Friday, 20 December 2019

Cat and newbown kittens found in sub-zero temperatures

A one-year-old cat and her litter of newbown kittens spent one of the coldest nights of the year sheltering in a garden shed.

The feline family were found in the shed in Neath by a member of the public, who called Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre for help.

grey cat with a litter of grey-and-white and tortoiseshell kittens
Crystal with her newbown kittens. Credit: Sue Dobbs
Volunteer Rachel Davies quickly went to collect the mother cat, who has been named Crystal, along with her four kittens who were believed to be no more than one week old. The grey-and-white male kitten was named Frosty and his three tortoiseshell sisters were named Snowdrop, Snowflake and Icicle.
Cats Protection volunteer holding grey-and-white kitten in blanket
Cat Care Assistant Amanda with Frosty the kitten. Credit: Sue Dobbs
Rachel said: "When I arrived I could see Frosty wasn't as active as his sisters. He was freezing and there wasn't much response from him so I initially put him inside my top so he could benefit from my warmth. I collected the rest of the kittens and rushed them to the centre with Frosty wrapped in a towel on my car’s heated seats.”


Crystal and her daughters thrived once settled at the centre but despite initial vet treatment upon arrival and two days’ emergency care at the vet surgery, Frosty, the smallest of the kittens, did not survive.

Deputy Manager Teresa Blair said: “From the moment Crystal and the kittens arrived it was a real rollercoaster of emotions. She and her girls really benefitted from the warmth of the centre but nothing we tried seemed to help Frosty.

Snowdrop, Snowflake and Icicle are doing well
"At one point our vet decided the quickest way to save the tiny kitten was to warm him again using body heat so she placed him inside her clothing and then rushed him off to the vet practice to try to save his life. He rallied initially but just wasn’t strong enough after such a difficult start.

The kittens will be neutered, microchipped and vaccinated before being rehomed
"It’s moments like this that really hammer home to us how vital it is to neuter cats as soon as possible. Crystal is so young and we believe she is likely to have had a number of other litters already. It’s truly amazing that any of them survived the bitter weather. We will of course make sure she and the kittens are neutered before they are homed.”

To find out more about neutering and to see if you are eligible for neutering vouchers, visit www.cats.org.uk/what-we-do/neutering

Thursday, 19 December 2019

Missing cat Shimmer back at home after three-month ordeal

A cat owner who has been reunited with her missing moggy after three months has backed Cats Protection’s campaign for compulsory microchipping of pet cats.

Louise Mudd’s much-loved black puss Shimmer went missing from her home in Crown Square, Kirkbymoorside, in July.

The five-year-old cat was eventually found in October following a three-month search in which Louise and her daughters Melissa, 15, and Heather, 16, also found and reunited two other missing black cats.

two women holding a black cat
Melissa and Louise Mudd reunited with their cat Shimmer
Louise explained: “When she went missing, we searched high and low for Shimmer, leafletted all the local houses and put up posters. There was absolutely no trace, and having spoken to neighbours we feared that she may have hopped in the back of a delivery van which had been in the area when she disappeared.

“Lots of people reported sightings of black cats to us, and we checked them all out. In two cases it turned out the cats were both missing, and because they had microchips we were able to reunite them with their owners.

“But there was still no trace of Shimmer until she turned up in our churchwarden’s garden near our home in October. He gave me a call and I went straight over. She was so thin and wretched I simply didn’t recognise her, and we needed to get a vet to scan her microchip before we realised it was actually her.

"We set out to look for Shimmer and ended up finding three lost black cats, and it was thanks to them being microchipped that we were able to do this. I fully support Cats Protection's campaign to make microchipping compulsory for cats, as it keeps cats safe and makes sure they can get home if they're lost."

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

man wearing hat with ginger and white cat

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.

Madison Rogers, Cats Protection’s Senior Advocacy & Government Relations Officer 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 pet cats are microchipped, giving the same level of protection to keep them safe.”

A government call for evidence into the microchipping of cats was recently announced, giving animal lovers the chance to offer their views by contacting the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Cats Protection’s dedicated webpage is giving cat lovers the chance to have their say in the 12-week call for evidence, which runs until 4 January 2020. To send an e-letter to the government, please visit: www.cats.org.uk/microchips-reunite 

Cat lovers can also show their support by signing Cats Protection’s petition for compulsory microchipping. To find out more, please visit www.cats.org.uk/microchippingpetition

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

How to make vegan gingerbread cat cookies

Christmas-time is the purrfect opportunity to dust off your mixing bowls and wooden spoons and get baking.

Whether making tasty treats for yourself or yummy gifts for others, it’s easy to make some truly tempting creations with minimal fuss. Plus, you’ll fill your home with delicious smells of warming winter spices to really get you in the festive mood.


There are lots of ways you can incorporate your love of cats into your festive baking, whether you decorate your Christmas cake with fondant felines, or add some paw print-shaped pastry to the top of your mince pies.

You can also have a go at creating some gingerbread cat cookies, which go perfect with a cup of tea or hot chocolate. And even better, they’re vegan, so your vegan friends can enjoy them too!

Ingredients:
1tbsp chia seeds
400g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
200g coconut oil
2tbsp ground ginger
1tsp ground cinnamon
200g dark muscovado sugar
50g maple syrup

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 6. 
  2. Mix the chia seeds with 3tbsp of water. Set aside for 5-10 minutes until the mixture becomes gloopy. 
  3. Put the plain flour and coconut oil in a bowl and use your hands to mix until combined. 
  4. With a wooden spoon, stir in the ginger and cinnamon. 
  5. In a separate bowl, mix the sugar, maple syrup and chai seeds with 2tbsp of water. 
  6. Combine the sugar mixture with the flour mixture and knead together until they form a dough. 
  7. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out with a rolling pin.  
  8. Using some cat-shaped cookie cutters, cut out your cookies from the dough. If you don’t have cookie cutters, you can draw some cat-shaped templates onto paper and cut around them using a knife. 
  9. Place your cookies onto a baking tray lined with baking parchment and bake them in the oven for 10-12 minutes or until the edges start to darken. 
  10. Leave the cookies to cool for a few minutes on the tray, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool some more. 

Watch our video below to see how it’s done!


To find more inspiration for cat-themed bakes, take a look at our YouTube channel.

Miraculous moggy loses one of his nine lives after being hit by a truck

Ginger cat Matty is lucky to be alive after being hit by a truck on Whitehall Road in Gildersome.

The nine-year-old puss was picked up from the road by a member of the public who witnessed the incident, and was taken to Cats Protection’s Gildersome Homing Centre.

ginger cat

The centre staff initially feared the worst and rushed him to a vet, however they were delighted to discover that he had escaped with just a chipped tooth and some bruising.

“When we heard what had happened to him we were really worried about how badly he may have been hurt,” said Volunteer Team Leader Laura Chamberlain, whose role is funded thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who have raised £500 million for charities and good causes to-date.

“We couldn’t believe it when the vet gave us the good news and we were able to take him back to the centre. He does seem to have had a lucky escape and has definitely used up one of his nine lives!

“We named him Matty after the gentleman who brought him in. It’s reassuring to know that there are such kind-hearted people out there looking out for cats.”

ginger cat

While staff and volunteers at the centre did everything they could to help Matty settle into his pen, he was showing signs of stress so was moved into the care of a volunteer fosterer where he is doing much better.

Matty’s previous owner came forward but decided it was best for him to be rehomed away from busy roads, so he is now in need of a new home to call his own.

“Matty was a bit unsure of people at first but he is now showing his affectionate side and is always purring and demanding attention,” said Laura. “He also loves his food and a nice brush!

“He would be best suited to a quiet home where he can be the only pet, to avoid any unnecessary stress. A rural setting, away from busy roads, would be ideal for him as he previously lived on a farm.”

Anyone living in the Gildersome area who would like to enquire about adopting Matty can call Gildersome Homing Centre on 03000 12 15 05 or email gildersome@cats.org.uk 

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

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Dip for cats: Daring Danika takes the plunge to help cats

Each year thousands of brave souls from across the country don their bathers and head to the coast to take part in a festive dip in the sea.

The annual tradition sees fundraisers sport fancy dress or even strip down to their swimwear before charging into the waves – all in aid of their favourite charity.

In 2017, cat-lover Danika Mabbitt had never considered taking part in a festive dip event, but after being dared by a family member she was determined to do it.


"My brother said he’d be doing the Porthcawl Christmas Swim. It’s a Christmas morning dip at Sandy Bay in Bridgend and I suggested I might take part too, to which he replied “you’d never do that!”

“In that moment I knew I had to do it and my mission had begun! I wanted to help Cats Protection as they looked after my babies Dexter and Dinx before I adopted them,” she explained.

“The water was very, VERY cold and I was shivering for hours afterwards, but it was so worth it. The best bit for me was knowing that I had helped so many local cats.”


Fast forward to 2018 and Danika decided to do the nippy dip for the kitties for a second year, this time in memory of her much-loved cat Dexter.

“I was heartbroken after Dexter passed away,” she said. “I wanted to do the Christmas Swim again for my ginger, fluffy feline, my little tiger.”

And after throwing herself into fundraising for the event by selling toys to her work colleagues, Danika raised more than £500 for Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre.

“The whole experience has been amazing. I’ve helped the fur babies in need and proved my brother wrong, TWICE!


“To anyone thinking about taking part in a dip this year, I’d say ‘give it a go’. You don't need to swim too far and it is so worth the warm feeling knowing you are helping cats and kittens in need.”

If you’d like to dip for cats, find a local event you would like to join, register it with us and we’ll be sure to support you all the way. 

Plus, if you raise over £150 we will even send you a beautiful snuggly blue Cats Protection beach towel to wrap up in afterwards!

Ginger kitten star of People’s Postcode Lottery advert finds new home

An adorable ginger kitten from Cats Protection’s Warrington Adoption Centre has become the star of a recent television advert for People’s Postcode Lottery.

ginger tabby kitten
Nacho the kitten in his new home
Nacho the kitten was filmed for the #TogetherForCharity advert when People’s Postcode Lottery ambassadors Danyl Johnson, an X-Factor star, and Judie McCourt, a radio and TV presenter, came to visit the centre.

He appears alongside some big celebrity names, including actors Carey Mulligan, Olivia Colman and George Clooney, but we think his cute face really steals the limelight!


Since the advert was filmed, it was no surprise that Nacho quickly found his forever home with his brother Dorito and new owners Dave and Kerry Hudson.

Dave says: “Nacho is now called Ernie and his brother Dorito is now Bert. We didn’t choose the cats, they chose us. Straight away they were playful and loving with us both, it was the best decision ever. 

ginger tabby kitten standing on man's shoulder
Nacho, now called Ernie, with owner Dave
“Both cats have such different personalities – Ernie is very patient and playful, he waits for his brother to finish playing with toys before he has a go. He so loving, always after cuddles and strokes and is very inquisitive, loves guests and loves exploring.

ginger tabby kitten cuddling man's arm
Ernie having a cuddle
“Bertie is a bit more quiet but seems to be the mischievous one, climbing, knocking things over and getting into places he shouldn't!

“They are best friends and play all day. They sleep together and won't let each other out of their sight. They both settled in immediately, there are three children in the house so they get so much attention and are having a ball.”

two ginger tabby kittens sleeping next to each other
Bert and Ernie are best of friends 
Cats Protection is one of the many charities supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who have so far raised an extraordinary £500 million for charities and good causes.

We’re putting their generous support to good use, funding cat care assistant roles at our centres so we can offer the best care to cats and kittens like Nacho.

To find out more about our work with People’s Postcode Lottery, visit www.cats.org.uk/support-us/peoples-postcode-lottery

To find a new feline friend to welcome into your home, visit www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat to see the cats waiting for adoption in your area.

Monday, 16 December 2019

Stowaway cat looking for new home after hitching a ride from Israel

A cat who snuck into a container on a cargo ship from Israel and survived a 12-day journey without food or water is looking for a new home on British soil.

Izzy the tortoiseshell kitty, who is thought to be around a year old, was discovered in the container when it arrived in Southampton in April.

tortoiseshell cat inside a cat hide

Following a four-month quarantine stay, the globe-trotting moggy is now being cared for at Cats Protection’s Newbury Adoption Centre while she waits to find a new owner.

Thea Eld, the centre’s deputy manager, said: “Izzy is quite a shy cat, and we think she must have been a street cat in Israel – used to being around people, but not being handled.

“We’ll never know her full story, but it’s most likely she snuck into the container looking for food or somewhere cosy to sleep, and ended up getting locked in. It’s quite remarkable that she survived for so long without food or water in what must have been very uncomfortable conditions.

“She’s definitely an independent girl, and she’d suit a home where she can have plenty of outdoor space. It may be that she’ll prefer to spend most of her time outdoors at first, but once she gets settled, she may well begin to come inside the home.

“Izzy’s been through a lot, so we’d love to see her go to a home with a patient owner who can give her the stable home she needs after such a turbulent few months.”

To find out more about offering a home to Izzy, please call 01635 200 111 or email newbury@cats.org.uk  

Find other cats looking for homes in your area at www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Two unlucky moggies hoping for third-time-lucky in search for home

Two unwanted cats are in need of new homes in time for the festive season, having each been given up twice already.

tabby and white cat
Popsy is looking for an adult-only home with plenty of outdoor space 
Popsy and Betsy are currently being cared for at Cats Protection’s Tyneside Adoption Centre after their initial adoptions didn’t work out.

The centre is keen for them to be adopted before Christmas so they can start the New Year in their forever homes.

black and white cat
Betsy needs a quiet home where she can settle in at her own pace
Handsome tabby-and-white Popsy first came into care in May and was adopted in September but returned soon after. He is a striking and intelligent young cat who loves to explore, but can get a little over-excitable when playing. It’s possible he may have been encouraged to play with hands as a kitten.

tabby and white cat standing on back legs
Popsy showing off his lovely tum
He would, therefore, be best suited to an adult-only home with plenty of outdoor space and an experienced cat owner who will help him expend his excess energy through more appropriate play. In return he will offer plenty of affection and face bumps to his new owner.

Black-and-white Betsy originally came into care in February when her owner passed away. She was adopted in April but found it hard to settle with the children in her new home, despite her adopter’s best efforts, and came back into care in October.

black and white cat
Betsy is sweet and chatty and loves sitting on laps
She is a sweet and chatty girl who loves a lap but it is now clear that she needs a quiet home where she can settle in at her own pace. She has also put on a bit of weight and will need a little help getting back into shape.

“Obviously all the cats at the centre are deserving of loving new homes, but we’d particularly love people to consider giving Betsy or Popsy a chance after all they’ve been through this year,” said Senior Cat Care Assistant Kezzie Paxton.

Cats Protection volunteer holding tabby and white cat
Popsy will offer plenty of affection and face bumps to his new owner
“They’re both lovely cats and with a bit of TLC and understanding they will make a fantastic addition to the right household.”

This year Cats Protection’s Cat Care Assistant roles, like Kezzie’s, are being funded thanks to players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who have raised £486 million to-date for charities and good causes. 

Anyone interested in adopting either Popsy or Betsy can contact Cats Protection’s Tyneside Adoption Centre on 0191 653 1052 or email tyneside@cats.org.uk

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

Monday, 9 December 2019

Christmas cards for cat-lovers

Feline festive already? With Christmas just around the corner, you’ll no doubt be making preparations. Today is Christmas Card Day and to celebrate, we’ve put together three free printable Christmas cards, designed especially for cat-lovers.

Choose from our three designs (or perhaps opt for all three!), download them and print them out before giving them to your nearest and dearest.

Do you know someone with a cat that has a fancy for festive food? Our ‘turkey’ Christmas card is perfect for knowing cat owners. Seeking something sweet? Wish your loved ones a ‘Meowy Christmas’ with a cute greeting.

Alternatively, if you’re celebrating your first Christmas with a new feline pal in your home, how about downloading and printing our ‘forever home’ card especially for your cat? They’re sure to appreciate it – at least until the treats arrive.





Keeping your cat safe during Christmas

Concerned about your cat climbing the Christmas tree or are you considering a cat sitter if you’re going away during the festivities? Our guide to all things cats and Christmas is on the website now.

Find out more about cat-proofing your Christmas tree, how to avoid poisonous plants and how to reduce your cat’s stress while the house is overflowing! 

For more advice, go to www.cats.org.uk/cats-and-christmas