Friday, 29 September 2017

Your long-stay cat stories

As part of our recent long-stay cat appeal we asked supporters who enjoy living with older, shy or black cats to share their stories with us. By displaying these heartfelt messages on the pens of some of our long-stay cats we hope to inspire people to give a home to a cat they might otherwise have overlooked.



Our supporters’ love of cats shone through and lots of you shared stories. Some focussed on their cat’s entertaining quirks, others were more poignant. What they all shared was how much joy cats that often get overlooked bring to their owners.

With so many wonderful messages, we wanted to pick a few to share with you. First up is Bramble, a black cat who has clearly found the perfect home!



Giving a home to cats who have long-term medical needs can be one of the most rewarding ways of showing your love for cats.



"The people who rejected her will never know what an amazing cat they rejected."

After waiting for three years, Fleur finally found the loving home she deserves which she shares with 15-year-old Lucy.

 
Meanwhile at Carolynne’s house, her four black cats rule the roost!

 


We’d like to say another huge thank you to everybody who donated to our appeal and who shared their cat stories. To help make the wait easier for some of the long-stay cats in our care visit www.cats.org.uk/waiting

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Paw-some Afternoon Tea tales from our fabulous fundraisers

2017 saw cat-lovers coming together to share a cup of tea and a piece of cake as part of Paw-some Afternoon Tea, Cats Protection’s new mass participation event. With over 2,000 supporters signing up to host an event and raising an incredible £40,000 so far, it is fabulous to see what a difference a bit of baking can make.

Here are some Paw-some tales from some of our top fundraisers:

Maddie Moriarty, volunteer with North Ayrshire branch, raised £799


"Our Paw-some Tea was a real team effort and thankfully the weather was kind to us. We had a bouncy castle, pony rides, archery, a plant stall and lots of cakes."

Lorna Williamson raised £549



"I feel so passionately about Cats Protection. Having my boys (two cats from the National Cat Adoption Centre in Chelwood Gate, Sussex) has made me so happy and bought me hours of unconditional love. When I saw the chance of doing some fundraising in return, I leapt at it. Cats and cake – what could be better?

"I was up early on the morning of 26 May as there was so much to do! I had done as much as possible beforehand, including preparing the sausage rolls using the recipe in the fundraising pack. Once they were in to bake, I set out my homemade sea-salt and fudge chocolate brownies and prepared the sandwiches.

"My husband and I had been busy making cat-shaped biscuits and cupcakes too. I wanted to theme my cupcakes on my two rescue cats – Teddy is a gorgeous ginger tom and Lance is a sleek white minx – so my cat cakes had orange and white icing. I served up my goodies with tea and pink champagne and left my donations jar among the cake."

Ann Willliams raised £470


"The Paw-some Tea email from Cats Protection appeared in my inbox one morning and, given my affection for cats, I decided to hold an event in my area.

"I rallied support from all the social groups I belong to, spreading the word to the neighbourhood and posting leaflets through letterboxes, as well as posting signs for passers-by around my house and garden.

"Then came the task of making all the various cakes, scones and fancies. The centrepiece of the cake display was my Cat Party Cake, which was first prize in the raffle held during the afternoon of the event. The weather was excellent, allowing for the party to be held in the garden. There was an excellent turnout, with the donations totalling £470 at the end of the day."

If you’d like to take part in next year’s Paw-some Afternoon Tea and help raise money for cats in need, visit www.pawsometea.org to sign up.
 

Monday, 25 September 2017

Top names of Cats Protection kittens revealed

Every year Cats Protection cares for hundreds of kittens that don’t yet have a home to call their own. Some will arrive with their name already assigned, but often it’s down to the charity’s volunteers and staff to pick out a suitable moniker for each tiny moggy they take under their wing.

Of course, every cat is unique, but some names have proven to be particularly popular for the kittens that come to our branches and adoption centres for some TLC. Here are the top names given to male and female kittens adopted from Cats Protection between June 2016 and May 2017.

Top female kitten names:
  1. Poppy
  2. Daisy
  3. Willow
  4. Luna
  5. Holly

Top male kitten names:
  1. Charlie
  2. George
  3. Teddy
  4. Oreo
  5. Harry

Interestingly, the first placed names are the same as those that came out on top in our 2014 survey of cat names from around the UK, as you can see from the infographic below.

To enlarge, click on the image
Share this image on your site:



Do you have a Poppy or Charlie adopted from Cats Protection? Or have you opted for a more unusual name for your beloved moggy? Share the story behind your cat’s name by leaving a comment below or by getting in touch on Facebook or Twitter!

Friday, 22 September 2017

New Simon's Cat animation focuses on play time

The latest video in the Simon’s Cat Logic series focuses on play time – a favoured pastime for most cats! As Simon explains, cats can often be choosy about their playthings, often favouring simple objects like a piece of string or a cardboard box over complex toys and activities.

"Most of these toys end up under the sofa or fridge," says Simon. "Teddy’s favourite toy is a piece of string. He’ll chase this all day long and if you go outside and put it in the long grass, he’s the happiest cat in the world."

Nicky Trevorrow, Cats Protection’s Behaviour Manager, focuses on indoor cats and the importance of play time for them. "Cats that are indoor-only require more exercise and play. Indoor cats should have multiple short play sessions throughout the day."

One of the best toys for playing with indoor cats, or any cat, is the fishing rod toy. Nicky explains that they are great to showcase different types of play, whether you choose to hold it up in the air or run it across the ground. She has some top tips for playing with them too.

"Avoid dangling it in front of your cat’s face. Cats are far-sighted, meaning they can’t see well under 25 centimetres. They much prefer the fishing rod toy moving away from the cat, similar to how prey would move."

Both Nicky and Simon agree that however and whenever you play with your cat, it is of great benefit to them and to you and helps to strengthen your bond.



If you’d like to learn more about the Simon’s Cat Logic series, visit their YouTube channel.

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.