Thursday, 19 September 2019

Quiz: How much do you know about cats in popular culture?

Think you know everything about cats from film, TV, music, literature and sport? Put your knowledge to the test with 10 questions from our Black Cat Quiz!

It’s National Black Cat Day on Sunday 27 October and we’re inviting you to celebrate by hosting your own quiz to help dark-furred felines in need.

black cat sitting on back of sofa with brick wall behind

Get together with friends, become quizmaster for a day and have a fun time while fundraising for Cats Protection and the beautiful black cats in our care.

But first, find out if you’re an amateur egghead or a trivia top cat with these 10 questions. Answers are at the bottom of the page... No cheating!

1. Which cartoon cat’s favourite food is lasagne?


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2. What is the nickname of the England women’s football team?
3. In Alice in Wonderland, what is the Cheshire Cat’s special power?


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4. Which character performs Memory in the popular musical Cats?
5. Shere Khan is the famous tiger in the novel The Jungle Book. Who wrote it?


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6. What’s New Pussycat? was the name of which singer’s second album?
7. Who is the voice of Puss in Boots in the 2011 animated film?


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8. What was internet sensation Grumpy Cat’s real name?
9. Tony the Tiger was the mascot of which Kellogg’s cereal?


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10. What is the name of the cat that lives at 10 Downing Street?

Well done! Tot up your score with the answers below and if you enjoyed it, then why not challenge your friends with your own quiz event?

Register to host your own Black Cat Quiz this October.

Answers: 1. Garfield, 2. The Lionesses, 3. Invisibility, 4. Grizabella, 5. Rudyard Kipling, 6. Tom Jones, 7. Antonio Banderas, 8. Tardar Sauce, 9. Frosted Flakes or Frosties, 10. Larry.

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Should I get a kitten to keep my cat company?

One of the most common misconceptions when it comes to cats is that they get lonely and need other cats for company.

Our pet cats have evolved from a solitary species, the African wildcat, and so are actually more suited to being the only cat in their home – they’re not keen on sharing!

Some cats do get along with each other but they will be a bonded pair and show certain behaviours, such a grooming each other, sleeping curled up together and play-fighting. This allows them to transfer their scent onto each other so they can identify the other cat as ‘safe’.

two tabby and white cats sleeping next to each other

This pairing is something that each cat will have learnt through a slow and carefully planned introduction and it’s not guaranteed to last forever – any added stress can cause them to fall out later down the line. Even if they’re siblings, they may not be bonded for life!

If you’re thinking of adding a new feline to your family, it’s important to remember that even if your existing cat has got on well with another cat in the past, they will not necessarily be friendly with the new moggy you bring home.

Here are few thing you will need to consider before getting another cat.

1. Each cat will need their own resources, plus one extra

As cats don’t like to share, they’ll each need their own food bowl, water bowl, litter tray, scratch post and bed, plus a spare. So if you have two cats, you’ll need three of everything.

ginger cat lying on a pink blanket

2. They should each have their own room too

Cats like to have their own territory so it’s a good idea to give each of them their own room with all of their resources in, so they have somewhere to retreat to when they want to be alone.

3. Be prepared to be patient

Getting two cats to like or even tolerate each other is often a slow process that can take weeks or even months. It’s important not to rush their introduction – it will all be worth it in the end when you have two happy cats.

4. Get a Feliway Friends diffuser

This handy device will fill your home with a synthetic version of the natural cat pheromone that encourages harmony between cats. Don’t worry, only your cats will be able to smell it!

tabby cat hiding under a bed

5. They may never be best friends

Even with a careful introduction, your cats may never become best buddies who want to cuddle up together. They could decide to avoid each other and live in separate parts of the house, but so long as they aren’t stressed then it’s fine for them to have their own space.

6. Provide places to hide

If your cats do like to ‘ambush’ each other then make sure they have plenty of hiding places to retreat to – cardboard boxes or high shelves are ideal. Place these hidey holes along the route to the food bowl and litter tray so they won’t feel stressed when trying to eat or toilet.

If, after taking all of these points into consideration, you still have your heart set on getting another cat or kitten, you can watch our video for advice on how to plan a proper introduction.

 

Friday, 13 September 2019

6 cat superstitions and the truths behind them

Cats are the subjects of many strange superstitions from across the world, from the idea that they have nine lives, to the good or bad luck (depending on where you live) brought by a black cat crossing your path.

No matter how much we might like to believe these memorable myths are true, they’re usually nothing more than tall tales passed down through the generations.

Here are some particularly peculiar superstitions people believe about moggies and some of the truths behind them…

A grooming cat means unexpected visitors are coming 


brown tabby cat grooming its leg

While you might like the idea that your moggy is trying to look their best for new visitors, they’re probably only thinking of their own personal hygiene. Most cats spend 10% of their waking time grooming, so unless you’ve got visitors popping in all the time, then on most occasions it will certainly be a false alarm! For information about cat grooming, visit www.cats.org.uk/grooming

A sneezing cat means good luck is on the way 



close up of the pink nose of a grey cat

According to this superstition, hearing one sneeze from your cat will bring you good luck but hearing three will mean you’re going to catch a cold. Of course, one sneeze from your cat probably means they’ve just sniffed up some rogue cat hair, but several sneezes may mean a trip to the vet is in order! For advice on how to spot if your cat has cat flu, visit www.cats.org.uk/cat-flu

Feeding a cat from your shoe will improve your love life 


a tiny black kitten sitting next to some trainers

This bizarre myth states that if a woman’s cat eats from her shoe, she’ll soon receive a marriage proposal. In reality, any potential suiters will probably run a mile from her tuna-smelling feet! You’re much better off feeding your cat from a traditional pet food bowl – it will save you a fortune in footwear. For more advice about feeding your cat, visit www.cats.org.uk/diet

A kitten born in May will be troublesome 


a tiny black kitten sticking its tongue out

Although it is towards the start of ‘kitten season’ (the majority of kittens are born between April and September), there’s no reason why kittens will be anymore mischievous in May compared to other months. Young kittens are naturally curious and playful, so they’ll always need some supervision to make sure they don’t get into trouble. To find out how to look after kittens, visit www.cats.org.uk/kittencare

When moving into a new home, letting the cat enter first will bring good luck 


a ginger cat sitting in a doorway

While your moggy will certainly be curious about their new territory, it will probably bring you better luck if you go in first and get everything set up for them before they arrive. Moving your cat into a new house requires a bit of planning to make sure they settle in well and you can find lots of tips on how to do this at www.cats.org.uk/moving-home

Black cats protect fishermen at sea 


a black cat lying on a red sofa

Many superstitions wrongly identify black cats as being bad luck, which is particularly sad when you consider that they are often overlooked by potential new owners. In fact, this is why we have National Black Cat Day on 27 October every year, to show our monochrome moggies a bit of extra love! While this superstition paints black kitties in a more positive light, as protectors and good luck charms, they would probably be happier on dry land rather than at sea! To find your own lucky black cat, visit www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat

Do you know any crazy cat superstitions that aren’t on our list? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter!

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

Five kittens dumped in Norfolk countryside survive against the odds

A group of five tiny kittens are recovering in the care of Cats Protection after being found dumped in the Norfolk countryside.

The kittens – thought to be about a week old – were found on Friday 6 September, semi-comatose and covered in manure beside a cat carrier in a hedge near the village of Thurlton.

a group of tiny black, white and ginger kittens lying on a blanket

A dog walker chanced upon them and rushed them to a local veterinary practice, who in turn contacted Cats Protection’s Anglia Coastal Branch.

Volunteers from the branch have been busy looking after the kittens ever since and have called them Daisy, Heath, Heather, Poppy and Yarrow.

“These kittens are so lucky to be alive, it was a really horrendous act to have just dumped them,” says Lynne Pothecary, a volunteer for the branch.

“Two of the kittens were lying on top of each other while three others had fallen out of their carrier and had rolled down a verge. They were so young that their eyes were still closed and they couldn’t walk.

“They were all cold to the touch and weren’t going to last much longer in the chilly autumn temperatures.

“Since Friday, we’ve been keeping the kittens warm using blankets and mini-heatpads and feeding them every two hours to get their strength up. We will find them new homes when they reach nine weeks of age and are old enough to be domestic pets.

“The easiest way to avoid unwanted kittens in the future is to neuter pet cats. Just one unneutered female cat can produce up to 18 offspring in a year so neutering will drive down the number of kittens that are abandoned in such terrible circumstances.”

If you would like to offer any of the kittens a home, you can contact the Anglia Coastal Branch on info@angliacoastal.cats.org.uk or phone their helpline on 0345 271 4202 (lines are open Monday-Friday, 8.30am-6.00pm or Saturday, 9.00am-3.00pm). 

To find out more about how Cats Protection can help with the cost of neutering, or to find cats looking for homes in your area, visit the Cats Protection website.

Monday, 9 September 2019

Strictly’s Len Goodman supports remembering Cats Protection in your will

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Len Goodman is supporting Cats Protection through Remember a Charity in your Will Week.

Len Goodman sitting on sofa with Cats Protection and Remember A Charity Week logos

Len is showing his support to Cats Protection and lots of other charities by promoting this special way of giving. With gifts in wills helping one in every two cats in our care; we rely on these gifts to continue giving unwanted and abandoned cats a second chance in life. For example, gifts in wills have helped our Strictly named cats Lenny and Kevin.

black cat standing in cat pen
Lenny was left behind
Both Len Goodman and little Lenny grew up in London, but this cat didn’t have the most glamorous start to life. Lenny came into the care of our North London Adoption Centre after he was sadly abandoned by his first owner, then when his neighbour who started feeding him moved away, he found himself left behind for a second time.

Luckily for Lenny he was bought into the care of Cats Protection where our amazing cat care assistants devotedly looked after him. His calm and placid nature began to shine through and with the love and attention provided by the North London Adoption Centre, he was lucky enough to find a new home.

black cat lying on blanket in front of red door
Kevin had some nasty injuries 
Kevin was in a similar boat to Lenny, he was found straying in a garden with a nasty abscess wound to his face. With the help of our East Surrey Branch, Kevin received the necessary antibiotics and wound cleaning treatments to help his injury heal. Kevin was also de-fleaed, wormed, neutered, vaccinated and microchipped and once he had recovered from his treatments he gained confidence very quickly.

Kevin’s loving affectionate nature soon began to shine through and he found his forever home. His new owners described finding Kevin as love at first sight and now he’s living the dream with all his creature comforts provided for, and his days on the road are firmly behind him.

Leaving a gift in your will, big or small, can help cats like Lenny and Kevin by bringing them in from the streets and enabling us to find them the loving home they deserve. The kind gifts left to us provide the cats in our care with a safe and loving environment where their dietary and health needs are met and they are supplied with endless amounts of affection from our amazing volunteers and employees.

This Remember a Charity in your Will Week could you consider helping cats in this special way? Cats Protection can even help you with the cost of writing a will through our current free wills offer. 

If you would like to find out more about leaving a gift to Cats Protection and our free will offer, please visit www.cats.org.uk/giftsinwills email giftsinwills@cats.org.uk or call us on 01825 741 271.

Saturday, 7 September 2019

Superhero volunteers changing the world for cats

The amazing work Cats Protection does to help cats in need would not be possible without our team of incredible volunteers.

Over 11,000 cat lovers across the UK donate their time, skills and passion to improving the lives of unfortunate felines and we think every one of them is a superhero.

At this year’s National Cat Awards we took the opportunity to celebrate just a few of our amazing volunteer teams who have brought about a particularly positive result for cat welfare.

Here are the inspiring stories of our Star Team Award finalists. You can find out who won below! 

Bolton & Radcliffe Branch help cat owners at food banks 


Helping people in need care for their cats has always been a priority for Cats Protection’s Bolton & Radcliffe Branch and in November 2017 volunteers decided to look for ways to engage more with their local community.

Cats Protection volunteer holding ginger and white cat

The result was a collaboration with two local food banks, allowing the branch to give cat food and neutering assistance to owners in financial difficulty.

The volunteers attended food banks regularly, chatting to people as they queued and offering to meet the full cost of neutering as well as providing transport to vets.

The partnership has helped countless owners and their cats with the short-term need for cat food and will also have a long-term impact in reducing the number of breeding cats locally.

Val Fryer, Branch Secretary, said: “It is obviously a very stressful time for people who have run into financial difficulty and we understand that many owners worry about how this will affect their pets.” 

As well as joining forces with food banks, the branch has been active in supporting local teenagers taking part in the National Citizen Service, a government-backed project designed to build skills for work and life.

 

Frome & District Branch team up with local college to care for cats


A collaboration between Cats Protection’s Frome & District Branch and its local college is helping even more cats in need, as well as giving animal care students a greater understanding of feline welfare.

Cats Protection volunteer stroking black cat

Volunteers at the branch worked with Bath College to install a mini four-pen cattery at its Animal Care department.

Following months of planning and training, the unit opened early in 2019, with students providing day-to-day care under the close supervision of teachers and guidance from Cats Protection.

Homing & Welfare Officer, Mandy Wescott said: “We provide ongoing training and guidance, as well as organising admissions, vet checks and rehoming. It’s a win-win situation for everyone – we’re able to help more cats and the cats themselves enjoy plenty of care and attention from a large number of capable students.

“The students themselves benefit not only from the experience of providing hands-on care, but also from working with Cats Protection on feline welfare.”

 

Glasgow Branch rehome 70 cats from one flat


It seemed like another normal day for Kathy Dunsmore, Coordinator for Cats Protection’s Glasgow Branch, but when they received a call asking for help to take in 25 cats from a two-bedroom flat, she braced herself for a busy few days.

Cats Protection volunteer holding ginger and white cat

Together with fellow volunteers Myra Murphy and Lorraine Currie, Kathy went to the property in South Glasgow. Within a few minutes of arriving, it was clear there were many more cats – in fact, the team was to remove a total of 70 cats over the course of five days.

With the cats living in very cramped conditions with no access to outdoors, conditions were particularly difficult for the volunteers to work in. All the cats needed vet checks and most needed neutering and litter training. The team worked closely with contacts at local vets to minimise stress to the cats while they were transported for treatment.

The next challenge was finding space for such a huge influx of cats so the team put out an urgent appeal to neighbouring volunteer-run branches and centres.

Kathy said: “The resident had done the right thing in calling for help but there’s no doubt it was a very challenging situation. We worked round the clock to make sure all of the cats got the care they needed and found a place for all of them. The teamwork was quite simply outstanding and I’m so proud of everyone who helped out.”

 

And the winner is… we think they're all winners but you can find out who won the public vote on the Cats Protection website!

If you’re thinking of joining our team of cat heroes, you can find out more about volunteering for Cats Protection at www.cats.org.uk/volunteering

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

One-day-old kittens rescued from a skip just in time

A litter of five kittens have had a lucky escape after being rescued from a skip just minutes before it was due to be collected.

On Friday 2 August, volunteers from Cats Protection’s Welwyn & Hatfield Branch were called to a business premises in Welwyn Garden City where the skip was located.

The black-and-white and grey-and-white kittens were lucky to have been spotted in time but worryingly, there was no sign of the mother.

tortoiseshell cat with her litter of black and white and grey and white kittens
Shy mother Skippy with her litter of kittens
With the kittens being just one day-old, volunteers knew that finding the mum was crucial, as the kittens were too young to be separated.

They spent the next four hours waiting for the mother, named Skippy, to return so they could trap her, and eventually she made an appearance.

We can only assume that Skippy, who was not microchipped, sought refuge in the waste container before giving birth to her litter of kittens.

Once in Cats Protection’s care, the kittens were given some much-needed TLC in a foster home but sadly, one kitten who was struggling to feed properly, passed away at just 10 days old.

“One of our dedicated fosterers had to hand-rear the poorly kitten, who we named Hamish, by doing hourly tube feeds throughout the day and night in the hope that he would gain strength. Sadly, despite all our efforts, he passed away,” said Carolyne Smith, Branch Coordinator at Cats Protection’s Welwyn & Hatfield Branch.

“Now at around two weeks old, the remaining four kittens and Skippy, who’s thought to be only a year old herself, are on the road to recovery.

“We’ve named the kittens Hodgepodge, Mishmash, Knickknack and Trinket. The total cost of their treatment, medication and after care, has so far cost more than £250. Anything people can donate to help cover this cost will be hugely appreciated and will go a long way to helping.”

If you would like to make a one-off donation towards the care of Skippy and her kittens, you can visit www.cats.org.uk/welwynhatfield Any funds raised above the centre’s target will be used to help other cats and kittens currently in the care of the charity’s Welwyn & Hatfield Branch.

It will be a while before Skippy and her kittens will be ready for homing but if you would like to find cats and kittens waiting for homes in your area, you can visit www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

How to create the ideal home for your cat

Whether you’re new to cat ownership or have had a moggy in your life for several years, you’ll no doubt want to make your pampered puss feel happy in their home.

While cats usually have no problem slotting in to your house and making it their own, there are a few things they’ll need to make sure they’re truly comfortable and content.

long haired ginger cat sitting on stairs

The important thing to remember is that if you have more than one cat, each cat will need their own set of resources (eg bowls, litter trays, beds, scratch posts) plus one extra. Therefore, if you have two cats, you’ll need three of everything.

With all these cat accessories it can be difficult to know where to put them. If you’re bringing a new cat home it’s best to set them up with their very own room at first, placing all their resources inside so they know exactly where to find them. Then, when they’re settled and start to explore more of the house, you can move their things into more suitable locations.

Here are some tips for where to put all of your cat’s important resources…

Food and water bowls 


tabby kitten licking its lips

The key thing to remember with food and water bowls is to keep them apart from each other. Cats prefer to drink in a separate location to where they eat to avoid cross-contamination, so placing the bowls next to each other could cause them to eat or drink less than they need to.

Cats also like peace and privacy during meal times, so put the bowls in an area where they will not be disturbed or watched by other cats (eg avoid putting them next to windows or doors). They also like to be able to survey the room while they eat, so make sure there is space for them to sit behind the bowl with their back to the wall.

Litter tray 


tabby cat looking up at camera

Just like us, cats need privacy when they go to the toilet, so make sure their litter tray is in a quiet part of the house away from windows and doors. It also needs to be away from their food and water bowls to avoid cross-contamination.

Your cat will need to have access to their litter tray at all times, so avoid putting it in a room that will be closed off regularly. Even if your cat regularly goes outside to toilet, it’s still a good idea to have a litter tray indoors in case their outdoor loo is ever inaccessible (eg due to bad weather).


Scratch post 


white cat asleep against scratch post

If your cat likes to scratch a particular piece of furniture or carpet, then place their scratch post nearby as a convenient alternative. You can then cover up the damaged area to encourage them to use the scratch post instead.

Other places that are good for scratch posts are near to entrance/exit points (eg the cat flap) as scratching helps cats identify their territory, or next to their bed as they like to have a stretch and scratch after a snooze.

Bed 


ginger cat asleep in fleecy bed

Whether it’s a fancy shop-bought bed or a simple cardboard box lined with a blanket, your cat will appreciate a quiet, private area for a snooze. Avoid placing their bed in a busy room (such as the kitchen) or near to noisy household appliances.

Cats also like to rotate their sleeping areas to avoid the spread of fleas, so make sure they have a couple of snoozing options around the house. Anywhere cosy and warm is sure to be a hit!

Hiding place 


cream and grey cat peeking out through a gap in the window

Cats love to hide away when they’re feeling stressed, so make sure they have somewhere to escape to whenever they feel the need. A cardboard box in a quiet area of the house is ideal!

They also like to perch up high so they can get a good view of their surroundings, so will appreciate access to high shelves or the top of a wardrobe. Make sure they can get up and down safely on their own.

Now you know the best places to put all of your cat’s things, you can test your knowledge with our fun interactive house plan game. See if you can place all of Bob’s resources in the correct areas of the house so he can be a happy cat in his new kingdom! 

Friday, 30 August 2019

Arlo the cat born with a facial deformity needs a new home

One-year-old Arlo is looking for a loving new home after being taken in by Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre.

He was handed into the centre earlier this month after his previous owner was not able to keep him in rented accommodation.

tabby and white cat with a facial deformity

While staff say Arlo’s deformity may give him a shorter life expectancy, he is currently happy, playful and able to lead a normal life.

Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre Manager Sue Dobbs said: “Arlo is an absolute sweetheart, and he’s charmed all the staff at the centre. He may look a bit different from other cats, but he’s got a lot of love to give, and is full of fun and mischief.

“We’re not able to tell what has caused Arlo’s facial deformity but it doesn’t seem to be causing him a problem at the moment. He has had a thorough vet check, and although he seems healthy, we can’t rule out any further internal issues, which may cause a problem later on. It’s also possible that he may have a shorter life expectancy.

“We really hope this won’t put off prospective owners, as Arlo is such a lovely cat and deserves a happy and loving home.”

If you would like to offer Arlo the loving new home he deserves, please contact Bridgend Adoption Centre on bridgend@cats.org.uk or telephone 01656 724 396. 

To find other cats looking for homes in your area, visit www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Quincey returns after going missing for 12 years

A cat who had been missing for over 12 years has finally been reunited with his family after being taken in as a stray by Cats Protection.

Black-and-white Quincey disappeared in December 2006 from his home in Witham, Essex, where he was the much-loved pet of Margaret Smith.

Despite months of searching no trace was found, and Margaret died two years later, always believing he must have died in a car accident or from an illness.

woman holding black and white cat
Margaret's daughter Paula with Quincey the cat
But 12 years on, the adventurous puss was taken in by volunteers from Cats Protection’s Colne Valley Branch after he was reported as a stray living in Braintree, Essex.

A quick scan revealed Margaret’s details, and further research by Cats Protection volunteers using social media sites located her daughter Paula, who lives in Braintree.

Paula, who decided to keep her late mother’s cat said: “My mum really adored Quincey, he was such a friendly and lovable cat. She was heart-broken when he went missing and searched high and low for him, without any luck.

“Because Quincey had epilepsy, we thought he must have had a fatal fit, or had been hit by a car. Mum eventually moved on and even got another cat, before she passed away two years later.

“Then out of the blue last week, I saw a post on Facebook from the local branch of Cats Protection trying to trace relations of Margaret Smith, along with a photo of Quincey. They’d scanned him for a microchip and found her details but then discovered she’d died. I really couldn’t believe it and phoned straight away.

“It’s such wonderful news, and so great to see Quincey again. All my family are huge cat lovers, so I had no hesitation in taking him in. He’s a very old cat now, but he’ll be getting lots of cuddles and attention so he can live out his older years in comfort.

“Mum would have been really pleased he’s finally made his way back to us, as she really adored him.”

Jan Lardelli, volunteer at Cats Protection’s Colne Valley Branch, said: “Sadly Margaret died long before Quincey was found, but because he had been microchipped we were able to trace her family. It’s always lovely to see people reunited with much-loved cats, and it’s clear how special Quincey is to Margaret’s family.”

The happy reunion comes as Cats Protection renews calls for a change in the law to ensure that all owned cats, like dogs, are microchipped.

To find out more about the importance of microchipping, visit www.cats.org.uk/microchips-reunite

Wednesday, 28 August 2019

Tiny kittens dumped in a derelict caravan find new homes

Three five-week-old kittens that were dumped in a derelict caravan by the River Great Ouse have recovered from their ordeal and found new owners.

three tabby kittens sitting in a basket
The caravan kittens after their rescue
The team at Cats Protection’s Downham Market Adoption Centre were alerted to the kittens on 1 July by workers who were carrying out maintenance at the end of the charity’s property.

Named after cocktails, the kittens Jack Rose, Jagertee and Jazmin were covered in fleas and needed some urgent TLC.

a derelict caravan in an overgrown field
The caravan where the kittens were found
“At five weeks old, the kittens were far too young to be separated from their mum. Our team of cat care assistants had to encourage them to go to the toilet and eat solid food”, said Lindsay Tempest, Adoption Centre Manager.

One of the charity’s neutered resident mousers, Selby, who helps with rodent control, was also found curled up with the kittens in the caravan.

grey tabby kitten sitting in someone's gloved hand
Jazmin Sour
“Selby must have spotted the kittens in need and snuggled up to them for protection,” added Lindsay.

“We believe the kittens were dumped as, apart from being covered in fleas, their long coats were in great condition and they are super friendly.

tabby and white kitten being help by a Cats Protection volunteer
Jagertee
“I urge anyone who is no longer able to care for their cat or kittens to get in touch with us. We understand that life can change drastically and rapidly, so there’s no judgement when cats and kittens are handed over to us - we just want them to be safe and well.

“It also helps if we can be given as much information as possible about a cat or kitten’s history, personality and likes or dislikes which we can pass on to future adopters.

tabby and white kitten sitting in someone's hand
Jack Rose
“Supported this year by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, cat care assistants here at the centre had to find out everything an owner would have been able to tell us in a few minute. It was a gradual but important process which ensured the kittens had the most nurturing time here at the centre before being matched with the ideal home.”

Happily, Jack Rose, Jagertee and Jazmin have now found their forever homes, after being neutered, microchipped and vaccinated by Cats Protection.

If you would like to donate towards the cost of the kittens’ care, you can visit www.cats.org.uk/downhammarket 

To find cats and kittens looking for homes in your area, visit www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Why does my cat...? Common cat questions answered

Owning a cat can certainly be a learning curve as you work out what they are trying to tell you with their various meows, purrs and quirky behaviours.

When they can’t tell you exactly what they’re thinking, it’s a challenge to translate their subtle, and not-so-subtle, signs into something you can understand.

long-haired tabby cat lying on the floor

The trick is to look at things from your cat’s point of view, but to do that you need to know how they think and why they do the things they do.

To answer some of the most common questions from worried cat owners, we’ve produced some handy video guides on cat behaviours starring our lovely cartoon cat Beryl.

Why does my cat keep hiding? 


Hiding is a natural behaviour for cats as it helps them to feel safe, especially if they’re in a stressful situation.

Sudden noises, unfamiliar people or even the presence of other cats can all make your cat want to find a safe place to hide away so it’s important to give them the opportunity to do so.

To find out what to do if your cat is hiding more than usual, watch our video guide. It’s important to remember that if your cat is hiding for long periods of time, it’s best to speak to your vet to rule out any medical problems.


Why does my cat scratch the furniture? 


When your cat starts digging their claws into your sofa or carpet, it is understandably very frustrating. However, getting angry and punishing the cat will only make the problem worse.

The best thing to do is to give your cat another outlet for their natural scratching behaviour, such as a scratch post.

For more tips on preventing your cat from damaging your furniture, watch our video.


Why does my cat wake me up at night?


Many cat owners will be familiar with their cats waking them up in the early hours of the morning, whether it’s a paw in the face, an urgent meow or knocking something off the side.

Quite often we will indulge their cry for attention by getting up to feed them, but this will only encourage them to do it more.

If you would like a lie in, watch our video to discover some tricks for switching off your cat alarm clock.


Why does my cat toilet outside the litter tray?


It’s never nice to have to clean up after your cat when they’ve made a mess on the floor, but the reason behind their little accident could be quite simple.

For example, it may be that their current toilet isn’t suitable for them, so take a look at our video below to find out how to create the perfect cat loo.


Why does my cat attack me? 


Playing with your cat is a great way to bond with them, but sometimes the play can be painful when they choose to pounce on your hands and feet.

To keep your fingers and toes safe, there are some simple things you can do, including a clever distraction technique and feeding games. Watch our video to find out more.

For more help and advice for dealing with your cat’s problem behaviours, visit the Cats Protection website

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Top poems about cats for National Poet’s Day

Having a cat lends itself purrfectly to curling up with a book – what could be better on a quiet afternoon? In celebration of National Poet’s Day, we’ve put together our list of top poems about cats.

Whether you’re a fan of a classic verse or you’ve got a fancy for a feline fable, there is something for you to enjoy.



Macavity, the Mystery Cat, TS Eliot

Arguably one of the most famous cat-loving poets, TS Eliot’s book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats includes nonsense verses about cats for the writer’s godchildren. Perhaps most notable is Macavity, a feline master criminal who will soon feature in film. In fact, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical inspired by the poem, Cats, comes to the big screen in December.

“Macavity, Macavity, there's no one like Macavity, For he's a fiend in feline shape, a monster of depravity.
“You may meet him in a by-street, you may see him in the square – but when a crime's discovered, then Macavity's not there!”

The Owl and the Pussycat, Edward Lear

Featuring poetry’s classic odd couple, this playful rhyme documents a love affair between an owl and a pussycat as they go to sea in a beautiful pea green boat. While the verse is completely rooted in fantasy, it is undoubtedly one of the most famous cat-themed poems.

“They dined on mince and slices of quince, which they ate with a runcible spoon, and hand in hand on the edge of the sand, they danced by the light of the moon.”

She Sights a Bird, Emily Dickinson

This dramatic poem amps up the tension as it describes a cat as it spots a bird. Perfectly describing the cat’s jaw stirring and her alerted stance, it is a short and sweet poem that cat owners can enjoy.

“She sights a Bird — she chuckles —
She flattens — then she crawls —
She runs without the look of feet —
Her eyes increase to Balls —"

The Cat and the Moon, WB Yeats

A mystical poem by famed Irish poet WB Yeats, The Cat and the Moon focuses on a cat trying to teach the moon to dance and is both romantic and dreamlike.

“Minnaloushe creeps through the grass, alone, important and wise, and lifts to the changing moon his changing eyes.”

Cats Sleep Anywhere, Eleanor Farjeon

Many cat owners will be familiar with their cat’s strange sleeping habits – and their penchant for choosing a place to snooze! This poem focuses on their many napping spots throughout the house, in a humorous rhyme.

“Fitted in a cardboard box,
In the cupboard with your frocks,
Anywhere! They don’t care! Cats sleep anywhere!”

Do you have a favourite cat-themed poem? Let us know by tweeting us @CatsProtection.

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Bridgend Adoption Centre celebrates helping 33,000 cats in 25 years

Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre first opened its doors 25 years ago and has rehomed more than 33,000 cats and kittens in that time.

Staff and volunteers at the centre have also helped thousands more cats through their neutering and education work.

“It’s amazing to think we’ve helped that many cats over the years – you just get on with the job each day, doing the best you can for the cats in your care” said Deputy Manager Molly Hughes.

Cats Protection staff and volunteers holding a banner
The Bridgend team are hosting an anniversary party on 7 September
“Before you know it, it’s a quarter of a century later and you realise you’ve helped more than 30,000 cats move to great new forever homes!”

Molly has worked at the centre ever since it opened, starting out as a cat carer and now working as deputy manager.

She said: “The way we work has changed a lot since 1994 – when we first opened there were no computers, no reception, just a phone and a notebook!

“We now have 24 members of staff and more than 70 volunteers helping us care for the cats, raise money, run reception and maintain the building.”

Everyone at the centre agrees that the best thing about their work is making a difference for cats and changing their lives for the better.

These include seven kittens found dumped in a zipped-up handbag and left for dead outside the centre in 2011.

When the abandoned kittens were spotted by a passer-by, they were only semi-conscious, suffering from a lack of oxygen and heat exhaustion. Luckily the kittens recovered from their ordeal and were soon found loving new homes.

bundle of kittens of a variety of colours sleeping
The kittens found inside Parc Prison, Bridgend 
In 2013 six tiny kittens were found inside Parc Prison, Bridgend. Named Jessica, Sherlock, Christie, Marple, Kojak and Morse, the kittens – and their mum Agatha – got an early release when Cats Protection found them great new owners.

The following year, stray cat Donatella won hearts and gave staff and volunteers a Christmas surprise when she gave birth to a huge litter of 11 kittens.

brown tabby cat with a litter of newborn kittens
Donatella with her litter of 11 kittens 
Sue Dobbs, centre manager, has been at the centre for 21 years and says it’s like being part of a big family. She said: “It’s extremely varied and no two days are the same – it’s definitely never boring!

“We’re lucky to have a lot of support from the public. Lots of us have family and friends who say that – wherever they go in the world – they always meet someone who knows someone else who has adopted a cat from us. Unbelievable!”

Staff and volunteers often find themselves trying to help people as well as cats.

“It can be frustrating if you’re trying to help someone but they don’t necessarily want to be helped,” said Sue.

"For example, some time ago we took in some cats from a lady in Cardiff because she had too many and it was all too much for her. But unbeknown to us, she’d hidden a cat upstairs in the house and the situation soon escalated again.”

tiny tabby and white kitten being fed milk from a bottle
One of the Parc Prison kittens being bottle fed by Bridgend staff
Despite incidents like these, most of the time the work is extremely rewarding and support for the centre is constantly growing – in recent years, this is largely thanks to the rise of digital media.

More than 19,000 people follow Bridgend Adoption Centre on Facebook, giving the team the chance to educate people across the UK and around the world about good cat welfare.

Sue said: “We have followers from more than 50 countries and people from outside the UK regularly donate to our fundraising appeals.

“Social media allows us to tell the story of what we do and helps a lot with fundraising. It’s our window to the world and a huge audience we didn’t have before.

“It’s helping us to help even more cats – so here’s to the next 25 years!”

To find out more about the work of Bridgend Adoption Centre, visit www.cats.org.uk/bridgend

Monday, 19 August 2019

How to take amazing photos of your cat

If you want to know if someone is a cat owner, you only need to take a look at the photo album on their phone, or even their phone screen background, to find out.

black and white cat in front of a green background

Taking countless photos of your cute kitty is a great way to preserve your memories of them and share their antics with others, but our moggies are not always the easiest to photograph.

To help you capture some stunning cat photos, we’ve put together our top feline photography tips as well as some advice on setting up your camera, no matter what kit you have.

Feline photography top tips infographic

If you have a smartphone:


1. Explore your settings
Although smartphone cameras are often quite simple, some do have different shooting modes to choose from. See if you can select a pet mode or portrait mode, or even find a new camera app that will allow you to adjust some more settings.

2. Turn off flash
Before you take a photo make sure the flash is turned off as this could startle your cat. Shoot outdoors or in a well-lit room for lovely bright shots.

tabby cat sitting in basket next to window

3. Tap to focus
Just before you take the shot, tap on the screen to focus. The best point to focus on is your cat’s beautiful eyes, they are the window to the soul after all.

4. Edit your snaps
Once you’ve got the shot, use one of the many photo editing apps available to tweak your shot, making it brighter if needed or adding a stylish filter.

If you have a compact camera:


1. Select your mode
Most compact cameras allow you to choose from different shooting (or scene) modes, and there may even be a pet mode. If not, you can select a portrait mode if your kitty is sitting still, or an action mode if they’re in a playful mood.

2. Stay in focus
When selecting your focus mode, it’s best to choose continuous autofocus as this will do all of the hard work for you, especially if your model is on the move!

ginger cat leaping through the grass

3. Use natural light
Make sure the flash is switched off as this could scare your moggy. It’s best to use natural light instead by shooting outdoors or in a well-lit room.

4. Keep shooting
Many cameras have a burst or continuous shooting mode which will take several shots, one after the other, every time you press the shutter button. This will increase your chances of getting the perfect shot – you can just delete all the blurry ones later.

If you have a DSLR:


1. Choose your lens
A zoom lens if often useful when photographing cats as you won’t need to invade their personal space. However, if they like getting up close and personal, a portrait lens might give you a nice soft focus background effect.

2. Set up
Selecting a fast shutter speed is often better for cat photography, as it will help you capture sharp shots even if your kitty moves. If you can’t find enough natural light for your shot, increase the ISO instead of using the flash to make your photos brighter.

ginger and white cat lying down outside

3. Banish blur
If your camera has a continuous autofocus mode, this will help to keep moving subjects in focus. If your cat is sitting still, then manual or single point focus is preferred, as you can really focus in on their eyes.

4. Increase your chances
Shooting with burst or continuous shooting mode switched on will increase your chances of getting a good shot as the camera will take several shots, one after the other, each time you press the shutter button.

Once you’ve got the hang of setting up your camera, try taking your shots from all sorts of creative angles to get some truly unique snaps. From mid-pounce action shots to captivating portraits, the possibilities are endless when it comes to capturing your moggy in all their glory.

Don’t forget to share your amazing photos with us @CatsProtection on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, we’d love to see the results!

Thursday, 15 August 2019

Nine reasons to take on the Nine Mile Challenge for cats

Cats Protection’s Nine Mile Challenge returns this September and the idea is simple – we’re inviting you to walk or run nine miles to raise funds for cats and kittens in need.

Last year, an army of cat-lovers from across the country signed up to help local cats and kittens in need – and 2019 is set to see even more adventurers taking on the challenge.

tabby and white cat walking through long grass

Whether it's a daily jog or one big expedition, you choose how, when and in which location to complete your miles. There’s no limit to where your trek could take you!

But just in case you needed any further convincing to take on the Nine Mile Challenge, here are our top nine reasons to make like a cat and roam free…

1) Invest in some me-time 

It’s an opportunity to enjoy a change of pace away from the demands of everyday life and take the time to reset and recharge. And as you can spread the nine miles across the month, you can schedule your walks or runs for when you need the mindfulness most.

2) Get back to nature 

What better way to admire the scenery, enjoy the outdoors, spot local wildlife and maybe even stroke a friendly moggie en route! When it comes to getting back to nature, nothing compares to a good old fashioned walk or run – and best of all, it’s completely free.

3) Meet new people 

While most cats might prefer to roam alone, there’s no reason your walk or run has to be a solo challenge. You could ask your local walking group to get involved, or run with a friend for support. Once registered, you’ll also be invited to join our Nine Mile Facebook group where you can share suggested routes and fundraising tips with fellow trekkers and runners.


man wearing backpack walking along a path

4) Boost your mood 

It’s been well documented that aerobic exercise like walking and running can help to increase the serotonin levels in your brain. The effect of this is reduced stress and a boost to your sense of wellbeing, meaning the Nine Mile Challenge might even make you happier.

5) Help the environment 

Swap your wheels for walking boots, or trade the tube for your trainers – for one week in September, why not walk or run to work instead? By turning your commute into the challenge, you’ll not only be helping cats but also doing your bit towards saving the planet.

6) Get some fresh air and exercise 

From heart health to bone strength, there are almost too many physical health and fitness benefits to list, but you can rest assured that whether you choose to run or walk the distance, it all counts. Mobile apps like Strava, Map My Walk or Run Keeper can be useful to help you track your route, speed, steps and record those all-important miles.

tabby and white cat sitting under cupboard with some trainers

7) Enjoy the long summer days 

We often see an Indian summer in September so, just like a cat, enjoy being outdoors and make the most of the weather before winter comes. By soaking up the sunshine, you’ll help to top up your vitamin D levels and give your immune system a welcome boost too.

8) Explore a new area near you 

It’s the perfect excuse to roam further afield than your usual walk to work or jog through the park. Research a new route and you might even discover a local beauty spot you never knew existed. Organisations like the National Trust have some great recommendations for walks in your area.

9) Feel good about helping cats 

Your legs may be aching and you might have a blister coming on, but just think of how amazing you’ll feel knowing that your steps will help cats and kittens get back on their paws. You can be proud of being a fantastic fundraiser and a real #CatChampion!

So what are you waiting for? Dig out your trainers and register for the Nine Mile Challenge now!

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Kitten found abandoned in a plastic box needs your help

A 14-week-old kitten who was found abandoned in a box has had to have complex surgery costing over £1,800.

Spencer was handed in to Cats Protection’s Haslemere Adoption Centre on Monday 15 July by members of the public who found the box dumped on a road nearby.

Spencer’s mother Scarlet and sister Sugar were also in the box. All three cats were very hot and lucky to have been discovered in time.

black kitten sitting in front of cat carrier
Spencer the kitten 
“It’s shocking enough that the cats were dumped, but the fact poor Spencer was in such a state is just heartbreaking. The poor cats have definitely used at least one of their nine lives.” said Hannah Ashwell, Cats Protection’s Regional Fundraising Manager.

Scarlet and Sugar have been given the all clear but Spencer was in need of a little more investigation. He had a noticeable limp and an open, infected wound in his groin area. He was also showing signs of discomfort coming from his right hind leg.

After a referral to a specialist vets, X-rays showed that Spencer had a fracture to the top of his right femur. Because of his injuries, Spencer needed some complex surgery on his hip to stabilise the joint.

“He’s been recovering from his surgery at a fosterer’s house along with his sister Sugar,” said Hannah. “As soon as Spencer is well enough, they will be looking for their forever homes.”

Spencer has a long road to recovery and will be receiving veterinary care over the coming weeks with regular check-ups. However, Hannah and the Haslemere team believe Spencer will be back to full strength in no time at all.

Hannah added: “The total cost of Spencer’s treatment, medication and after care, will cost over £1,800. Anything people can donate to help cover this cost will be hugely appreciated and will go a long way to helping.”

Anyone wishing to donate to Spencer’s care should visit his JustGiving page. Any funds raised above the centre’s target will be used to help other cats and kittens currently in the care of Haslemere Adoption Centre.

While Spencer and Sugar will be in care a little longer, Scarlet is ready to find a new home of her own where she can enjoy some home comforts.

If you would like to find out more about adopting Scarlet you can call the centre on 01428 604 297, email haslemere@cats.org.uk or visit www.cats.org.uk/haslemere for more information.

To find cats and kittens looking for homes in your area, visit www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat

Monday, 5 August 2019

5 surprising differences between cats and dogs

With cats and dogs the most popular pets in the UK, it’s no surprise that they are often compared to one another in the great cats vs dogs debate.

Of course, we love both canines and felines equally, but there are some key differences that mean they need to be cared for in different ways – and some just might surprise you!

Here are five differences between cats and dogs, as well as a few ways they’re similar too!

tabby and white cat looking at a black and white dog

How are cats different from dogs? 


1. Cats were domesticated much later 

While there is some debate around when exactly dogs were domesticated, it has been estimated to be up to 40,000 years ago, as they would have helped early humans to hunt. Cats on the other hand are believed to have been domesticated only up to 12,000 years ago when agriculture evolved, as they were effective for pest control. Find out more about the history of cats with our blog post.

2. Dogs are a more social species 

Dogs have evolved from a social species and so they often benefit from some form of companionship. Cats however have evolved from a solitary species and so don’t need other cats to be their friends. In fact, cats can often become stressed when made to live with each other, unless they have a strong social bond. Take a look at our blog to find out if your cats are best friends.

3. Cats rely more on scent for communication


tabby cat rubbing its cheek on a puppy

As they are a social species, dogs rely heavily on body language and facial cues to communicate with each other. As cats are more solitary, they rely more on scent for communication with other cats. Scent glands on their cheeks and paws mean they can let other cats know where they’ve been by rubbing on or scratching surfaces. Want to know how your cat lets you know that they love you? Watch our video to find out.

4. Cats are better at hunting 

Even though dogs have evolved from a species that would have been able to hunt in packs, they have not retained their hunting behaviour like cats have. Cats need to be able to express their natural hunting behaviour as it releases happy hormones in their brains, so it’s important that they have the opportunity to stalk and pounce on toys. Watch our video for tips on how to play with your cat to keep them happy.

5. Dogs don’t need to eat meat 

Dogs are omnivores, meaning that provided they have a nutritionally balanced diet they do not necessarily need to eat meat. Cats however are obligate carnivores, so they must have meat in their diet in order to get all the nutrients they need to keep them healthy. For advice on what cats should and shouldn’t eat, take a look at our blog.

The similarities between cats and dogs 


black cat and brown dog lying on a sofa together

1. They can both be trained 

It’s a common misconception that cats cannot be trained like dogs can. However, with a bit of positive reinforcement, cats can be taught all sorts of things, from responding to their name to sitting on command. You just need to find something they like to encourage them! Find out how to train your cat with our blog series.

2. They both need love and care 

Cats are often considered to be easier to look after than dogs and not require as much input from their owners. However, while they can be a bit more independent than dogs, cats still need lots of care to ensure their needs are met. Owning any pet is a big responsibility, but you get out just as much as you put in! For lots of help and advice on how to care for your cat, visit the Cats Protection website.

3. They can both be part of the family 

As any pet owner will know, our furry friends really do make a house a home and manage to quickly worm their way into our hearts. And despite their differences, cats and dogs can live happily alongside each other, provided they have a proper introduction. Watch our video for a step-by-step guide on how to ensure your cat and dog get along.

Do you have a cat, a dog or both? Let us know some of the differences and similarities you’ve noticed between mogs and dogs in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter!

Friday, 2 August 2019

Monty returns home after two years thanks to his microchip

A cat who was missing for nearly two years has been reunited with his owner after finally turning up in a village three miles away.

Four-year-old Monty was reported as a stray to Cats Protection’s Bracknell & Wokingham Districts Branch after taking shelter in a garden in Farley Hill.

A quick scan of his microchip revealed the details of his owners, who had been searching for Monty ever since he went missing from their home in Aborfield in 2017.

young boy in school uniform hugging ginger cat on bed
Aaron is reunited with his best friend Monty 
Relieved owner Lydia Butler said: “We had only just moved to our new home, and despite keeping him indoors, Monty had snuck out of a small gap and must have become disorientated.

“We were so devastated and searched the streets, putting up posters and delivering fliers, but there was no sign of Monty at all. Our son Aaron took it particularly badly, as they were very close. All the time he was gone, Aaron never stopped talking about Monty.

“Eventually, and with a heavy heart, we came to the conclusion he had probably died in a road accident. So we were absolutely over the moon when Cats Protection called to say he’d been found. We brought him home, and he recognised Aaron straight away – they’ve been pretty inseparable ever since.”

Lydia added that the family have no idea where Monty could have been while he was missing, but that he seemed in good condition when he was found.

The happy reunion comes as Cats Protection renews calls for a change in the law to ensure that all owned cats, like dogs, are microchipped.

Microchipping is a safe, permanent and cost-effective method of identification which ensures cats can be reunited with their owner should they go missing. It means lost cats are not mistaken as strays and taken in by rehoming charities.

Microchipping also ensures owners can be notified if their cat has been injured or killed in a road accident. Cats Protection encourages local councils to scan any cats they collect that have died in road accidents for a microchip so their owners can be informed.

Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations said: “It’s always lovely to hear of stories where cats have been reunited with their owners, but most of these happy endings are only possible if a cat has been microchipped.

“Microchipping is an essential part of responsible pet ownership, and is already compulsory for dogs. This should now be extended to ensure all owned cats are microchipped, giving the same level of protection to keep them safe and protected.”

For more information about microchipping, visit the Cats Protection website