Thursday, 26 November 2015

All in a day’s work

This post has been written by Myra Allison, Publicity Volunteer at Cats Protection’s Wrexham & District Adoption Centre

The shop is often the first point of contact for any charity and in the Wrexham Cats Protection Charity Shop we aim to give a friendly and warm welcome to our customers, encouraging them to return to the shop, to purchase goods that help fund the Wrexham & District Adoption Centre.

The longest serving volunteer in the Wrexham Charity Shop (15 years!) is Delia Jackson. This popular lady is always very helpful to customers and is known for going that extra mile to find items customers ask for, to which she says “it’s all in a day’s work for Cats Protection”.

Shop volunteers going above and beyond
Long serving volunteer Delia Jackson
It was not surprising then, when a letter was sent to the shop by a grateful customer thanking Delia for her help. This letter told the story of a customer who came into the shop when Delia was working, and asked if she could sit down as she felt unwell.

Delia, chair to the ready, made the customer comfortable and she soon began to feel better. After a cup of tea and before leaving the shop, Delia offered to take the customer’s blood pressure with a blood pressure machine she’d been checking that had just been donated to sell.

The customer’s blood pressure reading was very high on this machine, Delia didn’t tell her how why so not to worry her, but advised the lady to visit her doctor and have her blood pressure checked. The customer left the shop with her purchases, feeling better and thanking Delia for her kindness and care.

A few weeks passed by and then a letter was sent to the Shop Manager Sharon Jones, thanking Delia so much for looking after her and her good advice. The customer did go to her doctor and is now taking tablets to control her high blood pressure, which she was previously not aware of.

Delia said: “We always try to help whoever comes into our shop in whatever way we can, so it was all in a day’s work for Cats Protection”.

Well done Delia, another very satisfied customer who was pleased that she came into the Wrexham Cats Protection Charity Shop that day in more ways than one.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Feline first aid FAQs

Want to brush up on your feline first aid? Have a read of this blog post, summarising some of Cats Protection vet Vanessa Howie’s answers to our recent live first aid Q&A on Facebook.

Question: With winter coming, what are the key symptoms of antifreeze poisoning to watch out for and can we do anything to stop the damage before the animal has to be put to sleep?

Answer: Antifreeze poisoning usually leads to kidney failure. The signs to look out for include increased urination, increased drinking, vomiting, depression, lethargy (being abnormally sleepy), appearing drunk and uncoordinated, seizures (fitting), abnormally fast heartbeat and very fast, shallow breathing. If antifreeze poisoning is suspected, the sooner that you can get your cat to the vet to be put on intravenous fluids to try and help the kidneys, the better the chances of survival. Unfortunately if left untreated cats will suffer and die.

Please take a look at our poster on common poisonings:

To enlarge, click on the image
There’s more information in our blog post: How to recognise the symptoms of cat poisoning.

Question: My cat has a small cut on his head, should I leave it uncovered or cover it with something?

Answer: I would recommend that you get your cat checked out by the vet if you are worried about the cut. Usually in cats we tend to leave small wounds such as those seen from fighting or cat bite abscesses open. This allows them to drain and makes it easier for you to keep the wound clean. Cats don't tend to tolerate having a dressing on their head all that well either!

Question: My cat has recently developed a very snotty nose and a watery eye. Can you suggest what may be the cause? She seems fine in herself.

Answer: I would recommend that you get your cat checked over by the vet if you have not already done so. A snotty nose indicates that there is an infection of some sort and your cat may require antibiotics. Your cat may have cat flu or if your cat has had cat flu in the past, it may be that that this has caused some damage in the nose and has allowed an infection to set up. Discharge from the eyes and nose are commonly seen in cats that have or have had cat flu. Please have a look at our leaflet on cat flu too. There may be other less common causes such as polyps or tumours in the nose which will cause similar signs.


Please note that we are unable to give specific advice on your cat's health or any change in behaviour observed. For medical problems consult your vet who will have access to your cat’s medical history and will be able to examine them.

Would you like to ask one of Cats Protection’s feline experts a question about your cat? Don’t miss the next live Facebook Q&A sessions: Neutering Manager Jane Clements will answer questions on 3 December; and behaviourist Nicky Trevorrow will be offering advice on 17 December. All our Q&As are held on Cats Protection's national Facebook page from 2-3pm. See you there!

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Ringo is a star!

Beautiful little Ringo Kitten was very poorly when she came into the care of Cats Protection’s Dereham Adoption Centre, along with her six siblings at seven weeks old.

She was very thin, lethargic and covered in ringworm. Sam at the adoption centre says: “The ringworm spores were the most I've seen on a cat let alone small kittens.”

Tabby kitten Ringo
Photo: CP Library
After extensive treatment and isolated care she was finally given the all clear at six months of age.

The centre says: “She is all fit and well and has grown up so much. She is very affectionate and loves to play, all she wants now is a loving home to enjoy the rest of her days.”

We’re very pleased to report that on 3 October she went to a new home!

Beautiful tabby kitten Ringo
Photo: CP Library
Ringo Kitten is just one of the many thousands of cats and kittens we help every year. To find out more about Cats Protection and our work, visit www.cats.org.uk

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Lost cat – what to do if your cat goes missing

If your cat hasn’t come home, don’t panic! Cats will often go ‘missing’ only to arrive home later that evening – or in some cases months later – as though nothing has happened!

Follow the advice in this guide:

To enlarge, click on the image

Thoroughly check every nook and cranny of your house and any outdoor buildings such as garages and sheds. Let your neighbours know and ask them to do the same.

Create flyers and posters including a good description of your cat, the gender, age, colour, eye colour and any distinguishing features they may have. Include a photo and a phone number. Distribute them around the local area. You can download a free template at: www.cats.org.uk/cat-care/cat-care-downloads

Post details of your missing cat on cat-related social media pages and groups too, like the national Cats Protection Facebook page. Pages relevant to your area are even better as locals can keep their eyes peeled. Post photos on your own social media profiles too to notify all your friends.

Contact local vets – all practices in the area, not just your own.

If your cat is microchipped, inform Petlog and they will automatically send out an alert to animal professionals (who have signed up for the service) within a 30 mile radius of where your cat went missing.

Check local rescues to see if your cat has been handed in. Find your local Cats Protection’s contact details by entering your postcode at www.cats.org.uk/find-us

Keep your cat safe. Ensure they’re vaccinated, neutered and microchipped to protect them if they do wander away from home.

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Tuesday, 10 November 2015

‘Why won’t my cat sleep in his bed?’ and other behaviour FAQs

In the most recent Facebook Q&A, Behaviour Manager Nicky Trevorrow answered questions about feline sleeping places, kitten socialisation, feeding habits and more. Read some of her answers here:

Question: Do you have any tips on getting my cat to sleep in his bed? He used to sleep there but now won't. We shut three cats in at night all in the kitchen, dining and living room. There should be enough room for them all. One is currently sleeping on the top of the kitchen cabinets, another on one of the sofas but my boy doesn't seem to want to sleep anywhere cosy. At the moment he's perched on a cushion on a dining chair. It looks like he's going to fall off at any moment... and yet there is a comfy bed next to the chair! Any hints?

Answer: Cats do have a habit of choosing places to sleep that we wouldn't think were that comfortable! One thing many people don't realise is that cats like to rotate their sleeping place. This goes back to African wildcat behaviour where they also rotate their sleeping place, we think, as a way of reducing external parasites. In general, cats like to sleep up high and somewhere warm. It sounds like he's happy to sleep on the dining room chair, so I wouldn't worry too much. If he changes his sleeping habits, eg sleeping more or less than usual, consult your vet for more advice. Check out our free behaviour course for more info on sleeping behaviour - www.cats.org.uk/cat-care/e-learning-ufo-care

Cat sleeping on top of printer
Cats do sleep in strange places! Photo by Daviddje via flickr / Creative Commons
Question: We have had our cat for a month and she was very nervous when she came to us. She is feeling at home now and is happy to accept a fuss from me and will sit on my lap and loves attention. However, when my partner tries to give her a fuss, she runs away. If my partner slowly and gently tries to 'join in' when I am making a fuss of her she will still run away. Any thoughts?

Answer: Often it can come down to what socialisation to people she received during the kitten socialisation period of two-seven weeks of age. I would suggest that initially your partner ignores her and simply sits quietly on the floor nearby reading a book (to therefore avoid eye contact with the cat) while you are fussing her. This will help your cat to see your partner as non-threatening from her perspective. Also try getting your partner to feed your cat so she forms positive associations with them. If you have any problems then we'd recommend a referral to a member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC). Best of luck.

Question: Our rescue cat that we've had for five months keeps jumping on the worktop and pinching bread (and cake if there is any!). At first we noticed he was hiding it and going back to it to eat but now he may have just a nibble and leave it. He was a stray from Cats Protection so we don't know any history. He is quite a big cat, he’s neutered and about 18 months old. He gets fed a pouch of meat in the morning, a small amount of biscuits mid-afternoon then another pouch of meat at about 10pm. Any ideas why he does this?

Answer: Sorry to hear you've got a food thief! While it could be his stray background, I would recommend getting him health checked by a vet to rule out medical reasons for the behaviour. It would be worth chatting to your vet about your cat's diet. For example, a satiety diet where the cat feels full and has a larger amount for the same calories as a light diet could be considered. Also think about introducing feeding enrichment so he gets to use his fabulous brain in a more productive way! Check out our boredom busters and feeding enrichment puzzles. Good luck!

Cat sitting on kitchen counter
A satiety diet helps manage hunger between meals. Photo by drew_anywhere via flickr / Creative Commons

Please note that we are unable to give specific advice on your cat's health or any change in behaviour observed. For medical problems consult your vet who will have access to your cat’s medical history and will be able to examine them.

Would you like to ask one of Cats Protection’s feline experts a question about your cat? Don’t miss the next live Facebook Q&A sessions: Vet Vanessa Howie will answer veterinary questions on 18 November; Neutering Manager Jane Clements will host the Q&A on 3 December; and behaviourist Nicky Trevorrow returns on 17 December. All our Q&As are held on Cats Protection's national Facebook page from 2-3pm. See you there!

Friday, 6 November 2015

“Does neutering stop spraying?” and other neutering FAQs

Would you like to know more about neutering? Cats Protection’s Neutering Manager Jane Clements recently took to our Facebook page to answer questions on neutering and you can read some of the queries she answered below:

Question: Do male cats still spray after they have been neutered?

Answer: Neutering can help to alleviate behaviours such as this; however it isn't a guaranteed solution on its own. Speak to your vet about neutering and the behaviour he is showing in case there are other reasons for this.

White and tortie kitten
Neutered males are less likely to spray smelly urine; photo by Susan Dobbs
Question: My male cat was neutered at four months. He still tries to mount my female cat and any cuddly toys that are about. Why is he doing this?

Answer: It can take at least four weeks for the sperm to leave the system following neutering. If it’s been longer since neutering, take your cat to the vets for a health check, discussing the humping behaviour, as your vet may wish to check the penile spines have reduced or perform a blood test to check testosterone levels. If the vet feels the problem is behavioural, then we would recommend getting a referral to a qualified behaviourist (www.apbc.org.uk) as there are a number of different underlying reasons that can cause this behaviour.

Question: Is it morally right to deny a cat the joys of motherhood/fatherhood?

Answer: Mating behaviour in cats is purely a biological hormonal response. They aren't aware that this will lead to a litter of kittens from a female’s perspective and tom cats do not get involved with parenting the litter anyway. It is a myth that a cat should be allowed to have one litter. However, cats do enjoy the freedom of being able to go outside and play – being neutered allows them to do this, giving them freedom from the biological need to mate and the risk of contracting infectious diseases. Read more in our cat neutering leaflet.

Cats don't need 'just one litter' before being spayed; photo by Susan Dobbs
Question: I’m having a male kitten neutered tomorrow, is it likely to change his behaviour much? He is a very playful friendly chap usually.

Answer: It shouldn't change his playful character at all! Neutering will stop him from showing mating behaviours and roaming, making him happier to sit by the fire with you.


If you require neutering advice, our Neutering leaflet answers some of the most common questions. If you would like to enquire about neutering vouchers, please call our neutering line on 03000 12 12 12 option 2), Monday-Friday, 9.30am-1pm.

Please note that we are unable to give specific advice on your cat's health or any change in behaviour observed. For medical problems consult your vet who will have access to your cat’s medical history and will be able to examine them.

Would you like to ask one of Cats Protection’s feline experts a question about your cat? Don’t miss the next live Facebook Q&A sessions: Behaviourist Nicky Trevorrow will be chatting on 5 November; CP vet Vanessa Howie will answer veterinary questions on 18 November; and Neutering Manager Jane Clements will be back on 3 December. All our Q&As are held on Cats Protection's national Facebook page from 2-3pm. See you there!