Friday, 19 January 2018

Enterprising schoolgirl gets crafty for the cats

Cats Protection’s Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre has received a kind donation for the cats in their care from local schoolgirl Evie Carpenter, who has been raising money by selling homemade keyring charms.

Evie meeting the cats at the Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre
Eleven-year-old Evie got the idea for her colourful Little Charmers when she visited a craft fair with her aunt and saw a stall selling bright and colourful beads. She said: “I decided to buy some beads to try and make my own keyrings. It was really fun and relaxing and so I asked my aunty to get lots more beads. When I got to sell my charmers at the school fĂȘte, they sold really well and all my friends bought them – even my head teacher bought one!”

Evie's Little Charmers keyring charms
Evie soon started selling her keyrings on her Facebook page and has so far raised £50 for the Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre. In December 2017 she visited the centre to hand over the first donation and got to see some of the cats the money will help.

“I wanted to donate some of our money to Cats Protection because we got our cat, Bobble, from there and because cats are really lovely and cuddly,” said Evie. “I wanted to help them while they are waiting to find their homes. I am going to make some more cat charmers and for every one I sell I will donate money to Cats Protection.”

Evie and her cat Bobble
To find out more about Little Charmers, visit Little Charmers Gifts on Facebook and follow @LilCharmers on Twitter.

 

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

How to speak cat: Why do cats meow?

Some cats can be quite chatty with their owners, but it is often difficult to understand what they are actually trying to say. From a howling meow to a short chirrup, they can make a wide range of different noises to communicate their mood, so to help you decipher their complex language we have put together a handy cat chat guide.

First though, lets tackle that confusing conundrum…

Is it ‘miaow’ or ‘meow’?

Miaow is actually the umbrella term used for a group of cat sounds, including the meow and mew. You can find out more about the meanings of these particular sounds below, but if you’re in doubt about what sound your cat is making, just use ‘miaow’.

Meow
Translation: Anything from ‘let me in’ to ‘I want some food’

Meowing isn’t actually used by cats very often to communicate with each other. Instead it is a learned behaviour that they use primarily to communicate with humans, as it usually gets a positive response. For example, if a cat meows and their owner takes it to mean they are hungry, they will provide them with food. The cat then knows that if they use that meow again, they will get fed. This is why a cat will usually develop their own specific range of meows that their owner comes to recognise, such as a short meow for attention and a longer meow for food.

Why do cats meow?

Mew
Translation: ‘Mum!’

Mew is the name for the cry of a kitten, which it uses to tell the queen (mother cat) that it is hungry or in distress. They begin making this sound a few days after birth but typically stop when they are around two to three months old.

Chirrup
Translation: ‘Hello’

This short trill is usually used by queens when they call for their kittens, but many domestic cats also use it as a way of greeting humans.

Purr
Translation: ‘I’m happy’*

A gentle purr is used by queens and their kittens as a way to let each other know that all is well. Adult cats also purr when they’re feeling content, but a more urgent higher-pitched purr could be a signal for attention instead. *Purring can also be a sign that a cat is in pain, so pay close attention to the context of their purr and if you’re worried then seek advice from the vet.

Growl
Translation: ‘Stay back’

Cats will growl if they feel threatened, using it as a warning that they will attack if the threat persists. As cats are solitary animal, they typically use low-pitched growling as a way to make themselves more intimidating to humans and other cats, encouraging them to stay away.

Hiss
Translation: ‘Leave me alone’

Hissing and spitting are defensive behaviours in cats, used to deter any perceived enemy that may be approaching. If a cat is hissing, you should leave them alone as it is likely to be warning that they are about to scratch or bite.

If you have noticed a change in the type or frequency of sounds your cat is making, it is best to take them to the vet to rule out any underlying health problems, as it could be a sign that they are in pain.

To find out more about why cats miaow, watch Cats Protection Behaviour Manager Nicky Trevorrow explain cat language in our video:

Friday, 12 January 2018

Give our gorgeous gingers a home

Today is National Kiss a Ginger Day, a day when people are encouraged to find their favourite redhead and give them a cheeky peck on the cheek!

Instead of finding human company, however, we’ve taken the opportunity to show you some of the gorgeous gingers in Cats Protection’s care that are waiting for homes. While we don’t necessarily advocate giving your cat a big kiss*, these cats are looking for plenty of love and attention. Could you give them their forever home?

Mickey – Newbury Adoption Centre
 

Placid, loving and affectionate Mickey is a gorgeous 15-year-old cat. With poor eyesight due to high blood pressure, he’ll need to be on medication for life and would benefit from a quiet home with a secure garden away from busy roads. Partial to a good nap, he’d make a lovely companion. To give Mickey a home, contact Newbury Adoption Centre on 01635 200 111 or newbury@cats.org.uk

Pugwash – Birmingham Adoption Centre


Slightly rotund, 10-year-old Pugwash is very loving and extremely protective over his brother Captain, who had to have his front leg removed. Pugwash helps him get around and they snuggle up together. As the pair are totally inseparable, this gorgeous ginger will need to be homed with his brother. To offer them both a home, contact Birmingham Adoption Centre on 01564 822 020 or email birmingham@cats.org.uk

Harvey – Bridgend Adoption Centre
 

Harvey is a handsome five-year-old ginger-and-white cat who has sadly been bought into care twice – the first time because his owner didn’t want him and the second time as he didn’t settle well with the other cat in the home. An independent cat, he does enjoy a fuss on his own terms and would suit a quieter home where he can curl up and relax. He isn’t keen on dogs and will need to be homed somewhere where he is the only pet. To give Harvey a home, contact Bridgend Adoption Centre on 01656 724 396 or email bridgend@cats.org.uk

Jason – National Cat Adoption Centre, Sussex
 

Eleven-year-old glorious ginger Jason is known for his glossy coat. Sadly, his shyness has seen him passed by in favour of more outgoing cats. Although he can be shy initially, he enjoys fuss and attention once he is comfortable. A calm and quiet home would suit him so he can go outside, explore and even have a few adventures. Although he has lived with other cats before, dogs and children frighten him. He does have a slight heart murmur but this doesn’t hold him back and he’d make a lovely addition to a household. To offer Jason a home, contact the National Cat Adoption Centre on 01825 741 330.

If you’d like to find a cat in your area (of any colour), type your postcode into our Find-a-Cat tool.

*Veterinary note: It is fine for owners to kiss their own cat, as long as the owner and their cat are medically healthy and that the cat is used to that level of contact with their owner. Kissing on the head would be less invasive than other areas and kissing on the cat's stomach is a big no-no! Cats prefer brief interactions rather than prolonged, intense interactions and tend to use 'nose to nose touching' as a greeting. This could be incorporated to make it less scary for the cat.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Speak up for cats on air gun licensing: Act now!

The UK Government is currently holding a public consultation into air weapon regulations and Cats Protection wants you to make your voice heard.

“UK press reports show that three cats are killed or injured by air guns each week and this is likely to be an underestimate because most attacks are never witnessed or reported,” explains Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations. “Worse still, over 90% of these shootings take place in England and Wales where it is legal for anyone over 18 to purchase an air gun and ammunition without the need for a licence.”

Black-and-white moggy Jalapeno is just one of the unfortunate victims of these shocking air gun attacks, which caused him to tragically lose an eye as a result of his injuries.

Jalapeno was tragically shot with an air gun, causing him to lose an eye
“These attacks cause immense pain and suffering to cats as well as anguish for their owners and fear in their local communities for the safety of people and pets,” adds Jacqui. “This is an unacceptable state of affairs and we want to see England and Wales follow the example of Scotland and Northern Ireland where it is illegal to own air weapons without a licence.

“If licensing were introduced, we believe it would be easier to track down culprits who use these weapons to inflict harm on cats. We want to ensure that cats in England and Wales are fully protected. Those who have a legitimate reason to purchase, possess and use an air gun will be able to retain ownership and would simply need to apply for a licence.”

If you would like to encourage the Government to review the licensing of air guns in England and Wales, visit www.cats.org.uk/airgunsconsultation where you can adapt and send an email to the Home Office by 6 February 2018 when the public consultation closes. You can also watch our video showing some of the feline victims of air gun shootings below, though please bear in mind that people may find these images upsetting.

“Last year over 90,000 people signed an online and paper Cats Protection petition calling for the licensing of air guns in England and Wales, showing the depth of public feeling on the issue,” says Jacqui. “Our hope is that as many people as possible email the government in support of air gun licensing so that we can make the whole of the UK a safer place for cats, animals and human beings.”

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

National Cat Awards 2018: Nominate your marvellous moggy now!

Now in its tenth year, Cats Protection’s prestigious National Cat Awards celebrate the difference cats make to their owners’ lives, highlighting heart-warming stories of devotion, companionship and courage.

“Has your cat saved lives? Turned your life around? If so Cats Protection wants to hear about it,” said Holby City and Strictly star Chizzy Akudolu. “As a cat owner myself, and having attended last year’s awards, I’ve seen first-hand what a tremendous difference they can make to people’s lives. So get nominating as this is their time to shine.”

Celebrity cat lover Chizzy Akudolu. Credit: Meet the Masons Photography
Owners have until noon on Friday 9 March to nominate their cat for one of five categories:
  • Hero Cat – Cats that save the day
  • Most Caring Cat – Cats that positively impact a person’s health or wellbeing
  • Furr-ever Friends – Tales of friendship between children and cats
  • Outstanding Rescue Cat – Fabulous felines adopted from animal charities
  • Purina® Better Together – Celebrating the special bond that has transformed and enriched the lives of both a feline and human
Winners and celebrity guests at the 2017 National Cat Awards 
Once the nominations are in, a panel of celebrity cat-lovers has the hard job of selecting the deserving winners of each category as well as the overall winner of National Cat of the Year. The awards will then be given out at a star-studded ceremony, sponsored by PURINA® for the seventh year, which will be held at the Savoy Hotel in London on Thursday 2 August.

The 2017 event was a fantastic celebration of loyalty and bravery in the cat world and we hope that many more inspiring stories will be showcased this year.

 National Cat of the Year 2017 Genie and her owner Evie. Credit: Fabio De Paola - PA Wire
The winner of National Cat of the Year will follow in the paw prints of Genie, a cat from Lincoln who helped 12-year-old Evie Henderson battle bone cancer, Tink who saved her owners from a house fire, and Jessi-Cat who was celebrated for helping a seven-year-old boy cope with Selective Mutism.

To nominate your cat visit www.cats.org.uk/national-cat-awards. For further information about the awards email nationalcatawards@cats.org.uk or phone 03000 12 12 12.



Friday, 5 January 2018

Cherwell Cats Protection inundated with donations after break in

Just before Christmas, the volunteers at Cats Protection’s Cherwell Branch were heartbroken to discover that their lock up had been broken into, with thieves stealing over £300 worth of cat food.

The food was intended for the many unwanted cats and kittens in their care over the festive season, waiting patiently for homes in Banbury, Bicester and Brackley in Oxfordshire.

However, after posting about the robbery on Facebook and Twitter, the volunteers received an incredible response from the public, with £300 and 181 food parcels donated so far.

“Through Facebook and Twitter we have been contacted by hundreds of people, some as far away as America and Canada,” said Pat Murdoch, Co-ordinator of the Cherwell Branch.

Their appeal for help was boosted by some high-profile supporters on Twitter, including Ollie (@myleftfang), a cat owned by comedian Ricky Gervais, and Gladstone (@Treasurymog), the black cat who lives at the UK government’s Treasury office.


Cherwell Cats Protection received van-loads of donations via their Amazon wish list
Food donations came from as far away as Germany and the local Oxfordshire Animal Sanctuary also sent some parcels for the moggies. Any donations the branch did not need were donated to the local vets for the cats in their care.

“It has been overwhelming how kind so many people have been and it is in such a contrast to the despicable people who stole the food from us,” said Pat.

“We have tried to thank everyone individually, but on behalf of Cherwell Branch I would like to say a very big thank you to all those very kind people and a special thank you from all the cats in our care who still had their Christmas dinner.”

If you would like to donate some much-needed food or funds for the cats and kittens being cared for by the Cherwell Cats Protection, please visit their website or take a look at their Amazon wish list.

Thursday, 4 January 2018

Massive moggy Sophie needs new owners to help her beat the bulge

New Year is a time for making resolutions and Sophie the cat has been set two new challenges for 2018; lose weight and find a new home.

The black-and-white moggy is in the care of Cats Protection’s Warrington Adoption Centre and weighs around 6kg – 50% more than the recommended weight of an adult female cat (4kg). Staff at the centre are helping her to beat the bulge and hope that a new owner will soon come forward to help her reach her goal weight.

Sophie the cat's New Year diet
Sophie came to Cats Protection late last year after her owner passed away
“Overweight cats like Sophie are at significant risk of developing complications such as diabetes or arthritis so it’s important we slim her to a healthy bodyweight as soon as we can,” says Sonia Scowcroft, Warrington Adoption Centre Manager.

“Sudden crash diets are not healthy for cats so it’s a journey that can take many weeks and we are hoping to find her an owner who can continue her on her special diet. Sophie is friendly and lively and she would make a great pet for any family.”

Sophie the cat's New Year diet
Can you give Sophie a home?
If you have a tubby tabby at home, you could make them a ‘Mew Year’s Resolution’ of their own. Sonia said: “There is a tendency to overfeed cats out of love, habit or a desire to make them feel part of the family but it’s important to consider the harm this may be causing to cats.

“Since many cat owners will be starting out on a diet or fitness plan for the New Year, this is a great time to ask your vet if your cat could do with losing a few pounds too.”

Top tips for feeding your cat

  • Feed your cat a reputable pet food which includes everything they need to stay healthy and stick to the manufacturer’s recommended feeding amount
  • Avoid giving your cat fatty foods such as cheese and chocolate. Many cats cannot digest cow’s milk and chocolate contains a compound that is toxic to cats
  • Only give treats that are specially formulated for cats and consider your cat’s total calorific intake so that their other food is reduced accordingly

For more advice on feeding your cat, take a look at our handy guide.

If you would like to give Sophie a home, please contact the Warrington Adoption Centre on 03000 12 06 12. To view other cats ready for adoption, please visit the Cats Protection website.