit while raising money for Cats Protection at the same time.

“Having worked at the Wrexham Centre I know full well how hard the staff and volunteers work to help cats in need and it will be really nice to give them a much-needed boost.”

Cats Protection 2017 Himalayan trek
The 2017 Himalayan trek team
Roz and Yaz 

Roz, the Assistant Manager of Cats Protection’s Nottingham Adoption Centre, and local cat lover Yaz also took part in the 2017 Himalayan trek.

“Here at Cats Protection’s Nottingham Adoption Centre, we have average veterinary bills of around £3,000 per month,” said Roz. “This means that we really do rely on people to fundraise for us to help us continue our vital work. The money raised helps us provide a second chance in life for all of the numerous cats in our care. While a new home is sought, we rely on donations and raised funds to ensure every cat is kept warm and loved, is fed and, if necessary, receive veterinary care.

“Cats Protection’s national commitment to a wide range of programmes that include vaccination, microchipping, neutering and passing on the need for responsible cat care to owners of all ages, would not be possible at our local level without the help of people like Yaz fundraising for us.

“I first met Yaz last December at our adoption centre's Christmas Fayre, where I had invited her to have a stall to help with her fundraising. We've since done a lot of fundraising together and have become very firm friends, so much so that we are going travelling for a week together in Nepal, after the Himalayan Trek.”

For more information about how you can take part in an event to raise money for Cats Protection, visit www.cats.org.uk/events

Thursday, 11 October 2018

Thirteen cats dumped on a road in Wigan

Thirteen cats that were dumped out of the back of a vehicle on Edge Green Road in Wigan are being cared for by a group of cat-loving volunteers.

tabby cat with bad eye

Cats Protection’s Atherton & Wigan Metro Areas Branch is currently caring for the cats, none of which were microchipped, and is appealing for the public’s help to raise the necessary funds to cover the cost of their veterinary treatment and time in care.

Around one third of all the cats taken in by Cats Protection across the UK are stray or abandoned, so it is a problem the charity’s volunteers are desperate to highlight.

black and white cat with bad eye

A spokesperson from the Atherton & Wigan Metro Areas Branch, said: “We were alerted to this case by the owners of a nearby farm who spotted the cats at night while driving. Luckily, they were able to catch these thirteen but we suspect there may be one or more still to be trapped.

“Each of the cats was suffering from a combination of signs of cat flu, dehydration, malnutrition and flea infestations. Four of the cats have very serious eye injuries but we are doing our best to save their sight. However, it is looking likely that one cat will have to have one eye removed.

black cat with bad eye

“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.

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

grey cat with bad eye

The branch is appealing to raise a total of £1,300 to cover the costs of veterinary treatment and care. Donations towards these costs can be made on the branch's JustGiving page. Any donations will go a long way to getting these cats back on their paws.

The charity urges all owners to get their pet cats neutered, as they are such prolific breeders. Just one unneutered cat can produce up to 18 kittens in one year.

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

Pet Plaques commemorate the UK’s amazing cats

TrustedHousesitters, the world’s biggest house and pet sitting business and official Cats Protection partner, has launched a new scheme dedicated to celebrating the nation’s most amazing animals.

Green Pet Plaques, complete with ears, are being attached to houses up and down the country, commemorating the achievements of the amazing animal living inside.

TrustedHousesitters green pet plaque
TrustedHousesitters has launched its green Pet Plaques 
Commemorative plaques such as the English Heritage blue plaque scheme, have honoured notable men and women for over a hundred years by placing a marker on the homes they worked or lived in, but there has never been a similar scheme solely dedicated to animals.

Pet owners across the country can now nominate their own pets to be honoured with a plaque, and some of the first animals to be recognised are previous winners and nominees of Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards.

Tabby cat Smudge
Smudge the cat protected his owner from bullies
Smudge the cat was nominated for the 2014 National Cat Awards Hero Cat category after he helped protect his owner from bullies.

When nine-year-old Ethan Fenton was being picked on, his heroic cat Smudge took action, pouncing on the chest of one of the bigger bullies who had pushed frightened Ethan to the ground. Shocked by Smudge’s smart move, the boy and his friends then ran away finally leaving Ethan alone.

Ethan Fenton, his mum and cat Smudge with green pet plaque
Ethan Fenton with his mum, cat Smudge and their Pet Plaque
Tim Lyons, Managing Director at TrustedHousesitters said: “There are countless stories across the country of pets who have a special bond with their owners or do something incredibly heroic.

“For over a hundred years we have honoured deserving people with blue plaques, we felt it was time to celebrate the nation’s love for our animals by honouring them in a similar way. We’re now looking forward to hearing more inspirational tales of cherished pets as the scheme continues to grow.”

Over 20 plaques have so far been placed on homes all over the UK. For stories and locations of the current markers, or to nominate your own pet to be one of the next in line to receive a plaque, please visit: www.trustedhousesitters.com/pet-plaques
 

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Arthur the cat helps his owner cope with mental health issues

Due to her serious mental health issues, Emily Hatton from Sandbach, Cheshire was told that she would never be able to live in the community on her own.

That was before she found gorgeous black-and-white moggy Arthur.

Emily Hatton with black and white cat Arthur
Emily Hatton and her cat Arthur
Arthur arrived in Emily’s life in 2017, just after she had been discharged from a mental health unit. Since then, Emily has been able to live independently for the longest period in her adult life – an achievement she credits Arthur with making possible.

“Arthur is proof that cats can change people’s lives because he’s changed mine,” said Emily. “Since the age of 16 I’ve been in and out of mental health wards, with 18 admissions up to the age of 21. 

“Last year I came out of hospital after a three-and-a-half year admission to a mental health unit. That’s when I got Arthur and since then I’ve not been back in hospital once with my mental health.

black and white cat Arthur
Arthur has transformed Emily life
“He’s always there, he’s my best friend. Coming out of hospital after so long, I needed a best friend and that’s what he became.

“He’s there to welcome me when I get in, so I never return to an empty home, and he’s there to help me through the dark days. He’s a reason to get up and he’s always there to listen to me.”

In August 2018, Arthur won the Most Caring Cat award at Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards because of his positive impact on Emily’s life. After collecting the award on Arthur’s behalf.

Emily Hatton with black and white cat Arthur
Emily nominated Arthur for a National Cat Award
Emily said: “I’m over the moon that Arthur has won this award as he has really changed my life. I hope our story will help more people understand just how much cats can help people with mental health issues.

“Winning this award means I can give something back to him and I’m thrilled other people can see how special he is.”

Arthur was chosen as the winner by celebrity judge Deborah Meaden, who presented Emily with the award at a star-studded ceremony at London’s Savoy Hotel.

Deborah Meaden and Emily Hatton at National Cat Awards
Deborah Meaden presenting Emily Hatton with Arthur's award
Deborah said: “Emily and Arthur were the choice for me as I have a sense of the ongoing and daily support that Emily has from Arthur in simply living her everyday life.

“Emily has problems facing the world and Arthur supports her every mood and every moment simply by being there and connecting her to the world.”

Related stories:
How becoming a volunteer can help with mental health
Rescued cat saves his new owner's life
2018 National Cat Awards in quotes