Thursday, 25 September 2014

‘How do I eradicate my cat’s ear mites?’ and other veterinary FAQs

This week saw the third instalment of our recent live Q&A sessions on our Facebook page, as Cats Protection vet Vanessa Howie gave veterinary advice and feline healthcare tips.

Here are a few questions Vanessa was asked:

Question: I have recently got a kitten and he has got itchy ears. I think he might have mites. I have booked him into the vet on 1 October but is there anything I can do to help him until then? He is scratching quite a lot.

Answer: Your vet will be able to prescribe a treatment for you that will kill the ear mites. There is a spot-on flea treatment available from the vet that kills ear mites and often ear drops are needed as well to help clear the brown gunk out of the ears and soothe the inflammation. It's always best that your vet looks down your kitten's ears before using any drops, to avoid making things worse. If possible I'd bring your appointment forward with your vet, to try and make your kitten comfortable as soon as possible.

White kitten on bed
Photo by 50066720@N03 via flickr / Creative Commons
Question: How can I keep my cat's teeth healthy?

Answer: There are a number of things you can do to help keep your cat's teeth healthy. Brushing teeth daily with a toothpaste specifically designed for cats, will help to reduce the build of plaque and tartar and help to keep the gums healthy. There are a variety of toothbrushes to choose from; from finger brushes (microfiber cloths for your finger) to full length pet toothbrushes. There are specific dental diets available from your vets to help clean teeth, along with solutions and natural supplements to add to your cat's food and water which may help prevent dental disease. I'd recommend speaking to your vet for more information and you may find our Teeth and oral health leaflet useful.

Cat yawning showing teeth
Photo by pmarkham via flickr / Creative Commons
Question: What can you do when two cats don't get on? I've got Feliway, they all have enough litter trays (one for each, plus a spare), separate food bowls at opposite ends of the room and yet one always attacks the other. He doesn't let her upstairs either. Any advice would be great!

Answer: Sorry to hear that your two cats aren't getting on that well. Unfortunately cats are naturally solitary animals and sometimes this means that sharing the same space may become difficult if they are not in the same social group. It's important to make sure you have enough resources in terms of food and water bowls, litter trays and sleeping areas for both cats and allow them to both have their own safe part of the house. Our leaflet Cats living together may give you some helpful tips on making life a little easier living together, along with our free e-learning Understanding Feline Origins course

Three cats sitting in a row
Photo by dorinser via flickr / Creative Commons

Thank you to all of our Facebook supporters who took part in the Q&A with Vanessa. The next live Q&A is on 17 October with our Behaviour Manager. 

If you have a cat care question, you can find lots of information and advice on our website at: www.cats.org.uk/cat-care 

If you have any concerns for your cat's health, please do consult your vet.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

A clowder of polydactyl cats

A guest post from Cats Protection’s Birmingham Adoption Centre

A group of cats was recently abandoned at our Birmingham Adoption Centre. Two female adults were accompanied by six eight-week-old kittens, several of which were showing signs of mild cat flu, plus eye infections. All were seen and treated by a vet and have now been nursed back to health.

A clowder of polydactyl cats
The family of polydactyl cats
The extraordinary thing is that with the exception of two kittens, all the cats have extra toes! They have therefore been dubbed ‘the Polydactyl family’.

A cat normally has 18 toes (five on each front paw and four on each hind paw), but the number of toes per cat in the Polydactyl family ranges from 22 to 27 – giving the group a total of 180 toes in one pen!

A cat with extra toes
Extra toes!
Polydactyl cat paws
Poly paws
The Birmingham Adoption Centre has previously cared for a few polydactyl cats and kittens but has never seen so many at the same time. They really are a spectacular sight.


For more information on the cats or to register an interest in adoption, contact the Cats Protection Birmingham Adoption Centre on 01564 822 020 or birmingham@cats.org.uk 

Monday, 22 September 2014

Cat Match tips & tricks – coin management

We’ve been getting lots of feedback about our Cat Match app – about things that are great and things that are not so great. Rest assured, we’re taking all comments and suggestions on board – we’re aware of some issues with the app and we’re working on fixing them.

We had a few queries about aspects of the gameplay so thought it’d be a good idea to put together a series of videos featuring Cat Match tips and tricks.

This first video discusses coin management – how to manage your funds so that your Homing Centre doesn't run out of money!



Watch this space for more tips and tricks videos soon.


Cat Match is available to download for Apple and Android devices from www.cats.org.uk/catmatch

Cat Match is kindly sponsored by Feliway.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

'Will you help with the cost of spaying?' and other cat neutering FAQs

Do you have a burning question about neutering? Last week we ran a live Q&A on our Facebook page with Cats Protection Neutering Manager, Jane Clements. Here are just some of the questions asked:

Question: I have two kittens, one male and female, both four months old. Even though they are brother and sister will they mate? When is the earliest I can get them neutered?

Answer: Yes, males and females will mate even if they are brother and sister. They can be neutered from four months of age or younger. You can find a vet on our early neutering register.

Cat with her kittens
Photo: CP Library
Question: I have a female cat that is nearly three years old. She’s had two litters since August last year and I think she is pregnant again… is this bad for her?

Answer: It’s a myth that cats should have one litter; there is no evidence to suggest that having one litter of kittens is beneficial. It is not the best thing for your cat to continually have litters of kittens. She will live a far longer, healthier and happier life is she is neutered.

Question: How long after giving birth can a cat get spayed?

Answer: A cat can be neutered or spayed while still feeding her kittens, however you will need to discuss this with your vet, who may prefer to wait until the kittens are weaned. Either way, do keep her indoors during this time as she can get pregnant again straight away.

Question: I want to get our five-month-old kitten spayed. I have heard about money off vouchers you can get to help towards the cost – where do I ask about these and also do you have to be on benefits to be able to receive a voucher?

Answer: You do need to be eligible for a voucher but it’s worth calling us as there are lots of reasons why you may be eligible. Phone the neutering helpline on 03000 12 12 12 (option 3) which is open Mon-Fri 9.30am-1pm.

Cat neutering operation
Photo: CP Library
Question: My cat is off to be spayed next Tuesday. She is six months old and hasn't yet been outside. How long is recovery and how long will it be until she can go out?

Answer: The full recovery will be approximately 10 days. Once she is fully recovered and any stitches have been removed, she will be able to go outside again. Your vet will also give you advice post neutering.


If you missed the neutering Q&A don’t worry, you can join in the next one on Friday 31 October at 2pm. Don't forget you can also find general neutering advice on our website.

If you require financial assistance with neutering, or help with trap, neuter, return please call our neutering helpline on 03000 12 12 12 (option 3), Mon-Fri, 9.30am-1pm and we can advise what is available for your specific circumstances. 

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Leaving a legacy to Cats Protection

Proton (pictured) and his brother, Electron, are currently being looking after by our Horsham & District Branch.

Proton at our Horsham Branch

They’re in a pen which was built earlier this year thanks to a very kind individual who remembered Cats Protection in their will. The new pen is more spacious and the door is wider which helps fosterers when transporting cat carriers. The pen has already provided a comfortable temporary shelter for several cats before they were adopted by loving families and taken to their forever homes.

New foster pen at Horsham Branch

As pleased as we are with the new pen, current residents Proton and Electron would really like a permanent home! They would make lovely pets for the right owners. They were originally in a flat where they had lived for all their lives and had limited human company. Despite this they are happy cats and are quite affectionate; but would prefer a home with no children under 12. Anyone interested in homing Proton and Electron should contact Homing Officer Lesley on 07805 654 881 or adoptacat@hotmail.co.uk

Every gift we receive helps change the lives of cats like Proton and Electron. More than half the cats we care for are here thanks to the kindness of people who remember Cats Protection in their wills. It’s ‘Remember a Charity in your Will Week’ – what better time to think about leaving a legacy that could help cats for years to come?

If you would like to find out more about how gifts in wills help the cats in our care, and how you could remember Cats Protection, then please visit www.cats.org.uk/giftsinwills

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Adopting a cat from Cats Protection

A post from guest blogger Jade Daily

If somebody had told me over three years ago that I would now be the owner of a cat, I wouldn’t have believed them. After deliberating which pet I could own, I settled on getting a cat and my first choice was to go to Cats Protection.

My local branch of Cats advertises which cats are available in my area through the local website. Upon scrolling the website, I saw a family of kittens along with their mother who needed adopting and it was love at first sight. A white and tabby mother had given birth to four gorgeous kittens and they varied from being completely tabby with white accents to being mainly white with a little bit of tabby. I settled on a male kitten (initially named Lenny but after adopting, I found he answered to Pudding, so Pudding he has become!) that was predominantly tabby with white markings and also was longhaired.

Pudding in his first week at home
Pudding in his first week at home. Photo courtesy of Jade Daily
The adoption process for me really couldn’t have been quicker or easier! I contacted the phone number on the advertisement next to the kitten and spoke with my local Cats Protection representative. She then arranged to visit me the next day to do a home visit and ensure my house was safe for a cat and that I had enough space to be able to look one.

She then said that I could go and meet the kitten at its foster home but I was honestly so excited that I wanted him as quickly as possible. After the volunteer left, I hot footed it to my nearest pet shop and spoiled my new kitten rotten with a bed, litter tray, food and some toys. She kept to her word and the next day (only two days after initially calling), Pudding was brought to my home, all the relevant forms were filled in and I was now the proud owner of a beautiful kitty!

Pudding now, aged three. Photo courtesy of Jade Daily
When Pudding was left with me, those first few hours were very scary for him and he hid behind my sofa for quite some time before taking to the upstairs landing. I was told that he is a very nervous cat in general and still now, three years on, he still is but that’s all part of his lovely character.

It took him a while to get used to new faces and to living in a new setting but as soon as he got used to his new home, he was playing, eating and doing everything a cat loves to do.

I now can’t imagine not owning a cat and I know I will always have one but more importantly, I’ll always use Cats Protection and will always recommend them to anyone considering adopting a cat.

This post has been written by a guest blogger. The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of Cats Protection. 

Find out more about adopting a cat from Cats Protection and welcoming a cat into their new home. A change of environment is always stressful for a cat, so it will often take a few weeks for them to feel relaxed in their new home.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Cat memes: Ten reasons to adopt a cat

We all know there are a number of proven health benefits to owning a cat – cat owners are less likely to suffer from stress and are known to relax more and have greater life satisfaction. Cats can make a house a home.

So once you’ve decided cat ownership is for you, why should you adopt rather than buy a cat?

1. If you adopt a cat from Cats Protection, you’ll be providing a home for one of the thousands of cats in our care

Can I live at your house?

2. A cat adopted from Cats Protection will have been treated to our minimum veterinary standards, meaning it will have been examined by a veterinary surgeon, vaccinated against flu and enteritis, treated against fleas, roundworm and tapeworm, neutered where necessary and any sick cats have been blood tested for FIV and FeLV

Vets check over all the cats in our care

3. Every cat rehomed by Cats Protection has four weeks’ free Petplan insurance, giving you peace of mind and reassurance

Not a care in the world!
Original photo by aperture_lag via flickr / Creative Commons
4. We’ll be able to provide you with some information about the cat’s history, temperament and characteristics

I'm a chatterbox!

5. Adopting from us will free up a space for another cat to come into our care!

Time to go to your new home!

6. We’ll try our very best to match you with a cat that will be happy in your environment and will match your lifestyle

I'm a bit shy

7. Adopt because no cat deserves to spend months in an adoption centre waiting for a home

How long do I have to stay here?

8. We don’t just have cute kittens – we have a choice of older cats, house cats, pedigree cats, feral cats, mousers – a whole host of different colours, shapes and temperaments

Don't forget about us oldies!

9. After adopting we’ll get in touch to see how you and puss are getting along, as well as pass on tips and advice on how to get them settled in

Scratch just behind my ear please!

10. If you adopt you’ll be giving cats like Daisy, currently at our Mid Sussex Branch a second chance at happiness. She might look fed up but she’s very friendly!

Fed up cat in care

To find out more about adopting a cat visit our website www.cats.org.uk 

You can also use our Find-a-Cat search to find a cat in your area that needs a home.