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Autumn 2013

Cat snaps Taking better feline photos

Brunei bound Aiding Asian felines

Welsh wonders At our busy Bridgend Adoption Centre

Mogs on the move Meet some questing cats

Plus Anita Harris, cats needing homes and feline fangs

they’ll love it as much as you love them



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From the Editor  General enquiries  Cats Protection, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT.  03000 12 12 12 (calls charged at standard rate) @ Subscription enquiries To change your details, subscribe, make a donation or become a member of Cats Protection:  Supporter Services, Cats Protection, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT.  0800 917 2287 @ Editorial submissions  The Editor, The Cat magazine, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT. @ We reserve the right to edit material for clarity or space. Cats Protection is not responsible for the opinions, advice and factual content of contributed items. The views expressed do not necessarily conform to those of the Trustees. Advertising enquiries  Cats Protection, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT.  03000 12 12 12 (calls charged at standard rate) @ Advertisements are accepted in good faith and we endeavour to check their accuracy. However, the charity gives no guarantees or endorsements of the products or services advertised. Cats Protection cannot accept responsibility for any correspondence between the parties, nor can they be expected to arbitrate should any dispute arise.

Welcome to the Autumn edition of T he Catmagazine!


ur cover girl for this edition is Manja, a beautiful black-and-white cat who was rescued by Eileen Bell out in Brunei. Eileen and husband Stephen moved there recently and they have since found themselves running an unofficial cat rescue and rehoming sanctuary! Sadly it seems there isn’t the same charitable help available as back in the UK but they are doing sterling work trying to improve the lives of these cats. You learn more about Manja and Eileen’s other cats on pages 20 to 22. Thank you to Asako who took this cover photo and the other photos for the article. Actress and singer Anita Harris keeps us entertained in our celebrity interview on pages 14 and 15 where we learn more about her varied career appearing in films, Las Vegas shows and of course C  atsthe musical. Turning to the veterinary side of things, we’ve got a dental appointment from pages 30 to 32 with some good advice about how to keep those feline fangs clean and healthy, while Vicky Halls tackles the subject of house soiling and litter trays on pages 24 to 25. One of our most popular ‘asks’ on Facebook and Twitter is for supporters to upload photos of their cats and we love to see them. On pages 34 to 37 we learn some top tips from some top animal photographers on how to keep things simple but get the best out of your next moggy mug shot. There can be no doubt that our volunteers and staff work incredibly hard for the thousands of cats in our care. On pages 40 to 41 we learn more about the busy role of Adoption Centre Manager as Sue Dobbs takes us behind the scenes of the Bridgend centre in Wales. Our Helpline often gets queries on how cat owners can protect the wildlife in their gardens, and those of their neighbours, from the natural instincts of their feline friends. On pages 46 and 47 they provide some good advice about how to keep harmony in the great outdoors. We hope you enjoy this issue of the magazine, here’s to the next! Enjoy the summer!

Francesca Watson Editor

Published quarterly by: Cats Protection Printed by: Pensord Press Ltd.

Please recycle this magazine when you have finished with it

The Team Editor F rancesca Watson Deputy Editor R  ebecca Evans Creative Designers R  us Hudda, Sam Roberts, Martin Green Communications Assistant P etra Coghlin

The Cat  Autumn 2013


Contents Autumn 2013 Cover photo: Manja by Asako (

Regulars 6



Dear CP


Cats’ tales


Playing detective


Ask the vets


Ali’s cats


Our favourite things


Coffee paws


How can we help?


Paws for thought


Walker on the wild side


CP in action


Diary of events


Find your local Cats Protection


Kids’ corner


Making memories


Remembering cats


Book reviews


The Cat  Autumn 2013



Feature articles


16 Celebrity interview Anita Harris talks Grizabella, Dusty and Vegas

18 Puss in boots These paws were made for walking

20 Another world Life for cats in Brunei Darussalam

30 Brush up! The tooth and nothing but the tooth


33 Stand by your quilts It’s competition time!


34 Picture perfect Helpful hints for happy snaps


United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Pawsport




Code of Issuing State/Code de l’Etat emetteur


Pawsport No./Pawseport No.


Surname/Nom (1)


40 Behind the scenes The busy work of Bridgend Adoption Centre

Given Names/Prenoms (2)


Nationality/Nationalite (3)

PURRSIAN CITIZEN Date of birth/Date de naissance (4)

10 SEP /SEP 03 Sex/Sexe (5)


Place of birth/Lieu de naissance (6)


Date of issue/Date de deliverance (7)

Authority/Autorite (8)

12 DEC /DEC 10


Date of expiry/Date d’expiration (9)

Holder’s signature/Signature de titulaire (10)

12 DEC /DEC 20

P<GBRBOOTS<<PUSS<IN<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<< 1234567890GBR0309102M1212123<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<


Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs. Reg Charity 203644 (England and Wales) SC037711 (Scotland)

The Cat  Autumn 2013


National Black Cat Day is back

Photo: Bliznetsor

This 31 October is National Black Cat Day, our annual celebration of black and black-and-white felines. Around half of the cats in our care across the UK are black or black and white. While we’re not sure why monochrome mogs can take longer to be adopted than cats of other colours, we’re certain of one thing – that they make lovely pets! This year’s celebration will involve lots of activity on social media. We can’t reveal too much at the moment, but keep checking our Facebook page or Twitter account @CatsProtection to keep ahead of all the information as it breaks! Last year’s National Black Cat Day reached more than 330,000 people on social media, and we think that this year’s event will be even more popular. And if you’re thinking of adopting a cat, why not consider a black or black-and-white one? Our branches and centres have lots needing a new home, see our F ind Us pages (pp 54–57) for your nearest.


The Cat  Autumn 2013

Pets at Home fundraising weekend

We are pleased to announce that a fundraising weekend at Pets at Home in June raised over £21,000 for Cats Protection. The three-day event took place across more than 345 Pets at Home stores from Friday 7 to Sunday 9 June. The weekend was a fantastic opportunity for our branches and centres to raise awareness of the charity and all the great work they do in the local community. We are delighted that so many of our branches and centres took part and would like to thank every one of them that worked so hard to make the event a success. Money is still coming in but so far Pets at Home have raised at least £11,000 from round-to-a-pound, pin badges and till donations. In addition, funds raised by the activities of branches and centres in store have so far reached just over £10,000. Our Plymouth & South Hams Branch had a very special visitor while fundraising at the Plymouth store – Olympic bronze medallist Tom Daley! We would like to thank Pets at Home for granting us this weekend and for their ongoing support of Cats Protection through their ‘Very Important Pets Club (VIP Club)’. Cats Protection has also been fortunate to receive funding from ‘Support Adoption For Pets’, the charity established and supported by Pets at Home. Thank you also to all our supporters who visited a Pets at Home store over the three days and supported us!


Wain’s world

If you love the cats of Louis Wain then there’s one place to visit as Chris Beetles Gallery presents Louis Wain and the Summer Cat Show 2013. It promises to present the world’s largest display of cat imagery with original works from celebrated cat artists Lesley Fotherby, Geraldine Girvan, Susan Herbert and Leslie Anne Ivory as well as the legendary and eccentric Edwardian artist, Louis Wain. H G Wells wrote in 1925, ‘Louis Wain invented a cat style, a cat society, a whole cat world’. Be quick if you want to take in the exhibition, however, as it ends on Saturday 7 September. Chris Beetles Gallery, 8 & 10 Ryder Street, London, SW1Y 6QB. Nearest tube: Green Park/Piccadilly 0207 839 755,,

New centres update

Our new Gildersome Homing Centre in Leeds is nearing completion! With building work expected to finish in early August we are hopeful of bringing in our first cats in mid-September. This 22-week project has seen a dilapidated building being replaced with a modern 12-pen Homing Centre with reception, laundry room, tea point, manager’s office and vet room. We have had a number of people volunteer for the centre for a range of different roles and we’re still keen to find more fosterers. If this is something you think you could help us with then please get in contact! Call 080800 19 19 19 (opt.1), or visit website or visit their very active Facebook page (Gildersome Cats Protection). Our new Warrington Adoption Centre is in the final stages of its 32 week build, and we have an estimated completion date of 7 October. The main building is really taking shape with a bright open-plan reception providing a focal point for the rest of the building. It will host a large number of facilities to support 26 homing pens, 14 admission pens, six maternity pens and six isolation pens.


Moggies remain a mystery to many

Cats Protection Behaviour Manager, Nicky Trevorrow has had a very busy week after the results of our behaviour survey were released on 31 July. It’s a topic that intrigued the nation, appearing in the national newspapers and leading to Nicky appearing on B  BC Breakfastto explain the findings more fully. This was followed by a two-hour Q&A session on the charity’s Facebook page where Nicky helped supporters with their own cats’ behaviour queries. The research, which surveyed over 1,100 adult cat owners, found a worrying lack of knowledge in certain areas which has prompted the charity to launch an initiative to educate the nation about cat behaviour. In particular, the survey revealed that: • Two thirds (65 per cent) of us think a cat only purrs when happy whereas cats sometimes purr when they’re in pain • The majority of people (76 per cent) failed to understand a cat’s upright tail is a greeting • One in 20 think that a cat rubs its cheeks on surfaces because it has an ‘itchy face’ rather than to mark its territory “These findings show that we need to help people to better understand their cats which are sometimes misunderstood because they are such complex creatures,” Nicky said. “Cats are often considered to be independent and able to look after themselves whereas dogs are usually perceived to ‘need’ their owners. The reality is that while cats are pretty good at surviving without us, they do of course have needs. If these

aren’t met, it can lead to stress, ill health and behavioural problems.” The findings highlight how owners can struggle to follow signs that their cat is unhappy. More than a third (38 per cent) didn’t realise a cat with flattened ears is scared and needs somewhere to hide. And 49 per cent of us are unaware that a cat licking its lips can be an indication of stress. “It isn’t all bad news however,” Nicky added, “as most people (69 per cent) do understand that cats slow-blink if they are relaxed in our company and over two thirds (68 per cent) know a cat is greeting us when it is lying on its back.” To help cat owners enjoy a more meaningful relationship with their pet, we have posted a free education tool on our website called Understanding Feline Origins designed to help owners recognise their cats’ basic needs learn/e-learning-ufo along with a video explaining different cat behaviours. The course, developed by our Veterinary and Learning & Development teams, can be accessed free of charge and is appropriate for older children and adults. It should take one to two hours to complete, but can be worked through in three smaller sessions. More Facebook Q&A sessions are planned for the future, so do keep an eye out on our page for more details:

The Cat  Autumn 2013



The 2013 AGM

This year’s AGM was a fitting finale to a testing but ultimately rewarding year for the charity. We made considerable savings by breaking the tradition of staging the event at the National Cat Centre and instead holding it at the Hawth Theatre, Crawley. We welcomed over 100 members, volunteers and supporters to the spacious and wellequipped venue to reflect on the achievements of the previous 12 months. The AGM comprised a review of 2012’s highlights by Peter Hepburn, Chief Executive, and Heather McCann, Chairman of Trustees, and an examination of the accounts by Helen Jacobs, Director of Central Services. Finally, Dominic Sullivan, Director of Legal Services, led the election of new candidates to Council. This was followed by a presentation about the new advocacy function by Jacqui Cuff, Advocacy Manager, describing methods of calling for change, the prioritisation of issues and outlining specific advocacy campaigns. Jacqui said: “The first 18 months of advocacy work have been busy with Cats Protection establishing itself as ‘speaking up for cats’ on a host of issues, including labelling cut lilies, dog attacks on cats and the value of cats to those in care. The AGM was a great opportunity to discuss what’s been done and what is on the horizon – both nationally and locally”. At the AGM there was also the opportunity to visit various ‘Find out More’ stands covering subjects including web reporting, the new ‘Find a cat’ internet feature, Cats Protection’s veterinary, property development and volunteering teams and our private site fundraising initiative. Attendees were later privy to a Q&A session with Nick Edmans and Rosie Collins, Co-ordinator of local Crawley, Reigate & District Branch. This explored how the branch operates in their diverse socio-economic area and the particular challenges the branch faces; it was particularly inspiring to hear about their exceptionally full fundraising calendar of about two events a week and their highly successful homing shows. Rosie was presented with a cat costume on behalf of the branch for future fundraising. The day culminated in a coach trip to the National Cat Centre for a tour of the flagship adoption centre and refreshments in the café. An appropriate close to what was, as one attendee succinctly put it, “an excellent day”.


The Cat  Autumn 2013

PURINA® selects Cats Protection as its Charity of the Year for 2013/2014

We are very pleased to announce that PURINA® has chosen Cats Protection as their Charity of the Year for 2013/2014. Cats Protection has worked in partnership with PURINA® for many years and they are a key corporate supporter of the charity. The fundraising target is set at £25,000 with PURINA® pledging to match any funds raised, to a maximum of £20,000! PURINA® employees across their offices, including field sales and factory employees, will be helping us smash the fundraising target by holding and taking part in fundraising events and other initiatives throughout the year. Volunteers from around the business have also been recruited as ‘Charity Champions’ to input into the fundraising plans and promote activation, organise events and support their colleagues’ fundraising efforts. Our thanks go to PURINA® and their employees for supporting Cats Protection in what we hope proves to be an exciting year of fundraising!

On the prowl for cupcake connoisseurs!

Do you love cats and enjoy baking? We’re asking our talented readers to put their skills to the test and get involved with our feline-themed cupcake competition! The competition, which is aimed at amateur bakers aged 18 and over, launches at our stand at the London Cake and Bake Show, which takes place from 13-15 September at Earls Court, London. Shortlisted finalists will be informed by the end of October and the judging and selection of winners will take place at our stand at the BBC Good Food Show in Olympia, London from 15-17 November 2013. There are various cat-themed prizes for the lucky first, second and third place winners who impress the judges with their culinary achievements! Entry is free though there is a suggested donation of £3 per entry. For further details, including the rules for entry and an entry form, please email Cats Protection’s national helpline on or phone 03000 12 12 12. Alternatively, please visit Cats Protection’s stand at the Cake and Bake Show. The deadline for entries is 5pm on 18 October 2013.

Get social! ‘Bristol Cats’ needs more kittens

We asked our Facebook followers what odd names they’ve given their cats…

Kitten owners living in the UK are helping with the ‘Bristol Cats’ study being run by the University of Bristol, but even more kittens are needed to take part in the first study of its kind that aims to improve the health and welfare of cats in the future. The researchers wish to recruit kitten owners who own a kitten aged between eight and 16 weeks and registration is open until the end of December 2013. ‘Bristol Cats’ is being led by academics at the University’s School of Veterinary Sciences, including Cats Protection’s funded research fellow Dr Jane Murray. It is being carried out because little is known about the causes of common behaviour patterns and diseases of cats, such as, obesity, aggression towards people and lower urinary tract problems. Kitten owners, who are over 18 years of age, complete a series of online or postal questionnaires, initially when their kittens are approximately eight to 16 weeks, then again at six, 12 and 18 months of age. These questionnaires provide the researchers with very valuable data. The researchers will then analyse these data to see if factors (such as diet) can be identified that might help to reduce the risk of certain conditions in the future. Details about the study, including access to online questionnaires and results, are available at Owners can complete questionnaires online or request paper questionnaires. Participation in the study is voluntary and owners have the right to withdraw from the study at any point. If you are interested in helping with the study, please call the ‘Bristol Cats’ team on 07827 981412 or email

Four-month message needs boost, Bristol vet school study finds

The majority of cats are not neutered by the recommended age of four months, according to a study by the University of Bristol. The university’s School of Veterinary Sciences found that, of the 751 cats in the Bristol Cats study, only 14.1 per cent were neutered at or before four months of age. Dr Jane Murray, Cats Protection Research Fellow in Feline Epidemiology, said: “Cats can reach puberty at four to five months of age, therefore it is important that owners are aware of the recommended age of neutering at four months, to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies that occur.” For more information on neutering, see

Caroline – Paint pot. She was a beauty. She looked like she was dipped into a pot containing all the colours of a cat.

Gemma – My cat is called Pineapple! Shouting him is a bit silly – it’s because my next door neighbour’s cat is called Cheese!

Alex – Our cat is called Hedges... No idea why, he came with it. Lots of people ask us if he has a brother called Benson... Maybe...

Bonita – I always wanted a grey tabby called Onion.

Louisa – My aunt and uncle adopted a cat called “Mum.” It wasn’t until my uncle called out in the garden “Mum, stop weeing on the plants!” that they thought about changing it. Helen – I had a pure white cat called Tishu – she named herself as she sneezed a lot. Vessa – My cat who plays in puddles is called Luke Puddlewalker (as in Luke Skywalker). Melanie – We now have a cat called Ceefa as in C for cat. Jason – We used to have a cat called Moped, so called because her ‘dad’ was called Honda. Jo – Earwax, developed after a neighbour heard my mum calling out ‘Here, Max!’ to her cat. Rachel – Piddle. Named by my dad long ago. For obvious reasons! Poor cat. Katrina – One of cats is called Hoolie as he was a bit of a hooligan at the rescue centre. But he is as soppy as anything.

Ceri – I know of a cat called Moira... Makes me laugh every time! Sheila – Someone gave me a gorgeous ginger tom – she said he was a “wild one” – so I called him Marlon! Alison – We have Dave and Beryl. My aunt and uncle have Nigel, which I love. Corinne – My neighbour had a cat called Bucket. Susan – Dunlop!! Poor kitty! Pip – I once had a cat called Carwash Michelle – I have a lovely tabby called Pidgin Catherine – My friend named a litter Gary, Simon, David, Steve and Gordon! Shazzer Anna – I have a very large ginger boy called Fat Boy Slim love taking him to the vets and seeing people’s faces when vet calls him :-) Sharan – My cat was originally called,”Ducati” but now he is plain old “Duke”! Yvonne – Smoochy smoochy baby

Our Facebook followers get talking about a whole variety of feline-inspired topics, why not join them at

Do you have an interesting story to tell, a point of view you want to air or something that you just have to get off your chest? Send your thoughts, views, stories, funny photos and ‘mewsings’ to The Cat magazine, National Cat Centre, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT or email us at Don’t forget to tell us your return address and contact details and please remember that your letter may be edited for length.


Beloved black cat

From: Debbie Blackburn, Manchester n view of the fact that black cats are often the last to be rehomed, I thought I would send you the story of our precious black cat who came to live with us last year. After a home visit from the Atherton & Wigan Metro Areas Branch, we went to meet a kitten they thought would be suitable for us. Lana was a teeny tiny jet black girl with great big green eyes. As I leaned down to stroke her, she pawed at the gold around my neck and purred. We were smitten instantly! Her ears looked too big and her tail too long. After Lana’s second injection we bought a tiny harness and spent time walking her around the gardens and getting her used to the smells and sounds. She now goes out on her own and has a friend called Treacle who lives a few doors away. They chase each other around and have great fun together. Lana is not only a softy who likes to crawl into bed for a cuddle but also a feisty girl, not frightened of standing up to other cats or of the big Labrador who lives next door! She takes great pleasure in walking along the back fence and stopping for a wash, taunting him, while he barks like mad. Lana is our baby girl and a big part of our lives. We would recommend black cats to everyone! Thank you, Cats Protection!


It’s crucial to chip

From: Brenda Griffith-Williams, London ompulsory microchipping of dogs is good news, but it’s just as important for cats. Minnie went missing on 1 November last year. After nearly five weeks she was found, thin and starving and taken to an RSPCA hospital where she was put into intensive care. Her chip enabled them to contact me immediately, I went to see her the next day and two days later she came home. The picture shows her enjoying home comforts two weeks after her return. Mercifully, she is still thriving and seems to have suffered no long-term harm. Minnie has a simple message for all readers of The Cat: if your cat hasn’t been microchipped yet, please get it done now!


The hazards of bells

From: Jean Hazle, Tiverton, Devon recently read an item in a popular magazine regarding putting a bell on a cat’s collar to alert birds to its presence. Only last week a cat came into our garden, sat down and scratched his neck thereby catching his claw in a slot of the bell attached to his collar. He was frantically trying to free himself without success; luckily I was able to get hold of him and managed to free his claw and remove the bell. Unfortunately I don’t know who he belongs to so I could not tell them what had occurred. I was appalled to learn that cat bells, with slots as wide as this bell had, are manufactured and would urge people to check the safety of them before they purchase them.



The Cat  Autumn 2013


Kizzi’s last day

Britain’s most northerly cat



From: Robert Woodrow, Southampton t was just another regular afternoon in early October last year when events took an unexpected and dramatic change for the worst. My companion cat of almost eight years, Kizzi, had just ventured outside into my garden for a lie down in the autumn sun. A short while later I was aware of a violent commotion, followed by a scream of pain. I was in the garden within seconds to be confronted by a large husky-type dog that had obviously jumped the fence. It initially turned on me, then exited. I knew instinctively it was all over for Kizzi. The next few hours were a blur of confusion and horror as I rushed my beloved pet’s now lifeless body to the vet where she remained for two nights pending police enquiries. Nothing ultimately came of this investigation, but I have good reason to believe this dangerous dog had been let off its lead in a public place. At the time of the assault I noticed the animal was wearing a collar with identity disc. For Kizzis life to end in such a brutal and senseless manner on my own property is sickening. There is nothing I can do to bring Kizzi back and, indeed, nothing I could have done. I buried her in the garden on the very same bedding on which I had first collected her from the Blue Cross in 2005. Editor’s note about dog attacks on cats: Sadly the case of Kizzi is not unique. Recent monitoring of press reports by our Advocacy Team reveals at least two fatal dog attacks on cats per week across the UK. Most dog owners are responsible people and genuine accidents do happen. Cats and dogs can live in harmony and many of our supporters and readers own both. However, we welcome the fact that the government is currently reviewing the law on dangerous dogs. We have submitted evidence asking them to look at the issue of attacks on cats and other animals and strengthen the criminal law. In line with the proposals regarding attacks on people and assistance dogs we’d like the new laws to protect cats in both public and private places. If you’ve encountered a similar dog attack, please consider sending details to as case studies will support our work on this issue.

From: Bill Wilson, Aviemore hile attending a work-related event in Wick, Caithness we took the opportunity to visit the most northerly point on the mainland of Scotland and the UK, Dunnet Head. This is a wild and spectacular place to see seabirds and cliff scenery. The lighthouse is now occupied as a private house with other cottages nearby. While walking in the heather by the lighthouse a grey and white cat bounded over, no doubt looking for a titbit or simply a fuss. Was this just another cat? No. This was surely Britain’s most northerly mainland cat – a little special perhaps.

Food for thought

From: Christine Denney, Norwich got Millie five years ago from CP’s Dereham Adoption Centre. From the start she was sick almost every day; I put it down to the trauma of a new home but she didn’t improve. The vet could find nothing wrong so suggested I try her on a dry cat food for sensitive stomachs. This didn’t help much and I noticed she was starting to bite and lick her tail. Back to the vet, who, after checking for fleas and parasites, seemed stumped. Her tail got worse, bleeding and obviously causing her much distress. Then I saw a different vet, who thought it might be an allergic reaction to the food. The vet gave her a steroid and an anti-inflammatory injection and suggested I try her on another veterinary diet that she might not be allergic to. Finally, the symptoms disappeared, much to my relief and Millie’s. Her hair grew back, and she is now a happy and healthy cat – although she can’t eat anything except her special cat food. No titbits allowed!


The Cat  Autumn 2013



Fledgling fan

A close call



From: Suzanne and Andy Cotton, East Renfrewshire e were wondering if, at 11 months, Fraser might be your youngest reader. He loves browsing your magazine, looking at the pictures of cats, or ‘ka’ as he calls them. He adores our two CP cats, Hector and Struan, who we adopted from Arbroath and they are very tolerant of an overaffectionate toddler. Recently he was very excited to discover our postman drives a red van just like Postman Pat’s. “Ka! Ka!” he exclaimed excitedly, assuming that all postmen share their van with a black and white cat. Hector and Struan were a bit surprised when he took his first wobbly steps this weekend but we hope that the three of them will be great friends for many years.

From: Heidi Haywood, by email t the beginning of January my husband and I arrived home from our honeymoon. Uncharacteristically, our cat Jessie did not come to greet us. We found her curled up in a box and, when she eventually got up, noticed she was limping. As it was late we decided we would take her to the vets first thing in the morning. Knowing what we know now, it’s a miracle she even made it through the night. The vet examined Jessie and told us she had a nasty bite mark in her leg and a ruptured diaphragm; both her lungs had collapsed, her liver was inside her rib cage and her pelvis was broken. An emergency operation was needed. Five hours and a silly amount of staples later, Jessie had woken up from her anaesthetic. She spent over a week at the vets on a drip to reduce the risk of infection. When she was finally allowed home she had to stay in a crate at first which was hard as her sister was desperate to play with her. It was touch and go for a while but she has made a full recovery. We are so glad that we have insured all of our cats through Petplan, who have been brilliant at paying out for her treatment.

Our Star Letter wins their own SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap. All other printed letters will win a SureFlap cat mat for your puss to wipe its paws on! The SureFlap Microchip Cat Flap is ideal for cat owners needing a simple, stylish solution to the problem of intruder cats. SureFlap identifies your cat using his unique microchip number, unlocking only for your pet and leaving unwanted visitors outside. SureFlap is compatible with all European identification microchips and does not require your cat to wear an uncomfortable, restrictive collar. Available in brown and white, SureFlap can be installed into doors, windows or walls and fits into the hole left by most existing cat flaps. It runs on four AA batteries which last up to 12 months with normal use. To find out more visit or visit their Happy Cats page on Facebook –


The Cat  Autumn 2013

Funny, weird, or just plain photogenic; this is the place to show off your cat for the remarkable creature he is. If you think you’ve got a cat who deserves his 15 minutes of fame then write to us at Cats’ Tales, The Cat magazine, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT or email including a contact number and a photo of at least 500kb in size. If you would like your photos returned, please enclose a self-addressed envelope. Your letters may be edited for clarity and length.

These boots are made for walking From: Henry Chester, Middlesex This multi-coloured cat on characteristic prowl goes by the name of Stan, after Sir William Stanier of the LMS Railway. Not our cat but a resident on the preserved Great Central Railway at Loughborough. I have only ever seen him at the north end of the loco shed – he is definitely a railway cat.

Loyal reader From: Jean Fletcher, Derbyshire Suzy is 18 years of age but despite being an old lady, asthmatic and needing an inhaler she is still as playful as a kitten. She came as a stray over 17 years ago and shares the family home with a 55-year-old tortoise. She likes the finer things in life, fish on Friday and a dollop of cream from a bun on Tuesdays!

Reaching for the stars From: Frances Scrimshaw, West Yorkshire Meet Catty who is our four-year-old girl. As you can see she loves to take an afternoon nap – even if she does sleep upside down with her feet on the pillows! She tends to sleep a lot and snore loudly. Catty likes her food and was recently caught enjoying a sausage from next door’s barbecue! There is never a dull moment with her around.

The Cat  Autumn 2013


A hard day’s night From: Roger Smith, Wolverhampton Milo was rehomed with me in 2009 through CP in Wolverhampton. He was found wandering as a stray with an injured leg and taken to my vet who put him right and looked after him for a couple of months. During this time my own 20-year-old cat Whiskey became very ill and, after she lost the ability to walk or eat, it was decided that the best thing was to put her to sleep. When I saw Milo’s ad in the vet’s surgery, I decided to offer him a home and, after an interview with CP, Milo came home in October 2009 and we have been very happy ever since. Milo is a very affectionate cat and finds all the best places to rest.

From stray to member of the family From: Diana Elvin, Kent This is my successfully adopted CP cat, Boo, who had been living as a stray. After coming into care, Boo was found to have serious health issues. He had to be kept in a restricted area initially and was put on a special diet and given regular eye drops. Although he came to accept the drops and continued to turn up on time for them even after he was allowed to roam, he was afraid of contact with any other human or cat. But being a very bright boy, he soon worked out that, providing he kept a firm paw on his new family, he could allow limited stroking in between shinning up trees and checking out the neighbourhood. Now medicine free with shining eyes and a re-activated purr he can offer affection without fear and is a joy to have around.

On the beat From: Marco Marcos, London I am a police officer and rescued Amber while I was at work. While carrying out a warrant I found a two-week-old kitten in a box left in the communal entrance; she was soaking wet and all alone. I was able to leave my colleagues to carry on while I rushed her to the vet. Afterwards I took her home where my wife bottle fed her and we looked after her. She has grown up to be a healthy and cute cat and is now aged two.


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READERS’ CATS Seeing double From: Nelly Bird, Huntingdon Rainbow was born with his brother Valentine in 2004. In 2006 he unexpectedly left home and disappeared. After his brother sadly passed away last May, Rainbow returned to our house. My husband and I don’t know where he went to but are relieved to have him safely back where he belongs. Here he is with his shadow in the garden.

Life is one big yawn From: Gillian and Gareth Morgan, Manchester Benny’s mum, Tinkerbelle, gave birth to her three kittens in a neighbour’s garage but, since we’d been feeding her as a stray, it wasn’t long before she was dragging them, one by one, down our garden path and through the back door, setting up home behind the curtain hiding our electricity meter. Clever mum must have had a premonition as two days later the neighbour’s garage was demolished. Now, eight years later, with brothers Tickles and Fluff, Benny and his mum are still together and fully integrated with the rest of our feline family.

The look of love From: Gaynor Waters, Powys This is Ruby my 12 year old, partially-sighted rescue cat. She’s been with me for seven years now and is an absolute joy. Initially we had problems with her finding her way around the house and especially getting up and down the stairs. However, it didn’t take too long before she was running all over the place with confidence. She loves playing in the garden, throwing and ‘killing’ her toys, having lots of cuddles and snuggling up to me in bed on a cold night.

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Anita Harris J

ust before her sixteenth birthday, Anita Harris was spotted at an ice rink by a talent scout. Four weeks later, she was performing as a chorus girl among the bright lights of Las Vegas. She went on to record 1967 chart hit Just Loving Youand appear in countless TV and theatre shows, including a two-year stint as Grizabella in the musical C  ats. More than half a century since her Las Vegas debut, Anita is still performing. Fans can catch her shows at various venues across the UK this summer. QUESTION You’ve had a long, varied career – how have you achieved this? ANSWER I genuinely love to sing, it gives me tremendous pleasure. I still work at it, exercise my voice and exercise – gently – my body. I’ve always been a student and probably always will be. I enjoy learning new songs and developing them. QUESTION You’re a singer, actress; you’ve co-hosted shows, written books. What do you most enjoy doing? ANSWER If I had to pick just one thing it would be the singing, but I do get enormous energy from being able to do all of those things. It keeps me fresh. QUESTION When you were 16, you worked in Las Vegas as a chorus girl. What are your memories of that time? ANSWER It was a wonderful experience. I performed in three shows a night, from 7.30pm until 4am, so it taught me discipline. It was the early days of Las Vegas when it was just a strip, a highway stretching from downtown Vegas out to the desert – I called it Infinity. Across the road was the Flamingo where Mae West was performing. A bit further up there was Louis Prima and Keely Smith, a beautiful singing act. Sinatra was at the Desert Inn. We were allowed a night off every 12 nights. Because most hotels had three shows a night, we were able to catch three shows in our free time. We had a very nice chaperone and she took us. My most vivid memory was watching Sinatra perform. Those blue eyes came at me and I felt so elated. QUESTION Who in the entertainment business has influenced you the most? ANSWER I got to know Harry Secombe through the shows I did at the London Palladium [from the late 1960s]. Everybody loved Harry, he was a natural healer of the musical world. He was very professional and he loved his singing even though his comedy was paramount at the time. He studied with an Italian opera singer and he never stopped working on his voice. I learned from him that you never stop working on keeping yourself fit for your job. What I most admired about him, though, was his human spirit. After the first Palladium season I did 12 Combined Services Entertainment tours with him, going abroad and entertaining


The Cat  Autumn 2013

the British troops. We would leave Brize Norton airport on one of the big Beverley [heavy transport] aircraft which was also carrying Jeeps or tanks – so it wasn’t all glamour! We’d arrive in the middle of nowhere – somewhere like Borneo or Kuching or Germany, even – and see some of the guys building a stage for our show. I remember visiting, with Harry, some of the poorly servicemen in hospital. They were very ill, but when Harry left their faces were alive again with laughter. He gave them great hope. Those memories have never left me, I’ll always remember him. QUESTION Your biggest chart hit, J ust Loving You, was written by Dusty Springfield’s brother. How did you get that opportunity? ANSWER Dusty and I were both on T  op of the Pops. She was singing Y  ou Don’t Have to Say You Love Meand I was singing Trains and Boats and Planes…She waited while I had my rehearsal then came across and said that I and Mike [Margolis – Anita’s husband] had to meet her brother Tom, because he’d got a song for us. I have never stopped thanking her because it was a very unselfish thing for her to do. She could have sung it – she could have had a hit with it. That particular year she went on to do Son of a Preacher Manso I think she was developing a different style for herself. But that was lovely of her and God bless her memory. The joy now, after all these years, is that people come up to me and say they met their husband or got married when that song was around. Music is very much part of people’s lives, isn’t it? QUESTION You played the part of Grizabella in the musical Catsin the late 1980s. What was that experience like? ANSWER I was asked to audition and I was terrified…Cats was a phenomenon. The pinnacle of the show is when Grizabella sings M  emory. Every single artist in that show was a star – I had a great respect and regard for it. I went to the rehearsal and sang a couple of songs. And then I fell flat on the stage! I had two weeks’ rehearsal with [director] Trevor Nunn. I had always appreciated and loved cats but I hadn’t really taken in the cat strategy. My golly they had done their homework on the rhythm of cats, the movements of cats and the things that go through a cat’s mind. After learning about cats I had to find my Grizabella. Elaine Paige had played the role. I’d taken over from Marti Webb. They had their own style of Grizabella and Trevor said I would have to find my own. My darling Mum at the time was preparing to have a new hip. I told Trevor and he said I could use that if I wanted to. And then I said perhaps my Grizabella has been struck by a milk float. She’s slightly injured and on her on her ninth life.


Singer and actress Anita Harris, formerly Grizabella in the musical Cats, talks to Rebecca Evans about her extraordinary career spanning more than 50 years We’re getting to real dark stuff here! What that did was find the character I needed to bring the role to life. That song, M  emory, was a huge commitment every show. I wanted it to be better and better so that the audience absolutely knew that Grizabella was going through such pain but she was stoical. QUESTION Do you have any pets? ANSWER We had cats when I was a little girl and when they went to cat heaven we had a spaniel. I also had a beautiful Afghan Hound, Albert, who was with us for eighteen and a half years. The problem now is we can’t really have a pet because we travel so much. But I love cats. They look into your eyes, don’t they? Dogs have this trusting thing, whereas cats measure you up! QUESTION What are your plans for the rest of this year? ANSWER We start rehearsals for [Emlyn Williams’ play] A  Murder Has Been Arranged next week, and we open on 9 July in Lincoln, before going on tour. In between, on the weeks that we’re not doing the play, I’m doing a series of concerts. In the meantime, Mike and I have done a pilot of a TV detective series called The Casebooks of Verity Lake. It’s about a Victorian lady detective who happens to have grown up in vaudeville but her uncle was the chief of Scotland Yard. We believe that we do have some people interested in doing it. We’ll keep our fingers crossed. It’s lovely to be working on new projects. For more about Anita, plus details of her upcoming plays and concerts, see

Puss in boots Steve Ainsworth discovers some cats whose boots were made for walking


The Catâ&#x20AC;&#x201A; Autumn 2013

FEATURE Earlier this year a lost cat found wandering in Matlock, Derbyshire was reunited with his owner 200 miles away in Shoreham, Sussex after the lost puss displayed his special talent of giving high fives. The cat, named Oliver, disappeared from his home back in December. He is thought to have climbed aboard a removal van, which then travelled to Derbyshire. Oliver’s owners thought they recognised him on the RSPCA website. According to staff at the Society’s Derby branch where Oliver had been handed in: “Once it was explained by the owner that the cat was called Oliver and would give high fives, the centre’s supervisor called him by name and he perked up, gave her a high five and there was no doubt about it.” Oliver has been reunited with his family – and is now fitted with a microchip. Of course everyone would have been saved a lot of trouble if Oliver had only walked home after his unexpected trip to the north. And many cats do indeed put on their walking boots and make some remarkable journeys. Some years ago Pilsbury, an eight-year-old Tom from outer London, refused to accept that his family had now moved several miles away from their old home. Not happy with his new house Pilsbury simply walked back to the old one and had to be returned 40 times. Each time, in order to reach his former home, Pilsbury had to navigate busy roads and fields with herds of cattle. Pilsbury’s travels however pale to insignificance compared to the journeys made by some felines. Accounts of cats which travel vast distances – hundreds of miles – to get back home turn up all over the world.

World travellers

But even 850 miles isn’t the record. Back in 1978 a cat named Howie travelled even further to get back home after being taken on holiday by his owners. The three-year-old Persian walked home over 1,200 miles from the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia, to Adelaide – a trip that took him a year to make. According to his owner, 15-year-old Kirsten Hicks: “Although his white coat was matted and filthy and his paws were sore and bleeding, Howie was actually purring.” The outright record however is an even longer journey. And one which surprisingly took place in the same year and in the same country as Howie’s epic odyssey. In the summer of 1977 Shaun Philips and his father, Ken, lost their cat Silky at Gin Gin, a settlement some 200 miles north of Brisbane. Nine months later on 28 March, 1978, Silky turned up at the Philips’s home in a Melbourne suburb 1,472 miles away. According to his owner, “He was as thin as a wisp and stank to high heaven.” Some commentators suggest these stories may be untrue. Similar-looking strays just turn up and are claimed as the long lost puss. But since some of the cats involved, not least Holly who made her long trek last December, have been chipped, their identity cannot be in doubt. Though dogs, some birds and several other species are well known for their homing abilities it certainly seems that some cats at least share such skills. A 1954 scientific study conducted in Germany placed cats in a covered circular maze with six equally-spaced exits. The cats were found to exit the maze most often in the direction of their homes, though with most accuracy if their homes were less than three miles away. All the participants were treated kindly. The only other scientific experiment on the subject took place in 1920. Sadly it was less kindly conducted. Professor Frances Herrick of Cleveland, Ohio tested the homing powers of a cat by taking her to seven different locations between one and three miles from home. For each test the cat was taken by car in a sack and then released. Each time she returned home. For an eighth and final test the experimenters took her 16.5 miles away: but she did not return. And given her bad treatment, one can only imagine that poor puss decided to put her serious walking boots on and this time headed in exactly the opposite direction! So, for those whose cats have gone missing these tales show that you shouldn’t give up hope, they could be on their way home right now.

Cats Protection would not recommend anyone taking their cat on holiday with them, but rather arrange for a trusted cat sitter or a stay in a cattery. Should your cat go missing do register them with www. and contact your local CP branch.

Illustrations: Sam Roberts

Last November, Holly, a four-year-old tortoiseshell cat, was holidaying with her owners, Jacob and Bonnie Richter, in Daytona Beach Florida when she got lost. Although her owners searched for her, they couldn’t find the missing cat. Eventually, they gave up and drove home to West Palm Beach – 195 miles to the north. That didn’t deter Holly. On 1 January, almost two months after she had gone missing, Holly arrived home – staggering, weak, and very thin, but still very much alive despite her extraordinary trek. The pads on her paws were bleeding and her front claws were very sharp but the back ones worn down. According to scientists, “that is consistent with a long walk, since back feet provide propulsion, while front claws engage in activities like tearing.” Other cats have walked even further to get home. Back in 1989, Murka, another tortoiseshell cat, walked home to Moscow from Voronezh – a distance of 325 miles. Murka, a stray, had been taken in by Muscovite Vladimir Donsov. Unhappily Murka killed one of Vladimir’s pet canaries. A year later Murka unlocked the birdcage and killed another one. Banished to live with Vladimir’s mother in Voronezh, Murka disappeared two years later. On 19 October 1989, Mr Donsov found her in his Moscow apartment building, filthy, missing the tip of her tail and pregnant. After eating a large meal she unsurprisingly slept for three days. In 1996, came the story of an American tom named Ninja whose family had moved from Farmington in Utah to the town of Mill Creek in Washington State. Ninja presumably wasn’t impressed by his new home and disappeared soon after he got there. Twelve months later Ninja turned up in Utah at his old house. The cat had walked some 850 miles to get home.

The homing instinct

The Cat  Autumn 2013


A different world

 ileen Bellhas created her own feline haven E for lost and abandoned cats in Brunei



here comes a time in life where the yearning for change sets in and so it was in August 2012 that we followed our hearts and belongings over the South China Sea to Brunei where my husband Steve’s new teaching post was based. Accompanying us were our two beloved cats from the UK, Mr. Darcy and Fudgie who was a Cats Protection rescue. We considered every option for them but knew that we couldn’t leave them and we happily paid the small fortune required to have them flown over. Upon arrival in Brunei we were put into a ground-floor apartment, at our request, because of the cats. They would both sit and look out of the French windows, while the local monkeys would sit on a fence some 10 feet away and bare their teeth, occasionally making a lunge to intimidate. There was no real threat but we decided to request a move and we were soon off to a third floor apartment, which meant it would be difficult for the cats to go out.

The beginning of our Brunei brood

An ever present problem There are many stray animals in Brunei, some because the feral animals keep breeding and others due to the high turnover of foreign workers, some of whom sadly seem to find it easier and cheaper to let their animal companions loose rather than take them home where quarantine rules can be costly, lengthy and arduous.

Around the same time I was still going up and down the stairs morning and evening, feeding another stray cat we had named Lulu. While I was out one night calling for her, a small, extremely thin black cat plodded steadily towards me with its head down, Behind her was a black-andwhite kitten. I placed the food bowls down and knelt down to say hello to them. When the black one lifted its head I saw, to my horror, that her neck carried an open wound some four inches long. I gathered her in to my arms and ran up the stairs to my husband with the kitten following close behind. This black cat needed emergency treatment, so off we headed. The vet gave us some antibacterial spray which was all he had to offer, so we took her home and bathed and treated the wound as best we could. During all this time Nicky, as we had decided to call her, was as gentle and peaceful as any cat I have ever known. The security guards who are stationed at the gate of our housing compound told us that they had removed a tight elastic band from her neck before releasing her again. Upon opening the front door to take Nicky to the vets the kitten was still sitting on the doorstep looking up at us. We decided to call her Manja, meaning handful of white blossom.


All photos: Asako (

Some two months after moving into our new place we heard a cat crying somewhere down the back of our apartment complex. Peering over the back balcony we soon noticed two tiny kittens, looking lost and forlorn, walking down the road. We dashed down to see them and they ran into a woodpile where their little eyes peered back with trepidation. Some two weeks passed, with us traipsing up and down three flights of stairs morning and evening to feed the kittens, which by now were now called Issy and Eessa. We watched carefully for other kittens or Mum but none were seen. They soon started to come out to the food bowls when we walked some way away and this went on until we were able to coax them out when we were closer. We started to put the food into cat carriers and allowed this to go on for a few days until we managed to close the carriers and had two rescued kittens to add to the family. Life was relaxing in Brunei and we were settling into a comfortable routine. But it wasn’t long before fate

stepped in once again. After visiting a shopping area in the capital city, Bandar Seri Begawan, we came upon our next rescue – or she came upon us! A really emaciated ginger and white cat started to come over to us and ask for attention. Once again we began driving morning and evening to feed Ruby Tuesday. In this part of South East Asia, the local vets can be hit or miss in terms of standardised practices and devotion to the job, but with no choice we decided Ruby needed veterinary attention. The vet declared the cat was around 10 years old, had only one tooth left in her mouth with a really severe case of gingivitis which is a common ailment in Bruneian cats. After some much needed treatment, a round of flu and vitamin injections, worming medicine and some flea control, she joined our little troop. So then there were five… not intentional but they would simply have perished had we not taken them in.

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One-eyed Rufus Several months later we had to visit the local hospital on a personal mission, and I noticed another very emaciated small kitten with a severely diseased eye. On closer inspection he was very ill with infection, was not taking food or water and seemed to have lost all sense of wanting to live. He looked somewhat rough so the name Rufus seemed appropriate. I just couldn’t leave him any longer so he came home too. The vet treated him with antibiotics and, once he showed signs of improvement, totally removed the eye and the infected area and stitched it shut. The stitches did not hold initially so the operation had to be repeated – poor Rufus, going through such a thing again, but he is an indomitable little spirit who purrs every time he is picked up, loves all people and other cats and is an absolute joy in our lives. Our next trip to the vet was to neuter Lulu, the stray we had been feeding. We were surprised to find that she had recently given birth. After further investigation we discovered that she had three tiny kittens and that the area where her den was located was imminently due to be gutted for renovation. We waited until darkness

Many thanks to our friend, Asako, who has provided the photos accompanying this and the front cover picture. She has been so generous and wanted no mention, but I couldn’t let such kind gesture go unacknowledged. Eileen


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fell and took food down to the den over the next few weeks. Eventually we were able to gain their trust and took them back to the apartment barely a day before the work was due to begin. We managed to find a home for two of the kittens but we still had Lulu and her extremely fluffy grey kitten, Simba. The family was growing, as were our pet food bills. However, we were determined to rescue these needy souls Rufus and above all, to find a new loving home for them. The house was at peace and cats played and frolicked in the sunroom, jumped on the cat scratch posts and greatly enjoyed an assortment of toys and treats in what was fast becoming a cat sanctuary. One fine day not so long ago I was at a salon in town. As I went to leave, I opened the fire escape door and there perched on the top of the fire escape was a very poorly looking mum with her five very poorly kittens. “Oh no!” I said, but 30 minutes later we were back to make our most recent rescue. All of them had eye infections and all were starving, so after more trips to the vets we adopted Angel and her five babies: four boys and a girl.

Hope Apart from a few caring people and a few half-hearted groups, there are no animal charities here in Brunei to care for and home any strays. The veterinary

surgeries here are few and so choice is limited. They often don’t have some of the basic medicines and indeed training appears to be unregulated so that a trip to the vet can be a case of hit or miss success. In Brunei, even neutering an animal is an unwanted cost and so the easy option is to do nothing. Hence there is an avalanche of stray cats in need of care and a loving home. Cats here in Brunei tend to be smaller than cats in the UK and a lot of them have a short tail or a deformed, bent tail which according to local authorities is due to a genetic deficiency of some sort. I would never have believed that it was possible for us all to get along and live so well together. Peace reigns in our house and we experience the cats’ companionship as a daily joy. We have moved out of our apartment to a more expensive house just so they have more room. The house backs onto a relatively large area of frequently maintained grass and trees (not just jungle which is the norm in Brunei). All of the older cats are allowed some free supervised, roaming time outside every couple of days. We do need to be meticulous with hygiene and we continually monitor health and diet, but generally speaking, they all lead a very happy, safe life, full of love and companionship. It is our intention to relocate these cats to loving homes, and we have begun the process already, but as in anything we do right, it takes time, patience and passion. To save a life, bring peace to an animal’s suffering and be rewarded with the love that these animals bring is truly a blessing for us all.


A day in the life of a cat behaviour counsellor

“To pee, or not to pee…..”, that is the question when it comes to litter trays! Vicky Hallsinvestigates…


Should trays be covered or open?

Do I need to provide a litter tray if my cat goes outdoors?

How big should a litter tray be?

ouse soiling, particularly urination in inappropriate places, is a very common behavioural problem. There are a number of possible causes, without exception, the provision of attractive indoor litter facilities is an integral part of the solution. Here are some of the most common questions on this subject with my corresponding answers.

There are more cats than ever living in the UK. This means that the cat population density around our homes is greater than ever. If your cat doesn’t feel safe toileting outside (due to the threat of strange cats) then ‘accidents’ may occur indoors. Providing a litter tray for such emergencies makes sense, even if it remains largely unused.

What type of tray should I provide? The majority of litter trays are plastic and rectangular but ‘designer’ ones are available, from simple cardboard disposable trays to elaborate automatic self-cleaning devices. So which would your cat prefer? There is very little research available to give a definitive answer and all cats are different, but I would recommend the biggest tray that can be accommodated in the allocated area, bearing in mind you may start with a small tray for a tiny kitten and then rapidly progress to one more appropriate to the adult frame.

Covered trays are seen by many as preferable for cats to provide a discreet and private toilet, but can give any ‘bully’ cat in your home a chance to trap its victim or wait in ambush by sitting on the top. Many cats adapt to a closed facility but there are some who feel vulnerable confined in a small space with only one exit point.

Due to the increased popularity of giant breeds and multi-cat households I favour the ‘Jumbo’ tray size (22” [49cm] x 17” [38cm]) as a minimum, larger modified storage containers (in clear plastic) or garden trays (that provide the expansive dimensions without the corresponding depth). Based on general experience, a formula for ideal litter tray size is ‘one and a half times the length of the cat from its nose to the base of its tail’. This gives the cat opportunity to move around, dig and cover without any sense of restriction.

What litter should I use? Litter substrates include paper, wood, silica, corn, wheat and fuller’s earth, but the sand-like nonscented litters best mimic the material that cats instinctively favour. If however you are fortunate enough to have a cat that uses lightweight, biodegradable products (for example) then these are much easier to dispose of and, providing you clean them out thoroughly, just as good as any of the more expensive ones for keeping odours to a minimum. Many owners maintain the litter that their cat has used since it was a kitten and this usually works.

How deep should the litter be? Vicky Halls is a registered Veterinary Nurse, a member of the International Cat Care’s Feline Behaviour Expert Panel and author of several bestselling cat counselling books. For more information about these books or if you have any concerns about your own cat’s behaviour please visit her website:


The Cat  Autumn 2013

There are varying views; I have found that if the litter is too deep it forms an undulating surface which some find off-putting. A depth of 3-4cm is what I recommend, unless your own cat has shown a distinct preference for an alternative amount. However, if your cat is suffering from any medical condition that results in increased urine production, then the depth should be sufficient to soak up the larger than normal amount of liquid that is deposited at any one time.

HEALTH CHECK To scoop or not to scoop?

Where should I place the tray/s?

Litters are further categorised into clumping and nonclumping. The clumping litters, when urine is passed onto them, form a hard mass that can be removed by a scoop designed for the purpose. If this is done, together with removing stools on a daily basis, it leaves a clean environment. The non-clumping litters are advertised as ‘easy maintenance’ as the urine is absorbed into the material and only removed when the whole litter is changed. Whichever you choose, if you can detect an odour from the tray you may need to revise the type of litter you use or your cleaning regime.

The formula stipulates that trays are not located in the same area – if they are located in different areas it makes strategic guarding by assertive individuals almost impossible. Where those trays are positioned is crucial if they are to be seen as safe places to toilet. They should be in discreet corners or adjacent to walls so that the cat has full view of approaching danger but is protected from behind. Toilet sites should be away from food and water (for obvious reasons) and away from busy thoroughfares where toileting may be interrupted. Other areas to avoid include those adjacent to full-length windows, cat flaps and external doors where the threat from unknown forces may be particularly evident.

How often should I clean the tray/s and what should I use? For clumping sand-like substrates I would recommend scooping at least twice daily and replacing completely once a week, washing the litter tray with hot water and mild detergent. Avoid the use of phenol disinfectants as these are toxic to cats and if your vet recommends using a stronger antibacterial or virucidal tray cleaning product then be guided by that advice.

Are there any special considerations for elderly cats? As your cat gets older, irrespective of its habits up to now, an indoor tray will probably be a requirement. If your cat is arthritic then a large tray with a low entrance would avoid any discomfort.

What about accessories? Polythene tray liners are designed to be used as a container for removal of soiled contents although, in reality, they often leak badly as there are bound to be puncture marks and tears. Also, getting claws caught in polythene while attempting to cover deposits may be unpleasant for cats and I therefore don’t recommend them. Litter deodorants are available but the overpowering scent has no positive benefit for cats and may have a negative effect as they reject the tray in favour of something that smells more like a toilet.

How many trays should I provide?


When cats go to the toilet outdoors they generally prefer separate locations for urination and defecation. So if you were to simulate the ideal facilities indoors you would provide two trays for one cat. In multi-cat groups there is always need to provide sufficient resources, such as feeding areas and beds, to avoid conflict and competition and this advice is most relevant to litter trays. The formula ‘one tray per cat plus one extra in different locations’ is not based on hard evidence but many agree it is sound advice. This means that, if you have four cats, the ideal number of trays is five. This often causes dismay in owners who have several cats, so the compromise here is to identify how well a multi-cat group works. If the cats are seen as one cohesive group, or several sub-groups are easily identified, the formula can be adapted to ‘one per social group plus one extra’.

The Cat  Autumn 2013


vets Ask the

Have you got a question? Send your questions to: Ask The Vets, The Cat magazine, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT or email

CP’s team of veterinary experts tackle your feline-related questions…

My cat has recently been diagnosed with diabetes which I found rather surprising as he is only eight years old. I’ve been given a regime by our vet but I’m worried for my cat. I work full time and can’t always get home during the day and don’t want him to have an ‘episode’ while I’m gone. What does the future hold for diabetic cats and do you think he’s suffering by having it? He’s my best friend and I feel so badly that he has to cope with all this but I can’t bear the thought of losing him. Jean Bradbury, Cheshire We’re sorry to hear your cat has been diagnosed with diabetes. We absolutely understand the bond that develops between owners and their cats and so how distressing you have found the diagnosis. Sadly it is a common and complex disorder seen in middle-aged to older cats. In some cases, it is associated with feline obesity, a growing issue in our UK pets, and sometimes it is associated with drug administration following treatment of other disorders, though in others, no predisposing factor can be found. Feline diabetes mellitus is closest to human type II diabetes, and results in the reduced ability of cells to take up glucose – due to a lack of, and/or the cells’ reduced ability to respond to, the pancreas hormone, insulin. Male cats are most commonly affected. The resulting persistently high blood glucose levels lead to increased urine output which itself leads to increased thirst, weight loss and in some cases a ravenous appetite. Glucose in the urine can predispose to recurrent cystitis. The condition can also lead to a metabolic crisis known as ketoacidosis which is life-threatening. Most affected cats require regular insulin injections together with careful dietary management – if stabilised early, some cats will go into remission without requiring treatment, though the condition can recur. Unfortunately, it is difficult to comment on your specific cat, as every case is different. Diabetic cats respond to insulin injections differently – the timing of injection and its peak effect at bringing glucose levels down varies from cat to cat, and timing feeding around this can be important. Some cats are hospitalised at the vets for a period while trying to establish the best regime to suit; sometimes owners are able to monitor affected cats at home. Such monitoring can be helpful to know when the peak effect of insulin is and so when the glucose level is likely to be at its lowest. Once stable, monitoring weight, water intake, behaviour and, often, blood glucose and hormone levels are helpful guides to appraise how well your cat is responding to treatment longer term. Many cats cope well with the treatment and, with owner dedication, you may be reassured to know that many cats, particularly those with no concurrent

26 The Cat  Autumn 2013

diseases, will respond well to treatment and enjoy a good quality of life for many years. We recommend you develop a good relationship with your vet and discuss all your concerns so that you can work together to develop the best pattern of care. You may wish to find a reliable neighbour or experienced pet sitter to check on your cat while you out. You may also find our Diabetic Cat Register helpful. This support and (non-veterinary) advice network offers volunteers who have experience of living with a diabetic cat and are willing to share their knowledge with worried owners. The register is available by contacting our National Helpline on 03000 12 12 12 or email We wish you and your cat the very best and hope that he stabilises quickly. I am a recently new cat owner, having only ever had dogs before. I didn’t set out to be one but I seem to have been ‘adopted’ by a stray cat who had taken to living in our garden. We advertised and checked the local lost and found registers, but couldn’t find her owners and I’d like to do my best for her as she is a lovely little thing. We’ve had her vaccinated and chipped and checked she was neutered. The vet gave me some good basic advice about cat owning but I was surprised when he told me I could not use the same flea treatment on her as I use for my dogs. He told me it was toxic to them, but I wanted to find out more. Can you explain why this is? Are cats really that different to dogs? Margaret Stenness, Wiltshire Congratulations on becoming a cat owner! There is an old veterinary adage, ‘Cats are not small dogs’, and this applies to so many aspects of our approach to them. Even the history of their domestication is vastly different! I’m sure you’ve already found out some of the differences between the two species – for example, in terms of their behaviour, their appearance and their diet. In fact, it is thought that the difference in diet may be responsible for the unique sensitivity of cats to a number of chemicals, including some of the dog flea products. Cats are extremely specialised hunters and their digestive system has evolved to suit this – they are obligate carnivores and cannot be vegetarian because they are unable to metabolise their food in the same way. In particular, cats lack a specific enzyme called glucoronyl transferase which helps many other species to break down certain chemicals. Some dog flea products contain a concentrated form of a drug called permethrin. This chemical is broken down by the liver and it is thought the difference in metabolism is what leaves cats so very sensitive to it, causing them acute neurological problems, for which there is no antidote. Exposure to even tiny quantities of the concentrated form


The experts

of the drug can sadly have fatal consequences in cats. These products are freely available over the counter, so be careful to always check the packaging carefully, and it is recommended to seek your vet’s advice on optimum and safe flea control for all the pets in the household. It is better to be safe than sorry! My cat is 11 years old and I have had her since she was three and during this time she has always slept with me. However, just recently she has started constantly licking me and prodding and pulling me around during the night. If I turn over to get away from it she just comes round the other side and starts again. She doesn’t seem to be ill but it’s interfering with my sleep and I don’t want to end up getting cross with her – why is she doing this, please help? Carol Hartley via email I’m sorry to hear that you’re getting disturbed sleep, it’s not fun! Even though your cat doesn’t seem unwell, they are masters at disguising illness. When cats show a change in behaviour, the first thing we always recommend is that you get your cat checked out by your vet. Please ensure that you specifically discuss her recent night time activities with the vet to rule out any medical problems that could be causing this behaviour. Once she’s been checked out, there are a number of possible behavioural causes. For example, cats are crepuscular, meaning that they are naturally more active during dawn and dusk. With the increasing day length, this can affect your cat’s activity levels. Does your cat seem to want something in particular like food or attention? If so, try to give her options to meet her needs herself. If she is bugging you for food and the vet doesn’t feel there is a medical reason for this, then try feeding her daily allowance little and often throughout the day and leave a portion down at night too. To keep her amused, you could try hiding some dry food in cardboard egg boxes so that she has to paw out the biscuits and ‘hunt’ for her food. Always ‘show’ the cat how to use new feeding enrichment ideas so that they can easily get the hang of it and prevent them losing interest or getting frustrated. There are also commercially available items such as puzzle boards and food balls which have holes for dry food to fall out out when it is moved. If she’s after attention, remember that giving her any kind of attention (whether it’s positive or not) is going to reinforce the behaviour, so that she’s more likely to behave the same way the next time she wants attention. If this is the underlying cause then it’s best to ignore her when she’s doing this at night, but please give her fuss during the day when it’s appropriate. There are many possible reasons that could cause this behaviour, and these are just a few ideas. Cats Protection can only give general advice and information on the care of cats. Therefore, for specific guidance and help with your cat, we would highly recommend that you consult your own vet who may recommend a referral to a suitably qualified behaviourist or alternatively go to the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) website to find your nearest qualified behaviourist.

Maggie Roberts BVM&S MRCVS After qualifying at Edinburgh University in 1986, Maggie went on to work primarily in private practice. Maggie first worked for CP as Veterinary Officer from 1997-99; her interest in feline medicine brought her back to the charity as Director of Veterinary Services in 2006. She has three cats, Trevor, Frankie and Ronnie. Beth Skillings BVSc MRCVS Beth qualified at the University of Liverpool in 1998 and went on to work in general veterinary practice until 2005 when she joined CP as Head of Veterinary Services. Beth moved into a new role as Clinical Veterinary Officer in November 2006. Beth has a CP cat, Humphrey. Lisa Morrow BMLSc, DVM, MSc (Vet Epi) MRCVS Lisa graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College at the University of Guelph, Canada in 2000. Lisa first worked with CP as an Adoption Centre Vet at Derby Adoption Centre and was CP Head of Veterinary Services from 2003-2005. Lisa recently rejoined CP as Field Veterinary Officer in the northern region of the UK. She has two black cats, Kiwi and Mango. Karen Hiestand BVSc MRCVS Karen graduated from Massey University in New Zealand in 2001 and spent two years in mixed practise in her home country. Since then, she has interspersed locumming around the UK with volunteer veterinary work. Karen is the Field Veterinary Officer for the southern region of the UK. She has one cat called Dexter. Our veterinary surgeons have provided the advice on these pages, but for specific cases and health concerns it is important that you consult your own vet who will be able to look at your cat’s history and do a clinical examination.

The Cat  Autumn 2013


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Grappling with Cattish  lison Princeis becoming A fluent in cat chat


n a cat owner’s house recently, I noticed that her cat never said anything. He was a very obliging cat who didn’t mind being picked up by a teenage daughter and having his fur ruffled or even being held upside down – but he never said a word. It seemed a bit odd, as every cat I’ve ever lived with has been full of conversation. Perhaps it’s because I’ve always talked to them, so they talk back. Admittedly, Cattish does not have a big vocabulary. Fingal never got much beyond ‘Ee-ee!’ which fits the bill perfectly well as a feline ‘Hello’ – but then, he’d spent much of his childhood in a barn with no human company, so his opportunities for socialising with the big-footed two-leggers were limited. Beloved Paddy of fond memory spent several months at a Cats Protection home where his best friend was a sweet Alsatian who wuffed at him from time to time and encouraged cheerful banter. Perhaps as a result, he had a good range of chirrups and purrs and grumbles – not to mention screams of outrage if any other cat should approach the house. Mitzi got separated from her mum at four weeks old, which is a bit young for serious verbiage. When she came here, she never said anything, though she had a range of spitting and swearing at poor Fingal that was nothing short of shocking in one so young. But all that changed when she decided that I was her mother. She now has a wide variety of chirrupings and chirpings, each suited to its own purpose, starting with the morning greeting when she comes in to see if I am awake. “Mmrrrrrew?” If it’s barely dawn, she doesn’t get much response. “Too early,” I mutter, like

29 The Cat  Autumn 2013

they do when you try to present your Aged Person travel card before nine o’clock. And she is usually happy to settle down and doze with her owner, or else to nip off outside and try again later. This is not popular with me when it’s raining. ‘Mmrrrrew-ow!’ – ‘Hello, I’m sopping wet.’ Cattish pronunciation is a bit subtle, as it’s all vowels, apart from the throaty R-sound. The only other consonant is M for murmur (not murder, if we’re lucky), which can be said with the mouth shut, as a kind of hum. It can be ominous. If a cat starts to hum in your presence, it is probably because something suspicious is going on. Humming may be accompanied by flattened ears or even a swishing tail, in which case you are in trouble. A humming cat is likely to shoot through the cat-flap like an unguided missile and set about whatever presence it has detected lurking under the raspberry canes. Less alarmingly, it may simply mean that the oil tanker has arrived and a man is hauling a long hose from its drum, delivery nozzle in hand. Sharper Cattish sounds are used in inter-cat disputes. “Can I have that?” “No, it’s mine, shove off.” “Go on, don’t be mean.” “I’m not telling you again.” A quick leap and tussle may follow, with some squealing then an indignant setting of the fur in order. Such little spats are never serious, and can often be brought to a halt by a suggestion

from the owner that they go for a drink or have lunch. (Bit like the House of Commons, really). These small disputes only happen at mealtimes and are quickly settled by the arrival of food. I’m inclined to think that talking to your cats a lot is the only way to build up an understanding of Cattish – and, of course, their understanding of Humanish. Mitzi and Fingal know their names and recognise a wide range of short phrases, including ‘Come here’, ‘Get down’, ‘Too early’, ‘Aren’t you beautiful?’ and ‘No’. Their own language is physical as well as verbal, which puts me at a disadvantage. Lacking a tail, and with non-communicating ears that stay flat to the head instead of expressing surprise, interest, suspicion and horror, I come from a sadly limited species. We can’t do that emotion-packed leaning against a human friend’s legs – but neither can we attempt to climb up the jeans of the beloved, then look offended when he or she squawks and requests us to shove off. Cattish probably has to be learned in childhood. Remembering back as I do to early years when the family cat was far easier to understand than any of the humans, it’s been no problem. For cats, it is harder, since no cat can teach any other cat to speak Humanish. But educating them from kittenhood brings great rewards. (“No, Mitzi. Not right now. Down.”)

Illustration: Alison Prince

Keeping your cat’s teeth – what you need to know

Healthy gums but a crown fracture exposing the pulp cavity of the inner left canine tooth necessitating treatment

Callum Blairhelps us brush up on dental hygiene


e are well aware of the importance of keeping our own teeth and gums healthy yet the importance of caring for a cat’s teeth and gums is not discussed as frequently – perhaps because many of us approach our cats’ mouths at our peril! Unfortunately, research shows that periondontal disease in cats is all too common, occurring in 70 per cent of cats by the time they are three years old.* What’s particularly worrying is that, as well as causing painful damage inside a cat’s mouth, if left untreated, the bacteria involved can go on to affect other parts of the body. So periodontal disease isn’t something we can ignore – but the good news is that there are some simple, practical steps we can take to help protect our cats’ mouths. Even better, they don’t all involve getting our fingers bitten! But before we explore what these are, it’s important to understand more about our cats’ mouths and about the causes of periodontal disease.

30 The Cat  Autumn 2013

A peek inside your cat’s mouth Kittens are born with 26 milk teeth which are replaced by 30 in an adult cat. Their teeth are highly evolved to help them hunt, kill and eat prey. The tiny incisors at the front are designed to grip prey while the sharp canine teeth kill and shred it. Further back in their mouths, they have eight premolar and four molar teeth.

Callum Blair BVMS MRCVS Callum graduated from Glasgow Vet School in 1994 and spent six and a half years in general practice in the south and east of England. He joined Virbac’s Technical Support Team at the end of 2000. His current role involves training and advising vets, nurses and pet owners on pet healthcare and all aspects of Virbac’s product range.


and gums healthy Periodontal disease explained Periodontal disease is a collective term for several inflammatory conditions, all caused by a build up of plaque and tartar on the teeth and gums supported by the periodontium – the gums, bone and ligaments of the jaw. The two most common conditions are: • Gingivitis – this is caused by plaque bacteria which colonise the space between the tooth and gum, causing gum inflammation. It is generally reversible with appropriate treatment • Periodontitis – if left untreated, gingivitis can develop into this more serious condition in which irreversible damage to the periodontium can occur

Prevention is better than cure The two most effective ways to protect your cat are to establish a regular preventative health regime and to ensure they eat an appropriate diet. In terms of a preventative regime, it’s best to start when your cat is a kitten, because if he gets used to having you feel his mouth as a youngster, he may be more tolerant once he’s grown up. But whatever the age of your cat, it’s never too late to start! It’s also useful to be in the routine of taking a look inside his mouth regularly to check for problems. If you have any concerns, raise them with your veterinary surgeon. Brushing your cat’s teeth is the gold standard in terms of preventative health because it’s by far the most effective way to remove plaque. It’s important to introduce the concept of brushing to cats slowly and always to use toothbrushes and toothpastes specifically designed for them. Cat toothpastes, for instance, have been formulated to be palatable to them. They don’t foam, don’t need to be rinsed away and don’t contain fluoride which is toxic to cats.

Photos: The Veterinary Dental Surgery

Plaque and bacteria start to accumulate on the teeth of adult cats, sticking to the membrane coating which covers each tooth and creating what’s called a ‘biofilm’. Over time, if they are not removed, disease-causing bacteria also attach themselves to the biofilm and start to cause the inflammation that leads to gingivitis. Meanwhile, some of the plaque also ‘calcifies’, turning into a substance called calculus or tartar – usually a light brown colour. It adheres to the teeth – in severe cases, covering the whole tooth – allowing more bacteria to lodge on its porous surface, together with food debris. Bad breath can then be caused by volatile sulphurs released by the bacteria. As the gums start to become inflamed, the gap between the tooth and the gum margin becomes deeper. This adds to the problems as yet more bacteria find their way in and the problem worsens. At this stage, gingivitis is usually painful but is reversible with treatment to remove the plaque and calculus. However, if it’s not treated, it can become established and, in some animals, it will transform itself into the more serious condition of periodontitis. Not all cats develop periodontitis but, for those that do, the consequences can only be resolved by veterinary treatment. Some cats will lose teeth, develop painful abscesses or more serious oral conditions. It is not well understood why some cats go on to develop periodontitis and others don’t but issues such as overall health, diet, lifestyle and genetics may play a part.

periodontitis may cause them to show a reduced interest in food or they may approach their food bowl then show a reluctance to eat. Sometimes weight loss can be dramatic. Cats may chew with obvious discomfort, drop food or swallow with difficulty. Some refuse dry food, showing a preference for wet food because it is softer to eat. Finally, some cats will drool and their saliva may contain blood. Bad breath is also a warning sign.

Spotting the signs Once gingivitis has turned into periodontitis, cats may be in pain. Most cats will hide pain and only subtle changes will be noticed. In extreme cases,


The Cat  Autumn 2013



Servere periodontitis


To help you do your bit to ensure your cat’s mouth stays in tip top condition, animal health company Virbac is offering dental care packs to 20 lucky readers. Each pack contains: • A finger brush and toothpaste pack to help you introduce brushing to your cat • A dual ended toothbrush, specially designed to make brushing easier • A tube of Enzymatic toothpaste to remove plaque while brushing • A bottle of Vet Aquadent. This drinking water additive will limit plaque formation and freshen breath Simply send us your name and address, either by email to or by post to T  he Catmagazine, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Sussex RH17 7TT. 20 winners will be notified and receive their dental care pack direct from Virbac. Please mark your emails and envelopes ‘VIRBAC’. The closing date is 11 October 2013.


The Cat  Autumn 2013

If you want to start brushing for the first time, it may be helpful to introduce the toothpaste first for a few days, putting some on the end of your finger and encouraging your cat to lick it off. You can also try brushing first with a finger brush. Lift up the lips carefully, to expose the gums then massage the teeth and gums gently. Once your cat tolerates this, you can progress to a special cat toothbrush. Ideally you should brush your cat’s teeth daily or a minimum of every other day. When attempting to clean your cat’s teeth always take into consideration your cat’s temperament and do not allow yourself to get bitten. Seek medical attention should you receive a cat bite as antibiotics are always recommended. You can supplement your toothbrushing with the use of an oral rinse. These contain chlorhexidine, which is a well-known anti-plaque agent and is effective against most of the bacteria found in your cat’s mouth. Used once a day in addition to (or if all else fails instead of!) brushing, a rinse will help to reduce the level of bacteria and remove debris. This will reduce the incidence of gingivitis. Finally, you can also use a product which you can add to your cat’s drinking water. An example is Virbac’s Vet Aquadent, which helps limit the build-up of plaque and freshens breath – but this is not a replacement for tooth brushing or a chlorhexidine solution. In terms of diet, it is arguable that soft, wet foods provide no abrasive action against the teeth when chewing and so offer no prevention of plaque formation. Dry foods are more abrasive and encourage chewing and specific ‘dental’ diets have now also been developed to help to keep teeth clean in animals predisposed to dental disease. The kibble they contain is designed to push against the tooth surface to help keep them clean though, at present, their long-term efficiency in reducing periodontal disease is unproven. While gum disease can be a problem for many cats, getting to grips with its causes and understanding what you can do to reduce the risk could save your pet great discomfort and pain – not to mention saving you costly veterinary treatment. Putting a preventative regime in place really isn’t difficult – so go on – give your cat something to smile about! * Data from American Veterinary Dental Association


Feline Fancies has launched! The challenge – to find the UK’s most creative feline-themed quilts!

In conjunction with The Quilters’ Guild, Cats Protection has launched a challenge – Feline Fancies – to find the UK’s most creative feline-themed quilts! The challenge was launched at this year’s Festival of Quilts, which took place in August at the NEC in Birmingham. The successful entries will be exhibited at Festival of Quilts 2014 and at further venues including The Guild’s Conference and at the charity’s National Cat Centre. Additionally, a silent auction of selected quilts will take place during the exhibition to raise much-needed funds for both organisations.

This quilting challenge is open to members of The Quilters’ Guild; the national organisation for people involved in patchwork and quilting. The competition deadline is 1 May 2014. For further information about The Guild’s work and for details of membership please see or call 01904 613 242. Quilts should have a maximum size of 40” on any one side and can be made using any material or technique. Quilts can be traditional or contemporary, pictorial or abstract, but must include a feline theme. Entries will be selected by a judging panel from submitted images, with some great prizes on offer from Mettler Threads and Cats Protection. Emma Osborne, Cats Protection’s Events Manager, said, “The quilting challenge is an enjoyable way for cat-loving quilters to creatively demonstrate their fondness for felines as well as their support for the charity’s work.” Liz Whitehouse, Chief Executive for The Quilters’ Guild, said: “We hope the quilting challenge will appeal to quilters whatever their level of experience and we are looking forward to seeing some beautiful illustrations of the quilters’ art.”

For an entry form and further details including the rules for entry, contact: • Millie Thomas, The Guild’s Exhibitions Officer via email: or phone: 01239 682 583 • Cats Protection’s Helpline via email: or phone: 03000 12 12 12 Photos: The Quilters’ Guild

The Cat  Summer 2013


Pict  iobhan O’Brienshares S some tips on how to catch your cat’s good side


Photo: Barbara Yeo (

t’s official; cat photos rule the internet. Earlier this year, The Telegraphreported that one in 10 of us post pet pictures online at least once a week and back in January the first ever feline social media site launched aimed at ‘making the internet a better and happier place with cats’. If that’s not enough proof that the web’s gone moggy mad, there’s even a Facebook app for transforming all those baby photos clogging up your newsfeed into pics of cute cats. So it’s no surprise that a study by Nikon last year discovered we’d rather take pictures of our pets than our partners, with 45 per cent saying their furry friend was their favourite photography subject, compared to just 19 per cent opting for their spouse! Well we say if something’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right, so we’ve asked five professional photographers for the inside scoop on snapping your cat, no fancy kit or technical knowhow required. The one thing we heard from every photographer was ‘get out!’ They weren’t asking us to leave, they were raving about the advantages of taking photos outdoors. So take this one as a bonus tip; if you can, always try to take your pet pictures using natural sunlight instead of your camera’s flash. Now on to the nitty gritty of cat photography.



perfect Keep it simple


Photo: Karen Parker (

Photo: Barbara Yeo (

It’s tempting to pick an interesting backdrop for your photos, but if you want your cat to be star attraction (and why wouldn’t you?), keep surroundings simple and uncluttered, says multi-award winning pet photographer Karen Parker. That way they won’t distract from your subject.

Make some noise!


We all know cats have their own agendas. You’re ready for a photo session but your moggy might have other plans. So to get that perfect picture, pet photographer Barbara Yeo says you’ll need something to grab their attention. “The crinkle of an empty crisp packet can keep them interested long enough to snap a photo.” Just hold it wherever you want them to look.

The Cat  Autumn 2013


Eye contact


Photo: Marleen Lammers (

Eyes are the window to the soul, so why not make them the star attraction? “The best way to capture your pet’s expression is through her eyes,” explains pet photographer Marleen Lammers who began her career taking wildlife pictures in Africa. “It’s really important to always have them in focus.” A close up on the eyes makes for a nice, creative shot too.

Think outside the box


“Or even inside the box,” says Jeni Long of Yawning Cat Photography. “Cats love peeping around corners and through gaps, and that can create a really unique picture. I made a ‘cat house’ from a cardboard box and cut out windows and a door; anybody can do this at home!” Photo: Jeni Long (

Think fast


Photo: Kathryn Collinson (

Like children, pets don’t listen when we ask them to sit still for a photo. And if you’ve just given them a cardboard house to play in, who can blame them? Barbara Yeo recommends using a fast shutter speed or the sports mode on your camera. It’s designed to capture action, so if your cat rolls over or sneezes mid shot, you won’t end up with a big blurry mess.

Make introductions


How would you like being woken from a nice sleep to find a strange machine pointing at you? Exactly! Sneak up on your cat with a big, unidentified bit of tech and chances are they’ll be suspicious. Worse, a nervy cat might scarper. “Get them used to the camera over a period of days,” recommends award-winning Buckinghamshire based pet photographer Kathryn Collinson. “Bring the camera out, take some photos and get her used to you having something glued to your eye.” When they’re comfortable with that, taking proper photos will be much easier.

36 The Cat  Autumn 2013

Photo: Karen Parker (


Here comes the technical bit If you’ve got a DSLR (basically a digital camera with variable lenses), you can play around with the settings for perfect results. Turn your camera’s dial to ‘aperture priority’ – AV on a Canon, TV on a Nikon – and increase or decrease the number (or f-stop) depending on the effect you’re after. This will alter how blurry or in-focus parts of your picture are. “Selecting a mid-range aperture, about 7.1, will keep the nose and whiskers in focus,” explains Karen Parker. Using a wider aperture (or low f-stop) like 1.4 will produce a less sharp but more creative result.

Be ready to pounce


Get down!

Photo: Jeni Long (

You know your cat’s habits better than anyone, so be prepared to catch that perfect shot. “A great time to start snapping is just as they’re waking up,” suggests Jeni Long. “Cats will nearly always yawn after a sleep which makes a cute picture and if you’re lucky they’ll do a roly poly or big stretch. Much more playful than a typical ‘sitting’ kitty pose.”


“You’ll achieve the best angle if you can get down to your cat’s level – lie on the floor if you have to,” recommends Marleen Lammers. “You’ll end up with a nicer, more natural shot.”

Photo: Kathryn Collinson (

Beware black cats


We’re not superstitious, but capturing dark cats can be tricky because of the way light is absorbed and reflected by their fur. Believe it or not, a white background is a no-no as it tricks your camera’s auto exposure into thinking the scene is lighter than it is. Instead, Kathryn Collinson suggests going for a background which complements the cat but doesn’t contrast too much; find something that works well with their eye colour, for example. Black cats also need lots of light. “Ideally you want the light at an angle across the fur. If it’s too direct, the fur won’t have any texture and will look wet.” So, what are you waiting for? Get the Box Brownie, SLR or phone camera and get snapping! And if you get some good ones pics, why not post them up on the Cats Protection Facebook page? We’d love to see them!

The Cat  Autumn 2013


From comfy cat beds to some very special feline art, we think you’ll love our autumn product picks


Sassy bags

Top clock

We have three of these fun Cat’s Pyjamas totes from Alphabet Bags to give away. Each bag, worth £13, is made in the UK from heavyweight cotton. To enter, quote the prize phrase Cat Totes. See for more of the company’s bold printed designs.

This fun wall clock is hand-printed on high grade laser-cut plywood – follow the cat’s whiskers to tell the time! We have one clock, worth £25, to give away, thanks to Hunkydory Home. Enter using the prize phrase Clock. For more charming and quirky home accessories, see


Make a mog (or two) We love these make-your-own cat brooch kits from Yorkshirebased Fibrespace. Each kit, priced at £6.15, contains all the materials you need to make two brooches, including 100 per cent wool felt. They are suitable for anyone aged seven or over who has basic sewing skills. Buy the brooch kit and browse the range – which includes bear, flower and dog designs – at

Cool collars Rachel Jinks from Surrey started sewing cute, colourful cat collars after she rehomed two cats, Mia and Lila, in 2010. After making enough collars to last her own cats a lifetime, she decided to start selling them online and Mog’s Togs was born. All Mog’s Togs collars have a quick-release fastening for safety and a removable bell. On the website you’ll find a wide variety of collars made from either fabric or ribbon and webbing, with new designs added regularly, including monthly limited editions. See for the full range and use the code CPMOGS for a 10 per cent discount (valid until 1 December 2013). We have four collars to give away: please mark your entry M  og’s Togsand indicate your preferred style from those pictured (top to bottom): zebra, stripes, dots or skulls.


The Cat  Autumn 2013




cat’ s miaow Luxury lazing


Your feline friend won’t be able to resist taking a catnap on the Tramps Paw faux-fur bed. This pawshaped bed features a faux suede centre cushion surrounded by fur, providing your pet with both warmth and comfort. The Tramps Paw bed is machine washable for easy cleaning and has a non-slip base. The bed measures 55x55x26cm and is available in three colours: teddy (pictured), brown (mid-brown) and grizzly (dark brown with beige pad). We have three beds, each worth £39.99, to give away. Mark your entry C  at Bedand indicate your preferred colour. For further information, or to buy online, visit:

Safer access Feline intruders can be a real problem for cat owners. You want to give your cat easy access to and from the house, and a cat flap is the ideal solution. But how do you stop local mogs entering your house, eating your cats’ food or, even worse, attacking them? Pet product manufacturer Pet Mate has an answer in its two new Cat Mate cat flaps, which allow access only to selected cats by reading their existing microchips or RFID collar tags (tags available separately from Pet Mate). Both the Cat Mate Elite Selective Chip and Disc (ref 356) and the Cat Mate Elite Super Selective Chip and Disc (ref 355) feature electronic four-way locking and multiple cat access. The 355 allows access for up to nine cats and the 356 up to 16. The Elite Super Selective Chip and Disc allows a pet owner to set the time cats are allowed in or out and includes an LCD display showing the time, lock setting, selected cat location and battery indicator. Both flaps can be installed in glass, wood, metal or plastic doors. See for more. We have two Elite Selective Chip and Disc cat flaps (pictured), each worth £84.95, to give away. Just mark your entry C  at Mate.



Poignant print In 2007, Donna Connolly, who describes herself as a cat-mad Scottish artist, adopted a tiny grey kitten, Joe, from CP’s East Neuk of Fife branch. Joe was in a bad state and was not expected to live, but thanks to Donna’s patient care and devotion he is now a beautiful, healthy cat. Donna, who still volunteers for the branch, started drawing Joe and transforming her drawings into greetings cards to raise money for the branch. She has kindly offered us this beautiful print of Joe (pictured) as a Favourites giveaway. If you would like to hang a CP success story on your wall, simply enter using the phrase Joe Print. Donna sells prints and cards as well as accepting pet portrait commissions, for more information search for Donna Connolly Art on Facebook or type in this link to your browser:

For a chance to win, just email, including the prize phrase in the subject line and your name, address and any prize preferences (if asked for) in the email body. You can also enter by post. Simply send your name and address plus the prize phrase on a postcard or sealed envelope to: The Cat magazine, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH17 7TT. We may need to pass details of competition winners to the prize suppliers for products to be posted direct. The closing date for giveaways is 11 October 2013.

The Cat  Autumn 2013 39

Dedicated to the cause  ue Dobbscelebrates the ups and downs of being S an Adoption Centre Manager


still remember clearly the day 15 years ago when I retrieved the weekly newspaper T  he Recorder from the bin after throwing it away because I had an uncanny feeling that there was a job in it for me. I initially dismissed the feeling as my children were both very young and I wasn’t actively seeking work but eventually decided to take a look. Imagine my surprise when I saw the advert for Cats Protection Bridgend Adoption Centre Manager. As I read the advert my surprise changed to excitement,

the job could have been tailor-made for me, and I believed I had the right combination of animal care and management experience to make a success of the job. My father had always had a passion for animals which he had passed to me; I grew up on a smallholding and helped care for a variety of small and large mammals, birds of prey and reptiles. After finishing school I started working for the family business managing our farm shop which sold things like animal feed and equipment. I also continued in college part time and attained an intermediate diploma in animal welfare. I heard that my application was successful in March 1998; this was another memorable day. Sadly there had been a fire at the centre overnight due to an electric fault and one cat had passed away and another had suffered smoke inhalation. The HR team telephoned me to let me know that I had the position and could I please go the centre to see if I could offer any assistance. This was my initiation into a role which has seen happy and sad times, highs and lows, great strides forward and setbacks but most importantly of all helped rehome over 18,000 cats and kittens.

A vital hub

Sue and a resident

40 The Cat  Autumn 2013

Bridgend Adoption Centre is one of the largest and busiest centres in the UK and includes homing, admission, maternity and isolation wings. We have 121 pens in total and can have over 250 cats and kittens in our care when full to capacity. Each wing has its own kitchen area and tray wash; we also have an operating room enabling our vet to neuter and carry out minor surgery on site. My role is very varied and no two days are the same – I often go into work with a plan for the day only to find it derailed by the day’s events. I have to smile as I read back over the last sentence; just as I wrote it a very distraught member of the public arrived unexpectedly in the centre with a mum and four kittens. She initially said that the cats belonged to a neighbour who couldn’t cope any longer due to having too many cats. I sat down to have a chat with


her and after a lengthy conversation she admitted the cats belonged to her and she was at the end of her tether. By the time I sorted out pens to accommodate mum and kittens, arranged for them to be admitted and for the remainder of the cats in that home to go on the waiting list, the vet had arrived at the centre and it was time to assist with our weekly vet run so this article had to go on the back burner for the rest of the day.

The daily routine My typical day would start with briefing the team on which areas they are working in, bringing them up to date with relevant information for the day and arranging for cats to be transported to the vets for routine ops such as dentals. I would then walk around to check all the cats in the centre for any signs of illness and arrange for them to see the vet and move to isolation if necessary. Responding to emails and phone call is next on the agenda, followed by dealing with correspondence, signing off invoices and forwarding them to accounts for payment. I would then check for any empty pens in homing wings, arrange for ready-to-home cats to move up and new cats to come in from our waiting list. Depending on the day of the week my next jobs might be to do the ordering, prepare for and assist the vet with the vet run, organise rotas, deal with staff annual leave requests and performance management, log income on to spread sheets, deal with the banking or catch up with general admin. As well my day-to-day routine duties, I plan open days at the centre and other fundraising events such as the Catathon, fire walks and glass walks.

I also work with the media to raise the profile of the centre through news articles, radio and TV interviews. I also have been involved in several work groups with National Cat Centre to help develop new concepts and ideas. At this point I have to say that I have a great team of deputies, cat carers, receptionists and volunteers working with me to deliver the highest standards of cat care, customer service and fundraising, as well as assisting with staging events and delivering talks in schools and the community. The success of the centre wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be possible without everyoneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard work and commitment.

Sue hot foots it for CP

The Catâ&#x20AC;&#x201A; Autumn 2013


Photo: Sue Dobbs

Agatha and kittens

BEHIND THE SCENES The usual suspects

Photo: Sue Dobbs

Getting to play dress up

Snap happy

One of the highlights of my time working for Cats Protection is the Catathon Guinness World Record Attempt for the largest gathering of people dressed as cats. This attempt took place in Bridgend town centre during June 2012. This was an especially poignant day for me and one I will remember for the rest of life. I had started planning the event in December 2010 after having a Eureka moment when the idea for the Catathon was born. It happened following a record event for the largest gathering of elves in Bridgend and a piece on the news about a similar attempt for Santas; the thought just flashed in my head, ‘We can do this with cats’. I shared my idea with a few colleagues who all thought it was a great one so we started to make plans to hold the event during the summer. The last thing I expected at the time was for a visit to my GP in January 2011 to lead a diagnosis of bowel cancer. I had to put the event on hold while I underwent chemo and radiotherapy treatment but I never lost sight of it. Somewhere along the way I decided that this would be my come back event. I had my first all clear in October and this gave me the green light to go ahead to start planning the event. I don’t think I will ever be able to properly convey the emotions I felt as the Catathon plans came to fruition and 213 people came together in a colourful montage of cute kitties, wild whiskers, posh paws and marvellous mogs. We didn’t manage to set a Guinness World Record but the event was a hugely successful and created it a lot of buzz with cat lovers in all parts of the UK. We are planning a second attempt at the record during CatFest 2014. This is our 20th year anniversary celebration event taking place in the centre on 16 August 2014. Our current record stands at 213; we need 250 human cats to set the record so we are looking to paws-itively smash this.

A great passion of mine is photography; working in the centre I have no shortage of beautiful feline models waiting for the right moment for me to snap a perfect pose. This has proved invaluable when it comes to promoting our centre and the great work Cats Protection does through the media. A good photo will often sell a story far better than a hundred words, so I always make a point of photographing cats and kittens with an interesting story to tell. I regularly send these pictures with press releases to the local media and as a result of this we have had both local and national exposure on TV, in the newspapers and online. One such story is of Agatha and her kittens named, Christie, Marple, Jessica, and Sherlock, Morse and Kojak. The kittens were found in the cab of a truck in the yard of HMP Parc Prison when they were a couple of days old. Agatha proved very elusive to catch so the kittens were brought back to the centre for bottle feeding while plans were made to coax the mum. Agatha was found 24 hours later and happily reunited with her kittens. This story was covered by several local and national papers generating a lot of publicity for our centre.


The Cat  Autumn 2013

The future’s bright When I initially started writing this article I thought I would struggle to put enough on paper but now I find that I could happily continue writing for another few pages. When I think back over the 15 years I have spent as Bridgend Adoption Centre Manager it feels like a moment in time. It hasn’t all been plain sailing and there have been many challenges along the way but I can honestly say that I feel very privileged to be working in my role for Cats Protection. On a personal level my love for my job as well as the support of family and friends gave me the focus and determination to return to work very quickly after my treatment and I am looking forward to continuing to do the best I can for the amazing furry felines at the heart of our charity.

Make him the promise of a lifetime At Cats Protection, we have been saving injured, starving and abandoned cats and kittens since 1927. Thanks to our promise never to put a healthy cat to sleep, we have changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of cats, giving them all a second chance at life. You can help us keep our special promise and care for even more cats by leaving us a gift in your will. If cats are close to your heart, make sure your kindness continues to change their lives for many years to come. Ask us for your free information booklet today.

01825 741 271

(Mon â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Fri, 9am â&#x20AC;&#x201C; 5pm) or email Find out more with our free information booklet Order your free copy of our booklet today. Simply complete and return this form to: Matt Vincent, Legacy Department, Cats Protection, FREEPOST SEA 7678, Haywards Heath, RH17 7BR. No stamp needed.




Postcode: Tel:

It really helps Cats Protection if we can keep you informed about our exciting work, campaigns, activities and fundraising. If you would prefer us to not contact you by post or telephone, please phone 08707 706827, email: or write to us at the Freepost address: FREEPOST SEA 7678, Cats Protection, Haywards Heath, RH17 7BR. Reg Charity 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland)

LA1243 LA72 LA1302

Give your feet a rest and exercise your mind

Ten-minute crossword

Amusing Heather Heather Cook’s kits get cordon bleu savvy

Across 1 Wonderful (10) 7 First letters (8) 8 Cab (4) 9 Wet thoroughly (4) 10 Erudite (7) 12 Amused (11) 14 Bunch of flowers (7) 16 Second-hand (4) 19 The Orient (4) 20 Broken down, worn out (8) 21 Dramatist (10)

Down 1 Collieries (5) 2 Withdraw (7) 3 Dutch cheese (4) 4 Nevada city famed for casinos (3,5) 5 Express in speech (5) 6 Stretch out (6) 11 Amiable (8) 12 Self-centred person (6) 13 Savings (4,3) 15 Game bird (5) 17 Float along (5) 18 Mark left by wound (4)

To win one of these Giornata Espresso cup and saucers complete our crossword correctly, rearrange the shaded letters to find the name of someone who died for their cause 100 years ago. Write the answer, plus your name and address, on a letter or postcard, and send to: Crossword Competition, The Cat, NCC, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH17 7TT. Alternatively email the answer with your name and address to us at with Crossword in the subject header. Winners will be drawn on 11 October 2013. The prizes are kindly sponsored by The Cat Gallery. Visit or phone 01904 413 000 to request a catalogue. Last issue’s winners: Mrs. S George, Mr. P Acaster, Ms. T Beckett. Answers to Summer Crossword on page 67. The famous music man was Antonio Stradivari.

44 The Cat  Autumn 2013

There possibly are cat owners who only take a few seconds to pop a boring old box of cat biscuits into their trolleys when doing the weekly supermarket run. These fortunate people presumably spend the rest of the time shopping for human food, mulling over the relative merits of fresh and dried pasta and browsing for that elusive and cheeky little wine that they so enjoyed on holiday last year. I suspect that these people are in the minority. Most cat owners that I know spend 99 per cent of their time worrying about cat food, ending up with a spirited trolley dash to grab enough fish fingers to placate rioting children and grim-faced partners. As we have a rather alarming number of cats by normal standards, we tend to buy in bulk, online. We do this with the wine as well, so it is not unusual to have Mr Kittydins racing up the drive as Mr El Plonko is hammering down it, like some bizarre relay race. This somehow does not remove the need for further foraging in supermarkets in the relentless search for something that might gladden Bonnie Bun-Bun’s ancient heart, or even deter Stumpy Malone from feasting on festering bacon fat that has blown over from next door’s bird table. I have spent countless hours searching for soft food for Bun-Bun, only to have her assume her ‘Disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ expression and pitch into the nearest bowl of rock-hard biscuits. As for Stumpy, nothing will convince him that he shouldn’t be eating St Petersburg Cloud Princess’ special Persian kibbles. And is it only cat owners who are totally incapable of learning from experience? Time and time again I buy really expensive treats that guarantee your cat will love you forever, only to have the Misses Elizabeth and Isabelle stare at me as if I’ve offered them rabbit droppings. Still, I’ve met some lovely people while anguishing over the cat goodies and there’s a feeling of camaraderie which I find extremely comforting. It helps me through those hurtful moments when Count Lucio smacks his dinner on the floor or Benjamin Wobble tries to bury his cordon bleu salmon mousse under a pile of ironing.


Stories and snippets Morris the mog for mayor

Illustration: Rus Hudda

Mexican cat Morris has shot to fame around the world after his owner nominated him to become mayor of the city Xalapa. The black-and-white feline, whose first campaign slogan was “Tired of voting for rats? Vote for a cat”, has since gathered quite a following, with more than 140,000 likes on his Facebook page and more than 3,500 Twitter followers. Morris had more social media fans than all of the official candidates for the Xalapa mayoral election, which is one of many such elections that took place across Mexico in July. Morris’s owner Sergio Chamorro says the campaign started as a joke, but adds that the size of the cat’s following demonstrates the level of alienation Mexican people feel from the main political parties. “Morris has become an expression of how fed up people are with all the parties and a political system that does not represent us,” he told news site guardian. Chamorro added that some of the people who ran the polling stations contacted him, outlining their plans to ensure votes for Morris are registered and made public, even if they do not officially count. The Morris phenomenon gathered such a pace that city authorities urged people not to waste their votes by spoiling their ballot paper in favour of the cat. The Morris campaign has attracted a lot of attention from around the world and even prompted people to nominate other animal candidates for the country’s mayoral elections. Chon the donkey has been nominated in Ciudad Juarez, Tina the chicken in Tepic and fellow feline Maya the cat in Puebla. There has been a long history of pets in politics: • In 2012, Hank the Cat ran for Senate in Virginia, US, securing third place with 7,000 votes. The nine-year-old Maine Coone’s owners said he would retire after his campaign raised $60,000 for US animal rescue organisations • Bosco, a black Labrador-Rottweiler cross, was elected honorary mayor of Sunol in California in a 1981 joke election organised by locals. Bosco served for 10 years until his death in 1994; locals commissioned a bronze statue in honour of the dog • Ginger cat Stubbs has held the office of honorary mayor of Talkeetna, Alaska, for 15 years

Sudoku Fill in the empty cells so that the digits 1 through to 9 appear: • only once in each row • only once in each column • only once in each 3x3 box (shown by the thicker lines)

Answers appear on page 67.

The Cat  Autumn 2013


How can

03000 12 12 12

we help?

Every year on the Helpline we receive hundreds of calls from cat owners who, while keen to accommodate the wants and needs of their beloved cat, are not happy for this to be at the expense of other animals.


t doesn’t matter if your cat has just consumed the equivalent of his entire body weight in food (which we certainly wouldn’t recommend!); hunting is an instinctive behaviour and cats will continue to chase and catch prey even when they are well fed. Consequently, to ensure the basic behavioural needs of your cat continue to be met without decimating the avian population in your area, you need to think smart and take steps to encourage more appropriate and positive play. We on the Cats Protection Helpline may have a particularly soft spot for our feline friends but we are also passionate about the welfare of all animals and as such we have put together our own lighthearted bird survival guide. From this guide you can learn to recognise your cat’s predatory side, to choose the right equipment, about combat techniques and about preparation whether on the defence or on the attack. Of course, there are many other skills – wilderness survival, leadership – all of which can come in handy when caring for your local birdlife but hopefully most of this is common sense which, unfortunately, can’t be taught!

On the defensive The first step to reducing predation is to keep your cat indoors at night when birds and small mammals are at their most vulnerable. This also helps reduce the chance of road traffic accidents. It is preferable that they remain indoors at least an hour before sunset and an hour after sunrise to allow nocturnal mammals to retreat to their havens and for birds to finish their grub. Safety in numbers is also paramount. Some believe that the more birds you attract to your garden, the greater the risk to their safety from predators, but according to a survey in 1997 conducted by the Mammal Society, it was found that the number of birds brought home per cat was

46 The Cat  Autumn 2013

significantly lower in households that provided food for birds. The more eyes on patrol mean a predator is far more likely to be spotted.

On the offensive The perfect way to pre-empt your cat’s predatory practices is to give him a suitable outlet for his behaviour. Interactive play can really help to reduce hunting behaviour as it allows the cat to get the requisite endorphin fix and express natural behaviours. We recommend providing your cat with plenty of appropriate toys to attack as this offers a great physical and mental challenge. There’s nothing more frustrating than running for the bus or train and missing it! The same can be said for a cat. It is


Supplies There’s a reason why the Romans were great fans of watchtowers - not only do they provide an excellent lookout from which to observe your enemy’s approach but also the sheer scale of such structures meant they could not easily be overcome. If you would like to protect but still provide for your local birdlife then consider investing in a high bird table placed away from surfaces from which your cat could pounce. A thin, metal shepherd’s hook makes for a great feed holder and your cat will not be able to climb up towards the feeding birds. Bird table posts can be made slippery and impossible to climb by placing a piece of drainpipe or cut-up water bottles around them. Just make sure there are no sharp edges which could cause harm if you have a particularly determined cat! If you leave food on the ground you may as well throw down a placemat and some napkins for your cat while you’re at it as birds and other animals are far more vulnerable to attack from this position. However, if you already have a ground feeder then you could consider assembling a dome of chicken wire around it as a defensive barrier. You may also wish to obtain some prickly plants such as berberis, pyracantha or hawthorn to place near the base of a feeding station. Such plants make for an uncomfortable settling place for a cat to survey his prey. Just ensure you don’t end up providing too much cover otherwise you’ve just given your cat the perfect hideaway from which to pounce on unsuspecting prey!

Ring out, wild bells!

Illustration: Sam Roberts

particularly important to allow the cat to regularly ‘catch and attack’ the toy to help prevent pent up frustration. If your cat attacks but never catches the toy then he’ll experience all of the frustration but none of the happiness of catching his prey which takes away the fun element of the game. When you are playing with your cat, try keeping games distant from the body for example using ‘fishing rod’ type toys – particularly ones with feathers! Short games of a minute or two frequently throughout the day are best to mimic the cat’s natural hunting activity. Cats are generally most active during dawn and dusk (as this is normally when their prey is most active), so it can be useful to have extra play sessions during these times to use up that extra energy. Cats in the wild spend a lot of their time on short, frequent hunting expeditions.

Nothing alerts you to your adversary’s approach better than the raising of an alarm! Bells on cat collars have been disputed as an effective deterrent but interestingly a survey from the RSPB states that a correctly fitted collar and bell can reduce cat predation by a third or more – 34 per cent fewer mammals and 41 per cent fewer birds. But remember, if using a collar, do ensure it is a quick-release collar and fitted carefully to avoid injury to your cat. If you really want to hamper your cat’s hunting habits in the garden, consider tying some bells to the branches of your hedges or along the tops of fences, giving an extra warning to birds and wildlife of a stealthy feline approach.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend We’ve written at length about ways you can protect your garden birds; however, in doing so you don’t want to make your garden an unpleasant place for your furry feline friend! Consequently, you may want to consider designating part of your garden a ‘cat-friendly’ zone which keeps your cat preoccupied in the pursuit of other pleasures while specifically drawing him away from your wildlife feeding or nesting areas. In this space you could plant all those ‘cat-friendly’ plants such as cat mint (Nepeta cataria) also known as catnip, valerian, cat thyme (Teucrium marum) and lavender. A patch of unmowed grass can provide a soft bed and if chosen to be nibbled may help your cat cough up any furballs. Plants – without thorns – can be placed to give your cat a shady spot to lie in during those hot and sunny days while logs provide excellent outdoor scratching posts. To allow for your cat’s natural hunting instinct you can scatter some of his dry food in the safe areas of your garden to encourage him to seek it out. Puzzle feeders and dry food hidden in toilet roll pyramids will also provide great entertainment for your cat and can help distract him from his nearby feathered friends. We hope you’ve found this guide informative and from all of us on the Helpline and your local birdlife – thanks for reading! To contact Helpline, please phone 03000 12 12 12 or email If you see a cat, or indeed any animal, that you think is being mistreated or neglected then do call the relevant animal authority on their cruelty helplines: England and Wales RSPCA 0300 1234 999 Scotland SSPCA 03000 999 999 Northern Ireland USPCA 028 3025 1000

The Cat  Autumn 2013


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My cat family tree Angela Skelcher looks back over the generations of cats in her life “Have you had a cat before?” asked the lady from Cats Protection at my homing visit. First there was Ginger Cat, a large tom who slept next to my cot, against everyone’s advice. He also marched in front of my pram on walks, exasperating my mother. By the time I was approaching double figures, there had also been Smoky and Bernie. Then there was Gretel. She arrived as a kitten, abandoned in a cardboard box in our garage with her tiny brother who we named Hansel. Hansel went to a good home; Gretel we kept. A tabby with white socks, she was a hunter. Rabbits, voles, mice and birds were all victims. My youngest sister was playing a Miss World board game with her dolls one day when Gretel carried one off in her mouth. “Gretel’s got Miss Italy!” was the memorable cry from my sister. One day she disappeared and was missing for days. When we eventually found her, both her back legs were broken. The vet said she must have been hit by a car. Imagine our horror. However, each leg was pinned and she recovered and was soon back to her old ways, although she seemed to stop growing at this stage and never became a large adult cat. When we moved house a few streets away she would often return to her old home, to the annoyance of the new occupants who had a new bird table. She lived to be a grand old lady and is buried in my parents’ garden. I first met Bella at a cat homing show: a striking tortoiseshell with six toes. As the Home Visitor thought she was a possible candidate for me in terms of age and temperament, I went to visit her at the centre afterwards. Once in her pen, she let me stroke her straight away and

Illustration: Rus Hudda

seemed very content to let me go on stroking her for as long as I liked. Apart from being beautiful, of course, this was what attracted me to her and I asked her if she would like to come home with me. When Bella finally arrived at my home I found she had a little bit of attitude. If she wanted stroking, she put her paw on my arm. If I was asleep, she pawed my face. If there was a newspaper lying around, she would sit on it. I was naturally nervous when Bella went outdoors for the first time and surreptitiously followed her down the alley as she jumped into my neighbour’s garden. A few minutes later she encountered the long haired feline boss of the locality and cautiously stood her ground while keeping open a means of retreat. She is not a fan of using a cat flap, as I was warned by the adoption centre manager. She uses mine to come in, but not to go out, preferring the personal service of having a door opened for her. When I took her to a cattery a year after adoption for a short holiday, I saw there was a cat flap dividing her sleeping quarters from the rest of the pen. “She won’t use that cat flap,” I told the owner of the cattery, moments before Bella decided to prove me wrong by jumping neatly through it. Her favourite activity in fine weather is to sit on the lawn just listening to the birds above; she knows she doesn’t stand a chance of catching one, so doesn’t bother trying. Although she is not a hunter like Gretel, she is adept at catching spiders in the bathroom. I have just renovated the garden, which I think she appreciates, as she like squirming on her back in the sunshine on the new patio. However, like most cats, she always comes home for her supper. What does she bring to the household? She makes me laugh and is a lot of fun, as well as a good companion. The lady from Cats Protection made a good match.

I can’t leave my best friend behind! We know that for many victims of domestic abuse, fleeing violent relationships is made impossible simply because they cannot bear to lose their pets. That’s where Cats Protection, in partnership with Dogs Trust Freedom Project, steps in. Through the Freedom Project we take in and provide safe refuge for victims’ cats until their owners are in a position to reclaim them. Since 2004, we have helped more than 292 cats and 150 families escape domestic abuse. By making a donation today you can help us to support even more. Make a difference today:

T: 0800 917 2287 W: Reg Charity 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland)


Lapping it up John Walker discovers the ebb and flow of lap-cat psychology


exter never used to be the sort of cat to sit on your lap. Instead he has previously opted for the far more complex position of wanting to appear studiously aloof, while somehow always being in the same room. “Eurgh, YOU’RE in here,” he’ll sigh in disgust as he just happens to have walked into the room you’re already sat in. “Well, I’m sleeping in here now, so you’d better not be any bother.” He’d then curl up one chair away and passiveaggressively change position should you cause an affront like speak out loud, or yawn too gregariously. Get up to change room, however, and mysteriously you’ll likely have chosen the exact next room Dexter was going to go to anyway, where he’ll be horrified to discover you. And repeat. Getting Dexter to sit on your lap was nearly impossible. In my previous house, my housemates and I would go to ludicrous efforts to create a circumstance where this ridiculous cat could tolerate the notion of going anywhere near us. Watching television, we’d all competitively create enticing platforms of comfort to see if we could be the one to be bestowed with the great honour of having Dexter place his bottom on us. Arranging cushions, duvets, or favourite sleeping-on jumpers onto our laps, we’d all pathetically appeal to him to pick us. “Dexter! Dexter!” we’d say over each other, while tapping on our own impromptu luxury cat beds in an effort to lure him from the others. On those incredibly rare occasions where anyone would succeed in having him jump up, the chances of his settling down were close to nil. And should he settle, then like the princess he clearly believes himself to be, the mere notion of the possibility of a pea beneath it all would be enough to have him angrily hop down and walk off in disgust.

Illustration: Rus Hudda

So it was with some confusion that after moving in with my wife, Dexter began experimenting with sitting near us. Not just huffily finding himself sharing a room, but perhaps even sharing a sofa. And with more time, shoving books or remote controls out of the way to settle down on legs. Then even stomachs. Although never laps. Perhaps it was the halving of the number of people regularly trying to appeal for his attention, with now only one person in the house during the daytime. Maybe his behaviour was purely driven by keeping us wanting, knowing that with four desperate attendees, his actually giving us what we wanted would have weakened his position of power. With this suddenly changed, this all may have shifted in our favour, the psychological lap-sitting war swinging dramatically into my favour. Or maybe he just stopped being such a pernickety brat. As of the present day, we now seem to find ourselves owning a cat who insists on sitting on stomachs and chests as soon as he sees either of us in a chair. At first this was almost too much to cope with. Suddenly having dreams coming true, this obstinate beast at last behaving in a manner one might expect of a pet cat, we were trapped on the spot. How could we ever move again, lest this moment not be repeated? “I can’t answer the front door, Dexter’s on me!” my wife and I would protest to each other, while taking photographs of this phenomenon and texting them to my former housemates. “No, I can’t free you from that fallen bookcase darling – Dexter’s sitting on my stomach and painfully milk-treading my chest.” We’d understand. Of course, such treats repeated eventually slip into normality and I’m bewildered to report that we’ve now reached a place where we can find ourselves groaning as Dexter insists on sitting on us while we’re in the middle of a TV dinner, game of Scrabble or trying to put our shoes on to go out. All of which has mightily bemused Dex, unable to understand how he let slip his power over us, leading him to become needier and needier. Now he has developed an extrasensory perception that allows him to hear cuddles that he’s not a part of. Should my wife snuggle up to me on the sofa, you can guarantee that he’ll return from wherever he may be – upstairs, outside fighting an Alsatian, the outer moons of Saturn – to wedge his way into the middle of it. “A cuddle?! Then you must need me! I’m coming!” Splodge. He’s changed.

The Cat  Autumn 2013


CP in action

A selection of tales from our branches and adoption centres...


Support courageous George By Derby & District Branch George was found in a cat lover’s garden in Derby in a distressed state. It was quickly identified that he was blind in both eyes and had probably been dumped. The local vet concluded that he was about four or five months old. No one came forward to claim him so it was decided that he should be given a chance as lots of cats are able to deal with this kind of disability. Sadly, he really went through the mill as he had to have a big operation for an undescended testicle. On veterinary advice, George then had to have an operation to remove his eyeballs. We are hoping by the time you read this, George will have found his ‘forever’ home. But we are now appealing for help with his massive vet bill. It came to over £2,000 although the vet kindly gave us a discount this is still a tremendous amount out of our ‘kitty’. Can you help with a donation? Anything would be welcome. Please address this to The Treasurer, Derby & District Branch, 31 Wardwick, Derby DE1 1HA, making cheques payable to: Cats Protection Derby & District Branch. Thank you. Any funds raised over and above those needed for George’s costs will be used for the benefit of the other cats in our care.

Luna’s looking better By North Ayrshire Branch Meet Luna, who was a long-term stray before the North Ayrshire Branch heard about her. Don’t be alarmed by her picture as she has recovered well from necessary surgery to remove her ear tips which were thought to be cancerous. The tissue sample results came back with good news, so Luna should cope well in future, with lots of sun cream on to avoid any further damage. If you have plenty of cat experience and can offer Luna a home or are able to make a contribution towards the vet care that she needed, please contact us on 0845 371 4218 or go to the branch’s JustGiving page Donations can also be made payable to North Ayshire Cats Protection and sent to The Treasurer, 1 Priesthill View, Stevenston KA20 4AT. Any donations over and above those needed to cover Luna’s costs will be put towards the other cats in the branch’s care. The branch is also appealing for Ayrshire cat lovers to help cat after cat by joining them as a regular monthly sponsor. To do this, give the branch a call, or go to their web site www. and click on the donate banner on the home page.


The Cat  Autumn 2013

Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness


Charlie’s on the mend By Stockport Branch Ewan was homed as a six-month-old kitten with his sister. Two years later first one of the cats and then the other went missing. Despite searching, leaflets and advertising both cats were not located. Some years later, some people were feeding a cat in their garden. They’d given him a name, Charlie, but they couldn’t get close to him. One day Charlie more confidently decided that he lived there and rolled over revealing a large wound under one of his front legs. He was taken to the vets and was found to be microchipped. It turned out that Charlie was in fact Ewan, who had gone missing six years previously. He had turned up about one mile from where he had first been rehomed! His collar injury turned out to be extensive, requiring surgery and admittance to our rehoming facility for treatment and convalescence. Following his treatment we are hoping to return him to the people whose garden he was found in. Charlie’s extensive surgery included a skin graft. Donations to support Charlie’s treatment can be sent to Ms J Goodman, 3 Hexworth Walk, Bramhall, Stockport, SK7 3DF. Cheques should be made payable to Stockport Cats Protection. Any funds raised over and above those needed for Charlie’s costs will be used for the benefit of the other cats in our care.

Awards and achievements On 26 May, our Epsom, Ewell & District Branchcelebrated its 25th anniversary with a 1980s and cat themed party, held in the garden of fundraising volunteer Pat Taylor. Since it was founded in 1988, the branch has helped 7,000 cats – an impressive achievement. Around 40 of the branch’s volunteers backcombed their hair or climbed into leopard-print outfits to celebrate the branch’s quarter-century in style. They were joined by the charity’s Fundraising Director Lewis Coghlin, Communications Director Nick Edmans, Regional Development Manager Claire Mitchell and Chair of Trustees Heather McCann.

Ten-year-old Caitlyn Livingstone made it through to the finals of the Young Volunteer of the Year awards, which are organised by animal health company Ceva. Caitlyn, who has helped out at CP’s B  elfast Adoption Centrewith her family since she was small, helps with feeding and grooming the cats and lends a hand at open days. Caitlyn’s grandmother Bel Livingstone, who runs the centre, said: “Caitlyn is a firm favourite with cats and staff alike…We are all very proud of her.” Caitlyn with proud grandmother Bel

Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 •

The Cat  Autumn 2013


Looking for a home Bracknell & Wokingham Districts


Male, around two years old Sam came to us as an unneutered stray with cat flu. Sam has since recovered from his illness and has been castrated, along with having dental treatment to remove broken teeth. He has now learned to trust and is very affectionate, although he would need to gain confidence with any new owner and surroundings. We would recommend Sam is homed by an experienced cat family with no young children.

☎☎ 08453 714 212

North Ayrshire

Bristol & District


Female, 17 years old Ginger is a very sweet old lady who, despite her age, is very healthy. She should have many good years in her yet! She is looking for a quiet home to retire to where she will have some calm company and lots of tickles. She is extremely good natured but can be slightly nervous. She is microchipped, vaccinated and has insurance fully paid for until March 2014 which can be extended by any new owner.



Male, about seven years old Charlie has had a difficult time of it. He was found with an eye injury that was so extreme he had to have his eye removed. We took him in and have found him to be a shy but lovely boy who, within a very short time with us, has started to come for his strokes and chin tickles. He has a lovely calm nature and just needs a second chance.

☎☎ 0844 700 3251

☎☎ 0117 966 5428

Framlingham & Saxmundham

Loopy and Rupert


Male, eight years old Smokey is in branch care as, sadly, his owner died. He is used to living as an only pet, and he would like access to the outdoors again. He’s a big, handsome cat.

☎☎ 08453 714 218


The Cat  Autumn 2013

Males, around one year old These beautiful, affectionate white brothers are both deaf and need a special new home. Because of their condition, they would need to be homed as indoor cats, or ideally with secured outdoor access – for example, a run or fenced-off garden. They need to be rehomed together.

☎☎ 01728 723 499

Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness


Join the team Give a little time, make a big difference! Every year we help over 235,000 cats and kittens and the majority of these success stories are thanks to the dedication and hard work of our amazing volunteers. We welcome volunteers with open arms, whether you are young or old, male or female, have lots or little time to offer there’s a place for you with us!  racknell & Wokingham Districts Branchis looking for B fundraising helpers to lend a hand with selling goods at its outside events, and with the packing and unpacking of goods at those events. They need a volunteer who can donate a few hours of their time each month. Contact the branch on 08453 714 212.  erby & District Branchhas many vacancies for volunteers D such as fieldworkers and vet runners. The branch is also seeking Cat Line operators for one day per week. This role would be an ideal opportunity for someone who is at home for most of the day and wants to help cats. They also need an Assistant to the Vet Liaison Officer – this is mostly an administrative role and can also be carried out from home a couple of days a week. For some time now, they have been seeking a Fundraising Co-ordinator to take on the role of contacting supermarkets for permission to hold fundraising/ information stalls. There is already a regular stall held in St Peter’s Street, Derby and they would like this to continue. Is this the job for you? Last but not least, volunteers are needed at their charity shops in Derby and Wirksworth. Full training and support will be given to the successful applicants for all of the above vacancies. Anyone who is interested should contact the Cat Line on 01332 206 956 (voicemail) or and leave their details.  eignbridge & Totnes Branchneeds more volunteers to T assist with putting up rehoming posters and placing food bins and collection boxes in the TQs 7 to 14 & EX6 & 7 areas. This will not take up too much of your time. If you’d like to help with this in your home town please telephone Barbara on 08453 712 727.

More voluntary opportunities For more volunteering roles across the UK, from fundraising to fostering, please visit volunteer-do-it and enter your postcode to search.

Thank you…  racknell & Wokingham Districts Branchwould like to B thank absolutely everyone who contributed to our Horatio Appeal, which was featured in the summer edition of The Cat. The fundraising appeal to cover Horatio’s veterinary bills has had an overwhelming response and owing to the extremely generous nature of the general public the current total raised, to June 2013, stands at a staggering £5,606.00! Horatio really had come through a terrible ordeal, and proved that he deserved a very special home to live in for the rest of his life. On Sunday 9 June that dream came true and he was rehomed by a lovely family from Finchampstead. The R  eading & District Branchwould like to thank the managers and staff of the Reading Pets at Home Stores (Brunel Retail Park and Oxford Road, Tilehurst) for their continued help, support and generosity to the branch. This includes many donations of surplus-to-requirements food and other supplies and the proceeds of regular fundraising initiatives at the stores. The latest event was a special threeday Pets at Home national fundraising weekend solely in aid of Cats Protection.

A sad farewell… Muriel Potter, Audrey Bundock and Jenny Oakley Bracknell & Wokingham Districts Branch would like to remember three stalwart members of the branch who passed away recently. Muriel Potter assembled homing packs and the branch is currently trying to rehome her cat Bella (details on the website) Audrey Bundock helped with homing and the branch would like to thank everyone who donated to a collection at Audrey’s funeral. The branch would also like to bid a sad farewell to Jenny Oakley, a great long-time supporter of the branch.

Rita Venn and Ian Fletcher We were very sad to learn that two of our long term supporters, Rita Venn and Ian Fletcher, have passed away recently. Rita was a keen supporter of our branch for many years, helping out at our fundraising events and manning the tea and cake stalls at our Spring and Christmas Fayres. Ian, together with his wife Lyn, ran the local Animal Ambulance service which has come to the aid many pet owners and animals over the last 25 years. We would like to offer our thanks on behalf of all the cats you have helped. By Milton Keynes & District Branch

Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 •

The Cat  Autumn 2013


Diary of events

Find out what’s going on near you...

Reading & District


Cats Protection at national shows

Events 28 September: Jumble sale, All Saints Parish Hall, Downshire Square, Reading RG1 6NH. From 1–3 pm.

Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre

Cake & Bake Show 15–17 September: Earl’s Court, London

Fairs 9 November: Autumn Fair, Methodist Church Hall, School Road, Tilehurst, Reading RG1 5NH. From 1–3 pm.

Knitting & Stitching Show 10–13 October: Alexandra Palace, London

Book stalls This branch also regularly holds a book stall at the Reading Farmers’ Markets on the first or third Saturday of the month and at Purley Famers’ Markets each second Saturday. Further details appear shortly before each of these events on the branch website:

Mind, Body, Spirit Festival 1–3 November: The Brighton Centre, Brighton Your Horse Live 9–10 November: Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire BBC Good Food Show 15–17 November: Olympia, London

ENGLAND BERKSHIRE Bracknell & Wokingham Districts Meetings 30 September; 28 October; 25 November: To be held 8pm at Our Lady of Peace (OLOP) Church Hall, Wokingham Road, Earley (Earley Cross Roads), RG6 7DA. No meeting in August due to bank holiday. Stalls and collections 12 September: Sale of second-hand goods at Woodley Pagoda, Woodley Shopping Precinct, Crockhamwell Road, Woodley, Reading, Berkshire, RG5 3JJ. From 8am. 10 October: Sale of secondhand goods at Woodley Pagoda, Woodley Shopping Precinct, Crockhamwell Road, Woodley, Reading, Berkshire, RG5 3JJ. From 8am. 9 November: Winter Fair, Carnation Hall, Chavey Down Road, Winkfield, Berkshire, RG42 7PA. From 12 noon–4pm. 14 November: Sale of second-hand goods at Woodley Pagoda, Woodley Shopping Precinct, Crockhamwell Road, Woodley, Reading,

56 The Cat  Autumn 2013

Berkshire, RG5 3JJ. From 8am. 30 November: Collection day in Wokingham Town Centre, Wokingham, Berkshire. From 9am. Events 28 September: Quiz night at St Paul’s Church, Reading Road, Wokingham, Berkshire, RG41 1EH, 7.15pm. Maximum of eight people per team. Entrance fee is £10, includes supper. Soft drinks on sale, or bring your own. Entrance by ticket only. Phone Liz or Ian Paine on 01189 793 701.

Newbury & District Adoption Centre Events 14 September: Open day at Newbury & District Adoption Centre, Curridge Road, Curridge, Thatcham. Browse the stalls, meet the cats. Lots of yummy cakes and bargains. From 1–4 pm. Cattery closes at 3.30pm. 28 September: Jumble sale, Catholic Hall, Bath Road, Thatcham. From 11.30am–1pm. Entrance fee is 30p. Jumble accepted at the hall from 9–10.30am or beforehand at Newbury Adoption Centre.

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE Milton Keynes & District Branch Stalls and collections 28 September: Community desk at thecentre:mk shopping centre, Milton Keynes. 19 October: Community desk at thecentre:mk shopping centre, Milton Keynes. 23 November: Christmas Fayre at United Reform Church, Newport Pagnell. Christmas cards & gifts, Cats Protection merchandise, home-made cakes and refreshments, books, bric-abrac, raffle, tombola. From 11am–1pm. 24 November: Community desk at thecentre:mk shopping centre, Milton Keynes. 30 November: Stall at the RSPCA’s Christmas Fayre at Great Linford Memorial Hall, Milton Keynes.

DERBYSHIRE Ashfield & Amber Valley

31 August: Street collection and table sale, Alfreton.

Stalls and collections 21 September: Friends of Group Street Collection, Exeter. Volunteers needed, email friendsofaxhayes@ Events 26 October: Halloween Coffee Morning at the Adoption Centre, from 11am–2pm. Email as above.

Teignbridge & Totnes Branch Events 12 October: Coffee morning and stalls at The Community Club, Moretonhampstead from 10am–12 noon. 30 November: Christmas Fair at Methodist Church Hall, Bovey Tracey from 10am–12 noon. Third Saturday of every month: Coffee morning at our Homing centre, Ogwell from 10am–12 noon.

ESSEX Rayleigh, Castle Point & District

14 September: Homing show, WRVS Hall, Richmond Avenue, Benfleet, SS7 5HE. From 10.30am–1pm.

Southend & District

28 September: Jumble sale, St Edmund’s Church Hall, Pantile Avenue, Southend. From 10am–12 noon. 19 October: Auction, St James’s Church Hall, Elmsleigh Drive, Leigh-onSea. From 2–4.30pm. 25 October: Quiz night, Royal Naval Association, East Street, Southend. Arrive 7pm for 7.30 start.

Tendring & District

9 November: Christmas Bazaar, McGigor Hall, Ashlyns Road, Frinton on Sea. From 10am–1pm. Stalls include: raffle, tombola, cakes, produce, jewellery, books, puzzles, bric-a-brac, CP goods and refreshments.

Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness


GREATER MANCHESTER Stockport Stalls and collections 5 October: Fair, Hazel Grove, United Reformed Church, Short Street, off Commercial Road, off A6 Buxton Rd. From 10am–12.30pm. 2 November: Fair, Trinity Methodist Church, Trinity Gardens, Bramhall Lane. From 10am–12.30pm. Events 8 September: Fostering Area Open Day, Woodford, SK12 1ED. Please visit our rehoming facility to learn more about the work of our branch and see some of the cats in our care. We will also have refreshments and Cats Protection goods available to purchase. Please check our website for the opening times.

Trafford Stalls and collections 7 September: Timperley Country Fair, Larkhill. 21–22 September: Pets at Home, Trafford Retail Park. 19 October: Table in Stretford precinct. 23 November: Table in Sale precinct.

NOTTINGHAMSHIRE Ashfield & Amber Valley Stalls and collections 31 August: Street collection and table sale, Alfreton. 20–21 September: Collection and table sale at Morrisons, Kirkby-in-Ashfield. 11–12 October: Collection & table sale at Idlewell’s Centre, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Derbyshire.

SUSSEX Horsham & District Events 31 August: Catstravaganza, Holy Trinity Church Hall, Rushams Road, Horsham RH12 2NT. From 2.30–4.30pm. 28 September: Catstravaganza, Roffey Millennium Hall, Horsham RH12 4DT. From 2.30–4.30pm.

26 October: Catstravaganza, Holy Trinity Church Hall, Rushams Road, Horsham RH12 2NT. From 2.30–4.30pm. 24 November: Christmas Charity Market, Carfax, Horsham (times tbc). 30 November: Christmas Catstravaganza, Roffey Millennium Hall, Horsham RH12 4DT. From 2.30–4.30pm. Homing shows 8 September: Broadbridge Heath Village Centre, Wickhurst Lane, Horsham RH12 3LY. From 11am–2pm. 20 October: Broadbridge Heath Village Centre, Wickhurst Lane, Horsham RH12 3LY. From 11am–3pm.

Mid Sussex Stalls and collections 7 September: Stall at Haywards Heath Summer Festival, Victoria Park, Haywards Heath. From 11am–5pm. 5 October: Street collection in Haywards Heath. 9 November: Stall at Kit Wilson Bazaar, Newick Village Hall, Newick. From 11am–5pm.

SCOTLAND Lanarkshire Branch Events 16 November: Homing show, St Nicholas Church Hall, Castlegate, Lanark ML11 9DZ. From 1–4pm Stalls and collections 16 November: Lanark Christmas Market, High Street, Lanark. From 9am–5pm.

North Ayrshire Events 26 September: Psychic Night with Sally Buxton at Saltcoats Labour Club, from 7.30pm. Tickets £5 each, phone 0845 371 4218 for more details. 8 October: Branch meeting, Argyle Community Centre, Saltcoats, 7.30pm. All welcome. 27 October: Cat adoption show, Eglinton Park near Kilwinning. From 11am–1pm, free entry.

YORKSHIRE Doncaster Stalls and collections 31 August–1 September: Stall at Art Festival, Barnby Dun Church. 5, 12, 19 October: Stall at Lakeside Village, weather permitting. Events 23 November: Christmas Fayre, New Hall, Bawtry. 12 noon–3pm. 30 November: Christmas Fayre, Armthorpe Community Centre.

NORTHERN IRELAND Belfast Adoption Centre

11 October: Black Cat Ball, Stormont Hotel, Belfast. From 7pm until late. Drinks reception, three-course meal and live music. Tickets can be bought directly from the centre or by phoning 028 904 80202.

Deadlines All branches are encouraged to send in their success stories and diary dates for every issue. The deadlines for the next three issues are: • 13 September – Winter 2013 • 06 December – Spring 2014 • 14 March – Summer 2014 Individual stories should be max 250 words and may be edited for clarity and length. Please send CP in Focus and Diary entries as separate documents. We are now legally required to add text to appeals explaining that funds not used for the featured cat will be used for other cats in our care. Images should be attached to the email separately, not embedded into a document; minimum requirements for print publication are 300dpi (high resolution) in jpg or tif format. Original digital camera photographs are usually better than those taken on a mobile phone. Please email your submissions to or post your entries to: CP in Focus, The Cat magazine, Cats Protection, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH17 7TT. Thank you.

Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 •

The Cat  Autumn 2013


Contacts England South East Bredhurst Kent *Matts * Hill Road, Hartlip, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME9 7XA ☎☎ 01634 232 471 Friends of Bredhurst Kent Adoption Centre Chelmsford & District *Willow * Grove, Deadmans Lane, Galleywood, Chelmsford, CM2 8LZ ☎☎ 01245 478 389 Eastbourne *63 * Marshfoot Lane, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2RB ☎☎ 01323 440 101 Friends of Eastbourne Adoption Centre Haslemere *Chase * Lodge Studio, Upper Hammer Lane, Haslemere, Surrey, GU27 1QD ☎☎ 01428 604 297 Friends of Haslemere Adoption Centre National Cat Adoption Centre *Chelwood * Gate, Haywards Heath, Sussex, RH17 7TT ☎☎ 08707 708 650 Friends of the National Cat Adoption Centre North London *135 * Junction Road, Archway, Greater London, N19 5PX ☎☎ 0207 272 6048 Basildon, Brentwood & District ☎☎ 01268 285 778 Bexley & Dartford ☎☎ 01322 611 911 Bromley ☎☎ 0208 402 8860 Camberley & District ☎☎ 08453 712 745 Canterbury & District ☎☎ 01227 266 838 Caterham, Redhill & East Surrey ☎☎ 08453 712 739

Find your nearest CP branch, adoption centre or charity shop...

Croydon ☎☎ 0208 763 0072

Romford & District ☎☎ 01708 451 341

Eltham, Sidcup & District ☎☎ 07772 679 854

St Albans & District ☎☎ 08453 712 064

Epsom, Ewell & District ☎☎ 08452 601 387

Southend & District ☎☎ 01702 710 630 88www.catsprotectionsouthend

Folkestone & Hythe ☎☎ 01303 237 744 Great Amwell & District ☎☎ 08453 712 736

Three Rivers & Watford ☎☎ 01923 283 338

Harlow, Epping Forest & District ☎☎ 01992 579 539

Thurrock & District ☎☎ 08453 712 752

Hastings & District ☎☎ 01424 754 328 Hemel Hempstead & Berkhamsted ☎☎ 08453 711 851 Hendon, Finchley & Mill Hill ☎☎ 0208 952 1350 High Wycombe & South Bucks ☎☎ 01494 448 849 Hillingdon ☎☎ 01895 443 637 Hornchurch & District ☎☎ 01708 755 211 Horsham & District ☎☎ 08453 712 749 Lea Valley ☎☎ 08453 134 746 Lewes, Seaford & District ☎☎ 01273 813 111 Maidenhead, Slough & District ☎☎ 01628 620 909 Maidstone ☎☎ 08453 712 758 Medway Towns ☎☎ 08453 712 757 (Neutering only)

Chiltern ☎☎ 08452 602 396

North Hertfordshire ☎☎ 01438 228 877

Colne Valley ☎☎ 08452 601 384


The Cat  Autumn 2013

Tenterden & District ☎☎ 01233 501 184

Guildford & Godalming ☎☎ 01483 422 529

Mid Sussex ☎☎ 01444 414 884


Swale ☎☎ 08453 712 755

Greenwich ☎☎ 0208 8538 666

Chichester, Bognor Regis & District ☎☎ 08453 712 760

Crawley, Reigate & District ☎☎ 08453 712 734

Sutton & Cheam ☎☎ 0208 330 0176

Rayleigh, Castle Point & District ☎☎ 01268 750 831

Tunbridge Wells, Crowborough & District ☎☎ 01892 516 377 Welwyn Hatfield & District ☎☎ 08453 711 855 Woking & District ☎☎ 01483 721 700 Worthing & District ☎☎ 01903 200 332 Canterbury & District **28 William Street, Herne Bay, Kent, CT6 5EQ ☎☎ 01227 371 676

Eltham, Sidcup & District *14 * Tudor Parade, Well Hall Road, Eltham, London, SE9 6SX ☎☎ 0208 859 6009 Folkestone & Hythe *139a * High Street, Hythe, Kent, CT21 5JL ☎☎ 01303 238 661 Greenwich *18 * Old Dover Street, Blackheath, London, SE3 7BT ☎☎ 0208 858 2220 Hastings & District *43 * London Road, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex, TN37 6AJ ☎☎ 01424 203 778 Lea Valley *145 * Chase Side, Enfield, Middlesex, EN2 0PN ☎☎ 0208 367 4813 Medway *34 * Canterbury Street, Gillingham, Kent, ME7 5TX ☎☎ 01634 571 270 *142 * Franklin Road, Gillingham, Medway, ME7 4DG ☎☎ 01634 578 436 Sutton & Cheam *16 * The Broadway, Cheam, Sutton, Surrey, SM3 8AY ☎☎ 0208 642 1575 Tenterden & District *Lakehurst * House, Unit 1, 94c High Street, Tenterden, Kent, TN30 6JB ☎☎ 01580 765 277 Worthing & District *35 * Rowlands Road, Worthing, West Sussex, BN11 3JJ ☎☎ 01903 200 332

South & South West

Caterham, Redhill & East Surrey *20 * Chipstead Valley Road, Coulsdon, Surrey, CR5 2RA ☎☎ 0208 660 7475

Cornwall *Point * Road, Carnon Downs, Truro, Cornwall, TR3 6JN ☎☎ 01872 870 575

Chichester, Bognor Regis & District *7a * Crane Street, Chichester, West Sussex, P019 1LH ☎☎ 01243 774 737

Exeter Axhayes *Little * Hill Cottage, Clyst Honiton, Exeter, Devon, EX5 2HS ☎☎ 01395 232 377

Colne Valley *75 * High Street, Halstead, Essex, CO9 2JD ☎☎ 01797 274 667 Crawley, Reigate & District *9* Broadwalk, Crawley, RH10 1HJ ☎☎ 01293 528 982 Cricklewood *70 * Cricklewood Broadway, Cricklewood, London, NW2 3EP ☎☎ 020 8450 4878 Croydon *13 * High Street, Purley, Surrey, CR8 2AF ☎☎ 0208 763 9898 Ealing & West London *3a * Albert Terrace, Pittshanger Lane, Ealing, W5 1RL ☎☎ 0208 998 3940

Isle of Wight *122 * Marlborough Road, Ryde, Isle of Wight, PO33 1AW ☎☎ 01983 562 609 Newbury & District *Heatherpine, * Curridge Road, Curridge, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG18 9DH ☎☎ 01635 200 111 Ferndown Homing Centre *51 * Cobham Road, Ferndown Industrial Estate, Wimborne, Dorset, BH21 7QZ ☎☎ 03000 120 175 Andover & District ☎☎ 01256 892 019 Barnstaple & District ☎☎ 01271 860 787

Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness


Adoption Centre

Homing Centre

Basingstoke & District ☎☎ 08451 771 364

Mere & Gillingham ☎☎ 01747 840 621

Bath & District ☎☎ 01225 835 606

Midsomer Norton & Radstock ☎☎ 01761 436 486

Blandford & Sturminster Newton ☎☎ 01258 858 644

Minehead ☎☎ 08453 712 761

Bournemouth & District ☎☎ 08453 712 762

Okehampton & District ☎☎ 08453 712 751

Bracknell & Wokingham Districts ☎☎ 08453 714 212

Oxford & District ☎☎ 01235 221 147

Bridgwater ☎☎ 01278 684 662

Plymouth & South Hams ☎☎ 08453 712 753

Bristol & District ☎☎ 01179 665 428

Portsmouth ☎☎ 08453 712 743

Cheltenham ☎☎ 08453 712 730

Reading & District ☎☎ 08452 602 395

Cherwell ☎☎ 07716 596 212

St Austell & District ☎☎ 01726 817 837

Cirencester, Tetbury & District ☎☎ 01285 657 894 88

Salisbury & District ☎☎ 08453 712 068

East Devon ☎☎ 01884 277 929 Exeter ☎☎ 01392 276 291 Falmouth, Helston & District ☎☎ 08453 712 729 Fareham & Waterlooville Districts ☎☎ 08452 601 504 Farnham & Wey Valley ☎☎ 01252 334 644 Forest of Dean ☎☎ 01594 841 511 Frome & District ☎☎ 07733 390 345 Glastonbury & Wells ☎☎ 01749 850 660 Gloucester ☎☎ 07891 112 654 88www. Gosport Town ☎☎ 02392 582 601 Holsworthy, Bideford & District ☎☎ 08453 712 717 Honiton ☎☎ 01404 452 41 Launceston & District ☎☎ 01566 773 814

Southampton ☎☎ 08453 712 718 Stroud ☎☎ 01453 828 326 Swindon ☎☎ 01793 644 536 Taunton & Wellington ☎☎ 08452 602 397 Teignbridge & Totnes ☎☎ 08453 712 723 Torpoint & Rame Peninsula ☎☎ 01752 829 104 Torquay & District ☎☎ 0845 647 2181 Truro & District ☎☎ 08452 601 386 Weston-Super-Mare & District ☎☎ 08453 712 066 Weymouth & District ☎☎ 01305 262 737 Winchester & District ☎☎ 01962 883 536 or 01962 884 468 Wootton Bassett & District ☎☎ 07928 674 433 Yeovil & District ☎☎ 01935 412 755


Charity shop

Bournemouth & District *333-335 * Charminster Road, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH8 9QR ☎☎ 01202 530 757 Bristol & District *272 * North Street, Bedminster, Bristol, BS3 1JA ☎☎ 0117 963 9028 Cheltenham *20 * St James Street, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL52 2SH ☎☎ 01242 234 494 East Devon *72 * High Street, Sidmouth, Devon, EX10 8EQ ☎☎ 01395 513 394 Forest of Dean *28a * Newerne Street, Lydney, Gloucestershire, GL15 5RF ☎☎ 01594 841 848 Honiton *137 * High Street, Honiton, EX14 1LW ☎☎ 01404 423 12 Mere & Gillingham *High * Street, Gillingham, Dorset, SP8 4AA ☎☎ 01747 833 669 Plymouth *91 * Mutley Plain, Mutley, Plymouth, Devon, PL4 6JJ ☎☎ 01752 255 193 Reading & District *11 * The Triangle, Tilehurst, Reading, RG30 4RN ☎☎ 0118 945 3733 Swindon *39 * Regent Circus, Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 1PX ☎☎ 01793 531 410 Truro & District *23 * Pydar Street, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 2AY ☎☎ 01872 276 351 Weymouth & District *31 * Great Western Road, Dorchester, DT1 1HF ☎☎ 01305 213 358

Central Birmingham *Packhorse * Lane, Hollywood, Birmingham, West Midlands, B47 5DH ☎☎ 01564 822 020 Friends of Birmingham Adoption Centre Derby *White * Cottage, Long Lane, Dalbury Lees, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, DE6 5BJ ☎☎ 01332 824 950 Friends of Derby Adoption Centre Evesham *c/o * Dogs Trust Kennels, 89 Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford, Evesham, Worcester, WR11 6RT ☎☎ 01386 833 343

Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 •

Hereford *Cobhall * Villa, Allensmore, HR2 9BP ☎☎ 01432 277 543 Friends of Cats Protection Hereford ☎☎ 07787 434 756 Mansfield *Mansfield * Road, Warsop, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, NG20 0EF ☎☎ 01623 845 846 Nottingham *The * Gate House, New Farm Lane, Nuthall, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, NG16 1DY ☎☎ 0115 938 6557 Ashfield & Amber Valley ☎☎ 01246 825 165 Bedford & Biggleswade ☎☎ 08442 496 911 Burton on Trent ☎☎ 01283 511 454 Corby & District ☎☎ 08453 714 209 Coventry ☎☎ 02476 251 491 Derby & District ☎☎ 01332 206 956 Halesowen & District ☎☎ 08453 712 062 Leicester & District ☎☎ 01162 881 318 Lichfield & District ☎☎ 08453 712 741 Luton, Dunstable & District ☎☎ 08453 712 746 Mid Warwickshire ☎☎ 01926 334 849 Northampton ☎☎ 08447 003 251 North Birmingham ☎☎ 08452 601 503 Rugby ☎☎ 01788 570 010 South Birmingham ☎☎ 08453 711 854 Stafford & District ☎☎ 08452 601 509 Stoke & Newcastle ☎☎ 08452 601 385 Stourbridge, Dudley & Wyre Forest ☎☎ 08448 848 520

The Cat  Autumn 2013 59


Adoption Centre

Homing Centre


Charity shop

Telford & District ☎☎ 08542 601 502 Walsall Borough ☎☎ 01922 682 005

Bolton & Radcliffe ☎☎ 07760 780 759

Cambridge *172 * Mill Road, Cambridge, CB1 3LP ☎☎ 01223 566 997

Crewe & District ☎☎ 01270 588 710

Breckland ☎☎ 01842 810 018

Culcheth & Glazebury ☎☎ 01925 764 604

Wellingborough & Rushden ☎☎ 08453 714 209

Bury St Edmunds ☎☎ 01284 850 887

Grimsby & District *57 * Second Avenue, Grimsby, DN33 1NH ☎☎ 01472 277 520

Wolverhampton ☎☎ 01902 651 173

Cambridge ☎☎ 01223 356 999

Worcester & District ☎☎ 01905 425 704

Chatteris, St Ives & District ☎☎ 0845 647 2180

Bedford & Biggleswade *12 * The Springfield Centre, Kempton, Bedfordshire, MK42 7PR ☎☎ 01234 840 827

Ely & District ☎☎ 01353 699 430

Coventry *34 * Far Gosford Street, Coventry, CV1 5DW ☎☎ 02476 222 105 Derby & District *31 * The Wardwick, Derby, DE1 1HA ☎☎ 01332 360 080 *Institute * Buildings, North End, Wirksworth, Derbyshire, DE4 4FG Halesowen & District *9* High Street, Blackheath, Rowley Regis, West Midlands, B65 0DT ☎☎ 0121 559 3135 Mid Warwickshire *27 * Regent Street, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 5EJ ☎☎ 01926 338 250 Pershore *Royal * Aracde, Pershore, Worcestershire, WR10 1AG ☎☎ 01386 550 440

Framlingham & Saxmundham ☎☎ 01728 723 499 Grimsby & District ☎☎ 01472 276 600 Haverhill & Stour Valley ☎☎ 08453 719 599 Horncastle & District ☎☎ 01526 388 535 Ipswich ☎☎ 08453 712 069 Milton Keynes ☎☎ 01908 318 810 North Walsham & District ☎☎ 01692 535 858

Stafford & District *Market * Stall 48, St John’s Indoor Market, Stafford

Norwich & District ☎☎ 08454 941 900

Stourbridge & District *27 * Lower High Street, Stourbridge, DY8 1TA ☎☎ 01384 422 208

Peterborough & District ☎☎ 08453 712 750

Wolverhampton *54 * Warstones Road, Penn, Wolverhampton, WV4 4LP ☎☎ 01902 338 013 Worcester & District *53 * St Johns, Worcester, WR2 5AG ☎☎ 01905 426 748

East Dereham *Hoe * Road Farm, Hoe Road, Longham, Dereham, Norfolk, NR19 2RP ☎☎ 01362 687 919 Friend of Dereham Adoption Centre Downham Market *Wards * Chase, Stowbridge, Kings Lynn, Norfolk, PE34 3NN ☎☎ 01366 382 311 Friends of Downham Market Adoption Centre

60 The Cat  Autumn 2013

St Neots & District ☎☎ 01480 476 696 Scunthorpe & District ☎☎ 01652 651 001 Skegness, Spilsby & Alford ☎☎ 01754 830 621 Sleaford & District ☎☎ 01529 488 749 Spalding & District ☎☎ 01775 725 661 Stamford & District ☎☎ 01778 571 343 Tendring & District ☎☎ 08453 712 742 Waveney ☎☎ 08453 714 202

Ipswich *184 * Bramford Lane, Ipswich, IP1 4DP ☎☎ 01473 742 226 Lincoln *381 * High Street, Lincoln, LN5 7SF Norwich *193b * Plumstead Road, Norwich, NR1 4AB ☎☎ 01603 438 820 St Neots & District *10 * Cross Keys Mall, Market Square, St Neots, PE19 2AR ☎☎ 01480 476 696

North Gildersome Homing Centre *Gildersome * Lane, Gildersome, Leeds, LS27 7BN St Helens *100 * Chester Lane, St Helens, Merseyside, WA9 4DD ☎☎ 01744 817 718 Warrington *Animal * Village, Slutchers Lane, Bank Quay, Warrington, Cheshire, WA1 1NA ☎☎ 01925 411 160 York *582 * Huntington Road, Huntington, York, North Yorkshire, YO32 9QA ☎☎ 01904 760 356

Dewsbury, Wakefield & District ☎☎ 01924 261 524 Doncaster ☎☎ 01302 840 777 Durham City & District ☎☎ 01388 720 689 Gateshead & District ☎☎ 0191 420 3180 Halifax, Queensbury & Brighouse ☎☎ 0845 647 2182 Harrogate & District ☎☎ 01423 889 598 Hull & District ☎☎ 01482 790 284 Lancaster & Morecambe ☎☎ 01524 850 112 Macclesfield ☎☎ 0845 603 8138 North Sheffield ☎☎ 01142 456 371 North Tyneside ☎☎ 0191 296 3512 Northumberland East ☎☎ 07749 713 142 (6–9pm)

Atherton & Wigan Metro Areas ☎☎ 01942 888 693

Preston ☎☎ 08451 770 708

Barnsley ☎☎ 01226 762 658

Rochdale ☎☎ 01706 522 440

Beverley & Pocklington ☎☎ 01482 861 866

Sheffield Hallam ☎☎ 01142 493 330

Blackburn & District ☎☎ 01254 260 107

South Wirral ☎☎ 0151 355 9813

Boston & District ☎☎ 01406 424 966

Stockport ☎☎ 0161 439 1274

Burnley & Pendle ☎☎ 01282 693 400

Teesside ☎☎ 01642 589 090

Burscough & Liverpool Bay ☎☎ 0151 526 5999

Trafford ☎☎ 0161 610 2189 or 0161 969 0331

Calder Valley & District ☎☎ 01706 810 489

Wear Valley & Darlington ☎☎ 0845 313 4749

Carlisle & District ☎☎ 01228 540 330

West Cumbria ☎☎ 01946 590 079

Chesterfield & District ☎☎ 08453 712 754

Wharfe Valley ☎☎ 08451 947 292

Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness


Barnsley *95 * High Street, Wombwell, Barnsley, S73 8HS Chesterfield & District *13 * Stephenson Place, Chesterfield, S40 1XL Lancaster & Morecambe *4-6 * Regent Road, Morecambe, Lancaster, LA3 1QG ☎☎ 01524 850 112 Leeds *Suite * 26, Bramley Shopping Centre, Leeds, LS13 2ET Newcastle upon Tyne *162-166 * High Street East, Wallsend, Tyne & Wear, NE28 7RP ☎☎ 0191 2627 377 Teesside *7–8 * Ramsgate, Stockton-on-Tees, Cleveland, TS18 1BS ☎☎ 07432 379 292 Wharfe Valley *21 * Town Street, Horsforth, Leeds, LS18 5LJ ☎☎ 0113 259 1120 York *13 * Walmgate, York, YO1 9TX ☎☎ 01904 620 361

Wales Bridgend *Green * Acres, Pant Hirwaun, Bryncethin, Bridgend, Mid Glamorgan, CF32 9UJ ☎☎ 01656 724 396 Wrexham *Alma * House, Madeira Hill, Wrexham, Clwyd, LL13 7HD ☎☎ 01978 313 574 Aberystwyth & District ☎☎ 01970 822 120 Carmarthenshire Fundraising Colwyn & District ☎☎ 01492 660 221 Gwent ☎☎ 08453 712 747 Newtown & District ☎☎ 01686 670 277 Swansea & District ☎☎ 08452 179 648 Gwent *22 * Frogmore Street, Abergavenny, NP7 5AH ☎☎ 01873 857 770 Swansea & District *85 * Brynymor Road, Swansea, SA1 4JE Wrexham & District *60 * Chester Street, Wrexham, LL13 8BA ☎☎ 01978 310 555

Scotland Arbroath & Carnoustie *15 * Kinaldie Holdings, Arbroath, DD11 5SH ☎☎ 01241 434 605 Clackmannanshire & Stirling *The * Marion Hunter Cat Adoption Centre, Ochivale Terrace, Fishcross, Alloa, Clackmannanshire, FK10 3HT ☎☎ 01259 720 555 Dundee & District *102 * Foundry Lane, Dundee, DD4 6AY ☎☎ 01382 450 035 Glasgow *Cardyke * Farm, Langmuirhead Road, Auchinloch, Glasgow, G66 5LD ☎☎ 0141 779 3341 Friends of Glasgow Adoption Centre Shetland *Gott, * Shetland, ZE2 9SH ☎☎ 01595 840 588 Alness & District ☎☎ 08453 714 204 Ardnamurchan & Mull ☎☎ 01967 431 203 Barra & Uist ☎☎ 07050 121 586 Caithness ☎☎ 08453 714 217 Central Aberdeen ☎☎ 01224 749 568 Central Dumfries ☎☎ 01387 710 083 Cumnock & Doon Valley ☎☎ 08453 714 219 Deeside ☎☎ 07837 342 660 East Neuk of Fife ☎☎ 08453 714 210 Ellon & District ☎☎ 01358 721 204 Eskdale & District ☎☎ 01387 376 738 Fort William & District ☎☎ 01397 772 071 Fraserburgh ☎☎ 01771 637 744 Giffnock ☎☎ 01416 385 110 Glasgow ☎☎ 08453 712 722

Huntly & Keith ☎☎ 01466 760 311

West Lothian ☎☎ 08453 712 719

Inverclyde ☎☎ 07803 709 122

Central Aberdeen *96 * King St, Aberdeen, AB24 5BA ☎☎ 01224 634 894

Inverness ☎☎ 07815 910 861 Inverurie & Alford ☎☎ 01467 625 695 Isle of Arran ☎☎ 01770 820 611 Isles of Lewis & Harris ☎☎ 01851 830 749 Isle of Skye ☎☎ 07817 943 072 Lanarkshire ☎☎ 08453 714 213 Montrose & Brechin ☎☎ 08453 712 738 Moray ☎☎ 07837 342 646 Nairn ☎☎ 08453 712 714 North Ayrshire ☎☎ 08453 714 218 Orkney Islands ☎☎ 01856 771 642

Clackmannanshire & Stirling *The * Marion Hunter Cat Adoption Centre, Ochivale Terrace, Fishcross, Alloa, Clackmannanshire, FK10 3HT ☎☎ 01259 720 555 Dundee & District *102 * Foundry Lane, Dundee, DD4 6AY ☎☎ 01382 450 035 *5* Reform Street, Monifieth, Dundee, DD5 4BA ☎☎ 01382 534 316 Orkney Islands *85-87 * Victoria Street, Stromness, Orkney, KW16 3BS ☎☎ 01856 850 919 Outer Aberdeen & District *187 * George Street, Aberdeen AB25 1HZ ☎☎ 01224 658 565 Turiff & District *6-8 * Duff Street, Macduff, Banffshire, AB44 1TL ☎☎ 07847 395 017 West Fife *6* Arberlour Street, Rosyth, Fife, KY11 2RD ☎☎ 01383 417 548

Northern Ireland

Outer Aberdeen & District ☎☎ 01224 705 252

Belfast *270 * Belfast Road, Dundonald, Newtownards, Northern Ireland, BT16 1UE ☎☎ 02890 480 202

Peebles & Biggar ☎☎ 0707 4357 228

Friends of Northern Ireland Adoption Centre

Perth ☎☎ 08458 622 206

Armagh ☎☎ 07709 483 550

Peterhead & District ☎☎ 07791 834 226

Coleraine ☎☎ 07792 699 416

Renfrewshire ☎☎ 0141 876 4133


South Ayrshire ☎☎ 08453 714 216

Adoption Centre

Stewartry & District ☎☎ 01557 339 233


Homing Centre Charity shop

Stonehaven ☎☎ 01569 739 396 Stranraer & District ☎☎ 01776 840 619 Strathspey ☎☎ 08453 712 725 Tain & District ☎☎ 08453 712 737 West Fife ☎☎ 01383 419 975

Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 •

The Cat  Autumn 2013


Hello again, and we hope you enjoy reading the autumn Kids’ Corner! We also hope you like the drawings sent in by our younger readers and have fun completing the cat-shaped crossword. If you’d like to send in a picture, letter or email for the next issue, then contact us at The Cat magazine, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath RH17 7TT or email editorial@cats. Don’t forget to tell us your name, age and address. The deadline for submissions for the winter issue is 13 September. There’s lots more cat fun at

Artists’ alley

Thank you to our budding artists for sending us their pictures of their furry friends! They each win a JellyCat. Clockwise from right: The sweet purple cat is from four-year-old Annie of Northamptonshire. Seven-year-old Erin of Leicestershire has sent us this picture of Ollie sunbathing on the grass! Eleven-year-old Paige of Manchester sent us this lovely drawing of her cat Tilly, who is from Cats Protection’s Warrington Adoption Centre. This bright ginger cat was drawn by seven-year-old Ceit May from Lancashire.

62 The Cat  Autumn 2013

Understanding your cat

If you are lucky enough to have a cat then you probably know when he’s asking for food or wants to play, but how about the other things he’s trying to tell you? Find out how good you are at understanding your cat by trying the quiz. Cats use lots of different ways to tell us what they need and how they’re feeling, from sounds to body language. Look at the three photos below and see if you can pick the right answer! Answers are upside-down at the bottom of the page.

This cat: a) Is feeling sick mmy tickled b) Wants its tu ndly c) Is being frie

Photo 2

Photo 3

This cat:

a) Is scared b) Is saying he llo c) Is being unfr

This cat: a) Is angr y b) Is playing ened c) Feels fright ed ri or or w


Answers: 1.c

Photo 1

2.b 3.c

Crack the cat wordsearch

This issue is all about the movements cats make when they’re playing or exploring. Cats need exercise to be healthy and love to play! Words could be spelt out in any direction – forwards, backwards, upwards, downwards – even diagonally! Once you’ve found and marked all the words, you’ll see that there are seven spare letters left over. Rearrange these to find a word describing another movement cats make. Send this word by email to uk. Remember to put wordsearch in the subject heading, and to include your name, age and address. You can also enter the competition by post. Write the answer and your details on a postcard or sealed envelope and send it to: The Cat magazine, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Sussex, RH17 7TT.





Thanks to Kong who provide our cats prizes for Kids’ Corner. Kong design toys and grooming products for both cats and dogs. www. Illustrations: Rus Hudda

Bat Stalk

Jump Wait







Roll Pat


Hide Sit

Run Pounce


The Cat  Autumn 2013 63


Tammy the stunt cat Margaret Read muses on her companion’s appetite for acrobatics


thought you might like to hear about our cat Tammy. We lost her last August not long after her 17th birthday. She was a rescue kitten from Cats Protection’s Stockport Branch, left on her own after her mum and brother were rehomed together. From arriving at our home with an existing three-strong feline family, she settled in brilliantly. Tammy made particularly good friends with Jenny, our diabetic cat, and would insist on sharing her igloo bed whether this was welcomed by Jenny or not, even sitting on Jenny’s head if needs be! We lost the other two cats over the next couple of years, so Tam and Jen’s friendship deepened. Sadly, in 2005 we had to have Jenny put to sleep after she developed a cancerous oral tumour and our vet and vet nurse came to our home to give Jenny her final injection. Now, like most cats, Tammy wasn’t keen on the vet – he gave her annual boosters and looked at her teeth – yet she stayed in the room while her friend drifted away peacefully. Then she sniffed and licked Jenny one last time and went out into the garden. A month later, Tammy fell seriously ill with suspected pancreatitis but although the outlook wasn’t good, she made a full recovery. I often wondered whether this was her particular way of expressing the grief and shock of her bereavement. She was undoubtedly a sensitive and intelligent little cat, fiercely possessive of her home and territory – woe betide anyone or anything that trespassed on her red play table when she was close by! People could have heard her screaming and shouting at any passing moggy five miles away – she was quite intimidating for a small cat.

64 The Cat  Autumn 2013

Tammy loved butterflies and, year after year, she raided a peacock butterfly nest and would carry her prizes home to us unharmed for days in the summer. When she wasn’t looking, we would then release the unfortunate and very beautiful butterflies! Like most cats Tam loved to be warm and had her pick of four cat igloos with warm blankets in the cold weather. When it was sunny, she loved to lie on the carport roof, a wonderful vantage point to watch the world go by and a safe haven, especially if we weren’t around. She stayed our only pet until she died and she made great mates out of my husband and me, always seeking us out to sit on our knees or to play with cat toys. If she couldn’t find us when she was outside she would clamber up to our first floor bedroom window, shouting for us, climbing into the bedroom when the windows were open. This was no mean feat, as it entailed three sizeable jumps, one onto the garden fence, the next onto the roof of the garden hut next door, and the biggest leap from there onto our carport roof. A tricky walk along a tiled sloping roof and she’d made it to our bedroom, much to the amazement of passers-by. Sadly, it was the jump to the carport roof that proved to be too much for our senior cat. She couldn’t get a purchase with her front paws, and fell onto the concrete below. Although nothing was broken, following X-rays, the vet at our local animal hospital felt that Tammy might not survive the anaesthetic for them to investigate possible internal bleeding. We already knew she had age-related problems – kidneys and a growth on her liver which might have proved cancerous – but now they found a heart murmur and possible diabetes. Too much for our lovely and loving little cat to cope with, so we made the awful decision to send her painlessly to sleep for ever. Our home hasn’t been the same since. We look forward to seeing her one day at Rainbow Bridge with all our other furry friends. Love you, Tammy.

Illustration: Rus Hudda

Remembering cats through helping others This section offers readers the chance to pay tribute to a beloved cat by helping others. Donations go towards pens for our branches, which help house cats and kittens while they wait for new homes. Please send your donations to: R  emembering Cats, The Cat magazine, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT. C  heques should be made payable to ‘Cats Protection’. Tributes will be printed in the next available issue. Please note that this is an increasingly popular page and we cannot guarantee that your dedication will appear in a particular issue. Please print your tribute clearly to avoid errors (no more than 20 words). Thanks to readers of The Cat, 315 pens have now been bought.

Sweet little WEENS, the best little girl cat. 21.10.93. 19 ½ years. Remember you every day. Also R  OSIEand DINAH. Teresa BOYCIE– PTS 30.03.13 in his 17th year. My darling rescue boy. For eight years I was blessed with your love. Asleep in his garden beside TIGER LILY– 1988–2004. Beloved little sweetheart girl. Both forever with me. Richards MISHKAand S  ASHA, my two greatly loved girls. Miss you. Sleep peacefully my darlings. Our love lives, Mum In loving memory of MINTYon May 3. In loving memory of a dear cat who would sit on my chair and get off of his own accord when I wanted to sit down. Hilary

M  ITZI, PTS 12.08.03 aged 18 ½. A decade since you left us. Miss our beautiful girl so much. Love you.

S  OPHIE08.04.96 – 28.05.13. In memory of a much loved cat. Sadly missed by Sam and Big Cat.

In loving memory of S  IMBA– 03.09.01. Our special boy, missed so much. Always in our thoughts and hearts. Love Mummy, Daddy, Leo In loving memory of CUMFY. Passed away August 1965. Reunited with our Mum and Dad. From Peter In loving memory of

S  OOTY. A loving friend. Fell asleep 05.10.09 age 20. At rest in his favourite garden with Mowie, Ben and Tiggy. Till we meet again. Peter In loving memory of MAGIC. Fell asleep 24.09.10. Greatly missed by Pat, Barry, Peter and all his friends in the Holly Shaws. Rest in peace O  BI, SHADI and MONTY. Three special elderly friends. From Ali, Scott and the fur family. DAISY– 16.05.13 aged 15. The most loving cat ever chose me. Seven and a half months later PTS was necessary and part of me died with you. Missed so much. Meryl

 P– Mummy’s little tiger. G PTS 08.06.13. Sleep tight forever with Suki, Roxy Kitten and Marley. Love always, Angela xx

J udy– Missed by us and your sister. Rest in peace in the garden that you loved. We’ll always remember you. Mummy, Daddy and Pickles

OSCAR– Shared my life from six weeks old until PTS 14.06.13 aged 17. Much loved and now so very much missed.

Roger– handsome boy. It’s not the same without you. You are in our hearts forever. Tom

P  EARL– The closest bond. Of all my cats you were special, my Pearly Girl, at rest in your garden. Killed by a car 26.04.10 MEGAN– my furry angel and best pal. PTS 16.07.13 aged 18. RIP poppet, I couldn’t have wished for a lovelier puss cat. Till we meet again. Also remembering Troy,  mokey. Cleoand S Mummy x Darling N  apoléon Bonaparte. You were only with me for a short time, but your long furry tail and your penchant for pepperoni pizzas will never be forgotten. Love Mummy, Lady Hamilton and all the mice.x

Squeak– died aged 18. A happy, purry, cuddly girl. We’ll miss you and your fondness for crisps. Much loved. J Dear, dear C  hi Chi passed away 01/06/2011 gone but never forgotten. Our CP rescue puss big and beautiful. Love from her adopted family. In loving memory of my Handsome black cat, S  alemwho sadly passed away 28/05/2013. You will always be remembered with love and affection for the joy you brought into our lives. You will live in our hearts forever. Love from your loving family xxx In loving memory of

T  HOMAS (ORION) 07.10.10. My sweet gentle boy. I will love you forever. Mum xx

The Cat  Autumn 2013 65

B k reviews Looking for a great book about cats? Check out our reviews before you buy...

Jessi-cat is a heart-warming and enlightening book about a young boy called Lorcan and the incredible progress that he has made with the help of his loving and attentive kitten Jessi-cat. Lorcan suffers with autism and selective mutism, a condition which affects his ability to express himself. However, since the arrival of his beloved kitten he has progressed leaps and bounds and now finds it possible to express emotions and feelings that wouldn’t have been possible before. Jessi-cat’s achievements have been so impressive that she was named Best Friend and National Cat of the Year 2012 by our very own Cats Protection Awards. The book is written by Jayne Dillon and gives an insightful account of Lorcan’s progress from his mother’s point of view, which further adds to the charm of the book. By far the most poignant moment of the book is when Lorcan expresses a rare moment of emotion with his cat, uttering the phrase “I love you”. This book will be enjoyed by all cat lovers who will relate to the book as the tale of the unique bond between a cat and its owner. Olivia Gavoyannis Jessi-cat(£14.99) is published by Michael O’Mara Books ( ISBN 9781782431244.) Readers can order it for the special price of £10.99 with free p&p by calling 01903 828 503 and quoting JESS/TC (UK mainland only, while stocks last). We also have two copies available to win. Enter in the usual way (see Favourites page for details) marking entries Jessi-cat.


Jessi-cat by Jayne Dillon


by Marilyn Edwards This heart-warming book is perfect for any cat lover, especially those aged 10 to 16. Magnificat demonstrates the connection between cat and man, the hardships of life as a stray and the difficult teenage years. Ben didn’t want a cat but there is nothing quite like the love of a rescue cat to fill your heart with joy. I have read Marilyn Edwards’ other books and think she is a great writer. She has managed to write this book from a teenage perspective very well and, thinking of my own rescue cat, her cat’s perspective is pretty spot on too! The beautiful line drawings at the beginning of each chapter are wonderful. I loved reading the book, in fact it was very hard to put down. This book is my favourite for 2013 by far! Chloe Child (13) Magnificat(£6.99) is published by Catnip Publishing Ltd ( ISBN 9781846471476) It is also available from the Cat Chat webshop ( We have three copies available to win. Enter in the usual way marking entries Magnificat.

The World According to Bob 

by James Bowen In 2009, James Bowen was living a very different life to his former existence as a homeless drug addict. He had a place to stay, a job as a Big Issue seller and – most importantly – had met Bob, the ginger cat who helped him turn his life around. But, while James had turned a corner, his life was far from rosy and his fear of regressing, of losing it all, haunts the pages of this book. Picking up where his first book A Street Cat Named Bob left off, this second tome charts James and Bob’s journey from struggling local celebrities to national icons. Expect plenty of dark moments but lots of cheer as well – from the characters who are kind enough to help the pair to the tales of Bob’s entertaining antics. Anyone who enjoyed reading A Street Cat Named Bob will love this book, and we’re sure it will be snapped up by James and Bob’s legions of fans. Rebecca Evans The World According to Bob(hardback £16.99) is published by Hodder & Stoughton (hodder. ISBN 978-1444777550). We have two copies of T  he World According to Bobto give away. Enter in the usual way (see Favourites page for details) marking your entry Bob book.

Books received

A forever home for Athenaby Marie Symeou Nine Livesby John F and Julie Hope

66 The Cat  Autumn 2013

A cat called Dogby Jem Vanston

ANSWERS Summer 2013 crossword answers Across: 1 Perfumed, 6 Rip, 9 Helix, 10 Deplore, 11 Curtail, 13 Amaze, 14 Seesaw, 15 High-up, 19 Depot, 21 Abysmal, 22 Bequest, 23 Alone, 24 Rue, 25 Turnpike. Down: 2 Enlarge, 3 Fix, 4 Meddle, 5 Depravity, 6 Rioja, 7 Piece, 8 Chicks, 12 Apartment, 16 Hemlock, 17 Pelmet, 18 Rafter, 19 Debar, 20 Pique, 23 Asp.


This issues sudoku answers

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The Cat Autumn 2013  

The official magazine of Cats Protection, the UK’s leading feline welfare charity. Learn more

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