Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Merry Christmas from everyone at Cats Protection

Thank you all for your support and generosity this year – it has helped us to create happy futures for thousands of cats and kittens and we couldn’t have done it without you.

Have a wonderful Christmas and a happy New Year!

Sleepy cat at Christmas
Original photo by Orangeaurochs via flickr / Creative Commons

Monday, 22 December 2014

Missed the Christmas post?

Have you missed the last posting date, or forgotten to send someone a Christmas card?

Fear not, you can share this funny cat e-card with your friends and family!

The video is also available to view at – share the link with your loved ones this Christmas.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Simon’s Cat’s visit to the vet

Last month we wrote a blog post about a visit we had from Simon Tofield, creator of Simon’s Cat.

Simon came to the National Cat Centre in Sussex to do some research for a new film and to find out what happens at a typical check-up at the vet.

The video about the visit to Cats Protection has been released!

Watch it here:

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

We need your cat drawings!

Do you know a budding young artist or a junior cat lover?

We’re after cat drawings, letters, photos and emails from our younger supporters for the children’s’ section of our official supporter magazine, The Cat.

Every one printed will win a JellyCat toy for themselves and a Kong prize for their cat.

Recent submissions to the magazine include a picture of a family of cats waiting for a home drawn by Molly from Northamptonshire; a one-year-old cat called Pudsey by Sorcha from Berkshire; and a drawing by Eve from Wimborne of her cheeky cat, Onion.

Family of cats drawing
By Molly from Northamptonshire
Pudsey cat picture
By Sorcha from Berkshire
Drawing of ginger cat Onion
By Eve from Wimborne

If you want to send in a submission, you can email with Kids’ Corner in the subject line – please tell us your name, age and address. Alternatively you can post items to The Cat magazine, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Sussex, RH17 7TT.

We look forward to seeing your submissions!

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Facebook helps Timmy find his way home

A guest post from Lynne Pothecary at our Wokingham & Bracknell Branch

We knew that his name was Timmy and that he was a lovely little older gentleman. Timmy was found on a residential street in Bracknell, when he wandered through the cat flap of a house. Although he had a microchip, which was registered to an address two miles away, the address was out of date. Having contacted the existing residents at the address, they had no forwarding address for his owners.

Timmy had a small area of shaved fur on his neck, indicating that he had recently had a blood test at a local vet, possibly for a hyperthyroid condition. In the meantime he was cared for by our own vets who undertook blood tests to check whether he did have a thyroid condition – which he did and so they put him on medication. The surgery then contacted lots of other local vets, in the hope that one of them had recently treated him, but unfortunately none of them could confirm that.

Black cat Timmy
We were at a loss as to where this lovely old chap had come from so we launched an appeal on social networks, using our Facebook page. The reaction was amazing, with the appeal reaching 3,470 people and in stepped two lovely ladies who followed our page and had seen the appeal, Emma and Linsie. They turned detective for us made it their mission to help hunt for Timmy's owners using electoral rolls.

The good news is that they managed to find Timmy's owner the very same day that we launched the appeal and he was reunited with her the following night. She was very anxious to find Timmy, because he was on thyroid medication and had been missing for some time.

We were just so delighted that Timmy was able to go back to his real home, and so quickly – after just 10 days – and this story does 
show how important it is that your pets' microchip details are up to date!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

How to recognise the symptoms of poisoning in your cat

There are a number of everyday household items that can be poisonous to cats, so as they are inquisitive animals it's important to keep them out of their reach. This visual guide lists some common cat poisons, explains what the symptoms of poisoning are and what to do:

Most importantly, if you suspect your cat has ingested poison, take them to a vet immediately.

Recognising cat poisoning
To enlarge, click on the image

Common cat poisons

Spot On dog flea treatments: Never use a dog treatment on a cat. Some dog flea treatments contain concentrated permethrin insecticide, which is highly toxic to cats. Cats can even be poisoned simply through contact with any dogs that have been recently treated with flea spot on products containing concentrated permethrin, so read labels and take care.

Human medicines: Common painkillers such as ibuprofen, aspirin and paracetamol can be deadly – just one paracetamol tablet can be enough to cause severe illness or even death.

Antifreeze: Antifreeze is lethal to cats – ingestion of just a small amount can lead to kidney failure and death.

Household chemicals: Disinfectants (particularly those containing phenol, which usually go cloudy when added to water) and decorating agents like white spirit are toxic to cats. Pest control such as slug pellets, insecticides, weed killers and rodent bait are also very dangerous.

Lilies: A number of plants can be toxic to cats, but lilies in particular can be lethal. Cats have been poisoned by simply brushing against toxic plants and then licking the pollen from their fur, so avoid them altogether. You can see a full list of plants that are dangerous to cats on International Cat Care’s website.

Human foods: Certain human foods including onions, raisins, coffee and chocolate can poison your cat. It’s also worth noting that although it’s not poisonous, a common food intolerance in cats is to lactose in milk.

The symptoms of poisoning

The symptoms of poisoning can vary, but the most common signs are:
  • Vomiting
  • Appearing ‘drunk’/uncoordinated
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fitting

What to do if you think your cat has been poisoned

  • Do not panic
  • Seek veterinary advice immediately – even if your cat appears well, as delaying for just a few minutes may endanger their life
  • Do not try to make your cat vomit or feed them salt water, without veterinary advice
  • Take any samples or packaging of the suspected poison with you to show the vet
  • Keep other pets away from the toxic source

Prevention is better than a visit to the vets so keep poisonous substances out of cats’ reach as anything that gets on your cat’s feet or fur is likely to be ingested when they are grooming. Potentially toxic items should ideally stored in a sealed container or closed cupboard or shed.

This list and advice is not exhaustive. For further advice please consult your vet; and to find out more about keeping your cat safe read our leaflet.

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Thursday, 4 December 2014

Thousandth cat rehomed by Gateshead & District Branch

Cats Protection’s Gateshead & District Branch has rehomed its 1,000th cat – Camilla.

Camilla is the 1,000 cat rehomed by Gateshead & District Branch
Camilla is the 1,000th cat rehomed by the Gateshead & District Branch
Camilla and her newborn kittens were found taped up in a box at a recycling centre. The branch was alerted by a member of public who came across the abandoned family, who were distressed, cold and hungry. They were moved into a foster home and their health gradually improved once they were given the good care they deserved. The kittens thrived and were successfully found new loving homes. Camilla’s terrible experiences left her timid and frightened but she also became more settled over time.
It has taken two years – much longer than average – to find Camilla her permanent home. Beryl-Anne Massey from Frosterly, County Durham adopted Camilla on 15 November. It was love at first sight for Beryl-Anne. “I very sadly and unexpectedly lost my beloved cat Pookie earlier this year,” she explained. “I saw Camilla’s picture and immediately wanted to meet her. She is a very special cat and I’m really looking forward to sharing my home with her.”

Ann Clarke, Branch Co-ordinator, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to reach our 1,000th cat adoption. This landmark figure reflects all the hard work of the volunteers past and present at Cats Protection’s Gateshead & District Branch. However, it sadly also highlights the number of cats who, for many reasons, are being abandoned or given up.”

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Top tips for a cat-friendly Christmas

Christmas is on its way which for us means fun times aplenty. But for our pets, the arrival of trees, fancy food, toys and guests can have an impact.

Longhaired cat with Christmas presents
Photo by Clay Shonkwile via flickr / Creative Commons
Here is a checklist to ensure your cat’s festive season is a safe and happy one:

Tree safety

1. If your cat is tempted to climb the Christmas tree, discourage them from doing so – and never encourage them to play with decorations

2. Ensure that the base of the tree is as sturdy as possible just in case your cat decides to have a mountaineering adventure when your back is turned!

3. Avoid glass baubles which can break; and tinsel which can get stuck in cats’ throats and tummies

4. If you have a real tree, cover up the base so your cat can’t get at it. The water may contain preservatives which are poisonous to cats

5. Vacuum around a real tree frequently as pine needles can hurt your cat’s feet

6. A number of festive plants are potentially fatal to cats, including mistletoe, poinsettia, holly, ivy and Christmas roses so choose carefully and keep them out the way. Find out which plants may be harmful here

Tabby cat and Christmas tree
Photo by Rosana Prada via flickr / Creative Commons
Tasty grub 

7. Restrict any turkey you give your cat to a small amount of cooked boneless meat for his Christmas dinner and take account of any treats like this in your cat's daily food ration

8. Some rich foods like chocolate are poisonous to cats so should be off the menu

Giving gifts

9. Ensure any toys you buy for your moggy are suitable for cats 

10. After opening presents throw away the wrapping – string and ribbon could be dangerous if your cat eats them

Grey and white cat with Christmas presents
Photo by Quinn Dombrowski via flickr / Creative Commons
Welcoming visitors

11. If there are friends and relatives visiting, this could be quite stressful for your cat, so provide a quiet place for them to hide with access to their food, water and a litter tray – party bangers, Christmas crackers and the general hub bub can all be disturbing to a cat

12. Try using Feliway, a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone that helps to support and comfort cats. Pheromones are important for cats to recognise safe and familiar parts of their home – they do this by rubbing their cheeks against objects and areas to leave the pheromone behind. They regularly top these up as they go around the home. Feliway provides this pheromone during times when they are not able to mark for themselves due to stress or changes in environment. We are currently offering 25 per cent off Feliway products in our online shop (see offer details at

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

How to support Cats Protection

Today is #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving. After Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday shopping online, #GivingTuesday is a remedy to the pressures of Christmas spending and an opportunity to help the causes we all care about.

This year the campaign has been launched in the UK and is encouraging people, charities and businesses to donate time, money or their voice to help a good cause.

Here are three ways you can help Cats Protection on #GivingTuesday:

1. Fundraise

We do not receive any government funding, so our work helping thousands of cats each year depends solely on donations, which is why fundraising is so important to the charity.

You can sponsor a cat pen, leave a gift in your will, take part in a workplace giving scheme, sign up to our weekly lottery, offer a donation and so much more – read ways to fundraise here.

We welcome more unconventional ways of raising funds too – in the past we’ve seen sponsored speed-dating events, skydives, abseiling, firewalks and one supporter even launched the Cats Protection logo into space!

Sponsored abseil for Cats Protection Belfast Adoption Centre
Andrew Doherty abseiling for Cats Protection's Belfast Adoption Centre
2. Volunteer

We help over 500 cats a day on average and this wouldn’t be possible without the invaluable work of our 9,100 volunteers. Whether it’s caring for cats by fostering, neutering or rehoming; volunteering as an education speaker; fundraiser; charity shop assistant; helpline phone volunteer or website editor – there are many different roles available. You’ll make a difference, feel good, learn new skills and most of all have fun!

Sue Emlyn-Jones is a kitten fosterer for our Bridgend Adoption Centre. She says:

It takes patience, a lot of time and commitment and endless cleaning of sometimes very mucky kittens – but it is so worth it. The difference just a few weeks’ of love and warmth makes the sleepless nights and the worry over these little dependent creatures, the very best role I could imagine.”

Find an opportunity to volunteer near you here.

Hand rearing a kitten
Feeding a tiny kitten is just one part of Sue Emlyn-Jones' role as a volunteer fosterer

3. Spreading the word

The Cat magazine
The Cat magazine - Winter 2014
One of our main objectives is to improve people’s understanding of cats and their care. We spread the word of cat welfare through national and regional press, TV, radio, our websites and more – and we even give talks to schools, community groups and the veterinary profession as well as taking opportunities to engage with politicians and decision makers.

But you can help us spread the word too – by subscribing to our official supporter magazine, The Cat, you’re helping us to help more cats. By ‘liking’ our Facebook page or retweeting our tweets, you’re getting the message out there and supporting our vital work for cats.

Anything that you can do to support Cats Protection this #GivingTuesday is much appreciated. Please leave us a comment to let us know how you support us!

Find out more about Cats Protection and the work we do at