Wednesday, 19 February 2020

My cat is being bullied by another cat, what can I do?

As your cat follows you around the house and nuzzles affectionately against your hand, it can be difficult to believe that they are naturally solitary animals. While they may enjoy being around you, they’re not so keen on hanging out with other cats, and this can lead to problems when their paths cross.

Cats like to establish their own territory, making it with their scent by rubbing their cheeks against objects and leaving visual clues by scratching objects with their claws. Usually this discourages other cats from invading their space, but in densely populated towns and cities, it can be difficult for them to avoid each other.

tortoiseshell cat standing on top of a fence

Typically when two cats come face to face, they will give each other space to avoid any conflict. However, some cats can be more confrontational and willing to stand their ground than others, and this is when fights can start.

Whether your cat fights with their new neighbour or not, the sudden appearance of another cat in their territory can be enough to cause them stress. This can lead to changes in their behaviour at home, such as going to the toilet outside their litter tray, showing aggressive behaviour or hiding more than usual.

While this can be frustrating for you, it’s important not to get angry at your cat or the other cat that’s causing the problems. Their need for territory is inbuilt and not something they can help so they are not being a bully or starting a fight out of spite. Punishing them will only make the problem worse so instead it’s up to you to find a solution. Here are some things you can try…

Get a microchip cat flap 

tabby cat looking through an open cat flap

If the other cat is coming into your house and causing your cat stress, then installing a cat flap that will only open for your cat will solve the problem. You can get cat flaps that only unlock for your cat’s microchip, or ones that will only open for a magnetic collar you can put around their neck. 

Speak to the cat’s owner 

If you can find out who the other cat belongs to, it might be worth talking to the owner to try and find a solution. For example, you could work out a time-share system, where they let their cat out in the morning and you let your cat out in the afternoon, meaning they won’t come into contact with each other. You could also find out if the other cat has been neutered. Neutered cats are less likely to roam across larger areas and fight with other cats, so if the owner would be happy to get them neutered this may solve the problem.

If the cat does not have an owner, you can contact Cats Protection for help. If the cat is a stray, we may be able to take them in and rehome them, and if they are feral we can get them neutered.

tabby cat sitting in a garden

Build an enclosed catio 

To prevent your cat from crossing paths with the other cat, you could completely enclose your garden with wire fencing to keep the other cat out. This may not be possible for everyone, so you could instead create a smaller enclosure within your garden that your outdoor cat can use. Ideally make sure it has some perches for your cat to get up high and survey their surroundings, as well as some places for them to hide if they feel stressed.

Create the perfect outdoor cat toilet

The presence of the other cat may cause your cat to become too scared to use their usual outdoor toilet spot, leading them to start going to the toilet indoors. As well as making sure they have a suitable indoor litter tray to use, you can also try creating a new outdoor toilet that is closer to the house, reducing the chance of them encountering the other cat. Dig a litter tray-sized hole and fill it with sand or fine soil and place some pot plants around it to give your cat privacy.

grey tabby cat hiding in the grass in a garden

Give your cat some hiding places 

When cats feel stressed or are worried about encountering another cat, they like to hide to help them feel safe. Give your cat lots of places to hide in the garden by planting tall plants, placing potted plants around the cat flap or even creating a little outdoor enclosure for them to hide inside. It’s also a good idea to create some hiding spots indoors too. Cardboard boxes are ideal for your moggy to shelter inside!

Cover the windows 

ginger and white cat sitting on windowsill with blinds closed

Even when your cat is indoors, they may still be wary of the other cat looking through the windows at them. You could try covering the lower portion of windows with paper to block their view, or limit their access to the windowsill. Also avoid placing their food bowl, bed or litter tray next to windows or cat flaps, as they may be put off using them if the other cat is looking in. 

Use a pheromone diffuser 

To keep your cat calm when they are indoors, you can try using a plug-in pheromone diffuser such as Feliway Classic. This will fill your home with a scent they’ll find familiar, helping them to feel safe. 

Encourage your cat to play

If your cat is reluctant to go outside, they may become restless being stuck indoors. Giving them opportunities to play will help to keep them active and engaged, reducing their stress and releasing happy hormones in their brain. Try getting them to chase a fishing rod toy or give them a puzzle feeder that gets them to work for their food.

For more help and advice about your cat’s behaviour, visit the Cats Protection website

Monday, 17 February 2020

Celebrity chefs provide baking inspiration for your Pawsome Afternoon Tea

Spring is almost here and across the UK, cat lovers are preparing to bake a difference for cats and kittens in need with Pawsome Afternoon Tea.

Make sure you’re a part of it this April and get your paws on your free Pawsome Afternoon Tea party pack by registering now at

This year, Kim-Joy who was runner up in 2018’s Great British Bake Off, is supporting the cause and has contributed two special recipes to help you impress your guests.

ginger biscuits decorated to look like cats
Kim-Joy's adorable ginger biscuits
Known for her cute and creative bakes that often incorporate a feline theme into the design, Kim-Joy has recently adopted two rescue kittens of her own so is thrilled to support Cats Protection.

“My two kittens Inki and Mochi are just the best! I’ve always been moderately chilled, but these two boys make me more chilled out. Cats are good for our mental health as they are so lovely, affectionate and cuddly. There are many adorable cats out there looking for furever homes so please consider adopting not shopping if you want to get a cat!”

woman in red jumper and glasses holding two cats in front of Christmas tree
Kim-Joy holding her two kitties, Inki and Mochi
Kim-Joy’s ginger cat biscuit recipe would make the purrfect centrepiece for your Pawsome spread, and she has even created a vegan version so you can cater for everyone. Delicately decorated with beautiful cat designs, they almost look too good to eat!

Download Kim-Joy's ginger biscuits recipe 
Download Kim-Joy's vegan ginger viscuits recipe 

MasterChef 2011 winner Tim Anderson is also supporting Pawsome Afternoon Tea. He's a proud cat dad to magnifincent moggie Baloo and has contributed his Grandma Jeanne's recipe for oatmeal crispies to inspire cat lovers to get baking for kitties.

man with glasses holding black-and-white cat
Tim Anderon and his cat Baloo
Download Tim's oatmeal crispies recipe 

For more information about Pawsome Afternoon Tea and helpful resources to help you be the host with the most, visit

Friday, 14 February 2020

Aggressive feline Jaffa becomes a real ‘pussy cat’

When four-year-old ginger cat Jaffa came into the care of Cats Protection’s Downham Market Adoption Centre for displaying aggressive behaviour, it was suspected there may be underlying causes.

ginger tabby cat with front paw raised

He had clearly over groomed his whole hind quarters and his previous owner had also noticed a decrease in his appetite, so he was taken to the vet the next day.

On examination, his aggression worsened when they got to his hind quarters so he was sedated for x-rays. These showed pelvic abnormalities, with his right pelvic wing fractured and possibly fused.

The vets thought this was most likely caused by an old trauma injury, such as a possible road traffic accident, and decided on a trial of pain relief to see if this made a difference.

The centre’s Deputy Manager, Stacey Ely said: “We set out a plan to get him used to the routine of cattery life, with minimal contact for the first few days, and we had pain scoring charts to plot how he was responding now he was on treatment.

ginger tabby cat standing on back legs

“Gradually, he settled and began to respond to people in a positive way and, over time, his pain scores improved, too.

“When the vet saw him nine days later, she was amazed in the difference in him – he was mobile, far less reactive to being handled and generally much happier, approaching her for a fuss with no issues. His fur was also beginning to grow back.”

Jaffa is now signed off by the vet and ready to go to a new home.

“He will of course need lifelong pain medication, so we are looking for an experienced owner who is willing to be guided by the vets in terms of pain management and quality of life,” added Stacey.

“I think lots of people are unaware that a change in behaviour may be caused by a medical issue, so would urge anyone whose cat starts behaving unusually to take it to the vet for a check-up as soon as possible.”

Anyone living in the Downham Market area who would like to offer Jaffa a home can get in touch with Cats Protection’s Downham Market Adoption Centre on or 01366 382 311. To find cats looking for homes in your area, visit 

This year, players of People’s Postcode Lottery are supporting Cats Protection’s work by funding two behaviour roles, which provide best practice advice and practical support to the charity’s centres and branches regarding cat behaviour. Find out more at

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Purrfect Valentine's Day cards for cats and cat lovers

Whether you're coupled up with a fellow cat lover, or only have eyes for your beloved moggy, Valentine's Day is the purrfect occasion to share your love for felines.

If you're looking for the ideal card to send to your cat-mad partner (whether it's from you or the cat!) or want to let your kitty know you love them, we've got the solution.

Instead of spending money on a card, why not download one of our free designs below and print it at home. Then you can donate the money you would have spent to the cats in our care who are still waiting for their Valentine.

Even better, if you're looking for a truly thoughtful gift to give your loved one this Valentine's, why not sign them up to sponsor a cat in one of our adoption centres. They'll get regular updates about the cats their helping, so it really is the gift that keeps on giving! There are also lots more fabulous cat gifts on the Cats Protection shop!

Dowload our free Valentine's Day cards

Just click on the card to download it and print a copy at home!

If you're still looking for the love of your life, why not take a look at the unwanted cats and kittens still waiting for loving owners in your area? Visit to find your Valentine today!

Related articles:
5 ways to show your cat you really love them 
How to plan the purrfect Valentine's date with your cat

Wednesday, 12 February 2020

What do cats think of modern technology?

“Alexa, what is my cat thinking when I talk to a speaker in my living room?”

With our homes becoming ‘smarter’ and more connected, you may be wondering what cats make of all the new technology around them. From smart speakers to robot vacuum cleaners, are they baffled by these strange devices, or are they just one more thing to disturb them from a peaceful snooze?

We asked our cat experts to delve into feline feelings on modern tech…

grey and white kitten looking at a laptop screen

Smart speakers 

Unless you have your speaker’s volume set to incredibly loud, then your cat probably won’t take much notice of it. Cats’ sense of hearing is more fine-tuned towards hearing the noises of their prey (eg high pitched squeaking and rustling leaves) so unless Alexa is doing an impression of a mouse scampering through the grass, your cat will probably ignore her – much like they don’t understand when you tell them they’ve already had their dinner and no amount of meowing will get you to dish up another portion.


Again, volume is an important factor, as your cat is likely to be startled by a sudden loud blast of Ed Sheeran or Stormzy. However at a low volume, the radio could actually be quite calming for your cat, particularly when there are other loud noises, such as fireworks, going on around them. In these instances, try setting your cat up with a nice quiet room to hide in and put on a soothing classical music or talk radio station to drown out the loud noises. Some cats will prefer not to have the radio on at all, but it’s worth experimenting to see if your moggy likes Mozart or the morning news.

tabby cat asleep on a sofa


Cats are very responsive to movement, so their favourite TV shows are those that feature lots of action. Sports, car chases and of course nature documentaries featuring other animals are all on their watch list, but to be honest even the Netflix loading circle would probably catch their eye. Of course, some cats won’t be bothered at all and will happily let you choose the channel while they have a snooze. If your moggy is a TV fan though, make sure the set is sturdy and secure in case they attempt to get involved in the action and bring it crashing down.

Georgie the telly addict cat

One cat who certainly is interested in the TV is Georgie, who is currently being cared for by Cats Protection’s Epsom, Ewell & District Branch.

11-year-old Georgie likes nothing better than to sit in front of the TV and especially loves quiz shows such as The Chase and wildlife programmes.

Georgie’s fosterer, Helen Fisher says: “Georgie does love her home entertainment, but it isn’t all about television. As well as her favourite programmes, she loves to have the radio on and sometimes a particular tune or instrument will catch her attention. Life is never dull with Georgie.”

If you would like to offer Georgie a home, and a sofa where she can watch the TV in peace, please get in touch with the branch on or 0345 260 1387.


As with TV, your cat will only really be interested in any movement on your phone screen. This could be problematic if you’re scrolling through Instagram, as they might reach out a playful paw and double tap on that photo of your ex from three years ago! There are in fact some apps designed for cats that show fish or mice moving around on the screen to grab their attention, but these could actually just be frustrating for your cat. Cats are happiest when they can actually catch their toys, so not being able to retrieve the fish from the screen is likely to only stress them out.

young girl showing her grey tabby cat her smartphone

Robot vacuum cleaners 

Different cats will have different reactions to vacuum cleaners. Some will run away from the loud noise, others will sleep through it or may even be curious about the strange machine. The important thing is to monitor their reaction and make sure they have somewhere to run away to if they do get scared. The problem with robot vacuums is that humans are not always around when the machine is running, so they cannot check if their cat is ok. Therefore, it’s best to check if your cat is calm around your robot vacuum during the first few uses, and if they are, keep it to a cleaning routine that your cat can get used to.

The best way to ensure your cat isn’t bothered by these modern technologies is to get them used to them when they are very young. Between the age of two to eight weeks old, kittens learn what is safe and normal in their world, so if they’ve been gently introduced to music, TV and vacuum cleaners during this period, they’ll be less likely to be afraid of them when they grow up.

To find out more about raising happy and confident kittens, take a look at our advice on the Cats Protection website.

Monday, 10 February 2020

Proud cat dad needs your votes to win £1,000 for cats

Cats Protection helps around 200,000 cats across the UK every year, but we couldn’t do all of this vital work without the funds raised by our fantastic supporters.

One of our dedicated Cat Champions, Dan Merton, not only donates his time as a volunteer for our Horsham and Brighton & District branches but also completes gruelling challenges to raise money for the cats in their care.

Man wearing yellow Cats Protection t-shirt and race medal
Dan Merton is a true Cat Champion
It’s not just us who recognise his heroic efforts, the company he works for is also celebrating his charitable work by nominating him for an award. If he wins, Dan could receive an extra £1,000 from the company, which will go directly towards helping unwanted cats and kittens.

We spoke to Dan to find out more about his love for cats and how you can help him win the extra donation…

Can you tell us about the cats you have at home now? 

I have three with my wife at home and they are called Missy (black-and-white), Britney (tortoiseshell) and Cherry (tabby-and-white). They get spoilt rotten and our home would feel empty without them around.

three cats sitting on a cat tree
From left to right: Britney, Missy and Cherry posing for the camera
Why did you decide to volunteer for Cats Protection? 

I wanted to help cats not as lucky as our own find a new loving home so I started volunteering for the Brighton Branch from April 2018 when I noticed they had a vacancy for a website editor in their publicity team. As I work in the local area I thought it was an opportunity not to be missed as it utilises the skills I have in my normal day job at Legal & General and I get to do something more exciting involving cats.

What does your volunteer role involve? 

I update the Brighton Branch’s website with our local cat adoptions, news, education pieces and events. I also help the publicity team with Facebook updates. I have a variety of stories to add over a couple of hours a week. I love being involved and getting to read all the great rehoming stories, plus I get to work with a team of like-minded individuals who love cats.

man holding 25KM sign at race finish line
Dan has so far completed three challenges for Cats Protection
What inspired you to complete your first fundraising challenge for Cats Protection? 

In October 2015 I broke my ankle quite severely in an accident and I spent four months at home in pain, unable to do much with just the cats for company when friends and family were not available to help out.

Missy (our black-and-white cat) was always by my side or on my lap to keep me going. When I was on crutches she even came on walks with me until I recovered and I will always be grateful to her for that. We already had a close bond but this bought us even closer together.

black-and-white cat on lap of man with leg in a cast
Missy helping Dan recover from his ankle injury
I decided to take part in these challenge to improve my fitness as I'm still unable to run or do high impact exercise so walking is the next best thing. I also get to raise some much-needed money for the Horsham and Brighton & District branches.

What are some of your most memorable fundraising challenges? 

My greatest achievement to date is completing the Thames Path 1st Half Challenge in September 2018. This involved me walking 31 miles in one day and took me around 16 hours to complete raising £1,215. In total to date over three consecutive challenges I have raised £3,500 and walked 60 miles. I love seeing the money I raise help the two branches and all the cats they rehome. I also hope my fundraising and volunteering inspires other cat dads out there to get involved too.

tortoiseshell cat wearing race medal around neck
Britney sharing Dan's Thames Path victory
Do you have any top tips for people wanting to fundraise for cats?

As I work for a large company I’m lucky enough to claim employer-matching contributions whenever someone sponsors me for these challenges so that helps boost the kitty every year.

It’s amazing to be recognised as a finalist for being one of the top charity fundraisers in my company and championing Cats Protection.

People can still vote for me by midday 25 February to be in with a chance of winning a £1,000 donation to Cats Protection. All you have to do is visit and select my story under the ‘Charity Fundraising’ section, then submit your vote!

Do you have any plans for future challenges?

I’m doing the 25k South Coast 1st Quarter Challenge on 29 August 2020 to raise money for the Horsham and Brighton & District branches in memory of Bonzo, a grey-and-white tabby cat who we sadly said goodbye to aged 16 years old in October 2019. This year’s target is £1,000 so if anyone would like to sponsor me please visit my JustGiving page.

To find out more about fundraising for Cats Protection, visit

Thursday, 6 February 2020

More Than Just A Cat: My foster cats give my life purpose

Nikita Benney, volunteer fosterer for Cats Protection’s Glastonbury & Wells Branch, explains how looking after unwanted cats has transformed her life. 

Working with animals is the only thing that I've ever wanted to do with my life. The specifics changed somewhat over the years; from vet to marine biologist, to opening my own rescue centre, but the direction was always the same and animals were always at the core of it. Unfortunately my health had other plans and I was left suffering from, among a series of other things, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome from the age of 15.

blonde woman in red jumper next to tabby cat wearing collar

I had struggled through college, got a handful of different animal care qualifications and now I was left with no direction I could take with them. It's difficult finding a job when doing one day of work leaves you stuck in bed for at least the next three just to recover. I had never considered, for even a second, that I might have a future different from what I'd dreamt of, but now I was facing that reality and I had no idea what to do. There would be no working at a rescue centre or as a dog walker when I couldn't even get a job as a receptionist at a vets let alone anything else.

litter of five tabby and tortie kittens in a cat basket

This all had a huge negative impact on my mental health. Depression and anxiety are things that I've always struggled with, but in the hole that I was in I could no longer see a way out. It was the lowest I've ever been in my life and there were times when I felt like giving up because it seemed that with no purpose in my life there was no reason in me carrying on.

tortoiseshell kitten

Thankfully I have a great support system of friends and family who were there for me and it was at this time that I started looking into things that I could do with animals from home. I honestly hadn't held out much hope. I assumed that anything I found would either require very specific qualifications or wouldn't actually have any physical contact with animals. For the most part I was right, until I came across a web page with a testimonial from a woman about the Cats Protection fostering pen she'd had put up in her garden. I must have read the page at least 15 times before I rushed to find out more information about the fostering scheme, a mix of excitement and anticipation building up in my stomach.

tabby kitten lying on their side

There were obstacles I had to get over before I'd even contacted Cats Protection which were a worry from the start. Living in a council house meant I had to get their permission to undertake something like this and I wasn't too optimistic about what they would say, but to my pleasant surprise I met some lovely people who were kind, friendly and pleaded my case to those in charge. I was close to tears when they gave me their permission, but I still refused to let myself get my hopes up. Contacting Cats Protection was just as nerve-wracking, but the reply I got was prompt and positive and everyone that I dealt with along the way was nothing but kind, helpful and supportive.

tabby cat wearing collar

Getting a pen moved into the garden and set up felt like a lifetime and the wait for my first foster felt even longer, but every second of it was worth it the moment I picked her up. A heavily pregnant tabby queen, brought in as an apparent stray, thought to be no more than two years old. I loved her from the moment that I saw her and have come to love her even more over the months that I've had her. I was at her side when she gave birth to five beautiful and healthy kittens and every day since, raising them into the adorable balls of energy that will soon be off to their new homes.

tortoiseshell kitten

Before I started fostering every day was difficult. I had hobbies I could do to keep me busy and friends that I could talk to, but it all felt pointless. Getting out of bed is physically difficult for me as it is, but it felt so much harder when there was no purpose to my days. My foster cats give me that purpose. They make me smile without fail every morning when I go out to see them and on my worst days, simply lying in the pen and getting piled on by a horde of purring kittens helps me get by more than they will ever know.

tabby kitten

To the queen Susie, I'm a care giver; the person who brings food, gives her cuddles, plays with her and babysits the kittens when she has had enough of them. To the kittens, I'm second parent; a fun climbing post, a warm napping spot, the person who cleans up their messes and brings them yummy food to scoff down. To me, they are a lifeline; they give my days meaning and they've lifted me out of that dark place I was in.

I don't know what my future will bring, but I plan to go on fostering for as long as I am physically able to. I know that there are going to be a lot of tears when it's time for mum and kittens to leave me and go onto their new homes and I've no doubt it'll be hard letting them go, but doing so will allow me to make room for the next cat that needs a place to stay and that is what will keep me going. There are always more cats to help. Making sure that I can find them the best homes possible is how I can give back even just a little of everything they've given me.

tabby kitten

Fostering changed everything for me and if there is anyone out there reading this who is in the same position as me, I encourage you to look into it for yourself. Even if fostering isn't for you, there are so many other ways to help out Cats Protection that can be just as fulfilling and rewarding. It's just a case of finding what works for you.

My foster cats are more than just cats, they're the reason I'm able to smile and get out of bed in the morning.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering for Cats Protection, visit 

Let us know what your marvellous moggy means to you with #MoreThanJustACat and discover more heartwarming stories at

Wednesday, 5 February 2020

Cat abandoned after owner died gets help from Cats Protection

When her loving owner died, a confused cat was left to fend for herself on the cold streets of Brighton.

Already troubled by the death of her loving owner, the affectionate black cat was locked out of her home by a grieving family member in the middle of winter.

Thankfully, a relative of the deceased owner contacted Cats Protection’s Brighton & District Branch to say that, if they wanted to collect her, the disorientated cat was roaming outside her former home.

black cat sitting on wooden floor

After seven attempts to contain the frightened cat, she was finally caught on a very cold and wet evening in December. By that stage, she was so hungry and tired that she willingly entered the cat trap in search of food.

She responded well to treatment and, after a good feed and some much-needed warmth in Cats Protection’s care, she soon enjoyed being petted and having lots of attention. It was obvious that she was used to receiving lots of affection from her former owner.

Heather McKenzie, the publicity volunteer for the Brighton & District Branch, said: “Coco was obviously a much-loved pet, who struggled to cope on the streets. Thanks to our dedicated volunteers, we were able to ensure that once again, Coco could become part of a loving home.”

Thanks to her friendly demeanour and beautiful black coat, it wasn’t long before a suitable new family was found and – now renamed Coco – she became the Brighton branch’s first adoption of 2020.

Coco was one of the lucky ones. Many cats are abandoned after their owner passes away, which is why Cats Protection has a free Cat Guardians service to ensure that your cat will be taken care of in the event of your death.

Cat Guardians Marketing Manager, Becky Tichband, said: “We know your cat means the world to you, which is why Cats Protection promises to be there for them after you’re gone. By registering with our free Cat Guardians service you can be assured that, after you pass away, our caring staff and volunteers will look after your cat until we find them a loving new home.”

For more information about Cat Guardians, visit

Tuesday, 4 February 2020

Cat with missing eye dumped in a bin bag in Chatham

A young cat has been found injured and badly traumatised after being dumped on a well-known school run in Chatham.

The one-year-old ragdoll cat, named Artex by his rescuers, had lost an eye and was cowering in a dirty cat carrier inside a black bin bag when he was found on Friday 24 January.

But the full extent of his trauma and suspected mistreatment was only realised when he was brought to our Bredhurst Adoption Centre.

grey and white cat with one eye missing

Hannah Ashwell, Cats Protection’s Regional Fundraising Manager, said: “This young cat was in terrible pain; his right eye was missing and the eye socket was an open and untreated wound.

“It was clear that Artex needed immediate care. Our vets have been working to provide the pain relief, antibiotics and veterinary care necessary for his welfare. The next thing is surgery to clean and stitch his empty eye socket.”

When sufficiently recovered, Artex will be placed with an experienced Cats Protection adopter to help him recover from his ordeal and begin the road to recovery, both physically and emotionally. He is still very scared of human contact and uncomfortable with being handled.

While the exact cause of his injury and other physical factors is unclear, Artex will receive the many months of dedicated care and treatment he needs from Cats Protection.

This is likely to cost the Bredhurst Adoption Centre over £700. To help cover the costs, Cats Protection has set up a JustGiving appeal and is inviting donations to pay for the lengthy treatment and care that Artex will need.

Any funds raised above and beyond our target will be used to help other cats and kittens in care at our Bredhurst Adoption Centre.

To find out how you can support our work to help even more cats like Artex, visit