Monday, 31 December 2018

Get help with your New Year resolutions from Cats Protection

The New Year is a great time to make some changes to your life, but instead of pledging to give up certain pleasures, why not promise to take up new challenges instead?

Volunteering is a fantastic way to learn new skills and try new things and here at Cats Protection we have a wide range of roles available, each with training available to help you develop and help cats at the same time.

tabby cat

Here are some simple resolutions that we can help you with…

Learn online skills 

In an increasingly more digital world, learning about different online platforms is incredibly useful for many aspects of daily life. By volunteering to manage the website or social media pages for your local branch or centre, you could discover what it takes to create great online content and connect with cat lovers all over the world.

Boost your creativity 

Have you ever walked passed a tired looking shop window display and thought you could do better? Our charity shops receive all sorts of kind donations and so creating exciting displays is important for encouraging people to buy them. A great chance for you to get creative and use your imagination, all to help raise money for the cats.


cats protection shop window volunteer

Brush up on your cat welfare knowledge 

You might think you know all there is to know about cats, but there is always something new to learn about these curious creatures. If you become a cat care volunteer you’ll get lots of training on how to handle felines and learn lots on the job as you help to feed and groom the cats and keep their pens clean and tidy.

Get out and about

Our branches and centres rely on people getting out into the community, driving cats to and from the vets, trapping feral cats to be neutered and speaking to the public about various campaigns. If you’re a bit bored at home, or tired of being stuck in an office, these tasks would be the perfect opportunity to explore your local area a bit more.

cats protection volunteer

Meet new people 

Whether you’re organising an event, running a stall, or even doing a collection at the local supermarket, fundraising for Cats Protection is a great way to get chatting with fellow cat lovers. Even if you don’t manage to encourage them to part with their cash, you’ll still get the chance to tell them a bit about what the charity does and bond over some cat chat.

Become a better communicator 

If you’d like to improve your public speaking skills or gain confidence talking to others, then what better way to do it than by talking about cats? You could sign up to be a volunteer speaker, giving talks to schools and community groups about cat welfare, or join our Contact Centre team and answer cat queries from the public when they call our National Information Line.

To find out more about volunteering for Cats Protection, visit www.cats.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering or get in touch with your local branch or centre to find out what roles they have available.

Wednesday, 26 December 2018

Why do cats love boxes?

What is the best present to give your cat for Christmas? If you ask us, a cardboard box is definitely up there in the top five! Honestly, you can buy all the fancy toys and beds in the world but what a cat really seems to enjoy is a bog standard, unadorned, old fashioned cardboard box! The hours of fun that a box can provide are endless. A cat cannot only sit in it, they can climb on it, chew it or hide behind it should the mood take them. In fact the humble box is possibly the most versatile and desirable of possessions – if you’re a cat, that is.

tabby cat in cardboard box

Leave an empty box on the floor, turn your back for second and I can almost guarantee that your cat will have inserted themselves inside. Never mind that you may be needing to keep it for yourself to store your Christmas decorations in or keep your presents all in one place  your cat has decided that they want it and that will be that! Large or small, square or oblong, a cat will find a way to squish themselves inside.

So why the fascination? This slightly odd penchant for climbing into boxes or containers no matter the size or shape, can be explained by the fact that our domestic cats share ancestry with the African wildcat. The behavioural traits of wanting to find safe places to rest and looking for somewhere to get up off the ground, often as high as possible, are traits which hark back to the days when their ancestors had to employ such tactics to keep them safe while living in the African Savannah. When you are having to avoid being eaten by much bigger predators it is a very wise idea to try and find somewhere to sleep where you are hidden from view! Likewise it is a good idea to climb up somewhere high to keep out of harm’s way. Our own cats are still hardwired to behave in this way to keep themselves away from any perceived danger in a domestic setting.

ginger cat in cardboard box

For a cat, a cardboard box is brilliant because it can serve both needs. It allows them to find a safe and private place to rest, away from the busyness of modern life, such as noisy people and other pets, and, if turned on its side, it provides an elevated place to sit and watch said world go by.

Being able to control their environment in order to feel secure is something that makes a cat very happy. So don’t tidy away those boxes, leave them out and see if your cat wants to use them. How about making them comfy and festive by lining one with an old Christmas jumper? Recycling at its best! Forget the expensive plastic toys, happiness seems to come in a box!

For more information about cat behaviour, visit the Cats Protection website

Friday, 21 December 2018

Dedicated volunteers care for cats on Christmas Day

While you’re unwrapping presents and tucking in to Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, there will be caring cat lovers up and down the UK who will be busy with a very important task.

Cats Protection will be caring for thousands of cats over the festive period, and so we rely on dedicated volunteers to make sure they receive the care and attention they need every day of the year – even on 25 December.

Here are some heart-warming stories from just a few of the hard-working volunteers who will be looking after unwanted cats this Christmas…

Carol Woodward – Cat Care Volunteer at National Cat Adoption Centre, Sussex 


Carol Woodward Cat Care Volunteer at National Cat Adoption Centre, Sussex
Carol helps care for cats wiaiting for new homes
“Christmas Day was always a grand affair with the family, friends, waifs and strays all coming to my house for lunch. Makeshift tables and borrowed chairs would be set-up wherever there was room, the importance being to ensure no-one spent time alone on this special day. My cats would get spoilt rotten (they would always get a Cats Protection catnip banana for Christmas, which they loved) and I would end up an exhausted, frazzled wreck by the end of the day. It was lovely but with the younger family members growing up and having families of their own, it is now their turn to play hosts to us more ‘senior’ members.

“Following early retirement from work, I recently became a volunteer Cat Care Assistant at the National Cat Adoption Centre and have enjoyed every minute of it. When the call went out for assistance on Christmas Day morning, I didn’t hesitate to offer. With no need this year to rise at 5am to get the turkey in the oven, what better way to start the day than caring for the cats and giving them an extra festive cuddle. Hopefully, it will also enable one of the permanent Cat Care Assistants with a young family to get home a bit earlier and spend more time with them.

“Weather permitting, this will be followed by a run or bike ride (a great de-stress prior to a busy day ahead) before heading out to spend the rest of day with my husband and family and hopefully being waited on by them for the rest of the day while I put my feet up! Exchange of presents can wait but a cat’s hungry belly can’t.”

Linda Hartley – Branch Coordinator of Isle of Arran Branch 


Kittens in a basket
A litter of kittens cared for by Linda 
“I am always available Christmas Day, as I have been every year for 12 years. Being available on Christmas Day means being ready to answer that phone when it rings with whatever problem comes across and trying to find a way to help someone as well as their cats. Calls have come in from Islay, from Kintyre as well as the mainland and here on the island and sometimes they are not the most pressing but to them it might be so I am ready and waiting whatever day of the week, or month, to help a cat in need.”

Niccy Townley – Branch Coordinator of Cambridge Branch 

Niccy Townley Branch Coordinator of Cambridge Branch
Niccy is always ready help people with their cat care needs 
"I will almost certainly be volunteering this Christmas Day. I’m branch coordinator and also fosterer so will be feeding and looking after my foster cat and/or kittens. If there are any other fosterers locally who are away I will feed their foster cats too. We also feed very many ferals in the area, in particular I am dealing with a large feral colony at a huge recycling plant so I’ll inevitably feed these cats as nobody else feeds them. Our phones are never turned off so if there are any calls made to us they will be dealt with too.”

If you would like to learn more about volunteering with Cats Protection, visit www.cats.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering for more information about the different roles available.

Thursday, 20 December 2018

Why do cats come in so many different colours?

The cats that share our homes and gardens come in a whole rainbow of colours, from black, white and grey to orange, brown and even blue, but have you ever wondered why they have so many different hues and patterns?


Our domestic moggies all share one common ancestor, the African wildcat, which has been around for millions of years. In the wild, they have no need for variations in coat colour, as it’s important for them to blend in with their surroundings to avoid detection from predators and prey. It wasn’t until these cats started to become domesticated in Ancient Egypt around 4000-2000 BC that camouflage became less crucial and different colours began to develop. For the last 200 years, selective breeding in cats, mostly for appearance, has become more common, leading to the wide range of cat colours we see today.

These changes in coat colour occur from gene mutations that happens naturally in the cat’s cells, and this has led to some interesting cat colour quirks…

Most ginger cats are male 

ginger cat with blue eyes

Roughly two thirds of ginger cats are male, and a third are female. The ginger colour comes from a gene mutation on the X chromosome and because female cats have two X chromosomes it’s more unlikely that they would have the ginger gene mutation on both, although it’s not impossible. Male cats have one X and one Y chromosome (the Y chromosome doesn’t carry information about coat colour), so only need one gene mutation to become ginger.

Nearly all tortoiseshell cats are female 

tortoiseshell cat

Female cats with a tortoiseshell pattern will have a ginger gene mutation on one X chromosome, and their other X chromosome will dictate the rest of their coat colour. Because males only have one X chromosome, they can usually only be either ginger or not ginger, not a tortoiseshell pattern with patches of ginger. For a male cat to have a tortoiseshell pattern they would need to have an additional chromosome; two X chromosomes and a Y chromosome, which is extremely rare.

Deaf cats are more likely to be white 

white cat with blue eyes

Congenital deafness predominantly occurs in white cats because the gene that causes a white coat can also be responsible for blue eyes and deafness. However, there are other factors that can influence these variations so while not all white cats will be deaf, most cats that are congenitally deaf will be white and have two blue eyes.

All cats are tabbies 

tabby cat

The original cat coat is the striped or ‘mackerel’ tabby, with the ‘blotched’ tabby pattern appearing later. Whether a cat shows their tabby pattern depends on whether they have inherited the recessive solid colour gene or not. Even kittens with this gene will sometimes show their tabby pattern when they’re young, before shedding their kitten coat when they become adults, and often an adult solid colour cat in bright sunshine will have a faintly visible tabby pattern.

A mother cat can have kittens of different colours 

tabby cat and kittens

One litter of kittens can contain cats of all different colours, particularly if the mother has mated with more than one male. Male kittens will always inherit their colour from their mother, whereas female kittens will be a combination of the colours of each parent.

Of course, here at Cats Protection, we believe that a cat’s personality is more important than its colour, which is why we encourage those looking for a new feline friend not to overlook the monochrome moggies who still have so much to give.

What colour is your cat? Let us know in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter

If you would like to adopt a cat, visit www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat to find kitties of all shades waiting for homes in your area. 

For lots more cat-related information, visit the Cats Protection website.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Why do cats hate citrus fruit?

We all know how important it is for us to get our five portions of fruit and veg a day and citrus fruits are one of the most popular fruits available. There is also something very seasonal about the smell of spices and oranges. It reminds us of winter and especially Christmas. Citrus fruits also find their way into our fruit bowls at this time of year with oranges, lemons and limes all ready to be added to a seasonal tipple. It’s also still popular to buy a few satsumas as a traditional Christmas stocking filler!


As the sweet, juicy taste of satsumas, clementines and oranges brings a welcome hit of sweetness to our palates you can be forgiven for thinking that a little segment of fruit will be enjoyed by your cat too. However, cats have an extremely sensitive sense of smell and as citrus fruits are very aromatic, what smells heavenly to us is way too over the top for cats.

This dislike of citrusy scents can be turned to an owner’s advantage. If you want to discourage your cat from using a particular area of your garden as a toilet, leaving orange peel among the flowers may help persuade your cat to cease digging around your prize marigolds. The idea behind this is simply the cat smells the fruit, dislikes it and so wanders off. Interestingly, for cats who have come across this pungent smell before, it is likely that they will have an even stronger reaction to citrus smells than normal.


Fortunately, this natural aversion to strong, citrusy smells means that cats tend to avoid eating it. This is just as well as ingesting citrus fruits can cause cats to experience gastrointestinal discomfort, vomiting and diarrhoea. But don’t panic if your cat does sample a segment or have a lick of your fingers after you have eaten a particularly juicy orange; cats would need to consume an excessive amount to be in danger of any truly severe reactions.

For more information about what to feed your cat, visit www.cats.org.uk/diet 

Friday, 14 December 2018

Home alone or house full this Christmas?

While Christmas can be an exciting time for many, you might notice that your cat isn’t always a fan of the festivities. In fact, unfamiliar sights, sounds and smells can be unsettling for cats, so it’s no surprise that they can appear Grinch-like at this time of year.

Whether you’re leaving your cat home alone or you’ve got various visitors around to enjoy the fun, it’s important to ensure your cat is safe and happy. To ensure all is calm this Christmas, take a look at our advice.

Home alone?


If you’re visiting friends or relatives during the festive season, you might be concerned about what to do with your cat while you’re away. Cats are solo creatures, so most of them will be more than happy to spend Christmas on their own. However, you’ll still need to make sure they’re well cared for.

Choose a friend, family member or neighbour that can visit at least twice a day to ensure they are well-fed and safe. Alternatively, you could book a professional pet sitter to look after them, such as TrustedHousesitters.com

Before you leave, make sure you note down everything your cat needs. You’ll need to include enough cat litter, food and medication for the time you’re away, as well as writing down your vet’s details and your emergency contact details.

To make the task easier, we’ve created a cat-sitter checklist. Download it, fill it in and stick it on your fridge – it has everything your cat-sitter needs to know.

House full?



It can be tricky to avoid having a busy house at Christmastime, especially if you have a large family. If faced with lots of noise and unfamiliar people, some cats can become stressed. You might find them exhibiting some unusual behaviour, such as:

• becoming more withdrawn or less tolerant of people
• eating or drinking less
• pacing or appearing restless
• toileting in the house
• over-grooming

If you are worried about your cat’s stress levels, there are things you can do to help reduce anxiety. Keep them calm in the midst of chaos with our five top tips.

1. Provide a hiding place somewhere quiet so they can escape the noise.
2. Offer an additional litter tray away from busy areas.
3. Use a pheromone diffuser to help calm them during stressful times.
4. Designate a special, quiet room for them where they can be left undisturbed.
5. Ask your guests not to ‘crowd’ your cat, which can make them feel threatened.

Whatever you choose to do this Christmas, remember to keep your feline friend safe and happy – it’ll make the holiday season less hassle for you too. For more advice on keeping your cat safe during this time, visit www.cats.org.uk/cats-at-christmas

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Cats Protection ‘movie star’ Kozal needs your votes!

Last year Cats Protection created a tear-jerking film telling the true story of a gorgeous ginger moggy and his search for a home in time for Christmas.



Sixteen-year-old Kozal had spent seven months at our National Cat Adoption Centre in Sussex as he kept being overlooked by adopters again and again.

Then, in December, he was finally given a home by caring cat lover Jill Cash, and settled in straight away. Now he is getting ready to spend his second festive season in his forever home and Jill has kindly sent us another update on how he is doing.

ginger cat grooming his stomach
Kozal giving his fluffy tummy a groom
She said: “The 'movie star' is doing very well as you can see from the recent photos. His tummy was bald and pink when I got him but it is now fully grown over with white fur. He enjoyed the long hot summer lounging in the garden.

ginger cat on man's lap
Kozal loves a lap and a snuggle 
“He picked up a serious tummy bug in August which took three weeks of medication, jabs and love to clear up. Since then he seems to have mellowed even more and has even got himself a little tabby 'girlfriend' that he allows to visit. He loves to sit on any lap that is available and has successfully evicted me from my armchair. I think you could say he has definitely found his forever home.”

tabby cat in garden
Kozal's new 'girlfriend'
Kozal’s Christmas film has been viewed over 900,000 times since it was first released and it could now even win an award!

Cast your vote at www.charityfilmawards.com/videos/kozals-christmas-a-festive-tale-from-cats-protection and Kozal could be shortlisted for this year’s Charity Film Awards, giving him some much-deserved recognition!

Then you can sit back, relax and enjoy this year’s Christmas film, another true story featuring 12-year-old Evie and her special bond with a cat called Genie.


If you can offer a cat a cosy home in time for Christmas, visit www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat and see the moggies ready for a home in your area.

Monday, 10 December 2018

How to train your cat to roll over

If you’ve been following our ‘How to train your cat’ series, you may have already mastered getting your moggy to sit and lie down on command.

The next step you can try is to get them to go from lying down to rolling over onto their side or back. As well as being fun for you, this training will help to keep your cat mentally stimulated and by using positive reinforcement will hopefully boost their confidence too.

black cat rolling over

To get started, you will need:
  • a physically able and confident cat (older or infirm cats may struggle) 
  • a cat that already knows how to lie down on cue 
  • a quiet room with no distractions 
  • tasty treats that don’t require a lot of chewing 
  • patience and the ability to get low to the ground 
Now you can begin training.
  1. Get your cat to lie down directly in front of you. You may find it easier to be sitting or kneeling at this stage. 
  2. Hold the treat between the very end of your index finger and thumb with your palm facing downward. 
  3. Sit in front of your cat with the treat 1-2cm away from their nose. 
  4. If you want your cat to roll to your right/their left, slowly arc the treat on a slight incline towards their right ear. If you want them to roll to your left/their right, move it towards their left ear. Your cat may have a preference or find one side easier so if they are struggling, try the other direction. Once you have found their preferred side, it’s best to stick with it. If your cat moves their head forwards to investigate the treat, this is fine. However, if they keep getting up, try a smaller movement so they are not over-stimulated. 
  5. With the treat in front of your cat’s ear, slowly move the treat diagonally towards the middle of their back. Their eyes should follow the treat so that they look over their shoulder. Often the slower you move the treat, the easier your cat will be able to follow it. 
  6. Continue to move the treat diagonally and your cat should roll over onto their side. As soon as they do this, give them some verbal praise and offer the treat. Repeat steps 1-6 until they successfully roll over every time. 

    cat rolling over on side


  7. Once they have mastered this, repeat the process using smaller hand movements, keeping the treat closer to your cat’s head. If your cat still rolls onto its side, move the treat further off to the side so that they continue to follow it and rolls onto their back. When they do, give them some verbal praise and offer the treat. 
  8. Next you can try getting them to roll all the way over onto their other side by continuing to move the treat off to the side when they are on their back. Again, repeat this process a few times, giving them verbal praise and the treat each time they get it right. 
  9. When they are happily rolling over every time, you can start to reduce the reliance on the lure of treats by only pretending to get a treat out of the bag each time. Still present your cat with your hand and use the same movements, then when they successfully roll over still give them verbal praise and a treat. 
  10. After a few successful attempts, you can start to use the hand movements without pretending to take a treat, but always give them verbal praise and a treat if they get it right. 
  11. Finally, you can try getting them to respond to a verbal cue instead of your hand signal. Keep going with the same process, but say your chosen cue word (eg ‘roll over’) one second before you make your hand movements. Eventually your cat will learn to associate the verbal cue with the action and do it before you move your hand. Remember, always give them visual praise and a treat when they do it right. 
Throughout training, try to keep sessions to a maximum of three minutes long and then give your cat a break. If you can stick to three, three-minute sessions a day, you should hopefully be able to get your cat rolling over in response to your verbal cue within seven days. However, it’s important to remember that some cats will take longer to master this than others, and some may not get it at all.

Be patient and if you find yourself getting frustrated, take a break and come back to it later. It’s important not to physically force your cat into position, as this will cause them to become stressed and could lead to behavioural or medical problems. Training should be a fun experience for both you and your cat, so always use positive reinforcement and make sure they have the choice to stop if they want to.

Have you managed to successfully train your cat to roll over on command? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter!

If you have any problems training your cat, take a look at our advice on the Cats Protection website or contact a qualified behaviourist.

Sunday, 9 December 2018

What do cats see when they watch TV?

If you’ve ever noticed your moggy staring at the television, seemingly captivated by what’s on the screen, you may have wondered what it is they actually see. While some cats are not bothered by the small screen, others will watch intently, particularly programmes featuring other animals.

Some studies have indicated that cats are able to identify imagery on TV, as we know that they can distinguish between outlines, patterns and textures. However, we do not know with certainty what they perceive the images to be. Cats rely much more on other senses, such as hearing and smell, to understand the world around them, so for some cats it may just be the noises they hear and fast movements that see that attract their attention towards the screen.

tabby and white cat in basket

Cats that are more active hunters may show more interest in the TV than others. If they appear to be watching the action and have their eyes open with narrow pupils and their ears and whiskers pointed forward, they could be stimulated by what's coming from the TV. However, if they are watching with dilated pupils and flatter ears, this could indicate that they are more concerned and stressed by what is on the screen, and so should be given the opportunity to run away if needed.

Why are some cats particularly interested in big cats on TV? 

All of the different species of the cat family that are around today have evolved from one common ancestor, and although our domestic moggies split from their lion and tiger cousins a long time ago they may still be able to recognise their feline outline or facial features on screen. However, even if they can identify other cats on television, the majority of cats are unlikely to feel threatened by them as they would a neighbour’s cat, because they cannot detect their scent or other cues that tell them it is a real cat. It could also be that owners are more likely to pick up on their cats watching other cats on television because of their own associations when actually their cat watches TV at other times too.

To find out more about cat behaviour, visit the Cats Protection website

Thursday, 6 December 2018

Are you an expert on keeping your cat safe in winter?

With winter well and truly underway, you might be concerned about how you can keep your cat safe at this time of year. Plummeting temperatures, darker nights and icy weather can all present a risk to cats. 


To find out if you know how to keep your cat safe and happy during the colder months, take our quiz. Focusing on everything from calming your cat during fireworks season to keeping them warm during colder spells, you can find out whether you’re a cat expert.

Don’t worry if you don’t get full marks – you’ll pick up some great top tips along the way!



Our top 10 tips for keeping your cat safe in winter

1. During cold weather, make sure your cat comes inside at night. Provide them with warm, comfortable and safe places to sleep.
2. Make sure your cat is microchipped in case they stray. That way, they can easily be traced back to your address.
3. Provide a litter tray somewhere private so that your cat doesn’t have to head out into the cold to toilet.
4. During fireworks season, keep your cat in after dark and make sure that your cat flap, windows and doors are closed so that your cat doesn’t panic and escape.
5. Screen off open fireplaces and supervise your cat if you have lit a fire.
6. Cats that are outdoors may crawl into a warm car engine to get warm – check your car before you start up your engine.
7. Avoid using anti-freeze to clear your car windscreen of ice. De-icers and screen washes use Ethylene glycol, a chemical that can prove deadly to cats if they ingest it.
8. As the evenings get darker, reduced visibility makes traffic conditions riskier for outdoor cats. If you’re worried, keep your cat inside.
9. Regularly check sheds, outhouses and garages to ensure your cat isn’t locked inside.
10. Make sure your cat has plenty of fresh water indoors, in case any outside sources freeze.

For more advice on keeping your cat safe during the winter, visit www.cats.org.uk/cats-and-cold-weather

Monday, 3 December 2018

Christmas gifts for you and your cat

With a winter chill in the air and twinkling decorations already appearing in the streets, it’s time to start thinking about what to put under your Christmas tree for friends, family and felines!

If you’re stuck for ideas of what to get the cat lovers (and cats) in your life this year and then we’ve put together a handy guide of the latest moggy must-haves from our own Cats Protection online shop.

The best bit is, by shopping with us you’ll be supporting our work helping kitties across the UK, helping us to make sure they all have a very meowy Christmas and a happy Mew Year too.

Make sure you get your orders in by 10 December to make sure they arrive by the big day!

If crafting is more your thing at Christmas then we’ve also got some fantastic presents you can make for your own moggy or for the cats in our care.

Gifts for humans 


Cats Calendar 2019 - £5 



Give your loved ones a whole year of magnificent moggies with the official Cats Protection calendar, featuring gorgeous photos of some of the cats we’ve helped.

Catwalk socks - £13.50 




Everyone loves getting socks at Christmas, and this set features colourful cat designs. Purrfect for mixing and matching!

Simon’s Cat bag - £6.50 




This stylish shopper features everyone’s favourite cartoon cat and is sure to have you ‘feline good’, especially if you fill it with lots of goodies!

Cats scarf - £9.99 


The perfect accessory for your winter outfit, this soft scarf features a fashionable rose gold cat print to let everyone know felines are your favourite.

Cat cushion - £11.99 


Make sure all your visitors know which seat is reserved for the cat with this fun and functional cushion.

Cat coaster set - £7.99 




Add a splash of colour to your coffee table with these cute coasters featuring peeking cats of many shades.

Gifts for cats 


Christmas stocking - £4.99 




Get your kitty their very own Christmas stocking and fill it with fun toys that will keep them active over the festive season. 

Crinkle catnip snowman - £2.99 




If your cat goes crazy for catnip then they will have hours of fun with this happy snowman toy.

Teddy bear ears cat bed - £19.99 




Keep your cat cosy in the winter months with this soft cat bed that’s ideal for catnaps.

Scratch post - £22.99 




Help your cat keep their claws trim and mark their territory with this sturdy scratch post that’s tall enough for them to really stretch out on.

Peeking cat bowl - £8.99 




While you’re tucking in to Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, make sure your cat has their own tasty bowl of cat food.

Light up festive cat ball - £4.50 




Your kitty will be mesmerised by this fun festive toy that lights up as it moves across the floor.

Make your own cat toys 


Christmas can be an expensive time of year, so if you would like to still treat your cat but keep the costs down, why not have a go at making them a present instead. Take a look at our Feline Crafty videos on YouTube to find out how to make a cosy cat tent, fun cat toys, a super scratch post and much more using common household items!

You could even make some presents for the cats in our care to make sure they don’t feel left out at Christmas. Get in touch with your local Cats Protection to find out how you can donate your crafty creations.

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Final Doobie and Tilly update in Purina® funded month of National Cat Adoption Centre

We’re coming close to the end of the month in which Purina® are kindly funding the running costs of our National Cat Adoption Centre, in Sussex.

We’ve been following Doobie and Tilly who were being cared for at the centre because sadly their owner passed away. Doobie is a friendly 5 year old black and white cat. Tilly, 9 years old, is a very friendly brown cat and enjoys being stroked. 

Doobie and Tilly both now homed!

 
Doobie

Following the homing of Tilly, we are pleased to report that Doobie was also rehomed on 24 November after 5 weeks in our care. Doobie was in the homing wing four days before he was reserved and then went home with his new owners four days later. His new owners saw him on our website and fell in love with him!

A massive thank you to Purina® from us and all the cats in our care - The funds from Purina® will help provide the food, warmth and shelter that cats like Doobie and Tilly need while they wait for their forever home.

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Genie gets her wish in new Christmas animation


After the great success of last year’s animation ‘Kozal’s Christmas’ and its emotional tale focused on the rehoming of a mature moggy, we’ve released this year’s festive film.

'Genie’s Christmas Wish' is inspired by the true story of best friends Evie and Genie, who won the overall title of Cat of the Year at the National Cat Awards in 2017.

Black-and-white cat Genie was a dedicated companion to schoolgirl Evie as she braved intensive treatment for bone cancer in 2016. Aged just 11 at the time, Evie went through six rounds of chemotherapy, a number of operations and lengthy hospital stays.

Although she was separated from her feline friend Genie, the bond they had built provided plenty of comfort throughout her treatment. Evie was kept positive by watching videos of Genie from her hospital bed.

Evie says: “I missed Genie every day I was in hospital and my family could tell she missed me. She is my best friend and is always there when I need her.”

The relationship was so strong that Evie’s family decided to nominate Genie for the National Cat Awards in 2017. Genie was lucky enough to win the title of Outstanding Rescue Cat as well as the overall award of Cat of the Year, which saw Evie accept the award at a ceremony at the Savoy Hotel in London.

As well as being inspired by a true story, 'Genie’s Christmas Wish' was produced entirely in-house at Cats Protection. From its brief and inception to the final film. The hope is that the animation will highlight the often amazing impact that cats have on our lives, as well as how they can provide great companionship.

Watch the animation below, or head to www.cats.org.uk/xmas for more information on how to keep your own cat happy throughout the festive season.


Friday, 23 November 2018

The Black Cat Day moggies who have found their forever homes

You may remember that on 27 October we celebrated National Black Cat Day, a day dedicated to the monochrome moggies that sadly take 13% longer to be rehomed than cats of other colours.

 As well as creating colour swatches of beautiful black cat shades that you could assign to your own felines, we also featured some black cats waiting for their forever homes on our website.

Thankfully, many of them didn’t have to wait long, and so we thought we’d give you an update on where they are now!

Bobbie (Brilliant Black) 

black cat

One-and-a-half year old Bobbie was found on the street before being cared for by our Stranraer & District Branch, which tried everything it could to find his owners. When no one came forward, he was spotted by the Baxter family, who were looking for a young cat that would get along with their toddler. Bobbie is now very much part of the family, loving the attention he gets from his two young human siblings. He has a farm house to live in and acres of land to explore once he starts to go outdoors. He is definitely a lucky black cat!

Taz (Ebony Black) 

black cat on sofa

Our Bridgend Adoption Centre took in 14-year-old Taz when his owner became critically ill, and was hoping to find a quite home for him to live out his older years in comfort. Luckily, Carla was able to offer him just that. She said: “He follows me everywhere, knows his name and is a sucker for a fuss. He's got his own room but prefers to be downstairs. He loves an under chin stroke and is a very cwtchy boy. I am smitten, I can't wait to come home from work and see him.”

Bobby (Plum Black) 

black cat on sofa

Handsome one-year-old Bobby was being looked after by our Cambridge Branch and hoped to find a quiet home where he could be the centre of attention. Thankfully, his wishes came true as he was soon adopted by Harriet and her family.

She said: "When our little cat passed away in 2017, we were bereft and although we knew we would eventually like to have another cat, we didn't want to rush into finding someone to replace her. We thought that when we felt ready to welcome another little being into the household, it would be great to find a rescue cat. Bobby's little face immediately drew my attention when I saw him on the Cats Protection website. He looked so appealing and also in need of someone to cherish him. I've always loved waifs and strays, and I adore black cats, so I thought he would be ideal for our family. We were told that he'd had a difficult start, so I was eager to give him a secure loving home. When we met him, he was a bit bewildered, but very responsive and I felt we could work with that.

"Bobby has been with us just over a week and has already settled in well. He is a bit obsessed with food, but is gradually calming down on that front, as he realises that he doesn't have to worry about not being fed. He makes us laugh with his funny ways, whether he's racing around the house like there's no tomorrow, or chasing his tail. He is also very affectionate and likes to curl up on an available lap and purr away, which is not what we expected so soon. I am so glad that we decided to welcome him into our lives. He is a very rewarding little chap and I look forward to watching him grow and learn more about his quirky ways."

Other magnificent moggies that have been homed since Black Cat Day include:

Mable (Midnight Black) from our Belfast Adoption Centre 

black cat sideways head

Kitkat (Desire Deep Red) from our Lichfield & Tamworth Branch 

black cat

Newton (Carpathian Grey) and Maddison (Shadow Moon Black) from our Preston Branch 

black cat  in outdoor pen


black cat

If you would like to adopt a beautiful black cat of your own, visit www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat to find the cats looking for homes in your area.

Register for free to take on a thrilling challenge for Cats Protection

In June 2018, 21 brave cat lovers took to the hills of Snowdonia National Park to complete an exhilarating 100mph zipwire challenge over a large blue quarry lake to help raise over £4,000 for cats and kittens.

Zipworld Velocity is the fastest zipwire in Europe and allows for four people to tandem zip together, it really is a spectacle to behold as people fly past you!

Cats Protection zipwire challenge Zipworld Velocity

For those who are not natural adrenaline junkies there is a ‘practise run’ on a little zipper that you can do before being transported by the mountain trucks to the highest peak to be strapped in for the big zipper.

Rachel, Helen and Clayton all took part in aid of Cats Protection’s Carmarthen Branch. Rachel said: “I am absolutely petrified of heights but when I saw this challenge I thought, what better way to try to overcome my fear and help the cats and kittens in Carmarthen. I challenged myself to do something that is outside my comfort zone and raise important funds for my local branch of Cats Protection which I am passionate about.”

Cats protection cat champions

Cats Protection’s Fundraising Events Manager Rebecca Worth supported the team every step of the way and even joined them to take on the challenge, raising money for her local branch. She said: “As we arrived at Zipworld the scale of the challenge we were taking on really hit home. The start of the ‘big zipper’ was so high you couldn’t actually see it and the people looked likes specks. Luckily we were allowed to acclimatise with a ‘little zipper’ zipwire before a truck carried us high in to the sky for our descent. Knowing my sponsorship was going to help cats and kittens at my local branch meant there was no way I could back out. And, I am so glad I didn’t! The moment I touched down after the zipwire I wanted to go straight back up, my stomach was in my throat but I LOVED it!”

Michelle Kidd was another member of the zipwire team, along with her partner and daughter, and said: “It was the most amazing experience from start to finish. From someone terrified of heights… ‘close your eyes and think of the cats!’”

cats protection zipwire challenge zipworld velocity


If you would like to experience the thrilling zipwire for yourself or take on another adrenaline-fuelled challenge for Cats Protection, you can register for free* with our amazing Black Friday/Cyber Monday offer. 

Whether you are heading off on a bike ride or want to run a half marathon, you will find a challenge event to suit you - and you'll be raising vital funds for cats too!

Visit www.cats.org.uk/blkfricybmon to take a look at our events for 2019 and sign up for a challenge to get your adrenaline pumping. 

*Free registration is only valid for registration forms completed between 9am Friday 23 November and 9am Wednesday 28 November only. As all our events help raise vital funds to support the work of Cats Protection a minimum sponsorship pledge for each event does apply. You will receive full support with your fundraising.

Monday, 19 November 2018

Why do cats bury their poo?

It’s probably not a subject that most people spend too long thinking about, but anyone who has noticed their cat carefully covering their deposits may wonder what is going on and why they seem so intent on doing a good job. After all, the same interest in covering up poo cannot be said for our canine companions!

Tabby cat outdoors
Credit: Dmitry Bayer - Unsplash
So why do cats bother? Many people think that burying poo is just one example of the ways in which cats are fastidious creatures and have a more delicate sensibility than other animals, somehow knowing that visible waste is something socially unacceptable.

In fact, rather than it having anything to do with being offended or disgusted by their own waste, it is actually a hangover from the days when cats lived in the African Savannah and took up this activity in order to keep their whereabouts hidden. This meant that they could avoid detection from both sides of the food chain; it helped them to stay concealed from the bigger predators wanting a cat for dinner and the prey species the cats were trying to catch for their own dinner. It was simply a case of self-preservation!

Tabby and white cat in long grass
Credit: Pixabay
Another interesting fact about cats and their poo is that in the wild, cats steer clear of toileting near to areas in which they eat or drink to avoid contaminating their food and water. Our domestic cats still have this instinct and also prefer to toilet away from their food and water. They also understand that the act of toileting is when they are at their most vulnerable and so look for a safe and private location, in order to do their business, where they are less likely to be disturbed.

So you see, even something as seemingly bizarre as poo burying, often has its root cause in history – another reason to familiarise ourselves with the history of the domestic cat. Go to www.cats.org.uk/cat-care/ufo-elearn to find out more.