Saturday, 28 March 2020

How to make friends with a nervous cat

While some particularly confident cats may be happy to approach a total stranger for a fuss, many cats will be wary of new people.

ginger cat peeking over the top of a cushion

If you’ve just brought a shy cat home, or want to become best buddies with a friend or family member’s cat, there are some simple tricks you can use to gain their trust.

Although they may never be comfortable with cuddles, with a bit of patience and understanding you will hopefully be rewarded with the ultimate sign of love, a head bump!

1. Let them come to you 


brown tabby cat sitting on the floor

The most important role when making friends with a cat is to do everything on their terms. Forcing your affection on them is only going to make them stressed, and even if they stay put, they won’t necessarily be enjoying the fuss you’re giving them. It may take a bit of time, but wait for them to approach you first and always let them get away if they want to.

2. Be small and quiet 


girl with brown hair sitting on floor and stroking black cat

Having a human towering over them is going to be quite frightening for a cat, so try sitting down on the floor or a chair nearby so you don’t look so scary. Similarly, any loud noises and sudden movements may spook the cat, so move slowly and quietly around them but make sure you don’t sneak up on them if they don’t know you’re there.


3. Slow blink at them 


side view of white cat with eyes closed

When the cat is looking at you, avoid staring back at them as this may make them more nervous. Instead, try slowly blinking your eyes at them. This lets them know that you trust them enough to close your eyes in their presence, which is a big deal for a cat. Hopefully they will then return the gesture by slow blinking back, letting you know that they trust you too.

4. Offer out a hand 


tabby-and-white cat sniffing an outstretched hand

If the cat seems comfortable around you, try casually holding out your hand a few inches to the side of them to see if they give it a sniff. Still keep your distance and monitor the cat’s body language. If their weight is shifted onto their front or back legs then they may still be unsure and any further contact may startle them. However, if their body language is more neutral and they rub their face on you this is a good sign, as they will be marking you with their own scent (which only cats can smell) via glands in their cheeks. You can then progress to giving them a gentle head rub or chin stroke.

5. Don’t touch their tummy 


brown-and-white cat lying on back and getting a chin scratch

Once the cat starts to become friendly with you, they may roll over onto their back and show you their tummy. No matter how tempting it may be, try to resist touching their tummy when they do this. By showing you their tummy they are letting you know they trust you enough not to touch it, so if you go in for a stroke, that would be the ultimate betrayal. Instead, just stroke their head or chin to show them you appreciate the gesture.

6. Encourage them to play 


grey-and-white cat lying on floor with a cat fishing rod toy

Some cats may never be keen on being stroked, but they might enjoy playing some games with you instead. Try slowly moving a fishing rod toy across the floor a meter or two away from them to see if they stalk it, or slowly bat a ping pong ball towards them to see if they chase it. Catching toys releases happy hormones in cats’ brains and so playtime is a great way to bond with them and may lead to head bumps eventually!

For more information on helping shy cats to become more confident, visit www.cats.org.uk/shy-cats

Tuesday, 24 March 2020

How to keep your cat entertained if you’re self-isolating

With coronavirus (COVID-19) at the forefront of many people’s minds, cat owners may be concerned about what it all means for their pets.

tabby-and-white cat in front of yellow background

To find Cats Protection’s most up-to-date guidance on cats and coronavirus, visit our dedicated webpage featuring useful FAQs to put your mind at rest.

Currently it’s advised that if you’re self-isolating due to COVID-19, you should minimise the amount of time your cat spends outdoors unsupervised if possible. If your cat usually spends a lot of time roaming outside, you might be concerned about how to try and keep them happy if you decide to keep them indoors, so here are some things you can try.

Top tips for keeping your outdoor cat happy indoors 


Get them a scratch post 
You may have one already, but if not then a scratch post is a great investment if you want to protect your furniture from your cat’s claws. Get a post that’s tall enough for your cat to stretch out on, but sturdy enough not to topple over under their weight. There are lots of great cat products available to order online and get delivered straight to your door. For more tips on how to make sure your cat uses the post instead of your sofa, visit www.cats.org.uk/scratching

tabby cat lying next to scratch post


Set up a litter tray 
If your cat is usually used to toileting outdoors, they’ll now need access to an indoor toilet to use whenever nature calls. Set them up with a nice big litter tray in a quiet area of the home and add in 3cm of soft cat litter for them to dig. If you have more than one cat, they’ll ideally need one tray each plus one spare so they don’t have to share. For more advice on setting up your cat’s perfect loo, visit www.cats.org.uk/toileting

Use a fishing rod toy 
Cats have a natural instinct to stalk, pounce and catch moving objects so if they can no longer do this outdoors, they’ll need something to hunt indoors instead. Fishing rod toys, particularly ones with feathers, are fantastic for this and they also allow you to play with your cat from a safe distance. To find out more about how to play with your cat visit www.cats.org.uk/cats-and-play

tabby-and-white cat sniffing pink and yellow feather toy


Get creative at feeding time
If your cat is spending more time indoors, you’ll need to make sure they’re getting enough mental and physical stimulation to keep their mind and body active. A great way to do this is to make them work a bit for their food using puzzle/enrichment feeders. There are many different products you can order from pet retailers, or you can have a go at making your own at home.

Create some hiding places
A change to your cat’s normal routine can be stressful for them, so they’ll appreciate some quiet places they can hide away and feel safe. Cardboard boxes make excellent cosy hiding places, especially with a nice blanket tucked inside. Try also giving your cat somewhere they can get up high to hide, such as a high shelf or on top of a wardrobe. To find out more about why cats hide, visit www.cats.org.uk/cats-hiding

black-and-white cat stretched out inside cardboard box


Plug in a pheromone diffuser 
Another great way to calm a stressed out moggy is to use a synthetic pheromone diffuser such as FELIWAY® CLASSIC, which you can order online. This will release calming cat pheromones into your home that only your cat will be able to detect, providing them with a familiar scent that will put them at ease.

Be patient with your cat 
Whether it’s restricted outside access or having a busier household, any change in routine and environment can be stressful for your cat, especially as they don’t understand why it is happening. It’s important to remain calm and patient with them as they learn to adjust, as it may take them several days or weeks to get used to their new way of living. If you follow all of the steps above, you can help to make the change as stress-free as possible.

For lots more information about keeping indoor cats happy, visit www.cats.org.uk/indoor-cats 

Of course, your own wellbeing is also important during these challenging times, so if you’re looking for the purrfect way to de-stress, follow Cats Protection on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for lots of adorable cat content to make you smile. We’d also love to hear about how you and your moggy are doing at home!

Monday, 23 March 2020

Why has my cat suddenly become shy?

Even if you have a confident cat who loves to weave around your legs and sit on you at the most inconvenient times, they may still appear nervous from time to time.

Cats don’t always make it obvious why they’ve suddenly become shy or withdrawn, but there will usually be a reason, even if it’s a subtle one.

Once you know the cause of their change in behaviour, it’s much easier to fix the problem and get your cat back to being their usual confident and happy self.

Here are some of the most common reasons your cat may have suddenly become shy…

They could be in pain 



If your cat has become injured or ill, it might not always be easy to tell. Unfortunately they can’t tell you they’re in pain so they may simply hide away and avoid any human contact. This is a behaviour retained from their ancestor, the African wildcat.

In the wild, these cats would have hid away when they were sick or injured as it would make them less vulnerable to predators when they were not as quick at running away. Although your cat doesn’t have any predators in the home, they may still prefer to hide.

If your cat does show a sudden change in behaviour, it’s always a good idea to take them to the vet to get them checked over, just in case there’s a medical problem that needs attention. 

They could be frightened



This may sound obvious, but sometimes you may not be aware of what has frightened your cat and so their change in behaviour can seem completely random.

Think carefully about whether something could have recently scared them; perhaps a neighbour’s cat may have chased them off, or a loud noise such as drilling or fireworks could have startled them. It could even be that you may have lost your temper and shouted at them for scratching the carpet.

All of these scenarios could cause your cat stress, so it’s best if they can be avoided. If they cannot be avoided, such as fireworks and home improvements, then click the links for advice on how to keep your cat as calm as possible.

They could be struggling with change 



Cats are creatures of habit, so a change in their routine or home environment can cause them to feel nervous and shy away. If you’ve recently had a new baby, got a new cat or other pet, moved home or redecorated, your cat may be feeling unsettled.

The best way to reduce their stress is to make the change as gradual as possible so that your cat is prepared. Click on the links to discover lots of useful advice on how to introduce your cat to these changes.


They could have learnt to avoid something or someone 



If your cat has suddenly started avoiding a particular person or room, it could be that they now associate that person or room with something negative.

Perhaps that person keeps touching their tummy when they don’t want them to, or maybe every time they go into that room there’s a loud noise (eg from the washing machine).

Removing these stressors, for example by asking that person not to touch your cat’s tummy or closing off that room when the washing machine is on, will hopefully remove those associations for your cat so that they have no need to feel scared and nervous.

For more help and advice on caring for a shy cat, visit www.cats.org.uk/shy-cats

Thursday, 19 March 2020

Meowvellous Mother’s Day cards for cat-loving mums

Looking for the purrfect card to give to your cat-mad mum this Mother’s Day? Or perhaps you’re looking for a card to send to your favourite cat mum from their cat?

We’ve created three fun card designs celebrating mums and cat mums this Mother’s Day, and best of all, they’re completely free!

Download the cards via the links below to print at home or send via the internet. You could then use the money you’ve saved for something truly worthwhile – helping cats!

We have thousands of cats in our care who don’t have a home to call their own, so any money you can donate will help us make sure they have everything they need throughout their time with us.

If you’re still looking for a pawsome Mother’s Day gift to go with your card, then we can help with that too! You could sign your mum up to sponsor a cat, so she’ll get regular updates about the cats she's helping, or get her a pawsome cat-themed pressie from our online shop.


Download our free Mother’s Day cards


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






Kind-hearted volunteer gives Marvin his retirement home

Poorly cat Marvin was looking at spending his final days in a centre until a kind cat lover stepped in and took him home.

When the nine-year-old moggy arrived at Cats Protection’s Tyneside Adoption Centre he initially appeared well.

ginger-and-white cat in a cat pen
Marvin in his pen at the adoption centre
He was a little overweight so was put on a diet, but he began to lose weight quicker than expected. He was also drinking more frequently, so the concerned centre team took him to the vet.

After undergoing a few tests, Marvin was diagnosed with stage two kidney disease, a condition which sadly cannot be cured.

Centre Manager Emzi Frater said: “Speaking to the veterinary team it was unknown how long he had left; it could be a few months or a year, but his condition would certainly be chronic with no treatment options other than special renal food to support.

“In challenging situations such as his, the best we could hope for was a caring person to come forward and offer him a safe, warm home to spend the rest of his days.”

That’s when kind-hearted Karen Hobbs, a volunteer at the centre, stepped in. She had been following Marvin’s journey and had fallen in love with him.

brunette woman in pink jumper with cat carrier containing ginger-and-white cat
Karen Hobbs ready to take Marvin home
“I’d met Marvin in my capacity as Cats Protection volunteer,” said Karen. “I found him to be such a sweet, affectionate boy with a lovely temperament, and as he is in need of end of life care due to his condition, I decided to adopt him.

“Marvin settled very quickly and seems such a happy boy. He is an absolute pleasure and has made us smile so much.”

Emzi added: “The whole team are thrilled that by joining Karen’s family, Marvin has an experienced cat carer who will be able to meet his welfare needs, including regular veterinary check-ups, to help make the right decisions about his ongoing care and keep him comfortable and pain-free.

ginger-and-white cat lying on bed
Marvin making himself comfortable in his new home
“Each and every cat that comes in to us is treated with care and kindness and, though sometimes difficult decisions do need to be made, we always do what is in the best interest of the cat’s welfare.

“We often take cats into care with health conditions and ensure excellent veterinary care and advice is given for each cat so owners know what to expect going forward. We ask people to not rule out rehoming a cat with a health condition as they can be very rewarding.”

If you would like to offer a cat a safe and loving home, visit www.cats.org.uk/adopt-a-cat to find cats available for adoption in your area. 

For lots of advice on caring for a cat no matter what their age and health status, visit www.cats.org.uk/help-and-advice

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Family of feral cats has a brighter future thanks to Cats Protection

Three homeless cats in Nottingham are now living a happier and healthier life after an eagle-eyed cat lover called in Cats Protection for help.

Thomas Curtis noticed the three cats in his garden last summer, naming the mum cat Tabitha and her two young kittens Memphis and Phoenix.

tabby cat and two tabby kittens sitting on shed roof
The feral family sitting on Thomas' shed. Credit: Thomas Curtis
“I’d seen the mum cat around for a while and assumed she had an owner,” says Thomas. “However one day I noticed her and her two kittens sitting on the roof of my shed and realised they weren’t owned because the kittens were far too small and were suffering with appalling eye injuries.

“I left water and food in spots where the three could eat safely and contacted Cats Protection for advice.”

tabby kitten licking tabby cat's face
Wash time for Pheonix and Tabitha. Credit: Thomas Curtis
It soon became evident that Tabitha was a feral cat, meaning she had grown up in the wild and was fearful of human contact. Carol Hallam, a volunteer with our Nottingham Adoption Centre, went round with her humane cat trap and with a lot of patience, managed to trap them and get them to a vet.

tabby cat sitting on shed roof
Mum Tabitha would not be suited to living indoors. Credit: Thomas Curtis
“It took over a month to catch all three as they were incredibly skittish,” says Carole. “Thankfully the mum cat Tabitha was ok health-wise but the kittens’ eye injuries were caused by a combination of conjunctivitis and cat flu so we were pleased to have got to them when we did.

“We found a fourth feral cat who we think was the dad of the family but sadly he had to be put to sleep as he was seriously ill.”

tabby kitten with injured eye sitting on fence
Pheonix the kitten had his eye fixed up. Credit: Thomas Curtis
Two-year-old Tabitha was neutered, vaccinated and given a health check, then returned to her familiar territory where Thomas will continue to keep an eye on her and give her food.

The kittens Memphis and Pheonix were found to be around eight to 10 weeks old and were much more comfortable with human contact than their mum. After being neutered, vaccinated and microchipped, they went on to become much-loved pets with new owners.

tabby kitten sitting behind white cat food bowl
Memphis the kitten received all the care she needed. Credit: Thomas Curtis
“Though we were able to bring about a happy outcome it should be remembered that feral cats like Tabitha, Phoenix and Memphis are the offspring of stray cats or abandoned domestic cats,” says Carole.

“So if owners neuter their pet cats they can assist us to drive down the number of feral cats needing help in the future.

two tabby kittens sitting on fence
Pheonix and Memphis are now safe and cosy in loving homes. Credit: Thomas Curtis
“Bear in mind too that Cats Protection can help some owners on limited incomes with the costs of neutering their pet so we hope this adds an incentive for cat owners to do the right thing now.”

For advice on neutering and to find out if you are eligible for any financial support, please visit www.cats.org.uk/neutering


Thursday, 12 March 2020

Harley’s amazing transformation from shy cat to his owner’s shadow

When six-year-old Harley arrived at Gosport Cats Protection in January 2018, he was rarely seen by his fosterer, Heather Wood.

Her very first foster cat, he would spend his days hiding away in a cardboard cat house in his pen, only coming out at night to eat and use his litter tray.

brown cat sitting inside cardboard cat house
Harley in his cardboard cat house
Then Heather noticed that he had some problems with his mouth. “We had no choice but to put him through two major operations, removing all his teeth,” said Heather. “There were numerous vet visits which meant I had to encourage him from his house into a basket. Returning from the vets, Harley would jump out of the basket and go straight back in his house.” 

brown cat sitting at the back of a cat hide
Harley liked to hide away from people
This shy behaviour continued and Heather made sure to give him plenty of space, until all of a sudden, Harley did the unexpected.

“I took him back to the vets for a check-up and when I brought him back to the pen, instead of going back into his house, Harley jumped out the basket and rubbed round my legs! I started stroking him and there was loud purring and a lot of dribbling.

“The next evening, I went and sat in the pen and Harley came out of his house and onto my lap, drooling and purring and rubbing against me for all he was worth. I have to admit, there were tears in my eyes as I realised Harley had put his trust in me and felt more relaxed in my presence.”

brown cat sitting on wooden floor
Harley Blue in his new home
As he recovered from his operations, Heather set about finding a forever home for Harley with an owner who would give this special boy the time to settle in at his own pace.

“Helen came forward and was happy to visit Harley in the pen while he was recovering from his operations, even though he wouldn't come out of his house.”

By Easter, Harley was considered ready to rehome and Helen adopted him. She took his cardboard house with him so he would have something familiar in his new home, and she also gave him a new name, Harley Blue, to mark his new start.

Brown cat lying on spotty bed covers
Harley Blue loves following his new owner around 
“It took time and patience, but Harley Blue has come out of his shell with Helen, following her around the house and sitting on her lap. He's very content just to be with Helen, rarely visiting the garden even though he has access. He's even occasionally begun to greet visitors to her house!”

For more advice on caring for a shy cat, visit www.cats.org.uk/shy-cats or to find out how to become a Cats Protection fosterer visit www.cats.org.uk/volunteering

Sunday, 8 March 2020

7 fascinating facts about female cats

We love all cats at Cats Protection, but this International Women’s Day we’re championing the female felines among us.

If you have a gorgeous girl kitty at home, let us know on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and share the girl power!

Here are some fascinating facts you may not know about female cats…


Nearly all tortoiseshell cats are female 


tortoiseshell cat

A cat’s genes decide their fur colour and it is extremely rare for a male cat to have the genes that give them a tortoiseshell coat. If a male tortoiseshell cat is born, they will usually be sterile. Find out more about why cats are different colours here.

Mum cats are queens 


tabby cat with paw over tabby kitten

If a female cat has not been neutered then she is known as a queen. Unneutered males are called toms so only the girls are true royalty!

A neutered female cat is called a molly 


grey tabby cat

Once a female cat has been neutered, they become a molly, while a neutered male cat is known as a gib.


Female cats tend to be right-pawed 


tabby kitten holding up right paw

Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast observed cats as they were reaching for food or stepping over objects and found that the female cats were more likely to use their right paw while male cats preferred using their left. Find out more about the study here.

Female cats can get pregnant from just four months old 


tabby-and-white cat feeding a little of kittens

If they’re not neutered, girl cats are ready to breed as soon as they reach puberty at four months old. Therefore, it is a good idea to get them neutered at this age or younger to avoid any unwanted kittens being born. For advice on getting your kitten neutered, visit www.cats.org.uk/what-we-do/neutering/kitten-neutering

Cat pregnancy lasts for nine weeks 


heavily pregnant black-and-white cat

Pregnancy for a cat lasts a tenth of the time as a human pregnancy, around just 66 days. Plus, a female cat can get pregnant again just six weeks after giving birth – even more reason to get her neutered as soon as possible. For more information about cat pregnancy, visit www.cats.org.uk/pregnancy-and-kitten-care

Cats can give birth to a litter with multiple fathers 


tabby cat with litter of kittens a mix of different colours

Queens can have between one and nine kittens in a litter, although usually there are between four and six, and the kittens won’t necessarily all have the same father. Female cats may mate with more than one male to produce a litter, which explain why their kittens can be such a range of colours.

Aside from these feline facts, male and female cats are actually quite similar, particularly if they have been neutered. Their personality is shaped by their individual genetic background and their past experiences in life, not their gender, so every cat is unique. 

If you’re looking to welcome a new cat into your life, Cats Protection has thousands of cats, female and male, looking for loving homes. Visit www.cats.org.uk/find-a-cat to find your new best friend today.

Friday, 6 March 2020

Helping a nervous cat overcome their fears

Cats arrive in Cats Protection’s care for a number of reasons. Perhaps they’ve been found abandoned and living on the street, or maybe their loving owner could no longer keep them or had passed away.

Whatever their story, suddenly finding themselves in the strange new environment of a cat pen can be a stressful and frightening experience.

black-and-white cat sitting on top of bed in Cats Protection pen
Alfie was very nervous when he arrived at Cats Protection. Read his story below
With lots of new sights, smells, sounds and humans around them it’s often quite overwhelming and can cause them to shy away from the people caring from them, as well as potential adopters. Some cats will get used to this change quicker than others, but for those that struggle to cope with their new surroundings, help is at hand.

At Cats Protection we offer the particularly nervous cats in our care a one-on-one desensitisation programme to grow their confidence and help them catch the eye of a new owner.

What is cat desensitisation? 


Desensitisation is the process of gently exposing a cat to the things they are afraid of, at a pace they are comfortable with, to help them overcome their fears. At Cats Protection, this is carried out by our dedicated desensitisation volunteers and requires a lot of patience and understanding.

For most shy cats, the key thing they are scared of is human presence or contact, so the goal of the desensitisation volunteer is to get the cat accustomed to people and develop their confidence to the point where they are happy to come out and engage with them.

How to bring a nervous cat out of their shell 


black-and-white cat sitting on shelf in Cats Protection pen
Alfie needed to grow in confidence to encourage him down from his shelf
Building the trust and confidence of a shy cat can take days, weeks or even months as it must always be done on the cat’s terms. Suddenly flooding them with attention and contact is likely to make them more scared and stressed in the short term and have lasting negative effects on their wellbeing in the long term, so instead a slow, step-by-step approach is needed.

Step 1 
The first step is usually to ignore the cat altogether. The desensitisation volunteer will simply sit near the cat and maybe even read a book, just so the cat can get used to having them around.

Step 2 
If the cat seems comfortable, the volunteer may then make eye-contact and slowly blink in their direction. This is thought to be a sign of trust to cats and hopefully they will return the gesture.

Step 3 
Next the volunteer will try quietly talking to the cat to get them used to their voice and may move closer towards them.

Step 4
If the cat is still calm, the volunteer will offer out their hand to see if the cat comes forward for a sniff. If the cat starts coming forward regularly, they can then repeat the process and try giving a gentle head rub or chin stroke.

Our desensitisation volunteers are trained to read cat body language, so they can recognise if the cat is stressed at each stage. If at any point the cat is not ready for the next step, they will go back and start from the beginning, working at a pace the cat is comfortable with.

Throughout the process, our volunteers can always ask for advice and guidance from Cats Protection’s team of qualified cat behaviourists, whose roles in 2020 are being funded by the kind support of People’s Postcode Lottery players.

Alfie: From frightened cat to forever friend 


black-and-white cat
Alfie underwent an incredible transformation thanks to a dedicated volunteer
When Alfie arrived at Cats Protection’s National Cat Adoption Centre in Sussex, it was immediately obvious that this poor boy was stressed. He would hide away whenever anyone approached his pen, or sit up high on his shelf so he was out of reach.

To help him overcome his fear of humans, volunteer Vicki Greenfield began a desensitisation programme with him, and her patience and dedication soon paid off.



“For about a week, my only interaction with Alfie was sitting just inside his pen, reading my book while he sat up high on his shelf watching me,” said Vicki. “After a week or so, he began to stay in his bed in the cosy front section of his pen when I opened the door, and at this stage I’d sit and chat to him for short periods in a low, calm, quiet voice.

“It was almost three weeks before Alfie started showing a lot more interest in my visits and we had a ‘breakthrough’ moment when I slowly lifted up the cat brush for him to sniff and he leaned right into it and started grooming himself on it!

“After another few days he was walking over to me and sniffing my t-shirt and eventually my hand when I held it out still for him to ‘investigate’. It soon became clear that Alfie was an affectionate and gentle boy who loved a chin tickle and a good old brush!

brunette woman stroking black-and-white cat in Cats Protection pen
Vicky with the newly confident Alfie, enjoying a fuss
“It was another few weeks before Alfie’s gorgeous personality caught the eye of some visitors to the centre and I’m pleased to say he has now found his forever home!”

Alfie isn’t the only cat who we’ve taken on a life-changing journey from fear to friendship. Casper also gained confidence thanks to the kindness and patience of another of our desensitisation volunteers. 


black-and-white cat lying in cat bed
Casper overcame his fears thanks to our desensitisation programme
Read his story at www.cats.org.uk/springappeal20MB where you can also donate a one-off or monthly gift to fund our desensitisation programmes across the UK.

To find out more about caring for shy and nervous cats, visit www.cats.org.uk/shy-cats and to join our team of dedicated desensitisation volunteers visit www.cats.org.uk/volunteering

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Bowie the cat reunited with owner after two years

A cat named Bowie had been living as a stray for two years before Cats Protection reunited him with his family, thanks to his microchip.

Bowie was straying in the Broadlands area of Bridgend where an older lady took pity and cared for him for around four months, believing he had no home of his own.

tabby-and-white cat standing on tiled floor

He then came into Bridgend Adoption Centre’s care where he was scanned for a microchip. The chip was linked with the Porthcawl area but the details were not up to date.

The centre’s staff turned detective and scoured social media until a Facebook post led to his original owner, Nadine Stevenson.

Nadine revealed Bowie had been missing for two years and she had moved twice since he had disappeared but kept going back to Broadlands to try and find him.

Nadine said: “I was really missing having a cat in the house and was actually planning to visit the centre soon to look into adoption.

woman stroking tabby-and-white cat in Cats Protection pen

“When I heard from the centre I was so surprised. It’s amazing and like he has never been gone. He’s settled right back in at home and is having lots of fuss thanks to everyone at the centre.”

Senior Cat Care Assistant Stevi Cosh added: “Bowie’s story really highlights the importance of microchipping and of keeping your details up to date. Without his microchip we wouldn’t have known the area to look in or his owner’s name, it gave us the information we needed to start finding Nadine.

“It was wonderful to see how he immediately recognised her and the bond between them that hadn’t dimmed even though they had been apart for two years.”

Cats Protection makes sure every cat we rehome is microchipped, as it gives lost cats the best chance of being reunited with their owner.

We are also calling for the compulsory microchipping of owned cats in the UK, to help ensure more happy reunions like Bowie’s.

If you would like to support our call for compulsory microchipping, please sign our petition today.

Tuesday, 3 March 2020

Cats with ear problems need kind donations to ease their pain

Cats Protection is appealing for help to fund expensive ear operations for two cats in its care, so they can go on to find their loving forever homes.


Cuddly Suggs needs your help 


Eight-year-old Suggs faces total deafness after having his right ear canal surgically removed and now needs an operation on his left ear due to recurrent infections and discomfort.

black-and-white cat with little white moustache


He was handed in to Chelmsford Adoption Centre early this year, when his owners moved home and their children developed an allergy to him. He had been with the family since he was a kitten, so the transition was distressing for Suggs and his family.

Deputy Manager Charlotte Boddy, said: “When Suggs came into care our vets realised the extent of infection and damage to his ears. It was obvious that he needed immediate surgery to relieve the discomfort and give him a chance at a pain-free life.

black-and-white cat with little white moustache lying down

“Suggs is such a trooper, especially given the poor state of his ears. He is a sweet boy who loves a cuddle and to be scratched under his chin. It gives us great hope for a swift recovery after what has been a pretty upsetting time for poor Suggs.”

If you would like to donate towards the cost of Suggs’ surgery, visit his JustGiving appeal.


Can you help darling Daisy? 


Another cat facing a costly surgery is six-year-old Daisy.

Soon after coming into the care of Anglia Coastal Branch, specialist vets realised that she was enduring recurring ear infections caused by multiple growths and polyps deep within her ear canal.

tabby-and-white cat wearing cone collar

The only course of action was for a total ear canal ablation (TECA) to rid her of constant pain and irritation.

Publicity Officer Lynne Pothecary, said: “Specialist treatment comes with a price tag and for Daisy this will be over £2,000. We can only help cats with the generosity of our local community and this is where we need your help.

“Despite her obvious discomfort, Daisy is a laid-back girl who loves attention. We appreciate any donation to help fund her ear operation, so that this darling cat can have a better life.”

Daisy faces partial deafness after surgery but is likely to make a full recovery. Not only will her earache come to an end, she can look forward to pain-free life with a caring new owner.

tabby-and-white cat in cat bed wearing cone collar

Lynne said: “Cats adapt to all sorts of disabilities, so we are hopeful that Daisy will enjoy a full life with a caring family who understand the needs of her new life.”

If you would like to donate towards the cost of Daisy’s surgery, visit her JustGiving appeal.


How to care for a deaf cat 


Rehoming a special needs cat requires only a little extra consideration of their condition and there are ways to help a deaf cat adapt to their environment.

Usually deaf cats will need to be kept indoors as they will be unable to hear dangers such as cars and other animals, but most cats compensate for a lack of hearing by using their other senses.

Deaf cats can even learn to recognise hand signals or recognise a flashing torch sequence if they can’t hear you calling.

A deaf cat can be easily startled, so approach with heavy footsteps to make sure they are aware of you. To wake a sleeping deaf cat, it is best to tap the area around them and, if you are close to the cat, a hand clap or stamp on the floor might be enough to get their attention.

For more advice on how to care for a deaf cat, visit the Cats Protection website.