Saturday, 16 September 2017

Caring for kittens with Simon's Cat

In the latest Simon's Cat video, Cats Protection's Behaviour Manager Nicky Trevorrow talks about how to look after kittens.

Against a backdrop of videos featuring plenty of playful kittens, Nicky shares advice on everything from where to get a kitten from, to handling them, feeding them and playing with them.

"If you're thinking of adopting a kitten, a rescue centre should be your first port of call." she says. She then goes on to talk about how to look after your new arrival.

The second half of the video features a cute animation featuring Simon and his cat as he attempts to take a photo of his new kitten - with hilarious results!



Watch the video above, or find out more about caring for kittens with our online guide.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Careers with Cats: how can I become a Veterinary Nurse?

If you’re interested in a career with cats, you might be surprised to learn that there are a variety of roles working specifically with felines.

In our blog series so far, we’ve been focusing on a range of cat-based careers – from working as a Cat Care Assistant to becoming a Cat Behaviourist. The latest post in our series is all about Katie, who works as a veterinary nurse.

Katie Chrystie Vet Nurse quote


What inspired you to become a veterinary nurse?
I have always loved animals so from a young age I knew I wanted to become a veterinary nurse and have a career working for animals. I qualified as a veterinary nurse in 2003. Back then, to train as a veterinary nurse I had to enrol as a student veterinary nurse with the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS), attend college-based study for two years while being employed by a veterinary practice to gain practical experience.

How did you become a veterinary nurse?
I had to pass written exams in the theory of veterinary nursing and pass a practical exam in veterinary nursing skills as well as complete a portfolio of case studies. The process to become a veterinary nurse has changed since I qualified and there are now two routes to becoming qualified; either via vocational training or via a higher education qualification. Both routes lead to registration as a veterinary nurse. It generally takes two to three years to qualify. (For more information on a career as a veterinary nurse go to www.rcvs.org.uk and www.bvna.org.uk)

What do you love most about being a veterinary nurse?
I love being a veterinary nurse as it is a challenging job that requires lots of different skills. The best thing about my job is being able to work with animals every day, and every day is different. Seeing the difference you can make to an animal in need is a great feeling! Being able to work as part of a team and provide the nursing care and attention to enable a poorly pet to go home happy and healthy makes the job so rewarding.

For more information on working for Cats Protection, click here to go to our careers site.

Find out more about becoming a Cat Care Assistant by meeting Avril here, meet Sarah and discover what life is like as a Veterinary Surgeon here or discover what it takes to become a Cat Behaviourist by meeting Dom here.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Can you help us be there for cats for another 90 years?

Since 1927 Cats Protection has been giving unwanted and abandoned cats another chance in life. Today you continue to help us give thousands of cats a loving home, but what would you like to see happen for cats in the next 90 years?

A quote about the future of cats

This week is Remember a Charity in your Will Week, a time where we join 180 different charities to raise awareness of the huge impact gifts in wills have on our work. We’re celebrating by looking at what more gifts in wills could help us achieve for future generations of cats and are asking our followers on Facebook and Twitter what they would like to see happen for the cats of tomorrow.

A quote about the future of cats


We dream of a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs, and through our work on information, education and neutering, we hope to reduce the number of abandoned and unwanted cats. What is your dream? Join in the conversation and let us know!

A quote about the future of cats


Whatever your vision for a better world for cats, with gifts in wills currently making up half of our income, it’s clear that these special gifts will be vital to our success. You can discover how some of the significant gifts we have received over the years have helped us in our mission to make society a safer, more loving place for cats here.

Despite our achievements, there is still so much work to do. Leaving a gift in your will, however big or small, is a wonderful way of ensuring your love of cats lives on. Find more about how you can help cats for years to come on our website.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Did you know? 7 facts about neutering

Cats are effective breeders and without neutering them, the UK’s cat population could quickly get out of control. There are already thousands of unwanted cats out there. Getting your cat neutered not only ensures that you’re not contributing to the problem, it is also good for them and you!
 
Here are some things you might not know about getting your cat neutered:
 
1. Your cat doesn’t need ‘just one litter’ before being spayed. Cats Protection recommends that you neuter your cat at four months of age or younger.
 
2. By getting your male cat neutered, it makes him less likely to roam. There’s less chance he’ll be hit by a car or even get lost!
 
3. Unneutered male cats can become particularly stressed if they’re unable to find a mate – occasionally resulting in erratic or bad behaviour.
 
4. Female cats that have been neutered are unable to develop cancer of the ovaries or uterus, and are at a greatly reduced risk of developing mammary cancer.
 
5. Your cat will require much less food after neutering, as his or her body has less work to do. You’ll need to monitor your cat’s weight and reduce the amount of food provided to prevent your cat from becoming overweight.
 
6. Neutered cats do not ‘miss’ their organs or opportunities to reproduce or rear a litter.
 
7. A cat can easily have up to three litters a year, with five or six kittens in each. That adds up to 18 kittens a year! This level of breeding is draining and can be harmful for the mother cat.
 
 






















If you'd like to find out more about neutering your cat, click here to visit our website.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Careers with Cats: how can I become a Cat Behaviourist?

Looking for a cat-based career? There are numerous roles for those wanting to work specifically with cats and some of them might just surprise you.
 
The latest post in our blog series focuses on Dom Burke, who works at the National Cat Centre as a Cat Behaviourist. Find out more about him below.

 

What inspired you to become a cat behaviourist?
Why an animal does what it does has always fascinated me. There’s always a very good reason for a cat doing something, even if it is inconvenient for the owner. I feel that cats can be misunderstood at times and are often compared to dogs which is an unfair comparison as they’re very different species, and I wanted to help people enjoy cats being cats.


How did you become a cat behaviourist?
I started exploring the idea of working with animals many years ago, and completed a level 3 college course in Animal management. By the time I finished that course, I decided I wanted to specialise more into behaviour, and this course allowed me to progress onto a degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare. There are no required qualifications to becoming a behaviourist, however most jobs working with animal behaviour would require a degree in the subject as a minimum.

What is the best thing about being a behaviourist?
 
I would have to say it would be helping owners understand their cats better. Behaviour problems are very common, and in helping with those and resolving the issues, life becomes much better for both the cat and the owner which is extremely rewarding. I also get to talk about animal behaviour constantly which keeps me pretty happy!

 For more information on working for Cats Protection, click here to go to our careers site.

Visit the blog next week to meet Katie and find out what she does as a Veterinary Nurse.

Find out more about becoming a Cat Care Assistant by meeting Avril here, or meet Sarah and discover what life is like as a Veterinary Surgeon here.

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Careers with cats: how can I become a Veterinary Surgeon?

Looking for a career with cats? You might be surprised to find that there are plenty of career paths for those with a love of all things feline. Our latest blog series focuses on cat-based careers - from what its like to be a Veterinary Nurse, to how to become a Cat Care Assistant.

In the second instalment, we meet Sarah Elliot, a Veterinary Surgeon based at the National Cat Centre.

Sarah Elliot, Veterinary Surgeon

 


















What inspired you to become a veterinary surgeon?

I had aspired to become a vet ever since I was old enough to know the job existed. Growing up, I was lucky enough to have plenty of pets in the home and I knew I would love to have a job working with animals when I was older. I came from a particularly cat-friendly household and cats have been a big part of my life ever since. I really enjoyed school and from an early age I decided I wanted to try to do well enough with my exams to give myself the best chance of getting into vet school later on.

How did you become a veterinary surgeon?

At 12, I managed to get a day’s work experience with my local vet. I found out that not only did I need to have top grades in maths, physics, chemistry and biology but I also needed to have plenty of work experience with animals as well. There is a lot of competition for places at university to study veterinary medicine and the more extra-curricular activities I could do to make my application stand out, the better. I got a Saturday job at the local veterinary practice cleaning the surgical instruments and mopping the floor.
 
I spent my Sundays at my local Blue Cross rescue shelter, where they set me to work feeding and cleaning out the rabbits and guinea pigs; a low-risk role for a teenager versus being around the slightly more unpredictable dogs and cats! In my school holidays I spent a lot of time helping out at the local riding centre. One summer I got a job at a racing yard and I even got the chance to go out on morning exercise rides – exhilarating as well as often terrifying!

In the end I got the GCSE and A-level results I needed and this lead to an offer of a place to study veterinary medicine at The Royal Veterinary College, London.

What is the best thing about being a veterinary surgeon?

Studying for my degree was an absolute pleasure. The course is so varied and hands-on that there was never a dull moment. Going into small animal practice, daily contact with animals has been a huge perk. Being able to put animals back together again is fantastic and memories of my first successfully treated patients will always stay with me. Over time, my career has led me into charity veterinary practice and has allowed me to develop a more focussed interest in feline medicine. I am currently studying towards becoming an advanced practitioner in feline medicine. Ten years later, I am still really enjoying being a vet.
 
For more information on working for Cats Protection, click here to go to our careers site.

Visit the blog next week to meet Dom and find out what life is like as a Cat Behaviourist. To find out how to become a Cat Care Assistant, click here to meet Avril.

Friday, 25 August 2017

Cat superhero name generator

Most cats are heroes to their owners, whether they're providing great companionship or doing something extraordinary.

To give your cat true hero status, we've put together a visual guide on how you can find out their superhero name. Just follow these easy steps:

1. Find your cat's first name initial

2. Find your cat's surname initial

3. Put them together!




We'd love to hear the results. Let us know what your cat's superpower would be if it had one by tweeting us at @CatsProtection

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Careers with cats: How can I become a Cat Care Assistant?

Dreaming of a career with cats? You might be surprised to find out how many job roles there are out there for those with a fondness of felines.

In celebration of GCSE results day, we’re launching the first in our series that focuses on cat-based careers. This week we meet Avril Fuller, Senior Cat Care Assistant at the National Cat Centre.


 

What inspired you to become a Cat Care Assistant (CCA)?

There were several reasons I wanted to become a CCA. Firstly, I was looking for a change of career and I was attracted to the idea of working for a charity. I already had a huge love of cats so where better to work than with Cats Protection?

How did you become a CCA?

At the time I had no animal-based qualifications and no experience working in an animal welfare environment. To build up my knowledge and improve my chances of getting a job I volunteered at my closest Cats Protection adoption centre for a year and a half. It was during this time that I gained a lot of experience, taking every learning opportunity I could find. Soon enough an opportunity came up and I was accepted as a full-time CCA.

What is the best thing about your job?

I get to talk about my favourite subject all day, cats! Not only that but I get to be involved in the care and rehabilitation of many cats from all kinds of backgrounds every day. Seeing them grow in confidence and finally go to a loving forever home is one of the greatest joys this job can give.

For more information on working for Cats Protection, click here to go to our careers site.

Visit the blog next week to meet Sarah and find out what she does as a Veterinary Surgeon.


Monday, 21 August 2017

"How can I calm down my kitten?" and other behaviour FAQs

Feeling clueless as to your cat’s behaviour? Behaviourist Nicky Trevorrow took to our national Facebook page recently in order to answer live questions from cat owners.

Note: If your cat starts to display any behaviours that are unusual or they develop a change in personality or demeanour, the first person to speak to must always be your vet. Many changes in behaviour are due to illness or pain and so you should arrange an appointment with your vet as soon as possible. 

Other seemingly ‘odd’ behaviours that do not have roots in a medical condition can be explained by understanding the natural behaviour that makes a cat a cat. For these types of behaviour issues we would recommend a referral to a qualified behaviourist from the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC).

Here are just some of the questions in our Q&A:

Question: How can I calm down a nine-month old kitten? He’s rather dominant towards my older cats, aged eight and 10.

Answer: Kittens are generally very active and have lots of energy for play. I'd suggest giving your kitten multiple interactive play sessions throughout the day. I particularly love fishing rod toys as most kittens and cats really enjoy them – always store them out of your kitten's reach after play! Your older cats would probably benefit from a retreat room away from your kitten that has all their resources in it (eg food, water, litter trays, beds, toys, etc). While many people think that their cat is dominant, the latest science research shows us that actually cats do not form hierarchies. They are naturally independent, territorial animals and more confident individuals can easily come across as if they were 'dominant' but that's not what the cat feels. Check out these articles for more information. http://www.cats.org.uk/.../Behaviour_-_Top_cat_part_1.pdf
http://www.cats.org.uk/.../Behaviour_-_Top_cat_part_2.pdf


Question: My cat is a very anxious little thing. She is always over-grooming. Is there anything I can do to stop her? I have tried the Feliway plug-in but she is still over-grooming on her front legs and inside of her hind legs.

Answer: Sorry to hear that your cat is over-grooming. There are lots of different underlying causes, many of which are medical. I would suggest that you take your cat to the vet to rule out medical reasons first. Take a video of your cat over-grooming to show the vet, so they can see if your cat is plucking the fur or biting the fur etc. If your vet rules out medical reasons, then we would recommend a referral to a qualified behaviourist, such as the APBC www.apbc.org.uk/

To learn more about your cat’s behaviour, check out our free online e-learning course, Understanding feline origins - www.cats.org.uk/cat-care/e-learning-ufo-care/


Question: What's the best way to integrate seven cats into one household?

Answer: Wow, seven cats! It's going to be tricky managing that. It depends very much on their personalities, whether they were socialised to other cats when they were young kittens (and it was hopefully a positive experience), the space in the house including vertical space like shelves, the amount of resources and a very slow, gradual introduction programme. Please bear in mind that even if you did everything perfectly, some cats simply can't cope with being around other cats and may prefer to live by themselves. A qualified behaviourist can help guide you through the process and help identify the social groups within the original households. www.youtube.com/watch?v=6V9eexYnAm8&t=5s

Question: One of my cats seems to love the smell of bleach. Whenever I have finished cleaning worktops she rolls all over them. Is there a reason behind this?

Answer: Several owners have noticed this. It's hard to say for sure, but we think that there's something in the chemical that appeals to them and they almost seem to act similar to the way they do around catnip. However, bleach is toxic to cats and therefore they should be prevented from rolling in it. Always ensure that surfaces are thoroughly rinsed after use to remove all traces of bleach.
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 behaviour advice, please visit www.cats.org.uk/cat-care/cat-behaviour-hub where you’ll also find The Behaviour Guide which discusses a variety of topics on cat behaviour.

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? Don't miss the next live Facebook Q&A sessions: vet Dr Sarah Elliott will be taking questions on 24 August; you can get support with pet-related grief on 5 September; or speak to Behaviour Manager Nicky again on 21 September. All Q&As are held on Cats Protection's national Facebook page from 2pm. See you there!

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

10 of the best cat jokes for National Tell a Joke Day

While our pet cats provide plenty of hilarity with their antics, they're also the subject of many a joke. In celebration of National Tell a Joke Day, Twitter users have been sharing their best witticisms and one-liners about our furry friends.

Here's a round-up of our favourites, along with a few jokes of our own.


Why was the cat scared of the tree? Because of its bark!



What is a cat's favourite book?

The Great Catsby!



Have you got a cat joke you'd like to share? Tweet us @CatsProtection and see if you can make us laugh!



This post is not an endorsement of any of the companies or individuals featured.

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Top books for cat-lovers

We all know that curling up with a cat and a good book is the best way to spend an afternoon. In honour of Book Lovers' Day, we decided to put together our list of great reads involving our favourite animals – cats, of course.

Credit:istock:vladans

Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, by TS Eliot

One of the most famous books about felines, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats was published in 1939 as a collection of whimsical poetry and features iconic characters such as Mungojerrie, Rumpleteazer and Skimbleshanks. It also went on to be the inspiration for the award-winning musical Cats.

A Streetcat named Bob, by James Bowen

For a true success story that will tug at your heartstrings, this book documents the tale of a stray cat called Bob who encounters a street musician called James. After James nurses Bob back to health, he assumes he won’t see the cat again. We won’t spoil the ending, but it’ll make you appreciate your feline friend all the more!

Please Take Me Home: the story of the rescue cat, by Clare Campbell

Another book about the plight of the stray cat, this book focuses on a time when strays in Britain were seen as a nuisance and hunted down as vermin. Over time, thousands of cats were abandoned and left to survive alone. The perfect read for anyone interested in the history of our favourite pet.

Cat Sense, by John Bradshaw

The way our cats behave is often a mystery to us all. This book by renowned anthrozoologist John Bradshaw offers some insight into the way they behave, dispelling myths and explaining the true nature of our feline friends. For more from John Bradshaw, take a look at our Cats Through the Ages series from earlier this year.

Simon’s Cat – off to the vet and other cat-astrophes, by Simon Tofield

Probably a feline’s most dreaded scenario, this book documents a visit to the vet for Simon’s cat as well as a number of other adventures. If you’re already a fan of these beloved characters, this is the ideal read to remind you of the comedy that cats can bring to their owner’s lives.

While there are plenty of books about cats that we could mention, these are just some of our top reads. Do you have a particular favourite? Tweet us and let us know at @catsprotection

Disclaimer: We are not responsible for any of these book’s content, and may not necessarily endorse all viewpoints contained within.

Friday, 4 August 2017

8 things that happened at this year's National Cat Awards

A suitably glamourous setting, plenty of cat-lovers and a star-studded judging panel – Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards 2017 yesterday celebrated the all-important bond between cats and their owners.

To give you a peek at what went on behind the scenes, here’s 8 things that happened at this year’s National Cat Awards:

Outside The Savoy, where the ceremony is held

1. There were the usual tales of heroism and bravery we’ve come to expect from the awards. These included the story of Spike, who helps his owner cope with a debilitating disease, and Tilly, who has a positive impact on her owner’s health and wellbeing.

2. The friendship between children and their cats featured highly this year. Mittens, the winner of Furr-ever friends, was noted for helping a young girl with autism cope with a serious medical condition. Overall Cat of the Year winner, Genie, was chosen for helping 12-year-old owner Evie battle bone cancer.

Evie, with Celebrity Judge Peter Egan


3. Cats Protection celebrated their 90th anniversary. To mark the occasion, Chief Executive Peter Hepburn talked about the impact our volunteers and staff have had in the last nine decades.

4. Guests used selfie props, including cat ears and whiskers, to glam up in the National Cat Awards photobooth!

Guests get stuck in with selfie props

5. John Challis was the first person to be booed at a National Cat Awards ceremony on announcing that he "wasn’t really a cat person." Thankfully, this turned to cheers when he revealed he had become the owner of three cats!

6. The event was streamed live on Facebook throughout the day, with celebrity roving reporting Lucy Pinder interviewing judges, guests, finalists, volunteers and staff. Check these out on our Facebook page.

Winner Evie, with her mum, Peter Hepburn and judges Andrew Collins, Anita Dobson, Jo Hemmings and Paul Copley
7. Broadcaster Andrew Collins summed up the plight of the judges in choosing a winner, remarking on the irony that cats are known to reduce anxiety, but when it came to judging who should win, it increased the judges’ anxiety levels!

8. When asked what Cat of the Year Genie would be rewarded with on her return home, 12-year-old Evie had the perfect response. "Chicken!" she said – the perfect prize for any winning cat.

For more information on this year's National Cat Awards, head to the website.

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

International rescue: heroic moggies from around the world - part two

While such acts of feline bravery and empathy tend only to hit the headlines when they are in defence of humans, there are exceptions. In 1996, an incident in New York that saw a mother of a newly-born litter save the lives of her own offspring captivated onlookers and became a global phenomenon.

When a rundown Brooklyn building became engulfed by fire, witnesses watched on in astonishment as a stray cat carried her kittens away from the thick smoke and raging flames and out into the street one-by-one. The new mother kept returning to the burning building until she had rescued all five of her offspring and, according to firefighters tackling the blaze, upon placing the last one on the pavement, blinded by blisters, she nudged each kitten with her nose before collapsing through exhaustion.


 
The moggy, who was later named Scarlett, left such an impression on the emergency services personnel who witnessed her act of bravery that they took her and her new family to an animal rescue shelter where they were nursed back to health. As the story spread, the centre received 7,000 adoption requests for Scarlett and her kittens and the brave mother would go onto live a long and happy life.

A heart-warming example of motherly love and sacrifice, the story garnered worldwide attention and Scarlett's act was immortalised on the pages of two books. The rescue shelter that helped Scarlett and her litter recover from the incident also recognised her bravery when they named their award for animal heroism the 'Scarlett Award'.


While all of the above acts can, perhaps, be traced back to a cat's natural-born instinct to protect lives,our final example of feline heroism apparently has more to do with intelligence than intuition.

Wheelchair-bound Gary Rosheisen, from Columbus, Ohio, brought Tommy into his home for companionship and in the hope that he would help lower his blood pressure. However, due to his lack of mobility and proneness to seizures, he also spied an opportunity to train his new moggy to raise the alarm if he was ever unable to do it himself.

Still unsure whether his repeated prompts for Tommy to hit the living room telephone's emergency services speed dial button would produce results when it really mattered, in 2005 Gary was finally faced with the scenario for which they had trained. In severe pain after falling out of his wheelchair, and unable to reach the medical-alert necklace he usually wears, he was reliant on Tommy to swing into action.

When paramedics reached Gary's house to come to his assistance, they were puzzled as to whom had raised the alarm. There had been no voice on the other end of the emergency call and when they made it into the property, they simply found a ginger cat lying next to the phone on the living room floor, with Gary incapacitated in another room. Despite no one seeing the act, the only rational explanation was that Tommy had sensed the danger, recalled his training and pressed the correct speed dial button.

After his rescue, Gary hailed his furry friend as his hero - a label that, it seems, could be used to describe many other cats around the world.

Tomorrow at our very own National Cat Awards, we look forward to getting to know more about this year's amazing cast of home-grown heroes.






To find out more about the National Cat Awards, go to our website.

You can read the first part in our heroic moggies series here.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Coping with pet-related grief FAQs

Losing a cat is never easy – whether they are missing, had to be rehomed, nearing the end of their life or have recently passed away. To support cat owners at a difficult time, Counsellor and Pet Loss Specialist Julia Dando took to the Cats Protection Facebook page to talk to them about their grief.

Grief support Q&A Cats Protection


Here is a round-up of just some of the queries:

Question: My cat got hit by a car and killed and left by the side of the road back in January and I’m still struggling to cope. I don’t want to get up in the morning and I can’t sleep properly. Everything is a daily struggle, even bathing and shopping. I miss him so much. I keep thinking, was he wondering where I was when he was dying? I’d like to offer another cat a home but I feel like he’d think I was replacing him.

Answer: Losing a beloved friend can be a hard thing to go through. When the death is traumatic, such as a road traffic accident, this can have a significant impact upon how you will experience grief. Especially when there are unanswered questions leaving you feeling guilty and confused about what happened and what he went through in his last moments.

Grief affects people very differently and for some, the responses to grief can last a long time. It sounds like part of you wants to move forward in the grieving process and would like to give another cat a home - but there is part of you still heavily grieving the loss and questioning whether you would in some way be disloyal to your lost cat.

Allow yourself the time to grieve - there is no time limit. When you feel ready you might take on another cat. You will know when that time is right.

Question: Our beautiful Lily was run over and killed last week. She was only 15 months old. We are heartbroken as we have lost cats before but never in this way. I feel a little resentful that we have much older cats who have lived a long and happy life and we have been cheated out of the love and laughter Lily bought into our lives.

Answer: I'm so sorry to hear of Lily’s sudden death. When our cats are taken so suddenly and in such traumatic circumstances , the impact upon how you grieve will be significant.
Anger and resentment are common responses to grief, especially when taken at such a young age - these things all add to the responses you might normally experience in your own unique way to grieve. It wouldn't be uncommon to feel cheated and to almost feel like bargaining, the older cats for her young life. You might find the leaflets on our website helpful as you navigate through your grieving process. www.cats.org.uk/upl.../documents/LossLovedOne_web.pdf

cat asleep


Question: I euthanased my cat just over two weeks ago and I’m struggling to come to terms with my decision. I noticed he hadn’t been eating and was moving around slowly– this went on for about one week. When I took him to the vets, they said he had Pancreatitis. Treatment was expensive and there was no guarantee of recovery and I didn’t want him in pain. I feel I have let him down and can’t stop thinking of the what ifs, buts and maybes. I feel I’ve acted too hastily.

Answer: I’m so sorry to hear about what you've been going through over the last few weeks. Often even with all the information, this decision we have to make as pet owners will never feel right.

You are experiencing something called responsibility grief - it is a type of grief that often comes when these difficult decisions have had to be made. It is important to remember why you made this decision - you had noticed how much discomfort your boy was in and took him to the vets and you didn't want to see him in pain.

If you would like to talk things through with one of our trained volunteers, please do phone the support line.

Question: Are children allowed to call and chat? We recently lost our cat and my oldest daughter has taken it so hard. I feel at a loss on the best words to comfort her.
Answer: it's usually better for a parent to support a child through bereavement but we can support you in supporting her. You are welcome to call the support line and one of our volunteers can help you to think about how you can support your daughter while dealing with your own grief. You might find this leaflet useful from our website: www.cats.org.uk/.../documents/ParentsChildren_web.pdf



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

Monday, 31 July 2017

International rescue: heroic moggies from around the world - part one

With the six National Cat Awards finalists announced and animal lovers across the United Kingdom waiting to discover who will take the overall title at this year's ceremony, we decided to take a look at some amazing moggies from other countries whose heroic and life-changing deeds have won them worldwide recognition.



By waking her family as fire spread through their home, last year's UK National Cat of the Year, Tink, provided an outstanding example of the differences cats can make to the lives of the humans they come into contact with. But, as similarly astonishing accounts from across the globe demonstrate, such feats are by no means confined to these shores.

One of the most memorable and widely-viewed acts of feline bravery took place in California in 2014 when a four-year-old child was suddenly and viciously attacked by his neighbour's dog. The attack saw Jeremy Triantafilo dragged off his bike and pulled along the pavement. The wounds he sustained required 10 stitches, but his injuries could have been much worse had it not been for the instinctive actions of the family's cat, Tara.

Having been adopted by the Triantafilos after following them home from a park, stray tabby Tara had become a much-loved member of the family. Usually a mellow soul, she displayed a different side of her character when she saw Jeremy being attacked. As the dog began to drag Jeremy towards the road, Tara barrelled into him at full speed, making him release his grip on the child's leg and sending the attacker scurrying away.

The action, which was caught on a number of security cameras in the area, was uploaded onto YouTube and has since been watched by millions of people around the world. Tara was bitten while protecting her human friend but survived the confrontation otherwise unscathed. Along with her global recognition, she now enjoys the lifelong gratitude of her adoptive human family.



Another incident, this time on the other side of the world, provides an alternative, but equally heart-warming, example of the caring nature of felines and their seemingly innate desire to protect life.

When Irina Lavrova, a resident of an apartment block in the Russian city of Obninsk, left her flat to investigate a series of urgent meows coming from the hallway outside, she was amazed to discover a long-haired moggy wrapped around a human infant that had been abandoned in a cardboard box.
It soon became apparent to her that the baby had been kept warm in the freezing temperatures by the same stray tabby who was now raising the alarm with such urgency. The paramedics called to the incident reported that the stray, known as Masha, continued to meow loudly as she followed the ambulance carrying the child to safety, adding that the warmth provided by the long-haired moggy probably saved his life.

Already a well-known resident of the block, Masha's quick-thinking deed saw her rewarded with extra treats from her admiring human neighbours.




You can read the second part of our heroic moggies series on the blog this Wednesday.

To find out more about the National Cat Awards, go to our website.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Why do cats make sounds?

In the Simon’s Cat Logic series of videos, Creator Simon Tofield and Cats Protection’s Behaviour Manager Nicky Trevorrow team up to talk about why cats do what they do.

In the latest video, they’re focussing on cat sounds. With the help of his gorgeous cats Teddy and Maisy, Simon explains that while all cats have their own personalities, it’s their sounds that really define them. While Teddy likes to chirp, purr and meow, Maisy is a much quieter cat – perhaps due to her being a former stray cat and not having to communicate with humans.

As Nicky explains: “Meowing isn’t a natural behaviour for cats. Out in the wild, they wouldn’t be communicating through vocal communications. They mainly do it through scent. They also rely on body language and facial expressions too.”

Nicky goes on to explain that communicating through sound is a learnt behaviour by cats, influenced by their owners.

“The cat will use different sounds, depending on how their owner responds. This is very much a learnt behaviour with people, which is why if you’re a chatty owner, you might have a chatty cat.”



If you want to learn more about cat behaviour, take a look at the behaviour hub on our website.

Does your cat have a distinctive sound?

Tell us on Twitter @catsprotection, using the hashtag #SimonsCatLogic

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Meet the finalists - Furr-ever Friends

With the annual National Cat Awards just around the corner, we’re announcing the finalists for each of the six categories, including Furr-ever Friends, Hero Cat, Most Caring Cat, Outstanding Rescue Cat, Purina® Better Together and Cats Protection’s Special Recognition Award.

From stories of great bravery, to heart-warming tales of companionship between cats and humans, the National Cat Awards highlight the The Furr-ever Friends category focuses on tales of friendship between children and cats.

Meet the finalists, Mittens, Harry and Percy, in our video playlist below.



Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday 3 August at London’s Savoy Hotel, where celebrity judges will also announce the National Cat of the Year 2017.

To find out more about the National Cat Awards, visit our website.

National Cat Awards 2017 logo

"When should I neuter my kitten?" and other veterinary FAQs

In our recent live Facebook Q&A, vet Dr Sarah Elliott answered cat owners’ veterinary questions.

Here’s a roundup of some of the topics covered:

Question: I’m a bit concerned about my cat. He seems to be a bit down and is sleeping lots and doesn’t want to interact with me unless I actually force the issue and pick him up for a cuddle. He is not off his food or anything – I  just notice his mood has changed a little and he seems sad to me.

Answer: I'm sorry to hear that your cat is feeling a bit out of sorts. It might be worth booking him in for a quick MOT with your vet, just in case there is anything amiss medically. There are a few medical conditions that can cause excessive tiredness. It would be important to monitor how much he is drinking, whether there is any sign of diarrhoea, or any signs of weight loss. These are all important observations to report back to your vet when you go for your visit.

Question: My kitten is almost six months old and has recently been spayed. She has allowed me to clip her nails, however as she is getting older it is becoming increasingly difficult. Is there an over the counter medicine or something I can administer myself to sedate/calm her to allow me to do her nails?

Answer: Cats Protection recommend Feliway pheromone sprays and diffusers as one of the ways of creating a calming environment for your cat. Most young cats do not need to have their claws trimmed, especially as outdoor cats will use their claws for climbing or fleeing from danger. Providing plenty of scratching post options for her will encourage her to keep her claws in good condition by scratching. Cats also love to use scratch posts as a way of transferring their scent from the scent glands in their paws - they love to have their own familiar scent in the home. Some older cats can suffer from long and thickened nails as they become less active. These cats will need some claw maintenance. Your vet may be able to show you some gentle cat-friendly restraint techniques to make the process less stressful.

Credit: Flickr: Sjingel

Question: Our kitten is going to have her microchip done the same time she is neutered. When is the best time to get them neutered from?

Answer:  I'm so glad you have asked this question as there are some common misconceptions out there about when is the best time to neuter cats. Cats are capable of becoming parents as early as four months old, when they hit puberty. Cats Protection, along with many other charities, as well as the British Veterinary Association recommends that cats (be they male or female) get neutered at the age of four months or sooner to prevent any unwanted litters. There are some myths out there that cats must be allowed to have one litter first, and this is totally untrue. Cats can lead happy, healthier lives when neutered, as neutering prevents the onset of some cancers and sexually transmitted disease, as well as diseases caught through cat fights. Cats are less likely to fight and roam if neutered. Find out more at www.cats.org.uk/.../cat-care.../EG06_Neutering.pdf

Question: How can I stop my cats going to the toilet all over my gravel?

Answer: Itt sounds like they really like using your gravel as a toilet! The best solution is going to be giving them somewhere even more preferable to use instead. Here are some tips on creating the perfect cat loo! http://meowblog.cats.org.uk/.../your-cats-perfect-loo.html

Credit: Flickr: angintaravichian

Question: My one-year-old cat died last week, so I got a kitten for my other one-year-old as he seemed really down. How long will it take for him to accept the kitten?

Answer: While many people think that cats need friends, they descend from a solitary ancestor, so generally they are much happier having the whole place to themselves! Ensure that your cats have lots of resources (litter tray, food bowl, water bowl etc) - ideally one per cat plus one extra to avoid any competition. You may find the tips in our leaflet helpful: www.cats.org.uk/.../EG11_Cats_living_together.pdf

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 advice, please visit www.cats.org.uk/cat-care/care-leaflets
Consult your vet if you have a specific concern about your cat.

Would you like to ask one of Cats Protection's experts a question? Don’t miss the next live Facebook Q&A sessions: our Stray and Feral Q&A is on the 15 August and our next veterinary Q&A is on 24 August.

All Q&As are held on Cats Protection's national Facebook page from 2pm. See you there!

Friday, 21 July 2017

Meet the finalists - Most Caring Cat

With the annual National Cat Awards just around the corner, we’re announcing the finalists for each of the six categories, including Furr-ever Friends, Hero Cat, Most Caring Cat, Outstanding Rescue Cat, Purina® Better Together and Cats Protection’s Special Recognition Award.

From stories of great bravery, to heart-warming tales of companionship between cats and humans, the National Cat Awards highlight the incredible impact cats have on their owners’ lives.

The Most Caring Cat category focuses on cats that have a positive impact on an owner's health or wellbeing.

Meet the finalists, Tilly, Layla and Missy, in our video playlist below.



Come back next week for our next set of finalists for the Furr-ever Friend category.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday 3 August at London’s Savoy Hotel, where celebrity judges will also announce the National Cat of the Year 2017.

To find out more about the National Cat Awards, visit our website.


Tuesday, 18 July 2017

Should I get my male cat neutered?

Cats Protection has launched the second animation in its neutering series. The two-part animation series has been designed to remind cat owners of the importance of getting their male cat neutered.

The animation focuses on a male cat looking anxious and unhappy, straying far from home. The video then shows an alternate situation, in which the cat has been neutered and is content to be in the comfort of home.

Watch the video below.



Cats Protection recommends getting your cat neutered when they are four months old to prevent unwanted litters of kittens.

There are also several health and welfare benefits. You can find out more in our downloadable neutering guide here.

Worried about the cost of neutering? Call Cats Protection’s neutering line on 03000 12 12 12 (Mon-Fri,9.30am-1pm) to ask about a voucher or visit www.cats.org.uk/neutering for more information.


To watch the first video in the series, click here

Friday, 14 July 2017

Meet the finalists - Outstanding Rescue Cat

With the annual National Cat Awards just around the corner, we’re announcing the finalists for each of the six categories, including Furr-ever Friends, Hero Cat, Most Caring Cat, Outstanding Rescue Cat, Purina® Better Together and Cats Protection’s Special Recognition Award.

From stories of great bravery, to heart-warming tales of companionship between cats and humans, the National Cat Awards highlight the incredible impact cats have on their owners’ lives.

The Outstanding Rescue Cat category looks at felines adopted from animal welfare organisations.

Meet the finalists, Genie, Nala and Charlie, in our video playlist below.



Come back next week for our next set of finalists for the Most Caring Cat .

Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday 3 August at London’s Savoy Hotel, where celebrity judges will also announce the National Cat of the Year 2017.

To find out more about the National Cat Awards, visit our website.




Wednesday, 12 July 2017

'Why does my cat like to lick carrier bags?' and other behaviour FAQs

Not sure why your cat behaves the way it does? Behaviourist Nicky Trevorrow took to our national Facebook page last week in order to answer live questions from cat owners.

Note: If your cat starts to display any behaviours that are unusual or they develop a change in personality or demeanour, the first person to speak to must always be your vet. Many changes in behaviour are due to illness or pain and so you should arrange an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.

Other seemingly ‘odd’ behaviours that do not have roots in a medical condition can be explained by understanding the natural behaviour that makes a cat a cat. For these types of behaviour issues we would recommend a referral to a qualified behaviourist from the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC).

Here are just some of the questions in our Q&A:

Question: Please could you give me a few tips on how to stop my youngest cat (18 months) doing rough play with my older cat (nearly nine)? We have tried Feliway and Feliway Friends, and we have separate eating areas and litter trays.

We introduced them slowly, but she still gets the urge to chase and bop him! He’s very passive. Any tips are appreciated.

Answer: As a young cat, they will have loads of energy! The steps you've taken so far are great, but I would also recommend making sure you have lots of interactive play sessions with your 18-month old cat to give her an outlet for all that excess energy. Give your older cat a quiet place to retreat to that's away from her. If necessary, you could even consider putting a microchip cat flap on the door to his retreat room so that only he can get in.

;
Question: Why does my cat like to lick carrier bags?

Answer: You’re not the first to mention this as interestingly several people in the past have commented that their cats like to do the same. We think it's something to do with a compound found in the plastic that some cats seem to like. That said, plastic bags are a health and safety risk (particularly for suffocation) so it's best to keep the plastic bags safely out of your cat's reach. If your cat likes to hide in them, there are commercially available crinkle bags and tunnels that make a noise as the cat dives into them! Alternatively, a plain paper bag with the handles removed is a safer, cheaper option.

Question: My cat is obsessed with food! She will steal everything and anything edible. We have dealt with the issue at home by not leaving any food out anywhere and shutting her in a different room while we eat. Unfortunately, she has taken to going into neighbours' kitchens and stealing their food. Last night she took and ate a raw rib eye steak from my neighbour's kitchen counter. She gets very aggressive when you try and take anything she's stolen away from her. We adopted her last year – she had been neglected we think. Any ideas?

Answer: The first thing you need to do is take her to the vets to rule out medical reasons as there are quite a few conditions that can cause this behaviour. The measures you've taken so far are sensible. Do you know how she is getting into the neighbour's house? If they have an ordinary cat flap, it would be worth them getting a microchip cat flap to stop her getting in, or perhaps getting fly screens fitted if she's getting in through open windows in the hot weather. A steak would be very tempting to any cat and some cats do get very excited about high-value food (especially if it's stolen!) and can growl to avoid people taking the food off them. Feed her little and often throughout the day as well as leaving food down just before bed to keep her blood sugar levels stable. Introduce her to feeding enrichment such as a cardboard egg box with dry food placed where the eggs would normally sit to make mealtimes more interesting.




Question: my cats only let me feed them and I have to be in the kitchen with them when they are eating. Why is this?

Answer: If there are other people in the household I would suggest letting them share the care of your cat, perhaps start with some interactive play so that they form positive associations with that person. Then over time you can gradually introduce that person at feeding time, just to be present initially, and then gradually introduce them to the cats and to start being more involved with feeding. This should hopefully take the pressure off you to be the sole care giver and the specific routine that you're currently in.

Question: One of my three cats (Jack) has died this week. My girl keeps to herself but Spyder and Jack always hung out together (being mostly outdoor cats through choice). What signs should I look out for that might cause worry? I know grief affects animals too. Is there anything to be concerned about?

Answer: So sorry to hear that Jack has passed away. It's a very difficult time and yes, we think that cats (and other animals) can grieve too. The signs to look out for would be a change in eating habits (under or over eating), pacing, appearing to 'search' around the house for the missing cat, crying, becoming clingy with the owner, less playful etc. Keep an eye on the interactions and use of space in the house to see how Spyder and your girl behave following the loss of Jack. Cat relationships can be quite complicated. Give both cats their own set of resources (food bowl, litter tray, water bowl, scratch post, toys, beds etc), split out around the house so that there's no competition for resources. If you think Spyder is grieving, try to keep the routines the same as well as the usual level of attention. It can be very tempting to lavish cats with extra love especially when owners are grieving themselves, but cats can find this change in behaviour confusing and unsettling. Wishing you all the best.

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 behaviour advice, please visit www.cats.org.uk/cat-care/cat-behaviour-hub where you’ll also find The Behaviour Guide which discusses a variety of topics on cat behaviour. 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?

Don't miss the next live Facebook Q&A sessions: vet Dr Sarah Elliott will be taking questions on 13 July; you can get support with pet-related grief on 25 July; or speak to Behaviour Manager Nicky again on 10 August. All Q&As are held on Cats Protection's national Facebook page from 2pm. See you there!

Friday, 7 July 2017

Meet the finalists - Hero Cat

With the annual National Cat Awards just around the corner, we’re announcing the finalists for each of the six categories, including Furr-ever Friends, Hero Cat, Most Caring Cat, Outstanding Rescue Cat, Purina® Better Together and Cats Protection’s Special Recognition Award.

From stories of great bravery, to heart-warming tales of companionship between cats and humans, the National Cat Awards highlight the incredible impact cats have on their owners’ lives.

The Hero Cat category focuses on cats that save the day.

Meet the finalists, Phoenix, Lily and Pixie, in our video playlist below.



Come back next week for our next set of finalists for the Outstanding Rescue Cat.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday 3 August at London’s Savoy Hotel, where celebrity judges will also announce the National Cat of the Year 2017.

To find out more about the National Cat Awards, visit our website.


Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Should I get my female cat neutered?

The animation focuses on a female cat with a large litter of kittens looking stressed and unhappy. The video then shows an alternate situation, in which the cat has been neutered and appears stress-free and content.
 
Watch the video below.



Cats Protection recommends getting your cat neutered when they are four months old to prevent unwanted litters of kittens. There are also several health and welfare benefits. You can find out more in our downloadable neutering guide here.

Worried about the cost of neutering? Call Cats Protection’s neutering line on 03000 12 12 12 (Mon-Fri,9.30am-1pm) to ask about a voucher or visit www.cats.org.uk/neutering for more information.

Friday, 30 June 2017

Meet the finalists - Purina Better Together

With the annual National Cat Awards just around the corner, we’re announcing the finalists for each of the six categories, including Furr-ever Friends, Hero Cat, Most Caring Cat, Outstanding Rescue Cat, Purina® Better Together and Cats Protection’s Special Recognition Award.

From stories of great bravery, to heart-warming tales of companionship between cats and humans, the National Cat Awards highlight the incredible impact cats have on their owners’ lives.

Purina Better Together celebrates the special bond that has transformed and enriched the lives of both a feline and human.

Meet the finalists, Spike, Fish and Tank, in our video playlist below.




To vote for your favourite finalist, visit our Facebook page for more information - voting will begin at 2pm on Friday 30 June and end 10am on Monday 3rd July.

Come back next week for our next set of finalists for the Hero Cat category.

Winners will be announced at a ceremony on Thursday 3 August at London’s Savoy Hotel, where celebrity judges will also announce the National Cat of the Year 2017.

To find out more about the National Cat Awards, visit our website.


Thursday, 29 June 2017

All ends well for Weasley

This post has been written with the help of Cats Protection's Bracknell & Wokingham Branch.

Gorgeous ginger cat Weasley came into the Bracknell & Wokingham Branch of Cats Protection in April after living as an unneutered stray in Wokingham for several months. He was spotted limping badly and appeared to be injured. After sightings of Weasley were reported to the branch by passers-by, he was eventually captured in a humane trap and bought into the branch for treatment.


Weasley was then neutered and his leg was x-rayed. This unfortunately showed a break in his rear left leg that needed treatment. After a visit to the vet, Weasley was given pain relief but sadly it was advised that if this did not work, the best solution would be to amputate the leg.


As Weasley was in so much pain, it was decided that he'd be operated on straight away. After a short period of recuperation, he spent time in an outdoor pen. He was then moved to an indoor pen to allow him time to recuperate and also to give him more space.


Weasley has since turned into a loveable cat who loves human company. Adapting particularly well to life on three legs, he is now enjoying his time in the home of a local fosterer. He is even jumping onto the sofa and finding his way around. Luckily, Weasley is now going to be rehomed by a long-time supporter of Cats Protection – a happy ending, after all!

Tuesday, 27 June 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, is nearing the end of their life or has 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: I had my cat put to sleep because someone poisoned him and I’m having trouble coming to terms with having to make that decision. I keep seeing his beautiful face as he was leaving me!

Answer: What a heart-breaking thing to have to go through. The decision we make when we have to let our pets go doesn't really feel like a choice but can leave us feeling devastated and guilty. On top of those feelings you're also having to deal with feelings of anger towards whoever left poison for your cat. So many unanswered questions and little room for any kind of closure.

All these circumstances can make it incredibly difficult to come to terms with what has happened and will have a great impact on the way you grieve for your cat. Grief can be very chaotic and is unique to everyone. If you would like to talk through what happened with someone please do ring our volunteers on the Paws to Listen Grief Support Service on 0800 024 94 94 Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.

Question: I lost my 18-year-old cat just before Easter he'd been with me from eight weeks old from CP. I'd just moved into my house and he was my first major addition. I can't believe how much I'm grieving for him. I miss him every day. I still call for him when I come home in the evening... even though he was deaf as a post by the time he went, well I think he had select hearing actually! But he was such a huge part of my family life I have two other cats and a dog, so the house isn't completely empty, but it is if you get my drift. My cat’s ashes are in my spare room as that's where he liked to sleep sometimes, and to be perfectly honest, I say good night every night, and if a song comes on the radio I like, we dance... he did love to dance on my shoulder. I just wanted to share... I know time is a great healer, but sometimes venting or writing down your memories helps, well it does me. Thanks for listening.

Answer: Grief is very individual and different for everyone. There is no ‘normal’ when it comes to grieving. The bond you had with your boy was strong and your relationship was significant. Just like when we lose anyone who was such a significant part of our lives, it hurts. Loss hurts.

There is no set length of time for grief for some people it eases after a few weeks or months, for others it can take much longer. It sounds like you had an incredibly strong bond with him and you miss him so much still. Allow yourself the time to grieve, he was so very special to you.

Question: I’ve had my elderly cat since he was about 12 weeks old and he has just turned 18. He has lost his hearing and is losing his eyesight slowly too. Arthritis has set in and although he is old and stiff he can still race and jump like a kitten. He had two days last week when he refused to eat but drank a lot and slept in strange, awkward positions. He has lost weight and I can feel every bone in his spine and hardly weighs anything when I pick him up. He has a large lump that is squishy and has grown rapidly since the New Year. He is such an affectionate and loving boy and purrs loudly in my ear at night. I think it will be time to say goodbye to him soon, how can I cope with this?

Answer: It's so hard when we see our pets decline in front of our eyes. What a long time you've been together from when he was just a kitten to 18 years old. Over such a length of time he will have been with you through so much of your life and likely many changes and experiences. This will have made the bond you have with him so very strong, which makes it all the harder to consider his leaving.

In this type of instance, it is likely you will be experiencing anticipatory grief once you've been given a prognosis by your vet. Grieving can start way before they are gone and you may well feel the responses to grief already.

You might find some of our grief leaflets helpful in your preparations for what is to come and do consider calling Paws to Listen as and when you need to.

Question: I recently lost my cat due to cancer which was growing in his mouth. I have had him since I was 12 and I am now in my late twenties. He was my best mate and was there through everything with me. I had to make the awful decision to have him put to sleep he wasn't eating, was drooling loads and just spent most of the time hidden under the bed. The house seems so quiet now.

Answer: Your cat was with you for so much of your life a massive hole will have been left by his loss. He's been through so much with you he's family.

It's a wretched decision to have to make when the time comes and difficult to come to terms with. Through your cat’s life you took care of him, fed him, kept him clean, warm, healthy... you took responsibility for the quality of his life. It is the hardest thing to do to continue that responsibility on into the care of their death. The hardest and bravest thing we can do for our beloved pets.

Please do consider ringing the Paws to Listen Grief Support Service from Cats Protection on 0800 024 94 94 open Mon-Fri 9am-5pm if you would like to tell us about your cat and talk through your feelings around his loss.


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