Saturday, 22 April 2017

Meet the cats in our sponsor pens: Chamomile

Every day hundreds of unwanted cats are passed into the care of Cats Protection.

Sponsor cat Chamomile

Beautiful Chamomile is currently living at our Warrington Adoption Centre until she finds her forever home.

The five-year-old girl has had a few problems with her skin but they now seem to be under control.
She likes the outdoors and wildlife so would enjoy a home with a garden. If you think you can offer her a home, get in touch with the centre directly on 03000 12 06 12.



Sponsoring one of our cat pens is one of the best ways you can help cats like Chamomile, providing them with shelter, warmth, food, medical care and the love they need. It's easy to become a sponsor right now, for as little as 19p a day. Visit www.cats.org.uk/sponsor

Friday, 21 April 2017

Host your own Paw-some Afternoon Tea!

As today, 21 April, is National Tea Day we think it’s the perfect time to tell you about an exciting new event we’re launching that we’re inviting cat lovers – and cake lovers – to take part in.

Join us on Friday 26 May for a Paw-some Afternoon Tea. Bake or buy some tasty treats, pour some friends and family a cuppa and have a fun-filled afternoon in aid of Cats Protection.

Girl and gran baking cakes for Cats Protection

If you love cats, love a get-together or just love cake, we are asking you to hold your own Paw-some Afternoon Tea and help us help more cats and kittens in need. What better way to give unwanted cats a second chance?

Whether you’ll be at home, in work or at school, invite your friends, family, colleagues and schoolmates to join you for an afternoon of tea, coffee, cakes, scones, sandwiches and anything else you fancy. Indulge in a little luxury to give cats and kittens across the country a chance of health and happiness.

A platter for a Paw-some Afternoon Tea

Sign up to receive your free pack at www.pawsometea.org and we’ll send you everything you need to make your event the cat’s whiskers. We’ve got bunting, cake flags, games, recipes and much more.

Need some inspiration now?

Cat face balloon instructions

Here’s how to make a cat-face balloon for your afternoon tea:

What you will need

  • balloons (helium-filled balloons work best)
  • card or paper
  • pen
  • scissors
  • tape

Steps

  1. Fold over the short edge of your card/paper up to about 9cm
  2. Draw a triangle and cut it out
  3. Unfold your shape and cut in half down the fold
  4. Fold a tab around 1cm wide at the bottom of each ear
  5. Using tape, stick the ears on either side of the top of the balloon and the whiskers in the middle as shown
  6. Draw and cut out a nose and whiskers
  7. Using tape, stick the whiskers on to your balloon
  8. Try adding more detail to the balloon using a marker pen

For even more Paw-some Afternoon Tea ideas, check out our Pinterest board.

Follow Cats Protection's board Paw-some Afternoon Tea Inspiration on Pinterest.

So put the kettle on and start planning your Paw-some Afternoon Tea!

Friday, 14 April 2017

Meet the cats in our sponsor pens: Gabrielle

Every day hundreds of unwanted cats, like Gabrielle, are handed over to Cats Protection.

Meet the cats in our sponsor pens - Gabrielle

Six-year-old Gabrielle was brought into our Belfast Adoption Centre after a kind member of the public found her as a stray, along with her two kittens.


Her kittens thankfully found their forever homes a while ago but Gabrielle is still searching. She has feline asthma and takes a couple of inhalers throughout the day to manage her condition.

Sponsoring one of our cat pens is one of the best ways you can help cats like Gabrielle, providing them with shelter, warmth, food, medical care and the love they need. It's easy to become a sponsor right now, for as little as 19p a day.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Preparing your cat for Easter

For many people, Easter means spending time with friends and family or going away for a long weekend break. Combine this with hot cross buns and chocolates galore and it’s easy to see how it can be a stressful and risky time for our cats.

Fret not, follow the following tips!

Going away

If you’re planning to use the bank holidays for an extended weekend break, we wouldn’t recommend taking your cat with you. Cats are generally very stressed by travelling and without the familiar smells of their home territory, can become disorientated in a new environment. This also means they are more likely to get lost.

So instead, ensure you’ve made arrangements for your cat while you’re away; don’t let them fend for themselves. You could arrange for a trusted friend or cat sitter, preferably that your cat is familiar with, to feed, groom and play with your cat while you’re on holiday.

Alternatively you could book your cat to stay in a boarding cattery. Ensure that your cat’s vaccinations are up to date and the cattery knows of any special dietary requirements or medications that may need administering while your cat is in their care.

Cat with Easter basket
Photo: istock.com/kozorog

Welcoming visitors

Unfamiliar people and noisy children visiting the home can be very stressful for cats. Try to stick to your cat’s normal routine as much as you can.

Provide your cat with a quiet place to retreat to where they will not be disturbed. Ensure it contains their resources, such as a litter tray, an area for food and a separate area for water, a scratch post, toys and somewhere to sleep or hide. Cats like elevated places to hide, such as shelving or on top of a wardrobe, to make them feel safe and secure. Ensure they can access these, for example by placing a chair nearby.

Easter treats

A number of foods that we typically find in the home at Easter, such as chocolate eggs and raisins in hot cross buns are toxic to cats, so keep them out of reach, stored in sealed containers or closed cupboards. Keep Easter egg or basket packaging and wrapping out of the way as ingesting can be dangerous.

The signs of poisoning aren’t always obvious but can include vomiting, difficulty breathing and drooling.

If you think your cat may have ingested something harmful, seek veterinary advice immediately. Tell them where, when and how the poisoning occurred, if known and take packaging or samples of the substance with you.

Find out more about toxic substances and recognising the symptoms of poisoning here.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Help us call for air guns to be licensed in England and Wales

Cats are being targeted in horrifying air gun attacks.

To you a cat like Billy is a beautiful animal. But to the person who coldly pulled the trigger, Billy was nothing but a target.

Billy was shot by an air gun
Poor Billy has been left blind in one eye
When our vets at the National Cat Adoption Centre in Sussex first saw Billy, he had so many puncture wounds they thought he’d been attacked by a wild animal. But as the treating Veterinary Officer recalls: “When we looked at his X-rays we could see his whole body and head were literally peppered with air gun pellets.”

Two pellets were removed from Billy’s neck but the rest, particularly the four lodged in his head, were just too deep. The Veterinary Officer said it was a “miracle” Billy had survived at all. Billy has been left totally blind in one eye and may only be able to see shadows with the other.



On average nearly four cats a week are being shot with an air gun in the UK.

Chaos was a victim of an air gun too. She was shot between her eyes in September 2016 in Neath, South Wales. The pellet miraculously missed her brain and lodged in the muscle between her spine and gullet, where it remains.

A cat's X-ray showing a pellet
Chaos's X-ray reveals an air gun pellet
The pellet did, however, shatter the bones in her nose making her unable to breathe except through her mouth which, of course, prevented her from eating or drinking.

She was fitted with a feeding tube which has now been removed and she is able to eat and drink again. She has only been outside once since her recovery and was frightened by the lights outside the house which tends to support the vet’s theory that a light was shone in her face to temporarily blind her before being shot.

Chaos was shot by an air gun
Chaos after the shooting
These poor cats are being maimed, blinded and even killed. That’s why we’re asking you to take a very important action today.

Please sign and share our petition calling for air guns to be licensed in England and Wales.

Currently, every air gun in England and Wales is unlicensed. It’s all too easy for people intent on cruelty to legally get their hands on these lethal weapons. By signing our petition, you will help us pressure the government to make it illegal to own an air gun without a license. Sign our petition here: www.cats.org.uk/airgunspetition

Your support will make a real difference. Thank you.

Monday, 10 April 2017

London Marathon: where champions are made

The Virgin Money London Marathon is in its 36th year with more than three quarters of competitors running for a good cause. Since its creation in 1981, more than £830m had been raised for charity by London Marathon competitors.

We’ve very pleased to say that we have 14 cat lovers running the London Marathon 2017 to raise funds for Cats Protection. One of our dedicated supporters, Debbie Hunt is taking part on behalf of the newly-formed North Bristol Branch.

“I have four beautiful cats and love all animals,” says Debbie. “My cats are my furry inspirations to run for Cats Protection and are very lucky to have their forever home and be very loved. I want all cats and animals to have a home and feel safe and loved, so being able to help local kitties in Bristol is perfect.”

Debbie's beloved cat, Bob
Debbie's cat Bob. Photo: Carly Wong at The Pet Collective www.thepetcollective.co.uk
Debbie is a seasoned marathon runner, having run four in the past, two of which were for animal charities, so knows how much preparation is involved. She’s running around four times a week and also doing classes, free weights and cardio at the gym.

“[The hardest bit will be] getting through mile 18-20, tiredness and any pain. I need to break the race down into chunks and use visualisation to get through. Not forgetting to enjoy the race!”

Debbie's an experienced marathon runner
To anyone else who is considering a challenge event on behalf of Cats Protection, she says: “Go for it, no hesitation. It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, so grab it with both hands!”

Debbie’s aiming to raise £1,750 for her local branch – you can show your support by donating here.

Another plucky supporter who will be running the marathon for Cats Protection is Jessica Webb, who is hoping to raise £1,500 for our Canterbury & District Branch.

“The London Marathon is a challenge I've always wanted to have a go at,” Jessica explains. “My two cats are my first ever pets and I absolutely adore them! Seeing how much animal abuse there is nowadays I feel passionately about helping abused and neglected kitties and cats.”

Jessica and her cat, Tiger
Jessica and cat, Tiger
Jessica’s job is very active so she’s integrating exercise into a lot of her fundraising. “I’m a dance teacher at several local schools so cake sales galore have proven the best fundraiser with the children. I am looking to do a raffle and a friend wants to do a Zumbathon for me after the marathon, so the fundraising will continue into July.”

Jessica's training to run the London Marathon
Jessica's looking forward to running the London Marathon!
Despite being nervous about completing her first ever marathon, Jessica is looking forward to celebrating afterwards.

“The sense of pride when I finally get to race day surely will be one of the best feelings ever!”

If you’d like to support Jessica, you can donate here.

Both ladies have fundraising pages on Virgin Money Giving, which will claim gift aid on Cats Protection’s behalf where the donor is eligible.

Join the team in 2018

Want to be part of the #CatChampions team in 2018? We have nine gold bond places for Cats Protection supporters to run the Virgin Money London Marathon on behalf of the charity to raise vital funds to help the cats and kittens in our care. You can of course nominate a local branch or centre to support. Find out more at www.cats.org.uk/vlm18

We also welcome runners taking part in any local or national event and at any distance. If you have your own place in a run and would like to support Cats Protection please get in touch events@cats.org.uk

Friday, 7 April 2017

How funds raised by challenges help local branches

This week at Cats Protection is Big Cat Week where we’re celebrating our five-day Himalayan trek and three-day tiger conservation project in India.

Our intrepid Himalayan challengers can choose to support their local Cats Protection, meaning that all funds they raise go directly to that branch or centre.

Branches are run entirely by volunteers and the wonderful things that they do are only made possible by their dedication and the funds raised by them and their supporters.

Stephanie and Helena
Stephanie Peel and Helena Peck are raising funds for their local branch
Stephanie Peel and Helena Peck, who are undertaking the Indian challenge, have been raising thousands of pounds for the St Albans & District Branch. Find out what they’ve been doing here.

The funds raised by supporters like Stephanie and Helena enable the branch to continue their important work with cats – finding forever homes for abandoned cats, neutering to prevent unwanted litters from being born, and helping people to better understand cats.

Charlie and Kit are just one example of cats that are currently being helped by the branch.

Charlie and Kit
Charlie and Kit
Charlie’s owners were unable to take him and his nephew, Kit, with them when they moved, so they signed them over to the care of the St Albans & District Branch.

Although shy at first, Charlie seems much more confident and affectionate when he becomes familiar with people. He thoroughly enjoys having a good brush too!

Wonderful, sweet Kit is very timid and easily frightened, preferring to observe at first. However, his playful, friendly and vocal nature begin to show as he becomes more comfortable and interactive with you. His love of feather toys brings him to life, springing into action as he chases them around.

Charlie and Kit are very attached to each other. They play well together and groom each other and curl up together.

Thanks to care from the branch, Charlie and Kit will hopefully find a new home very soon.


If you’re interested in adopting Charlie and Kit, please get in contact with the St Albans & District Branch directly on 0345 371 2064 or stalbanscp@hotmail.co.uk 

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Challenge events: putting the fun into fundraising

For many people taking on a once in a lifetime challenge like our Himalayan Trek and Tiger conservation project is a dream come true. To top that, the challenge raises vital funds to help us continue to care for cats and kittens throughout the UK.

For some, the reality of pledging to raise a minimum of £4,000 sets in and it can put them off from signing up at all.

Fear not, raising £4,000 is completely possible – not only that, but we think you will have fun along the way as well as you can see form some of our fab fundraisers below.

We’ll provide you with full support, ideas, a fundraising pack of branded resources and polo shirt to ensure you feel completely comfortable fundraising towards your pledge.

Stephanie Peel and Helena Peck

Helena Peck and Stephanie Peel are cat have pledged to raise funds for the St Albans & District Branch.

Helena is a self-confessed ‘crazy cat lady’ and has been a volunteer at the St Albans & District Branch for a couple of years. She sees first-hand the amazing cat work they carry out and just how much the work costs. Motivated by the opportunity to take part in a once in a lifetime challenge and to raise funds for the branch she decided to take on, not one, but two challenges on their behalf. In 2016 Helena completed the Zambezi River challenge and this year she’ll be trekking the Lesser Himalayas and volunteering to help tigers in India – all to raise funds for her local branch.

Stephanie Peel and Helena Peck
Stephanie and Helena dressed as tigers and raised £150 for their local branch
Helena’s fellow volunteer and friend Stephanie Peel was also motivated to sign up for the challenge to help raise funds. Since signing up they have been having lots of fun baking, knitting and getting dressed up for collections.

Cat cupcakes
Cupcakes Stephanie made for a Pets At Home fundraising weekend
Knitted catnip mice
Helena knits catnip mice and blankets

Yasmin Fisher

Vet nurse Yasmin (Yaz) Fisher signed up to the challenge after one of her clients mentioned it to her. “I currently work as a qualified vet nurse and am always looking for adventure travel,” she says. “I have also volunteered with big cats in the past so I can't think of anything better than the opportunity to see them in the wild and raise funds!”

Seeing the wonderful and dedicated care that Cats Protection volunteers and staff give to the cats in their care, Yaz wanted to give something back to our Nottingham Adoption Centre as well as take part in the challenge of a lifetime.

Yaz’s six months of fundraising has gone off with a bang. Using Christmas as a perfect crafty fundraiser, Yaz created little Christmas Eve boxes of goodies in return for donations.

Christmas Eve gift boxes
A Christmas gift box made by Yaz
Not one to miss out on the opportunity to dress up, Yaz recently took up one of the many charity slots that Cats Protection is given by Tesco and collected £50 in three hours.

Her next planned fundraiser is a pet photo competition and she has some fab prizes up for grabs!

Pet competition
Prizes for Yaz's pet competition
You can read more about all the fundraisers taking part in the Himalayan Trek and Tiger conservation project here.

What could 12 months of fundraising look like?

Challenge event participants have plenty of time to raise the funds needed – we put together a very robust pack of resources to help and all fundraisers you will receive dedicated support and guidance from our Events team.

Here are just a few examples of fundraising ideas to help raise £4,000

  • Order some collection boxes and get out and about in your local area asking shops, businesses and organisations to have one for you along with a personalised ‘sponsor me’ poster
  • Organise a car wash
  • Offer a skill in return for donations perhaps you can hold a ‘freebie’ day one day a month eg massaging, babysitting, hairdressing, lawn mowing etc
  • Dress up as a cat and hold a street collection
  • Hold a car boot sale
  • Bake some healthy, cat-shaped cookies to sell

For even more ideas, visit the challenge page (www.cats.org.uk/ind18) and scroll down to the ‘Support documents’ tab.

Feel inspired?
Sign up to your own challenge and have some fun! You can see all of our fundraising challenges here.

Monday, 3 April 2017

What is Big Cat Week?

Big Cat Week is now in its third year and is an opportunity for us to showcase our exciting international challenges, specifically our annual Big Cat Challenge which helps us to raise vital funds to help cats and kittens all over the UK.

Cats Protection's India trek

Big Cat Challenge participants can take part in a five-day Himalayan trek and three-day tiger conservation project in India in October 2018.

The adventure starts in India’s capital Delhi where the team will board the overnight train for the journey to the Lesser Himalaya. Here, they will explore the spectacular area on foot, reaching altitudes of up to 2,842m and walking around 14km per day.

After the trek, the team will spend three days in the Kanha National Park, inspiration to Rudyard Kipling for his novel, The Jungle Book. This offers an amazing chance to learn about the efforts being made to conserve the environment, especially for tigers. We anticipate that the group will take several drives into the National Park with the hope of spotting tigers and other endemic animals. There is also a possibility of helping with a tiger conservation lesson at a local school and further other opportunities for learning about the plight of the local wildlife.

Fancy embracing your adventurous side? Find out more and sign up for the challenge at www.cats.org.uk/ind18

If the trip isn't for you, there are still plenty of ways to get involved with Big Cat Week to celebrate and big and small cats.

You could organise a big cat-themed fundraising event in aid of your local Cats Protection branch or adoption centre; share photos of your small cats that look like big cats or dress up in your favourite tiger onesie and tweet us with the hashtag #bigcatweek

Find out more about Big Cat Week and how you can get involved at www.cats.org.uk/bigcatweek

Friday, 31 March 2017

Meet the cats in our sponsor pens: Nikki

Every day hundreds of unwanted cats, like Nikki, are handed over to Cats Protection.

Beautiful girl Nikki

Five-year-old Nikki is a lovely little cat who was admitted to us because she was stressed out in her previous home and her owner thought she’d be better suited to a quieter one.



Although she is a friendly and affectionate cat, she can be quite timid with new people. What Nikki really needs is a quiet home without any other pets and an owner who will give her the time and attention she needs to blossom. We hope she finds her forever home soon!


Sponsoring one of our cat pens is one of the best ways you can help cats like Nikki, providing them with shelter, warmth, food, medical care and the love they need. It's easy to become a sponsor right now, for as little as 19p a day. Visit www.cats.org.uk/sponsor 

Sunday, 26 March 2017

A mother’s struggle

This post was written by Coventry Branch

This is Betty and her kittens. On first impression she looks like an idyllic queen with her brood feeding nicely in a loving home; a well-loved cat having perhaps her second litter of kittens. Sadly, this couldn't be further from the truth.

Betty was found in a dark, dingy and filthy garage corner covered in junk and with a broken toe, unable to move. The kind lady of the house had called the Coventry Branch for help as she wasn’t the cat’s owner and was at a loss as to what to do.

When we arrived on the scene it was already getting dark and was quite cold. Betty was very calm and allowed us to help her. Two of the six kittens had already passed away in the cold. I quickly scooped up Betty and the kittens and took them all back to a warm travel cot. Later, the remaining four kittens sadly passed away.

Betty and her kittens

If the truth be known, Betty wasn’t like some young healthy queens with her second litter – she was an ageing cat with what could have been her tenth litter if not more! She had had a terrible life having litter after litter of kittens until she got herself stuck in that garage. Her original owners hadn’t had her microchipped or neutered so we set about finding her a new home.

She could have had a lovely easy life, free from all that grief. Only once Betty had been rescued and given some true love and care did she eventually come out of herself and show her true beautiful character. If only Betty had been neutered in the first place.

Betty is thriving in her new home

After being neutered and rehabilitated by Cats Protection, Betty was rehomed to a lovely lady who really loves and cares for her. At long last she has found her forever home.


Cats Protection champions neutering as the only effective way to reduce the number of unwanted cats in the UK. Neutering also prevents some cancers and infections and stops female cats from wailing when in heat. Our recommended neutering age for your pet cat is four months. Find out more about neutering at www.cats.org.uk/cat-care/key-cat-care/neutering 

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Coping with pet-related grief FAQs

Cats Protection understands just how much your cat means to you and what you may be going through if your pet is missing, had to be rehomed, nearing the end of their life or they have recently passed away.

To support cat owners at this difficult time, Counsellor and Pet Loss Specialist Julia Dando took to our Facebook page to talk to them about their grief. Here are just some of the queries she helped with:

Question: My cat was put to sleep at the weekend, she had kidney disease. I feel so guilty for not noticing the signs sooner – she was a sickly cat normally and I just thought she would get back to normal, but on her last few days I realised she was in pain. I wonder if I had taken her to the vet sooner, whether she would still be here. Could she have had the disease a while or can it appear suddenly and quickly?

Answer: This is such a difficult thing to go through. I can't comment upon the specifics of her disease but perhaps you can follow that up with your veterinary surgery. I can hear how you're feeling guilty around the decision you've made and are having doubts about whether it was the right time and whether you could have done more. These are very natural thoughts and feelings to have after such a difficult thing to go through. Often our cats are very good at covering their symptoms – and it can be especially difficult to see anything different when she is a sickly cat generally. It sounds like you did something as soon as you noticed that she was in pain and took her to the vet. These feelings of doubt and guilt are very painful to bear – if it helps you to enquire further with your vet to the specific of the case then I suggest you do so, although you are likely to find that the pain lessens over time. If you would like to talk through your experience more please do ring the Paws to Listen Grief Support Line and speak with one of our trained volunteers. The number is 0800 024 94 94 and the line is open from 9am-5pm Mon-Fri. Best wishes.

Grief support

Question: My daughter, who is in her twenties, discovered that her cat had been run over a week ago. She is in such a state as he was only 10 months old, he had a tag on saying he was microchipped and another with her phone number on. He died and she is distraught that whoever did it did not stop. He’s now buried in my garden. How can I help her?

Answer: I’m very sorry for your and your daughter's loss. Such a difficult time for everyone, especially when it's a traumatic death such as a road traffic accident. Anger is a very natural response to grief, especially in such circumstances. Your daughter will benefit from having someone to listen – that is often the biggest help for anyone. Let her talk about her anger – hear her anger – be with her in her anger, without trying to fix it for her. If you've buried your daughter's cat in your garden it may be comforting for your daughter to spend some time there. If your daughter (or you) would like to talk through feelings about what has happened please do encourage her to ring our Paws to Listen Grief Support Line on 0800 024 94 94.


Question: Our cat has been missing since October 2015. He was nine and so, so loved. He had an amazing connection with my mum and she's really struggling as we can't move on until we find him. We've searched everywhere, tried all suggestions and even called our local Cats Protection for advice. There's a lot of evidence to suggest that someone stole him from us and moved away. I'm at a loss of what to do as I can't help my mum :(

Answer: Circumstances around ambiguous loss (when you don't know what happened) can be especially difficult to deal with. As you say, there is little closure and often we're left with feelings of guilt and anger and great anxiety about what happened to our beloved pet. Sadly, it is often the case that we never find out what happened and this can be very painful to deal with. It sounds like your mum has your support and this will be very helpful to her. Continue to allow her to talk about him, and about her feelings. You already are helping your mum by being there with her through her pain and distress.


Question: My beloved cat, who was 17, was put to sleep last October due to cancer. Our vet was lovely but I feel it was so quick and I can't feel his spirit or any sign that he understands why I did what I did. I cry a lot and it's affecting me more as the time goes by. The loss has been immense. How do I reconcile myself with what happened? I feel I gave him the best life so why do I feel so sad that I didn't let him suffer?

Answer: Grief is unique and is therefore different for everyone. The bond that you had with your cat sounds like it was very strong and when a bond is that strong, it is such a significant loss when they leave us. It sounds like you have a spiritual belief and I'm wondering whether you've been able to memorialise him? Sometimes, it can be helpful to have a bit of a ceremony – whatever you feel comfortable with – a sort of ceremonial goodbye but also a recognition that the connection between you will always remain. Feeling guilty about making the most difficult decisions for our pets is very natural, though this does usually change over time. There is no time limit on grief – especially when your bond was so strong. If you are worried about your prolonged feelings about your cat, you could approach your GP to see if there is more going on for you – sometimes grief can become complicated and it can help to have professional support through your GP or a counsellor.


Whether you are facing the heartbreak of your cat passing away, want help with difficult issues like euthanasia, a cat who has gone missing or need someone to talk to about your loss: we are here for you.

The Paws to Listen service is a free and confidential phone line, that you can call to talk to one of our trained volunteer listeners. While we are unable to offer counselling, we can provide you with a sympathetic ear at this difficult time. Call us on 0800 024 94 94. The line is open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

As well as the phone line, there are a number of free online guides and leaflets to help owners deal with grief-related issues: www.cats.org.uk/grief

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

‘Why is my cat vomiting?’ and other veterinary FAQs

In our latest Facebook Q&A, vet Dr Sarah Elliott answered live questions from cat owners. Here are just some of the topics discussed:

Question: My 19-year-old cat is throwing up almost everything she eats. What should I do?

Answer: It is a good idea to mention any vomiting to your vet as there can be a different underlying cause depending on whether this is true vomiting or regurgitation. If your cat’s diet has changed recently then this may be the cause. Any diet change should be made very gradually over the course of one week to reduce the risk of a stomach upset. There are lots of diets available that are specially formulated for sensitive stomachs.

Photo: iStock.com/Murika
Question: Which types of food are recommended for an 18/19-year-old female? She's mildly arthritic but otherwise in good health, with all her teeth!

Answer: There are many diets specially formulated for elderly cats – talk to your vet about which ones they recommend. Some even have joint supplements already added. As cats can be prone to troublesome kidneys, many vets may recommend a wet diet for elderly cats to help support their water intake. There’s more information on senior cats in our Elderly cats leaflet.


Question: My cat has three legs and is perfectly healthy (the vet said so) but always has soft runny poo. I feed her Sheba as she's so fussy she won't eat anything else but I worry about her as she is 12-and-a-half years old! What can I do? She won't eat senior food!

Answer: Cats can be fussy eaters! I'd recommend taking a tiny amount of her food out of the bowl and replacing with the new food you want her to eat. Then gradually decrease the old food and increase the new over a couple of weeks and hopefully she'll come to accept the change a bit easier. They can be stubborn but it is all about being even more stubborn in return!


Question: I recently took my Maine Coon cat to the vet for his vaccinations. The vet weighed him and said that he is overweight so advised he goes on a diet. We've cut back his food to the amount he suggested, but he always seems hungry. I just want a second opinion as I don't want to under-feed him.

Answer: Encourage your cat to play as much as possible. Microchip feeders can help limit how much food your cat can eat if your cats are microchipped. Feeding puzzles can be used when feeding your cat meals instead of using a food bowl. Food puzzles are available to order and Cats Protection has some great cheap options for home-made puzzles. Have a look at our Feline Crafty video guides for ideas:



Question: My cat is a 14-year-old neutered male with arthritis. He has joint supplements and anti-inflammatories each day but his back legs are deteriorating. He still seems to enjoy life. Is there anything else I could give him that might help?

Answer: It sound like he is in good hands with you! I don't think many people realise that arthritis affects many older cats. It is worth staying in regular contact with your vet as they may be able to rejig the medication if needs be.

Try to make his environment as easy on the joints as it can be – his litter tray should have low sides so he can easily get in and out, and his food and water bowls may need to be closer or add a few more so he doesn't have to go too far. You could add ramps to help him reach his favourite perches and sleeping spots. Also have a look at our arthritis info.


Question: My female cat has slowly been developing a brown fang over the past few years – she has had to have her teeth cleaned twice – I’m just worried that she's going to lose it! Is there anything I could do to prevent further teeth decay?

Answer: If the enamel or dentine is becoming discoloured, there may be a problem on the inside of the tooth. I would get your vet to take a look as the first priority. You may find our Teeth and oral health leaflet useful too.


Veterinary note: Please note that we are unable to give specific advice on your cat's health or any change in behaviour observed. For more cat care advice, please see www.cats.org.uk/cat-care or consult your vet if you have a specific concern about your cat.

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: talk to a pet bereavement specialist on 16 March; or chat with Behaviourist Nicky Trevorrow on 6 April. All Q&As are held on Cats Protection's national Facebook page from 2pm. See you there!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Do you have what it takes to do an endurance challenge?

Have you always fancied pushing yourself to the limit? Now is your chance to take part in an Ultra Challenge and support your favourite charity at the same time.

Cats Protection has spaces for walkers and joggers in all of the official Ultra Challenges – you can choose to walk, jog or run either 25km, 50km or 100km in the following scenic events:


Daniel Merton and Lesley Belton are both taking part in the Thames Bridges Trek, which is part of the Thames Path Challenge. They’ll join 2,000 people walking 25km through London over 16 historic bridges with incredible views of the city.

By coincidence, they’re both raising money for the Horsham & District Branch or Cats Protection. Lesley is a volunteer for the branch too!

Lesley Belton is fundraising for Cats Protection

“I’m an Olympic level couch potato and also happen to be the Branch & Membership Secretary for Horsham & District Cats Protection. With this great power comes great responsibility and I will do anything for cats,” she says.

“I’m a whole lot of crazy, so I’ll be completing the Thames Bridges Trek on 7 September,” Lesley adds. “I say completing but the furthest I normally walk is to and from the coffee shop so this will be quite the challenge.

“I’m raising money for a great cause. £150 is the average amount it costs us to care for each cat in our pens so I want to help raise this amount for at least one cat.

Lesley Belton manning a raffle

“My husband owns a narrowboat and at weekends I train by walking along the tow path as he pilots the boat along the canal shouting encouragement… a bit like the scene from the Rocky film but with water!”

Meanwhile, Cats Protection supporter Daniel is hoping to improve his fitness following an injury in late 2015.

He explains: “I broke my ankle quite severely in an accident and I spent a lot of time at home in pain, unable to do much with just the cats for company. Missy was always by my side or on my lap to keep me going. We already had a close bond but this bought us even closer together.”

Daniel Merton with his cat, Missy

Daniel’s training every day, spending an hour of his lunch break at work going for a walk, going to the gym once or twice a week and doing a long distance walk at the weekend. He’s hoping to raise £500, which his employer has promised to match, making a total target of £1,000.

Daniel Merton training for his trekking challenge

“I love cats and am the proud owner of four. Our home would feel empty without a cat around. If I could have more I would, but have chosen to help cats in need instead.

“If you are looking for a way to get fit and need something to achieve as well as raise money for cats then this is for you.”

If you’d like to sponsor Daniel, you can do so here; and you can sponsor Lesley here. We’ll be there cheering them on at the finish line!

Fancy joining them? Whether you’re a walking enthusiast or a marathon runner looking to up the distance, these Ultimate Challenges are for you. Check them out at www.cats.org.uk/trekking

Monday, 13 March 2017

Why cats love running water

In the latest video in the Simon’s Cat Logic series, animator Simon Tofield and Cats Protection’s Behaviour Manager Nicky Trevorrow have teamed up to explore cats’ relationship with water.



“My cats are always curled up in my sink, fast asleep,” says Simon. “Another thing they do is lick from the tap when they’re thirsty, even if there’s a water bowl below, they’ll always go for the dripping water!”

Nicky explains why cats are fascinated by running water.

“In the home environment, some cats prefer a running tap, for example or maybe a drinking fountain,” she says. “This makes sense from an African wildcat perspective, where they would naturally drink from fresh running streams rather than a stagnant pool.”

Cat drinking water from tap
Photo by Lisa Zins via flickr / Creative Commons
Cats also prefer to have their food bowl and their water bowl separated from each other. In an evolutionary sense this allows them to avoid water that may be contaminated with waste from prey.

If you want to learn more about your cat’s behaviour and why they act the way they do, visit our online behaviour hub.

Does your cat love running water? Let us know on Twitter @catsprotection and use the hashtag #SimonsCatLogic.

Friday, 3 March 2017

‘Why does my cat miaow at me?’ and other behaviour FAQs

Don’t understand why your cat behaves the way they do? Behaviourist Nicky Trevorrow took to our national Facebook page to answer live questions from curious cat owners. Here are just some of the topics discussed:

Question: I have a five-year-old female cat who constantly miaows at me. She’s eating and drinking ok, it’s just that every time I look at her she stares and miaows! She's neutered.

Answer: It would be worth taking her to the vet and making sure that she doesn't have a medical problem, even if she seems healthy. The increased vocalisation could be a sign of a medical problem. Keep a note of any other changes in her behaviour to tell the vet. If there's nothing medically wrong with her, then she could just be a chatty cat.

Some owners and their cats can build up a mutual understanding whereby the cat does certain miaows for different things. If you're concerned, you could get a referral to a qualified behaviourist. Ensure that she has all the resources (like a litter tray, scratch post, food and water bowls) she needs in the house and has plenty of fuss and play sessions with you. You could try introducing feeding enrichment to her (giving her food from her daily allowance in items that aren't from a bowl as it's more mentally stimulating). Start with something very simple like a cardboard egg box (see our post about feeding enrichment). Always show your cat how to use it first for a couple of minutes and then let her have a go!

Miaowing cat

Question: How do you stop an eight-month-old cat ripping at the wallpaper? She has a scratching post and lots of toys but prefers clawing at the wallpaper. We only decorated recently!

Answer: Sorry to hear about the scratching behaviour. I hate to say it, but cats absolutely love textured wallpaper in particular! Sorry to hear that you've only just redecorated too. If you redecorate again, then perhaps going for paint (a cat-safe one) would be better. Scratching is a normal behaviour for cats and therefore they need an outlet in order to express this natural behaviour. The main two reasons that a cat will scratch is:

1) For claw maintenance where they remove the outer sheaths of their claws. This tends to be more of a plucking motion with their paws.

2) As a territorial marker – both a visual mark from the long scratch lines left behind and a scent mark from the scent glands in between their toes.

Cats can also increase their scratch marking in times of stress. For stressed cats, it is important to rule out the underlying cause of the stress. The first port of call is a health-check by the vet to rule out any underlying medical problems. A referral to a qualified behaviourist can help to identify the cause of any anxiety.

All cats should be provided with scratching facilities.

Ideally a scratch post should:

  • be tall enough (at least 60cm) for the average adult cat to allow them to stretch up on their toes while scratching
  • be sturdy enough as cats like to lean their body weight against the post while scratching
  • have vertical thread to facilitate a full range of vertical scratching movements

Find out more here.

Best of luck!

Question: One of my cats has recently started licking my face but only does it at about 4am! If he can't get my face he starts licking my hands. He does it for ages every night, not just for a few minutes. I had him nearly a year before he started doing it. It's only when I'm in bed. Any ideas why he is doing this?

Answer: As strange as it sounds, there are actually medical reasons that can cause cats to start licking things or people that they didn't used to, so it would be worth ruling this out with your vet first. It would be worth chatting it through with a behaviourist too to see if there is anything that coincides with the onset of the behaviour. I can fully appreciate how it feels to be woken up at 4am! It's not fun. Cats are naturally more active during this time. Ensure your cat has plenty of play sessions throughout the day. Hope he stops soon.

Veterinary note: Please note that we are unable to give specific advice on your cat's health or any change in behaviour observed. For more cat care advice, please see www.cats.org.uk/cat-care or consult your vet if you have a specific concern about your cat.

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: chat with vet Dr Sarah Elliot on 9 March or Behaviourist Nicky Trevorrow on 6 April. We're also hosting a Q&A about pet grief on 16 March. All Q&As are held on Cats Protection's national Facebook page from 2pm. See you there!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Freya finds her way home

This post has been written by our Barnstaple & District Branch

We were told of a stray kitten in Mortehoe which had been around for about a month. The lovely gent who reported the kitten said she was very skinny so he had started to feed her with bit of fish and chicken.

The kitten then slowly started to come into the house and cuddle up on a chair. As we are only able to take a cat in when we have a space, the man continued to feed her until one of our fosterers was able to collect her and look for an owner.

When we collected the kitten we called into Market Vets in Barnstaple who checked for – and found – a microchip! They discovered that the kitten, called Freya, was only six months old and had gone missing in October from nearby Ilfracombe.

Freya’s owners don't drive so we agreed to take her round to them to be reunited.

Freya is reunited with her relieved owners

The couple were so over the moon to get her back after so long, they said it was the best ever Christmas present. They thought they would never see her again.

It just goes to show that microchips do work!

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

10 reasons why your cat is the ultimate Valentine's date

It's that time of year again. The time when you devote yourself to that special someone in your life. The time when you show them how much they mean to you. The time when you lavish each other with attention and gifts. The time when you share a romantic candlelit dinner at that fancy-restaurant-you-liked-the-look-of-last-year-but-needed-a-good-excuse-to-visit.

The time when it dawns on you that your special someone has forgotten it's Valentine's Day… again. The time when you pretend it's OK for them to ‘make it up to you next year’. (You can see where we're heading with this, can't you?!)

For those of us who wake up every 15 February with a tinge of disappointment, we think we've found the solution.

Allow us to present 10 reasons why your cat is your best bet for a Valentine's Day date:

1. Let's start with the most obvious. They love you. They might not always show it but, deep down, you know they do. Every rub up against your leg, every slow blink is another sign that they enjoy spending time with you.

2. They're all about giving. Moggies just love bringing you gifts. Even if you may not always enjoy receiving them you can be sure they'll be out there hunting for the perfect prezzie that will have you screaming with delight and running around the house.

3. They're a cheap date. A fresh bowl of water, some food and five minutes chasing their favourite toy around the living room and cats are usually pretty content with life and ready for some serious relaxation time. Which leads us to...
Kitten curling up with heart cushion
Curl up with your cat this Valentine's Day. Photo: istock.com / Voren1
4. They know how to take it easy. Is your idea of the ultimate Valentine's Day evening curling up on the sofa with some snacks*? Well, so is theirs! That's one more thing you've got in common with your cat, compared to a perpetually-disappointing other half.

5. They're great listeners. Sometimes all you need after a hard day's work is someone to sit with you as you get everything off your chest. With a range of hearing well beyond our own, cats can pick up sounds that even dogs can't detect, so you can be sure they will hear you out. Just don't be put off if they’re laying down with their eyes closed while you’re happily nattering away!

6. They don't judge. You can tell a moggy your deepest secrets and they will not bat an eyelid. Is this due to some sort of human-feline empathy built up over centuries of co-habitation? No, it's because they haven't a clue what you're saying. But you can always pretend they do. After all, you’ve been doing that with your partner for years.

7. They are certified de-stressers. Many of us find it hard to relax. Even when we've finished our work for the day, phones, tablets and TV screens throw more unwanted information at us. Stroking a cat's soft fur and listening to their therapeutic purring has been proven to lower our anxiety levels and put us at ease. In this day and age, that's a gift to truly cherish.

8. February in the UK can be cold. Really cold. But if you have a feline in your family, there's often no need to grab your hot water bottle on your way up to bed. If you play your cards right after your relaxing Valentine's evening, your moggy will curl up next to your feet and keep you toasty until the morning. With some kitties, it's all part of the service.

9. You can call them the cutest things. Fluffykins. Honeybun. Snugglebug. You can use any number of pet names on your moggy and they won't roll their eyes at you. Although it does make you wonder what they'd like to call us!

10. And finally, cats know how to show appreciation. If you make spend time with them, your cat may reward you with a head butt, which means you’re their friend. Unlike your other half, who still hasn't thanked you for the present you gave them last year!

However you spend 14 February – whether it's in the company of felines, humans or both – there's never a bad time to show your cat how much you love them. How about preparing them a tasty treat? Just one of the kitty presents we show you how to make in our Feline Crafty YouTube series.



Happy Valentine's Day!

*Veterinary note: If you give your cat any treats, ensure they are taken from their daily food allowance.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Hunter is a hero

This post has been written by our Lea Valley Branch

Hunter came into our care as a very poorly, five month old.

It was clear that Hunter was seriously unwell and had not been eating or drinking for a number of days and, as a result, was severely dehydrated. However, he was somewhat responsive and trying hard to cope with being so unwell.

Hunter snuggled up in our care

He was immediately admitted to hospital and put on a drip. Later that day he was given a scan which revealed he had a blockage in his intestine. When trying to eat or drink, it wouldn't pass through – instead the poor little chap would be sick, therefore not getting any nutrition. Medivet stabilised him overnight and operated the next morning. They found that he had an intussusception – a condition where part of the intestine folds into another section of the intestine – resulting in an obstruction. The section of intestine that was blocked was removed.

The operation went well and, after a five-day stay in hospital, Hunter came home to our Welfare Officer. He was on a restricted diet and had five medications daily, and for 10 days he was doing well. Then, suddenly, he became very quiet and listless, and he was rushed back to the vet. Another scan revealed that he had another blockage caused from the scarring from the first operation. He was operated on again and had a further section of his intestine removed. After another five-day stay in hospital, once again he came home, with the same regime of a restricted diet and more medication.

By the middle of December, two-and-a-half weeks after his second operation, he was well and lively. He was eating, drinking (and toileting!) as he should be. The vet said that it was extremely rare to have a complication after the first operation.

The vets at Medivet have been wonderful, working with Hunter to ensure that he recovered from a life-threatening, very painful and stressful, double ordeal. as you can see from the photo, he truly deserved this chance, battling bravely throughout his ordeal.

Such a brave and lovely little chap didn’t take long to find a new home. We are so pleased to report that he was adopted by a caring family on Sunday 8 January and we hope he will now live a long and healthy life with them, enjoying doing all the things such a young, brave cat deserves to be able to do. Hunter truly is our hero.

If you would like to support our branch to help other cats like Hunter, who come into our care every week, please donate at: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/CPLeaValley-HunterAppeal

Our branch is run solely by volunteers, so all donations go directly to help the cats and kittens in our care. Thank you very much.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Queenie’s no longer in a quandary

This post has been written by Roz Buckley, Cat Care Assistant at our Taunton Homing & Information Centre

Queenie arrived at Cats Protection Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre in late 2015. She was a beautiful long haired white cat, who could resist her elegance and charm?!

Queenie was checked over by a vet and was in good health. However, she had unfortunately had a sheltered existence in her early life and now as a seven-year-old cat, she was nervous of everything and would show aggression to her carers and potential adopters. Many visitors to the adoption centre would fall for her good looks and on three occasions Queenie was rehomed to new owners after being provided with full details on her temperament and behaviour – and on the basis that her new owners wanted to work with her to try and resolve some of her issues. Unfortunately Queenie was returned to us on all three of those occasions when her new adopters were unable to cope with her behaviour.

Beautiful Queenie in CP care
Beautiful Queenie
I met her in June 2016 and like many others I grew intrigued and endeared by her shiny white coat, beautiful hazel eyes and affectionate blinking. She was not as straightforward as I thought and after hearing many stories of her early days at the centre I decided to take her on as my project cat.

Initially she would hiss and spit and grumble at my presence, as I sat quietly distancing myself from her in her pen reading away she gradually became accustomed to my presence, a real breakthrough was when she fell asleep on my lap.

After her third failed rehoming, I was truly curious to see what this wolf in sheep’s clothing was like in a home. So I decided to take her home to foster her temporarily. The cat was not the only curious creature!

Lovely Queenie has found a new home
Queenie became more settled after time and patience
On day one our spare room was set up in line with Cats Protection’s fostering guidelines to provide Queenie with the right environment for her needs while she was being fostered. The room was intended to be her safe space. Queenie grumbled like a gremlin as I entered the room but was able to hide away if she needed to. The grumbling subsided on the second day and by day three I was able to spent lots of time in the same room with her as she purred herself to sleep. She would also give me a gentle head-butt now and then! All Queenie needed was a loving owner who saw not only her stunning exterior but her true inner beauty and who could dedicate some time to help her overcome her issues.

When Queenie had become more confident she was moved to our Homing & Information Centre in Taunton. Luckily an amazing homing opportunity came up and her new owner came to meet her with a Golden Retriever called Millie. We spent lots of time ensuring their bond and that her new owner understood Queenie’s background and needs. Finally Queenie went home with a great family.

Queenie meeting her new owner
Queenie gets a special visit from her soon-to-be new owner and dog, Millie
Although there were some ‘teething issues’ in homing Queenie, spending some time with a fosterer who was able to work with her helped her settle and change her behaviour so that she was then able to be rehomed again. Queenie has now begun her new adventure in her new home. I often get updates from her new owner too, the progress she has made is in incredible, stories include; opening the door to a miaowing Queenie presenting the family with a mouse and Queenie and Millie the dog asleep on the bed together.


If you would be interested in fostering and providing help and care to cats like Queenie and the thousands of other cats which come into our care, please visit our website: www.cats.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering 

Thursday, 2 February 2017

‘How can I reduce hairballs?’ and other veterinary FAQs

In our latest live Facebook Q&A, Cats Protection vet Dr Sarah Elliott answered a variety of veterinary questions from curious cat owners. Here are just some of the topics discussed:

Question: My female domestic shorthair cat is coughing up hairballs a couple of times a week, is there anything I can do to help reduce this? We brush her, though not every day, and she eats a good diet I think – kibble mainly, with a bit of wet food. Any advice appreciated.

Answer: Cats often vomit up furballs, which occur after the cat consumes hair when grooming. These hairs become entwined together and irritate the stomach lining – they can be identified as clumps of hair in the vomit. Your vet may be able to advise you on diets and supplements which can be given to help ease the passage of furballs. Also daily grooming to remove any dead hair will help.

Grooming a ginger cat
Daily grooming can help reduce hairballs. Credit: istockphoto.com/Aksenovko

Question: One of my cats has really dry skin. Can you suggest anything I could give to him for it? He gets oily fish.

Answer: Dry skin can be caused by an allergy, so I'd run this past your vet and see if they can take a look at him for you. A good balanced diet will help with skin repair – a good quality commercial diet is normally already supplemented with important nutrients for the skin, for example omega 3 and omega 6. Remember the number one cause of any type of skin problem in cats is always fleas first! So make flea control your first priority.


Question: There is a feral cat on the farm that we would like to try to domesticate, any tips or suggestions that might help?

Answer: Feral cats should be looked upon as a wild animal. Cats have a socialisation window of between two to seven weeks old and if they do not encounter people and the home environment during this time then they will always be fearful. It is contrary to the welfare of a feral cat to confine them and try to tame them.

Your local Cats Protection branch may be able to assist in neutering this cat. Neutering will help prevent future unwanted litters and will improve the health and welfare of the feral cat in question. Check out our website www.cats.org.uk/find-us for more information on how to contact your local branch.

You can read more about feral cats in our Feral cats leaflet too.


Question: I've just got three kittens, they are about seven months old and have been eating the same food all their short life. Two of them seem to be getting diarrhoea and they have a little bit of bloody mucus in their stool. They seem to be active while playing and seem happy enough but for this issue. They do eat all of their allocated food, sometimes more, so I've tried to measure it and give them a daily amount in the morning which does last all day. Any advice would be greatly received.

Answer: Diarrhoea can be caused by a number of things, both infectious and non-infectious. It sounds like your kittens might have colitis or large bowel inflammation, as usually cats with this kind of diarrhoea do not lose their appetite or vigour. Common causes include worms and dietary changes. Stress can also be a major cause of diarrhoea in cats.

I would recommend that you get your cat checked by your vet if the diarrhoea has persisted for more than a few days. In the meantime, starting a bland diet such as plain boiled chicken or white fish may help, and make sure they have been wormed with a product your vet recommends. The following leaflet may be useful: Digestive disorders – vomiting and diarrhoea.

Ginger cat eating
Most cats have a healthy digestive system, but mild upsets are not uncommon. Credit: istockphoto.com/deyangeorgiev

Question: My cat has been licking the floor and tables recently. Is there something he is missing in his diet? He's is a four-year-old indoor cat and quite healthy otherwise.

Answer: This could be worth checking with your vet, just in case it relates to a medical problem. The vet will be able to check he is not losing weight and that his gut generally feels ok, and this may rule a few things out. Some cats are compelled to lick and taste random things, a behavioural trait known as 'pica'. You can find out more about it here.


Veterinary note: Please note that we are unable to give specific advice on your cat's health or any change in behaviour observed. For more cat care advice, please see www.cats.org.uk/cat-care or consult your vet if you have a specific concern about your cat.

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: chat with Behaviour Manager Nicky Trevorrow on 23 February; or vet Dr Sarah Elliot on 9 March. All Q&As are held on Cats Protection's national Facebook page from 2-3pm. See you there!

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

A new home for the shoebox kittens

This post has been written by cat owners Stephen and Alex who adopted their pets from our Croydon Branch

In March, we lost our beloved cat Cleo, who I had loved and looked after for 20 years. To say we were shattered is an understatement and she left a huge hole in our lives. We knew we had so much love to give, but didn't want to rush in and feel like we were ‘replacing’ her.

After six months, we made contact with Croydon Cats Protection, who suggested we visited one of their wonderful fosterers. On visiting, we saw Epic and Spirit (then called Abbie and Andy). They were brother and sister, only four weeks old and had been found abandoned in a tiny shoebox.

Little kittens found abandoned in a shoebox

We instantly fell in love with them and both burst into tears. Although small and helpless, they were also feisty and playful, and so full of character that we couldn't drag ourselves away. We knew that we were meant to be a family!

When they were old enough to leave the fosterer’s excellent care, they were brought round and they stepped nervously from their carry box to tentatively explore their new room, under the watchful eye of the foster mum and two very excited fathers. We adopted them to coincide with Alex’s half term, and every day I would come home and find them fast asleep, curled up together on his chest or lap, while he tried to read, mark, or watch TV around them!

The shoebox kittens in their new home

The shoebox kittens with their happy new owner

Straight away we formed a connection as a family and they are the most playful and loving cats we have ever known. You only have to sit down to have one come scuttling up the stairs to plonk down in your lap. They are also the most mischievous animals you could imagine: if we turn on the shower or start brushing our teeth, they will both instantly come and ‘help’ us, normally by sitting in the sink! They are the best of friends and the only time they are not snuggling down with us is when they are asleep, completely entwined in each other, in some corner of the house!

Although we started the year with such sadness, the year ends with such happiness and joy from these two and we are just so grateful that we have little Epic and Spirit in our lives.


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

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Cats looking for a home this winter

Through the long, cold winter it’s lovely to be able to snuggle up under a blanket with a hot drink. It’s even better if you have a doting cat by your side.

But there are thousands of cats in our care still without warm, loving homes – can you give any of these moggies the care they deserve?

Misty

Seven-year-old Misty came into the care of our Horsham & District Branch due to a change in family circumstances.

She is a friendly, affectionate, playful girl who enjoys being groomed but lets you know when any sensitive areas are reached!

Misty is looking for a home this winter

Misty had a sore eye which was causing her discomfort, and since having it removed, she’s been a much happier cat. She does have sight in her remaining eye, but it is slightly limited.  She is deaf as well as partially sighted, and this means she will need a quiet and predictable home life.  She would make a wonderful addition to the right home!

An ideal home for Misty would be one where there is someone around for at least part of the day and has a secure garden in a safe location where she can potter with her new owners. She’d like a home where she is the only cat.

Misty has been overlooked time and time again – we’d really like to see her in a home. If you’re interested in adopting her, please contact the branch directly on their homing line 07805 654 881 or email adoptacat@hotmail.com

Clarissa

Clarissa is around 8-10 months old and is in the care of our Peterborough & District Branch after being rescued from a garage with her three kittens.

Clarissa needs a home this winter

She is wary of people but happily comes for food and eats like she's never been fed before! She needs a home with experienced and patient owners, who initially won't demand too much from her. She may also benefit from being homed where there is a resident friendly cat.

To find out more about Clarissa or to register an interest in her, please call the branch on 0345 371 2750 or email cphoming@talktalk.net

Tommy and Bella

Tommy and Bella are four-year-old siblings who are being looked after by our Folkestone & Hythe Branch. Sadly, they lost their home when their owners moved and could not take the pair with them.

Tommy is looking for a home this winter
Tommy
Bella needs a home
Bella
They are both affectionate and playful and would love a garden of their own. Tommy is a lap cat and will sit contentedly be stroked, whereas Bella is more adventurous and curious.

We’d like them to be adopted as a pair – if you think you can offer them the home they deserve, please contact the branch on 01303 247 540.


When adopted, all cats have been health-checked, neutered, microchipped, vaccinated, de-fleaed and wormed and come with four weeks’ free pet insurance.

To search for a cat looking for a home near you, please visit www.cats.org.uk/find-a-cat