Thursday, 31 January 2019

Cat lovers’ dreams come true volunteering with Cats Protection

Beki and Mike Thackwray from Erdington had always dreamed of having a cat, but didn’t think they could because they live in a flat with no outside space.

However, when they saw an appeal on Facebook for indoor cat fosterers for the Cats Protection North Birmingham Branch, their luck changed.

blonde woman holding tabby and white cat and waving its paw
Beki with one of her foster cats 
Beki, who works in child and adolescent mental health, said: “Coming home to our foster cats really is our dream voluntary role.

“We worried we might want to keep the cats, but we needn’t have. Instead, we love to socialise and have fun with the cats and kittens – and then see them go off to their forever homes with their adopters who’ll give them a happy home for life. It couldn’t be more rewarding.”

So far the cat-loving couple has fostered three pairs of kittens and several adult cats.

White-and-black moggy Panda, who is FIV-positive, was the last cat they fostered. Happily, he’s already been adopted and moved to his permanent home.

man with black and white cat on his lap
Mike with Panda the cat
Although Mike, a park ranger, initially thought Beki would be more involved than he would, it hasn’t turned out that way. He said: “We’ve both completed online courses so we know how to care for the cats, and we’ve had lots of help and encouragement from Cats Protection.

“Sometimes Beki will greet the viewers and potential adopters. Then I’ll get the adoption paperwork completed and register the microchip so everyone can go home smiling and purring.

“We’re so glad to be involved with helping cats and kittens in need – we can have breaks whenever we want and it’s all at no cost to ourselves. We love it!”

Cats Protection fosterers care for cats and kittens in a spare room, in part of the house or in purpose-built garden pens. The cats can’t go outside or mix with other pets.

If you think you could foster for Cats Protection, visit www.cats.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering to find out how to get involved.

Monday, 28 January 2019

Miracle kitten survives two weeks alone in freezing weather

Libby the kitten used up at least one of her nine lives after she was abandoned in a country lane in Fareham in the freezing cold.

Volunteers from Cats Protection’s Fareham Branch found her cold, hungry, underweight and with an injured nose two weeks into her terrifying ordeal and were able to get her to safety.

black kitten with injured nose
Libby the kitten survived two weeks in the cold
Libby’s four siblings had been rescued a fortnight earlier when a member of the public contacted Cats Protection to say she had spotted some kittens in a lane near Botley Park golf course.

Lorri Seymour, Coordinator of Cats Protection’s Fareham Branch, said: “It was after 8pm and in the middle of nowhere, so it was very dark and scary – there’s just fields and a narrow lane so we only just got the car down there.

“Members of the public had managed to catch two kittens and we used traps* with food inside to catch two others – it took a couple of hours but the kittens were really hungry so they were eventually tempted inside.

ginger and black-and-white kitten cuddled together
Two of Libby's siblings enjoying being safe and warm
“The lady who called us said she’d seen five kittens, but there was no sign of the fifth. We waited as long as we could, but we needed to get the other kittens checked over – it was an awful dilemma.”

By 1am Lorri and fellow Cats Protection volunteer Trudi Farrow had taken the rescued animals to safety, but remained concerned there was another kitten who needed help.

There was no sign of her for two weeks, but against all the odds the same member of the public who had originally spotted the animals called again to say she’d seen a black kitten in the lane.

black and white kitten with black nose
The kittens were all given a full health check after their ordeal 
"Trudi, her husband Mark and I headed straight back to the lane and, thankfully, this time we managed to find and catch the remaining kitten,” said Lorri.

“It was a miracle Libby was still alive and it was so cold out there I don’t think she would have made it through another night. She must have been terrified.”

Lorri has been caring for the first four kittens at home – despite her partner being allergic to cats – and a volunteer fosterer is caring for Libby, feeding her a teaspoon of food every hour since she was rescued.

By the time Libby arrived, her siblings – some of whom might actually be similar-aged kittens from another litter – were recovering well, gaining weight and quickly gaining confidence.

four cats on a scratch post tower
The kittens have all found their forever homes 
They were all given full health checks, flea and worm treatments, and a blood test and antibiotics for some of the kittens.

Because they were found near Bishop’s Waltham, volunteers named the kittens after bishops and also people named Bishop: Lily (Bishop, American author), (Thomas) Becket, Desmond (Tutu), (Lord) Ramsey and now Libby (Lane).

The first four kittens, thought to be about 12 weeks old when they were rescued, have already been adopted and moved to their forever homes  and the branch has a list of people waiting to adopt Libby when she’s well enough.

“The number of cats being dumped is a major problem for us because it can take weeks and sometimes hundreds of pounds to nurse just one unfortunate cat back to health,” said Lorri.

“We seem to be living in a throwaway society where some people think nothing of just dumping cats.

“I urge owners to get their cats neutered as they are such prolific breeders. Just one unneutered cat can produce up to 18 offspring in a year so neutering will help to prevent more unwanted kittens like these in the future.”

 For more information about the importance of neutering, visit www.cats.org.uk/neutering  

 *Cats Protection’s Fareham Branch was able to buy new traps which were used in this rescue and other vital equipment thanks to a grant from Support Adoption for Pets.

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Meet our moon-inspired moggies looking for homes

Did you know that ‘Luna’ was the most popular cat name of 2018? According to data from microchip company Identibase, this moon-inspired moniker was the top name for cats registered for a microchip between January and December last year.


While it is not clear how Luna, which means ‘moon’ in Latin, became a favoured name for felines, there are some theories.

Dr Peter McClure, Honorary Professor at Nottingham University’s Institute of Name Studies says: “An explanation could be that cats hunt at night and their eyes shine in the dark, so they have an affinity with the moon. However, the rapid rise in popularity of Luna as a female cat name suggests that something else is going on.”

Other theories suggest that characters such as Harry Potter’s Luna Lovegood has resulted in an increase in the name’s popularity.

Whatever its mystical origin, if you’re looking for a Luna to love, we’ve got some that are still waiting for owners. With 18 Lunas currently in Cats Protection’s care, it is clear that their popular name isn’t proving any luck in helping them find forever homes.

Here are just a few of the Lunas waiting for a home.

Luna from Dereham, Norfolk


A laid-back cat who loves to be pampered and brushed, she would be an ideal pet for a family home. If you live in the Dereham area and want to adopt this adorable bundle of fluff, please call 01362 687 919.

Luna from Bredhurst, Kent


A fun-loving and energetic cat that is always on the go, this Luna would be best suited to a busy household and an experienced cat owner. If you can’t resist those eyes and want to give her a home, please call 01634 232 471.

Luna from Coventry, Warwickshire


A shy cat with a close affinity to her brother Loki, black-and-white Luna would be looking for a home where they can remain together. If you’ve got space in your heart for two gorgeous moggies, please call 02476 594 116.

To make a search for all of the cats in our care and those in your area, go to www.cats.org.uk/find-a-cat

Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Nominate your remarkable moggy for the National Cat Awards

Every year Cats Protection searches for extraordinary tales of the nation’s remarkable felines and 2019 is no exception.

Entries are now open for this year’s National Cat Awards and you have until noon on Friday 8 March to nominate your cat for one of five categories – so you need to be quick!

The categories are:
  • Hero Cat – Cats that save the day
  • Most Caring Cat – Cats that positively impact a person’s health or wellbeing 
  • Furr-ever Friends – Tales of friendship between children and cats 
  • Outstanding Rescue Cat – Fabulous felines adopted from animal charities 
  • PURINA® Better Together – Celebrating the special bond that has transformed and enriched the lives of both a feline and human  
National Cat Awards 2018 judges and winners
All of the winners and judges at the 2018 National Cat Awards - Credit: Ciaran McCrickard
The awards are sponsored by PURINA® and a panel of celebrity cat-lovers will have the difficult task of selecting winners. The winning cats’ owners will then be presented with their trophies at a star-studded ceremony at London’s Savoy Hotel on Thursday 8 August – fittingly coinciding with International Cat Day.

The overall winner will inherit the title of National Cat of the Year from Theo, who helped his owner Charlotte Dixon survive a potentially fatal blood clot.

2018 National Cat of the Year Theo with his owner Charlotte Dixon
2018 National Cat of the Year Theo with his owner Charlotte Dixon
Theo followed in the paw prints of a long line of feline heroes honoured by Cats Protection. They include Genie, who helped schoolgirl Evie Henderson battle bone cancer; Tink, who saved her owners from a house fire, and Jessi-Cat who was celebrated for helping a seven-year-old boy cope with Selective Mutism.

Broadcaster and writer Andrew Collins, whose own cat Gerry was previously a stray, will be one of the panel of celebrity judges selecting the National Cat of the Year. He said: “Cats make a house a home and whatever stage of life they join you, it improves everything. The National Cat Awards honour acts of extraordinary bravery, empathy and loyalty. Humans are lucky to be chosen and adopted by cats of all ages.”

To find out how to nominate your cat for the 2019 National Cat Awards, visit www.cats.org.uk/nca  

For a recap of what happened at last year’s star-studded ceremony, check out our post:
2018 National Cat Awards: The best quotes from the event 

To hear more about what Andrew Collins thinks of the National Cat Awards, read his guest blog: That's not my cat!


National Cat Awards 2019

Monday, 14 January 2019

How to create a cat-friendly home

Did you know that where you place items in your household might have a noticeable effect on how your cat behaves? The right environment is important for a cat – which is why they might seem stressed or disorientated in certain situations.

In aid of ‘organise your home’ day, we’re sharing advice on how to make your space appealing to your feline friend. Whether you’ve got a new cat or you’re looking to make life easier for your existing moggy, our top tips will help you create a cat-friendly home.

Setting up a place for your cat



1. Make sure the space is private – keep all guests, kids and dogs away.

2. Make the area safe by removing any potential hazards, trailing wires and poisonous items.

3. Provide a hiding space to make your cat feel safe. A box in a high place is ideal.

4. Add your cat’s essential items – you can find a full list here.

5. Provide some fun and games! Fishing rod toys, puzzle toys and feeding enrichment games are excellent additions.


Living room or downstairs bathroom – the perfect place for a litter tray

• Wherever you choose to place your cat’s litter tray, make sure it is in a quiet room that the cat always has access to. Some cats might struggle using a litter tray in areas of high footfall, such as the hallway or kitchen

• Avoid placing litter trays beside things that can be scary for the cat, such as beside washing machines or other appliances. Avoid exposed areas, such as beside glass patio doors where neighbouring cats might be able to see them toilet

• Unsurprisingly, cats can be reluctant to eat their food near to their litter tray. Keep the toileting area away from the eating area to keep your cat content

• Each cat should have its own litter tray. If you’ve got more than one cat, avoid having the trays next to each other

Kitchen – a place for your cat to eat and drink

• Cats don’t like to drink in the same place as where they eat. Place your cat’s water bowl and food bowl away from each other

• If your cat struggles to drink enough, try a water fountain. Cats often prefer moving water, making it a great alternative to a water bowl

Hallways and other rooms – a great spot for play

• If you’d like to have some time to yourself in the evening without being kneaded or head-butted, try putting an enrichment feeder in your hallway or another room in the house. If all rewards are given in one section of the house (ie: living room), that’s where the cat will be. If they learn that good things happen in other sections of the house, they are more likely to spend time there

Other tips

• Cats love to get up high – it can make them feel more relaxed. Try providing comfortable access to off-the-ground places and provide covered items for the cat in each room – a cardboard box is perfect

• Cats are often likely to scratch wherever they wake up or close to entrances and exit points if they feel unsure – these are often the ideal place to position a scratching post

If you would like to learn more about welcoming your cat home, visit www.cats.org.uk/bringing-a-cat-home

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Missing cat is reunited with his owner for Kiss a Ginger Day


In aid of Kiss a Ginger Day, we’re sharing a story of one ginger moggy who has been happily reunited with his owner after going missing.

Adventurous cat Thomas is finally settling in back at home in Wrexham after being collected by his owner, Susan, on Monday. He had been missing for the last few months. He had been in the care of Cats Protection’s Wrexham Adoption Centre after he was found living near Subway, Starbucks and the Travelodge in Rhostyllen, four-and-a-half miles away from his home.

Credit:Tom Leech

Susan said: “I couldn’t believe it when I heard Cats Protection had Thomas in its care and he was safe and well – I was devastated when he went missing and after so many weeks had gone by, I was convinced I’d never see him again.”

“Thank goodness I’d had him microchipped so they could let me know he’d been found.”

Wrexham Adoption Centre had been alerted after concern grew from local staff and customers of Subway, Starbucks and the Travelodge. Pictures of Thomas, or Teriyaki as he had become known, were posted on a lost and found Facebook page.

Tom Leech
 
 
He was then taken to the centre last Sunday, where he was scanned for a microchip and Susan’s contact details were found. Adoption Centre Manager Suzan Kennedy said: “We are so pleased to see Thomas reunited with Susan – this amazing story shows the importance of microchipping cats and keeping the contact details up to date.

“We were able to reunite Thomas with his overjoyed owner quickly and easy – without a microchip, sadly that may never have happened.”

It’s not known for sure how Thomas strayed so far from home, but it is thought he may have climbed into a vehicle and didn’t know how to find his way home.

Susan says: “I’m absolutely made up to see Thomas again and to be able to give him a great big kiss!”

Veterinary note: It’s okay to kiss your cat as long as both owner and cat are healthy, the cat is well socialised and used to this level of human contact. Avoid kissing on the lips for hygiene reasons and avoid the stomach as many cats don’t like being touched in this area. Cats tend to prefer brief interactions and greetings tend to be nose to nose.

Kiss a Ginger Day: Gorgeous ginger cats looking for a home

Today is National Kiss a Ginger Day (12 January) but instead of kissing your favourite human redhead, why not show a gorgeous ginger moggy some love instead?

Here are some of the lovely ginger cats we currently have waiting for their forever homes…

Arnie 



Five-year-old Arnie has lived most of his life on the streets, so needs a home with a patient owner who he can learn to trust. Arnie will need to be the only pet in the home, where he can have a snooze on a sofa. To give Arnie a home, contact Cats Protection’s Downham Market Adoption Centre on 01366 382 311 or by emailing downham@cats.org.uk

Peanut 



Peanut is finding life in the cattery quite unsettling as he is only 18 months old. He is in desperate need of a calm and quiet home, with a patient owner, where he can relax and show his true loving character. To give Peanut a home, contact Cats Protection’s National Cat Adoption Centre on 01825 741 330 or by emailing cattery.reception@cats.org.uk

Sebastion 



Five-year-old Sebastion has had a rough start to life after being found as a stray in a very bad condition. After much love and care, he is now ready to find a new and loving home. To give Sebastion a home, contact Cats Protection’s Framlingham & Saxmundham Branch on 01728 723 499 or by emailing homingandwelfare@framandsax.cats.org.uk

While Cats Protection does not advocate giving cats a big kiss, we do encourage showing them the love and attention they deserve.

Daniel Cummings, Behaviour Officer for Cats Protection said: “It’s better to wait for your cat to approach you rather than restraining your cat to lavish them with hugs and kisses as many cats will find this uncomfortable and unpleasant – there are many other ways to show love to your cat such as stroking, playing and slow blinking at them."

To find cats of all colours available to adopt in your area, visit: www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat

Friday, 4 January 2019

Potato truck travelling cat reunited thanks to 'chip

While many of us are likely to be steering clear of the carbs this New Year, it hasn’t stopped potato-loving cat Oliver.

The twelve-year-old black cat Oliver doesn’t have a taste for potatoes, although he does seem to have a taste of adventure. In fact, he has stowed away on a potato harvest tractor three times in the last seven years.



Located in Carmyllie in Angus, Oliver has repeatedly gone missing, only to be found in Arbroath, six-and-a-half miles away from his home. Thankfully, due to his up-to-date microchip and the help of Cats Protection’s Arborath & Canoustie Branch, he has now been reunited with his worried owners.

Oliver’s owner, John Preston, said: “Oliver’s jaunts started seven years ago when he went missing for five months. We were distraught and had almost given up hope of ever seeing him again when we heard from Cats Protection that he had been found.”

“He’s a friendly cat but quite timid with people he doesn’t know, so we think the reason it takes a while for him to be identified is that it takes him time to trust people enough to let them get close to him.”

In 2013, Oliver went missing for a few weeks before being returned home. It was hoped that his wandering days were behind him, until he disappeared again last October – this time, for two months.

John said: “Even though this was the third time Oliver had gone missing, it doesn’t make it any less worrying. As the weeks go by you do start to fear the worst, so we are incredibly happy to have him home safely again.”

Sharyn Wood, Co-ordinator of Cats Protection’s Arbroath and Carnoustie Branch, said: “This is a great example of how important it is for cats to be microchipped. We’d love all cats to be chipped to ensure many more happy returns.”

If you want to find out more about microchipping your cat, visit www.cats.org.uk/microchipping-your-cat

Thursday, 3 January 2019

New Year’s resolutions for you and your cat

Whether you’ve been a cat owner for years or have just welcomed a moggy into your life, New Year is a perfect time to make some caring commitments to your feline friend. Cats have five basic welfare needs and by fulfilling each one you can make life happier for them and you. Here are some resolutions you can make to help you meet your cats’ needs and get 2019 off to a good start.

1. Make sure your cat has a healthy diet 

Giving your cat access to suitable food and fresh water will ensure they get all the nutrients they need. A complete cat food should be enough to give them a balanced diet but avoid overfeeding as preventing your cat from gaining weight is much easier than helping them lose weight. For more advice on feeding your cat, visit www.cats.org.uk/diet

tabby cat asleep on back of sofa

2. Provide your cat with the perfect place to live 

Cats should be able to live in a suitable environment with everything they need, including food and water bowls, a comfortable bed, a litter tray, a scratching post, some fun toys and access to a high spot where they can escape to and hide. Visit the Cats Protection website to find a checklist of everything you need to supply them with.

3. Protect your cat from pain, suffering, injury and disease

 As well as keeping your cat healthy with a balanced diet, you also need to make sure they receive all of the necessary vet treatments they need, including vaccinations against common cat illnesses and regular flea and worm treatments. You should get you cat checked by a vet at least annually and have them neutered, as neutered cats lead healthier and longer lives. For more advice on keeping your cat healthy, visit www.cats.org.uk/cat-care/help-and-advice/health-search-page

tabby cat playing with toy mouse

4. Enable your cat to express normal behaviour 

There are certain behaviours that make a cat a cat, so letting your moggy exhibit these is important for their wellbeing. For example, hunting provides your cat with great physical and mental stimulation, so if you’d rather they didn’t catch prey in the garden, let them play with cat toys instead. There’s lots more information about cat behaviours at www.cats.org.uk/behaviour

5. Give your cat the choice to be apart from other cats 

Although some cats can be sociable with other cats, they generally don’t need the company of other moggies as they are evolved from a solitary species. If you have more than one cat at home, make sure they each have their own separate space to retreat to if they want to be alone, complete with their own food and water bowls, scratch posts, litter trays and beds. Visit www.cats.org.uk/other-cats to find more advice on helping cats live happily together.

Are you planning to follow our five cat commitments? Or are you already meeting your moggy's must-haves? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.