Monday, 10 December 2012

Flooded-out Felix seeks home comforts

Our Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre is searching for a new owner for a cat that lost his foster home in a flood.
Felix, who has been in the centre’s care for a year, was until recently enjoying home life with Fosterer Diane. The ginger tabby was recovering from a neck wound and staff decided he would be better off in a home environment.
Until the floods, Felix was enjoying home life with Fosterer Diane
Sadly for Diane, her house was flooded when the River Exe burst its banks last month and she is now in temporary accommodation.
Felix was taken back to the Devon adoption centre before the floods and is getting the best possible care and attention, but would be much happier in a home environment. He will need ongoing treatment from his current vet until he is fully fit so he needs a patient, experienced owner who lives within travelling distance.
His wound has now healed, and his medication is being reduced gradually. Felix is also on a special anti-allergy diet. Centre staff will fully brief the new owner on his needs.

Felix is a relaxed cat, say staff at CP's Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre
Despite his trials, Felix is a friendly, affectionate cat who has melted the hearts of centre staff and would make a lovely pet for the right owner. “He’s very chilled and very relaxed, he’s an absolute dude,” says centre deputy manager Louise Bradbury.

Do you live within reasonable travelling distance of Exeter? Could you offer Felix a permanent home? Contact CP's Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre on 01395 232 377.

Note: these pictures show Felix wearing a specially-made jumper. This was necessary to protect his wound and dressing as he could not wear a standard protective collar. CP advises that cats should not be dressed in clothes unless on veterinary advice.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Factory cat clocks off for good

Sometimes one of our branches is preparing to take a cat into care when someone steps in to rehome them.

That’s just what happened with Mya (now Katya) the Glasgow factory cat. Her story is so heart-warming we had to share it with you!

Earlier this year our Glasgow Branch took a call from a company called Howden Compressors. A little cat had appeared at the factory one day; the staff thought she must be a stray as she was so friendly.

Two of the office girls started feeding the pretty tabby, tortie and white cat and Mya was content to stretch out in the smoking shelter, wandering into the factory in bad weather.

Katya has a comfortable new life, thanks to her kind owners
Our Glasgow Branch supported and advised the staff while they tried to track down Mya’s owner. While the vet found she was microchipped, her owners did not want her back. So Glasgow Branch prepared for Mya to come in to their care.

Howden Compressors’ staff had grown fond of the little cat, though, and before that was necessary one of the company’s staff came forward with an offer to adopt her. "We had kept cats previously," says Jim Baillie. "It was a while since our last cat died so we decided to take Mya. She seemed very friendly and house trained."

Katya's factory days are behind her
The cat, renamed Katya as Jim's neighbour already had a cat called Mya, is enjoying her easier life in Paisley. 

"She is a very inquisitive cat," says Jim. "As soon as a cupboard door is opened she is straight in to investigate and rummage around!"

He adds: “Katya appears to have settled and is happy to go out to explore the garden and golf course…Her favourite place to sleep is on my son’s computer chair. She jumps up as soon as my son gets off the chair and glares at him if he wants back on!

"Katya appears to be happy staying with us and we are happy to have her.”

To support CP's work helping abandoned and unwanted cats, just click here

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Littermates saved from landfill

Cats Protection is caring for three kittens that were seemingly tossed out with household rubbish.
Our Ipswich Branch is looking after Scrappy, Dusty and Rusty; five-week-old kittens saved by workers at a landfill site on 6 November.

(l-r) Scrappy, Dusty and Rusty. Photo: David Garrett Photography, Ipswich
Branch Co-ordinator David Smith, who is caring for the little cats with his wife Sheila, said: “They were absolutely traumatised – very dirty, shaking and distressed. But with plenty of TLC they have already bounced back and are lovely, playful kittens. They’ve just been given a clean bill of health by the vet so their future looks bright.”

The tiny kittens were found among household rubbish by workers at Ipswich’s Viridor Foxhall Landfill site.

David said: “There was no way they could have known the kittens were in the wheelie bin, but they spotted them as soon as the truck tipped the rubbish out. They took them to a portacabin and kept them warm and dry. It was touching to see how concerned they were.”

Scrappy, Dusty and Rusty should be ready for rehoming in around five weeks’ time. If you would like to adopt the kittens, please visit and complete the form, mentioning ‘Ipswich Kittens’ in the comments box.

Ipswich Branch is just one of Cats Protection’s 290 branches and adoption centres in the UK caring for and rehoming abandoned and unwanted cats. Will you help us carry on the good work? To donate, please visit Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

National Cat Adoption Centre helps dumped kittens

Staff at Cats Protection’s National Cat Adoption Centre are caring for three kittens left for dead nearby.

The five-month-old cats were discovered by walkers on Sunday 29 October. They’d been dumped in a filthy holdall among bracken near the Piglets car park in the Ashdown Forest, Sussex.

A passer-by saw one of the cats and alerted staff at Cats Protection's National Cat Adoption Centre, in nearby Chelwood Gate. Staff from the charity came out to search the area and found two more kittens.

All three – now named Piglet, Forest and Fidget – are being cared for at the centre and are recovering well from their ordeal. They will be closely monitored for any signs of ill health before they are ready for rehoming.
In safe hands: the kittens are now at the National Cat Adoption Centre in Chelwood Gate
Manager of the National Cat Adoption Centre Danielle Draper said the kittens would have died if they hadn’t been discovered.

She said: “These are domesticated kittens that would never have been able to fend for themselves, particularly during this cold snap."

Danielle added: “It is very sad to think of these very friendly kittens being dumped in the middle of nowhere and just left for dead, they are very fortunate to have been spotted by walkers.“

"If anyone finds themselves in a situation where they can no longer keep their cats we would urge them not to dump them but to get in contact with their local Cats Protection for advice on what to do.”

Cats Protection staff are checking the Piglets car park area daily in case more kittens were dumped.

Danielle added: “We have no idea how many were left out there. While we are continuing to check we would also appeal to anyone who spots any kittens on the Ashdown Forest to please get in contact with the National Cat Adoption Centre on 01825 741330.”

If you would like to offer a home to any of the kittens please contact the National Cat Adoption Centre on 01825 741 330. You’ll find the website at


Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Adopt a dashing black cat

With just one day to go until National Black Cat Day, we thought we’d meet some of the darker cats in our care. Will you be the loving new owner these beautiful black cats need?

Black and black-and-white cats are sleek and striking, yet are often overlooked by potential adopters.

We think they make lovely pets so have organised National Black Cat Day on Thursday 25 October in celebration of these chic creatures. We hope to persuade more people to find a space on their sofa for black and black-and-white cats like these four fabulous felines:


Five-year-old male Troy is currently resident at our Bridgend Adoption Centre in South Wales. “He was admitted to the centre through no fault of his own,” says Centre Manager Sue Dobbs. “He is a loving and friendly cat with a great personality and is sure to make purrfect feline friend.”
Troy: a loving and friendly cat
Our Milton Keynes & District Branch is looking after Freda, who was found scavenging foods from car park rubbish bins. This two-year-old female is friendly and affectionate.

Freda: new owner sought
Downham Market Adoption Centre in Norfolk is looking after sleek Rishma. “She’s a bit of a diva, who wants her own palace and grounds to roam in with a servant or two to pander to her every need,” says deputy manager Stacey Ely. “She has been in CP care for far too long and deserves to find that special someone!”
Rishma: human servant required
Mickey is an affectionate older cat, around 14 years old and in the care of Scotland’s Outer Aberdeen & District Branch. Branch Co-ordinator Liz Grant says: “He chats to you, walks to heel like a dog and adores being brushed and cuddled.” Mickey, who has striking orange eyes, came into the branch’s care when his owner died and he was left outdoors. “He needs a home where someone can fuss him in his retirement,” says Liz. The branch will give Mickey’s new owner advice on his hyperthyroidism.

Mickey: loves cuddles
Give a black cat a better life
Across the UK, our branches are looking after hundreds of black and black-and-white cats just like Troy, Freda, Rishma and Mickey. We’re giving them the best possible care but they need a home of their own. Will you give them a better life?

Click on to find your local Cats Protection branch. Give our branch volunteers a call or look on their website to find out how to adopt a beautiful black cat.

And don’t forget to join in all the fun on Thursday 25 October – National Black Cat Day. Post a pic of your black cat to Facebook or download our mask and take a snap. Everything you need is here:

Thank you for caring about black cats.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Branch tends plant pot kittens

A Cats Protection branch has homed four kittens found nestled in a plant pot.

Our Stoke & Newcastle Branch was called out to a rented house in early September – the tenants had been feeding a stray cat then discovered her litter in their yard.

The black-and-white kittens were found in a plant pot. Photo: Alan Bentley
At that point, all the branch Fosterers’ pens were full so Welfare Officer Alan Bentley created a temporary shelter to keep the kittens safe with their mother while homes were found for them.

While the mother cat was taken for a health check and neutering, branch volunteer Tracy Slater uploaded Alan’s photos of the kittens – one tom and three queens – to the branch’s website and Facebook page.

“To promote some interest I started asking people how we should name them,” said Tracy.

Tracy asked Facebook followers to name the kittens. Photo: Alan Bentley
Tracy first posted about the plant pot kittens on 12 September – by 28 September, new owners had come forward for all of the kittens. They were named Zero, Fifi, Pip and Milo.

“I was so elated when I heard that they’d all been found homes,” said Tracy. While the new owners were sought, Alan had visited the kittens regularly and phoned the tenants frequently to check on the kittens’ progress.

All of the kittens are now settled into their new homes. As they were a little younger than the usual minimum rehoming age of nine weeks, Alan visited the kittens’ new owners regularly during the first few weeks of adoption to give them a helping hand.

“We’ll carry on visiting them until the kittens have been neutered, to make sure all the processes have been followed,” Tracy added. “And also as a way of saying thank you and giving the new owners some extra support.”

After she was neutered, the kittens' mother was adopted by a kind neighbour - a happy ending for both kittens and mother cat.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Bus cat to beloved pet

Looking at Baggypuss today, you wouldn’t guess at his past life as a starving stray, pushed away by people in a bus queue as he searched for scraps.

“He’s settled in absolutely wonderfully,” says Vivienne Husband of the ginger tom she adopted from CP’s Swale Branch in July.

Baggypuss has thrived in his new home
Things were very different six months ago. Frightened, hungry and dehydrated, the skeletal cat was forced to live off discarded scraps. In his search for food, he tried to board a bus in Halfway, Isle of Sheppey, but was shooed away by the passengers.

Luckily for Baggypuss he was spotted and taken home by a local man, who contacted Swale CP then took him to the vet.

Swale’s Branch Co-ordinator Sylvia Foster visited the cat at the clinic the next day. “He was so weak that his back legs could hardly support him. His fur was ragged and tufty and his eyes were sunken,” she says.

“I picked him up very gently and he snuggled into me and started purring. I thought: ‘You poor mite, I’ve got to do something for you.’”

When he was found, Baggypuss could barely support his own weight
Sylvia guessed that the cat must have a lot of medical problems, but tests showed that he simply had an overactive thyroid which could be controlled through medication.

Baggypuss was taken to his temporary new home, a cosy Cat Cabin at the home of Branch Fosterer Val Hadnutt. With Val’s care and devotion Baggypuss gradually improved, putting on more than half a kilo in weight. 
With CP's care and attention, Baggypuss's health improved
And then - at last - he found a new owner.

Vivienne Husband first caught sight of Baggypuss at a branch open day at Val’s house. “He walked into my heart and that was it, I wanted him there and then,” Vivienne says.

In early July, Baggypuss moved into his permanent home with Vivienne. He has thrived in her care, and is now a healthy weight.

“When I look at him sleeping, all curled up, he looks totally content to me,” she adds.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Lucky escape for car kitten

A Cats Protection adoption centre is caring for a tiny kitten that was trapped in a car engine for three days.

The black-and-white cat, dubbed Shell by Bridgend Adoption Centre staff, was discovered by local resident Caroline Roberts earlier in September, after she heard meowing. Caroline had searched her area trying to track down the source of the noise without success.
Shell is in better health, thanks to Cats Protection

One evening, she was standing next to her neighbour’s car when she realised the meows were coming from the vehicle.

Caroline’s neighbour was shocked – she’d recently taken the car on a 14-mile journey.

Luckily, Caroline’s husband Norman is a car mechanic and he set about trying to free the tiny creature. It was something of a challenge; taking an hour and needing the help of four neighbours. Finally, the 10-week-old kitten was freed.

Norman said: “It’s great to have been involved with my wife in the rescue of this little kitten.”

The kitten, named Shell by staff at the centre because of the oil covering her coat, is very fortunate to have survived her ordeal. She was terrified, dehydrated, and underweight when admitted to the centre, but after a warm bath and lots of care she is well on the way to recovery.

Best of all, Shell has a new home. Centre manager Sue Dobbs said: “Norman and Caroline Roberts are going to adopt Shell, once she is well enough and a home visit is done.”

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Yorkshire cat found safe in Suffolk

A cat from Yorkshire has been reunited with her owner after being found 170 miles away in Suffolk.

Ginger tabby Kitz was discovered among a group of stray and feral cats by Alison Lardner, a volunteer for Cats Protection’s Breckland branch.

An elderly lady had been feeding the cats that passed through her Mildenhall garden. The charity was called in to help trap, neuter and return them to help control the population and prevent the spread of disease.

Kitz: safe and well after her journey. Photo: Judith Wakelam

Something about Kitz’s healthy appearance and friendly manner convinced Alison that she was not a feral or long-term stray. As the cats were taken to a local vet, Alison continued to wonder about her. “Something made me ring back and ask whether they could check whether the ginger cat had a microchip,” she said.

The cat did have a microchip – showing that she was registered to an address in Leeds!

“I was so happy to hear that they’d found her,” said Kitz’s owner, dance teacher Jason Williams. “But I didn’t expect them to say Kitz was in Suffolk – that’s a three-hour drive!”

Jason had never before visited Suffolk and has no idea how Kitz ended up in the county.

“She’d gone missing in May,” said Jason. “We’d moved to a new area of Leeds and kept her inside for four or five months before we let her out…Then she started going for little walks and we thought that was ok. But one day, she went off and didn’t return.”

Jason and Kitz were reunited in Suffolk. Photo: Judith Wakelam

Jason and his partner searched everywhere for their cat; putting up posters, phoning veterinary surgeries, pacing the neighbourhood at night while calling her name. “We still had hope that she was all right because she was microchipped.”

And Jason was correct – so in August, after getting the call about Kitz, he travelled down to Suffolk to be reunited with her at Alison Lardner’s home.

Now back in Leeds, Kitz is doing well. “She constantly wants to go out,” said Jason. “I think she’s more used to being outside than inside now.”

Jason admitted he’d had initial reservations about getting Kitz microchipped but a friend changed his mind. He added: “I’m really glad I got her microchipped.”

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Fresh start for dumped forest felines

A cat and her three kittens abandoned in a forest have been given a second chance at life, thanks to Cats Protection.

Mother cat Lucy and her three eight-day-old kittens were tied up in a bin bag and dumped in a wood.

“The intention was clear; they were to be given no chance of survival at all,” said Cilla Bartlett, Branch Volunteer at Cats Protection’s Reading & District Branch based in Berkshire, England.

By chance, the abandoned cats were found by a passer-by who took them to the nearest vet. CP’s Reading & District Branch took the cats into their care and set about finding them new homes. With the branch's care, the cats blossomed.

“Despite being naturally wary of people at first, Lucy proved to be a brilliant mother, and gradually gained the confidence to become a very loving, affectionate and vocal cat,” said Cilla.
Lucy was a brilliant mother, despite her ordeal

Two of Lucy's kittens were homed together when they were 10 weeks old which left Lucy – only about a year old herself – and her remaining kitten, Olive, still looking for a new home.

Mother and daughter appeared to be exceptionally close and the branch wanted to rehome them together.

Luckily for the pair, a couple who were looking for a mother cat and kitten contacted the branch.

“All four are being spoiled rotten in their new homes,” says Cilla. “Every now and again a story like this restores our faith in the power of good over evil.”

Thursday, 6 September 2012

New homes for hotel kittens

Cats Protection has found new homes for some unwanted hotel guests – a mother cat and her eight kittens.

The charity’s Fareham & Waterlooville Districts Branch in Hampshire, England, was called out to a hotel in July to catch the stray cat and her kittens, who were living in the eaves.

The hotel’s caretaker climbed in to the roof space and handed each kitten to Branch Trapping Volunteer Eric Silverberg. “Imagine my surprise when I received eight kittens estimated at about eight to 10 days old,” said Eric.

Eric and Inga looked after the tiny kittens at home
Eric took the tiny kittens home and they were bottle-fed by his wife Inga, a Kitten Fosterer for the branch. Luckily, volunteers caught the mother cat soon after and the feline family was reunited at Eric and Inga’s home.

Inga said: “She was a lovely mother, a beautiful, gentle cat who never put her claws out once. But she didn’t have enough milk to feed all eight kittens so I was helping her all the time.” While Inga is used to looking after kittens she admits that eight was a bit like a herd.

A local newspaper, the Portsmouth News, ran three stories on the hotel kittens and soon the branch had a “queue of people” interested in rehoming them. All the kittens will go to their new homes in mid September once they’re nine weeks old, the minimum age for rehoming.

With no owner forthcoming their mother, Molly, has a new home too; she’s also been neutered, saving her from the hard work and health risks of having another litter. And the branch had so many enquiries from the newspaper coverage that other cats and kittens in their care were rehomed.
Mother Molly has also found a new home

While Inga admitted it would be a wrench to let the kittens she’s cared for go, she’s pleased they’ve all found great new homes. “There’s always another litter looking for a rescue,” she said. “And if I kept them, I wouldn’t be able to help any others.”

She added: “It feels brilliant that this has had such a happy ending, it’s absolutely wonderful.”

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Posh pad for fortunate ferals

Four feral kittens found a stylish new home, thanks to a Cats Protection branch in the south-east of England.

“It all started with a phone call asking if we would be able to acquire two outdoor cats or kittens for a house with a two-acre garden on the outskirts of Slough,” said Ray Janes, volunteer field worker for Maidenhead, Slough & District Branch.

The kittens are settling in to their new home
Later that day, Ray took another call – this time from a local home owner asking the charity to rehome a feral mother and five kittens he’d been feeding in his garden.

The owner agreed to keep and look after the mother cat and one kitten, leaving Ray with the challenge of how to rehome the remaining four kittens. Luckily, the lady who’d phoned earlier asking for two outdoor cats agreed to take four!

Ray fed the feral mother and her kittens. Within five days they'd been checked over by a vet, treated for minor conditions and neutered.
And four of the kittens were taken to their new home which has two acres of lawn surrounded by trees and hedges, far from any road.

They will soon be released from their specially-designed holding pen into the gardens, with access to snug sleeping quarters between the hedgerows.

Feral cats are those either born wild or that have lived so long away from humans that they can no longer be found new homes as pets. An uncontrolled feral colony will grow quickly; the cats will be susceptible to disease and may also become a nuisance.

Simply removing the cats is not a long-term solution, as a new colony will soon move in. Cats Protection will usually neuter the resident feral cats and return them to their original location.

If that area is inappropriate or unsafe, then the charity will aim to rehome them to another suitable place, such as a farm or stables, where they can be fed regularly and provide a useful role as mousers!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Facebook friends help mystery mog

An elderly cat has been reunited with her owner, thanks to a Cats Protection branch in Scotland and a little help from Facebook.

Tabby Little Size is safely back at home, thanks to Cats Protection
Little Size, a 23-year-old tabby-and-white cat, was found in the middle of a park during a heavy rainstorm, in some distress. She was handed in to CP’s Arbroath & Carnoustie Adoption Centre who took her into their care.

Centre Co-ordinator Sharyn Wood said: “We felt sure her owner must be looking for her, so I put a story on my own and the branch’s Facebook page, asking everyone to share. Over the next few days there was huge activity on the site which, at its peak, numbered 5,835 shares with 269 people talking.”

All this publicity led to two positive identifications, as a pair of Facebook users recognised Little Size as the playground puss of their school days. The cat belonged to Mr and Mrs Adam of Friockheim, near Arbroath; Mr Adam had worked as a caretaker at a primary school and the cat had been a regular feature around the grounds, making firm friends among the pupils.

“She is now back home enjoying the comforts of her sunny seat in the conservatory,” added Sharyn.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Don’t let kittens have kittens!

Cats Protection Veterinary Manager, Gemma Lovegrove, explains why early neutering is so important to cats' health and wellbeing...

Although we helped to neuter more than 190,000 cats in 2011, a visit to any CP site across the country in the height of kitten season will demonstrate the scale of over population in the UK. I appreciate how easy it is to be seduced by the charm of a kitten, but for me, the influx of them brings home the importance of neutering. These kittens will prevent some of the adult cats in our care from finding a home and it remains the fact that there are too many cats for too few homes.

Because of this, we recommend that pet cats and kittens are neutered at four months of age or earlier. Many kittens in CP care are neutered a couple of days after their first vaccination at nine weeks, if deemed suitable by a vet. I have witnessed the neutering of nine-week-old kittens at the clinic at the National Cat Adoption Centre and it is amazing to watch their quick recovery. You can see for yourself by watching this video that we have filmed of the procedure. Don’t worry; it’s not graphic so is safe to watch over lunch!

It is known that over 90 per cent of female cats in the UK do end up being neutered at some point in their lives, but many only do so after having one or more litters of kittens, at which point the damage has been done. Six months was traditionally advocated as an age to neuter, but this is too late for some cats which will have already reached puberty. By neutering at or before four months, the risk of accidental pregnancies and unwanted litters is removed.

As part of our continual endeavour to get many more cats neutered before they reach puberty, we have set up an Early Neutering Register. This list of veterinary practices that will neuter kittens before six months of age appears on our website, with 900 practices signed up in the first year alone. However, we would love to increase this number to give everyone the option of taking their kitten to a vet to be neutered at four months or younger.

Earlier neutering is practised widely in other countries but some vets in the UK have concerns. However, many studies have shown that there is no evidence that neutering earlier than six months – and as early as seven weeks – has developmental or behavioural consequences. In addition, the perceived increased risks of surgery/anaesthesia are now considerably reduced by published information on improved techniques and agents.

What you can do to help
Please ask your vet if they are listed on the CP Early Neutering Register and, if not, ask them if they would consider changing their age of neutering for kittens

Find out if they have had a chance to watch our Guide to Pre Pubertal Neutering a DVD that was sent out free of charge to more than 4,000 veterinary practices last month. If they would like a copy, or if they would like further information, please ask them to contact us.

Cats Protection is at the forefront of feline welfare and we hope that you can help us to reduce the problem of overpopulation by supporting the earlier neutering of cats and by understanding the positive effect that this could have on the cat population as a whole.

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Who will be top cat?

Our ever-popular awards to find the nation's favourite felines are coming up and it's fair to say that we're a tad excited...

The preparations are gathering pace and the excitement is growing in anticipation of what promises to be a day to remember; the finalists of our National Cat Awards sponsored by Verdo Cat Litter have been announced!

Three cats have been named in each of our five categories. The shortlist includes one-eyed puss, Midge, who became a movie star; William who not only survived a vicious dog attack, but also found his way home; Leo who thwarted a would-be burglar and Charley who saved his diabetic owner's life. 

We are now less than a month away from the ceremony which will take place at The Savoy in London and, quite frankly, we can't wait for the big day! With some amazing stories of feline friendship, bravery and heroism, a top location and celebrity supporters all lined up, we're confident that it'll be a fantastic celebration of cats.

Our celebrity judges include model Lucy Pinder
Our celebrity judges  including comedian, Ed Byrne, and model, Lucy Pinder will announce the winners of our five categories  namely Best Friends, Hero Cat, Most Incredible Story, Outstanding Rescue Cat and Celebrity Cat before the ultimate winner is revealed.

Previous winners of the overall title have included 'moggy midwife', Marmite, who helped his owner through a difficult pregnancy and Tee Cee who could detect when his epileptic owner was about to suffer a seizure.

Our 2006 winner, Tee Cee
Want to keep track of the winners as they are announced? No problem! Make sure you are following @CatsProtection or @CPCatAwards on Twitter and keep an eye out for our hashtag #CPCatAwards on 16 August!

In the meantime, you can read our finalists' stories on the Cats Protection website and watch their videos on our YouTube channel.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Let's get this show on the road!

As we prepare for this week's Cheshire County Show, our Shows & Exhibitions Manager, Emma Osborne, explains why Cats Protection takes its messages on the road...

Cats Protection has attended shows for approximately 15 years as a way of raising the organisation’s profile and attracting new supporters. During this time, the CP flag has flown all over the UK and Northern Ireland, introducing the charity’s work to millions of people via its bright promotional vehicles, friendly staff and the now-famous wind machine lucky dip!

Getting a show on the road requires some planning. Once we know where we’re going, the next stage is to decide what we will do at each event. To achieve better ‘value for money’ from attending external events, the shows function works very closely with other departments to complement and promote Cats Protection’s aims and activities.

It is satisfying for staff and volunteers to have a focus to our presence as well as being able to encourage support for the charity by knowledgeably informing stand visitors about our work. They hopefully leave knowing a bit more about feline welfare and warmer to the idea of supporting us in some way.

Regional staff members manage the CP stand at county shows and work closely with local branches and adoption centres to maximise local fundraising and communications opportunities as well as to promote the charity’s rehoming, veterinary, neutering and education initiatives. Given the current climate, it is always positive to meet those who are interested in adopting a cat and to start the process of helping them to do so.

We attend several large indoor shows during the year, including Crufts, the London Pet Show and three veterinary trade shows. Whether an indoor or outdoor event, the idea is the same – to promote our messages and encourage support for the charity. Having specialist staff from the charity’s Education, Veterinary and Fundraising departments on hand, as well as representatives from the local network, certainly helps!

We attend some shows regularly as evaluation suggests that these are worthwhile events for us to attend. We also continually research new opportunities to promote our work to new audiences in new ways and in different areas. The Big Cheese Festival in Caerphilly and the Anglesey Agricultural Show are a couple of examples of events that we are attending for the first time this year.

The charity will have a presence at the following shows this year. We always enjoy meeting our supporters, so if you are visiting any of these events please drop by and say hello!

Cheshire County Show
Tabley, Cheshire; 19-20 June

Great Yorkshire Show
Harrogate, North Yorkshire; 10-12 July

Kent County Show
Detling, Kent; 13-15 July

The Big Cheese Festival
Caerphilly; 27-29 July

Anglesey Agricultural Show
Holyhead, Anglesey; 14-15 August

Royal Berkshire Show
Newbury, Berkshire; 15-16 September

BVNA Congress
Telford, Shropshire (vet nurse trade show); 5-7 October

London Vet Show
Olympia (vet trade show); 15-16 November

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Putting the fun into fundraising

Carol Gordon of our Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough & District Branch explains how, although fundraising events don’t always go to plan, Cats Protection volunteers overcome the challenges to raise vital funds…

Cats Protection’s Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough & District Branch recently held a Feline Funday at Uckfield’s Civic Centre. Fortunately for the branch, Kim Woodburn who is a great supporter of Cats Protection, kindly offered to come along and support us on the day. Armed with this brilliant piece of news, we were able to book Uckfield FM to come along on the day and broadcast live by promising them an interview with Kim. But they went even further than that, dedicating their breakfast show on the morning before, to publicising the event!

Kim Woodburn joins the fun
Unfortunately, there were a few hitches – they say these things come in threes and they did. Firstly, we were told that Kim had taken a nasty fall and wouldn’t be able to come. We were desperately disappointed, but by the end of the day she had decided that she was feeling better and would be able to make it after all – what a trooper; we all breathed a sigh of relief!

We spent the previous evening loading up cars and labelling prizes for the chocolate tombola before sitting back with a cup of tea and then came the second blow; the husband of one of our organisers had been taken ill and she was about to take him to A&E. Thankfully he was allowed home again and she turned up in the morning after two hours’ sleep!

Uckfield FM provided live coverage of the event
So the big day arrived. Kim was wonderful, smiling and chatting with everyone. We gave away goody bags, iced cakes, sold plants, refreshments, books and bric-a-brac. Meanwhile, kids guessed the name of the bunny, had their faces painted, had a go at the chocolate tombola and placed their coppers onto Cooper the Copper Cat. Not to be outdone, two giant cats paraded up and down Uckfield High Street with collecting buckets.

Then came the third blow – somebody had collapsed in the High Street and the emergency services had effectively blocked off the town so our numbers dwindled, but we were still happy with the publicity that we had received and the £400 raised.

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Can you be one of Homer's Heroes?

It is a month to the day since our mascot, Homer, took to the tracks at the brand new Olympic Stadium as part of the Gold Challenge event...

Homer was up against some tough opponents, but had put in the hours of training in the weeks before the big day by doing laps of the nature trail at the National Cat Centre. "What happened next?" We hear you ask. Well, dear readers, watch this recently unearthed footage to find out...

Yes, the plucky puss came in last by a country mile. Poor Homer! It goes without saying that he feels he has let the charity down, but we know that he gave his best and are proud of him for flying the Cats Protection flag at such a prestigious event.

To make him feel better, we have come up with a new initiative: Homer's Heroes. Yes, the fleeting feline has become a CP fundraising ambassador and you can meet him at our next event in a couple of weeks' time.

The Super Hero Run takes place at London's Regents Park on 13 May and is a 5k or 10k jog or walk with the emphasis on fun! As its name suggests, the idea is to dress up as a super hero costumes are available on signing up. If you sign up by Friday 4 May, you will receive a personalised running vest, a water bottle, a complimentary post-race massage and, best of all, a signed picture of Homer!

Yes, it's soon but why not do something spontaneous while putting the fun into fundraising?!

You can sign up here

Homer is looking forward to meeting his Heroes!    

Monday, 2 April 2012

Did we really microchip our Chief Executive?

Did you see our latest video that we launched yesterday?

Okay, next question, who fell for it?! Yes, it was our attempt at an April Fool prank!

We hope that you enjoyed seeing our Chief Executive, Peter Hepburn, appearing to be microchipped and can assure you that no microchips were wasted and also that Peter emerged unscathed from the filming!

We decided that it was about time we did something fun for April Fool’s Day and wanted to get across an important message at the same time, so we hope that we have achieved both of those objectives with our little act of mischief.

As we mentioned in the video, mircochipping is the safest, most reliable and only permanent way of identifying cats if they get lost, but an incredible 83 per cent of those coming into our care do not have a microchip.

Microchipping is a simple, painless procedure that could be the difference between being reunited with your cat and not seeing him again if he goes missing, but not enough people are getting their feline friends chipped.

If you haven’t got your cat microchipped yet, we would strongly urge you to consider asking your vet about this simple but important procedure.

You can find out more about microchipping on the Cats Protection website.