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Winter 2013

Hands up! The story behind the Maneki Neko

Identity parade Kits with chips

Cosmic cat CP conquers the final frontier

Digital Our first augmented reality issue

Plus Susan Calman, Christmas tips and cat sponsorship

Talking Cat

An audio version of this magazine is available free to all subscribers. Contact Supporter Services on 0800 917 2287 or email to request your copy.


Hands up! d the Maneki The story behin


Identity parade Kits with chips

Cosmic cat CP conquers ier the final front

Digital ented Our first augm reality issue

Plus Susan Calman,

and Christmas tips

ip cat sponsorsh

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, 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  Karl Humphreys, Cats Protection, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT.  07939 017 035 @ 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.


here’s new element to T  he Catmagazine and it’s called Augmented Reality! This involves hidden ‘gifts’ via certain pictures, which, when using a smartphone, can link to videos. You can learn more about this concept and what links to look out for in the magazine on page 5. This technology blows the mind! On page 43 our Advocacy Manager, Jacqui Cuff, gives an update on the progress of the Pet Advertising Advisory Group – a group of leading animal welfare organisations and agencies including Cats Protection. Online sales of pets is a contentious issue and this group is working alongside some of the more well-known online classified sites and with government to ensure that minimum standards are met and the internet becomes a safe place to look for a pet. The sky’s the limit for Matt Downs who decided on a rather unique and special way to raise funds for Cats Protection…he sent a cat into space! Not a real one, we hasten to add, but cuddly toy Monty went where no CP cat has gone before and there are pictures to prove it. Be amazed on pages 22 and 23. Sadly, saying a final farewell to our feline companions is something we all have to do at some point and it’s never easy. Our Helpline article on pages 46 and 47 covers this sensitive and emotional topic. Two of our regular contributors, Alison Prince and John Walker have both had new feline additions to their households, of differing temperament, and their tales make for good reading on page 29 and 33 respectively. Anyone who’s partial to the odd Chinese takeaway will no doubt be very familiar with the golden cats that adorn the windows, beckoning in customers. On pages 18 and 19 Mella May writes a delightful piece about the background to these Maneki Neko cats, which are actually Japanese in origin. Microchipping is something we wholeheartedly recommend and promote at Cats Protection, indeed, every cat adopted from us will already have been microchipped (as well as vet checked, vaccinated, neutered etc!). It is the most assured form of return should your cat go missing and be found. Rebecca Evans tells us more on pages 34 to 36. And talking of Rebecca Evans, it’s with a heavy heart that we must say goodbye to her as she ventures forth into charitable pastures new, as an editor for Marie Curie. She’s been a fantastic member of the Editorial team here at Cats Protection and we wish her well in her new job. Becky, the cats salute you!

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  Winter 2013




Winter 2013 Cover photo:

Regulars 6 News


10 Letters 13 Cats’ tales 24 Playing detective 26 Ask the vets 29 Ali’s cats 33 Walker on the wild side

Feature articles



38 Our favourite things

16 Celebrity interview

44 Coffee paws

Susan Calman talks about cats, comedy and being convicted

46 How can we help?

18 Konichiwa kitties

49 Paws for thought

The origins of the beckoning cat

51 Making memories 52 Cats Protection in action 56 Diary of events 58 Find your local Cats Protection

Augmented reality Technology brings The Catto life!

21 Festive tips The 12 nays of Christmas


22 Up, up and away Can cats go into space?

31 Cat sponsorship

62 Kids’ corner

Get closer to the cats

65 Remembering cats

34 Lost identity The importance of microchipping your cat

66 Book reviews


40 Show time! On the road with a branch homing show

43 Online pet advertising Progress with minimum standards

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  Winter 2013


Scan to discover even more! Welcome to the first augmented reality edition of The Cat magazine! By simply holding your smartphone or tablet over pages where you see this symbol you’ll discover a whole lot more to the story. You may be forgiven for thinking that this is the stuff of dreams, but it really does work!

Download the FREE layar app, from the Apple or Google Play stores, onto your phone

Open the app and scan any pages which feature the


After a few moments, watch as the story comes to life!

We have three augmented reality sections in this magazine and plan to have more in the issues to come, so watch out for the symbol! An internet connection is required and therefore data charges may apply.

The Cat  Winter 2013


National Black Cat Day 2013

For the past few years we’ve been celebrating black and black-and-white cats during the month of October culminating in National Black Cat Day on the last Thursday. This is to bring attention to the fact that these cats take much longer to rehome than their tabby, tortie or other hued feline friends. The campaign is primarily via social media on our Facebook page and Twitter. This year we asked our followers to contribute in two ways. Firstly we launched a photo event where people could upload a photo of the monochrome mog in their life to our Instagram account. We then took the submitted photos to create a collage which appeared in a shopping mall in Burgess Hill, West Sussex a couple of weeks before the day. The poster will also be used as a future UK-wide rehoming promotion aimed at getting more people to adopt black cats. Our second promotion was for followers to upload videos of their black cats, five were shortlisted and a winner Emma Wallis (and her bin-loving cat Rupert) was chosen by our Facebook supporters in the run-up to 31 October. Winners received a goody bag made up of prizes from our kind sponsors, Kong, Magpie, Felix and PURINA PRO PLAN Cat. The day itself saw a plethora of black and black-andwhite cats being posted up across our social media, sharing the love for these sometimes forgotten felines. SCAN THIS PAGE WITH LAYAR


In the autumn edition of The Catwe reported that there would be a Louis Wain exhibition at the Chris Beetles Gallery in London ending 7 September. Sadly it appears the gallery changed this date to 31 August and we weren’t notified. Although we published their original information in good faith we would still like to apologise to anyone who had a wasted journey to the gallery.


The Cat  Winter 2013

A lesson learned

Earlier this year two kittens were stolen from one of our adoption centres. The police caught the offenders and they charged two 12-year-old boys. They were not taken to court as they had a clean record, but due to the severity of the crime they were both issued with a Youth Conditional Caution. Sadly only one of the kittens was safely retrieved although as both were microchipped we live in hope that one day that the other will be found. As part of this Caution the centre’s deputy manager was invited to the local police station to meet with the two boys as part of a restorative justice process. She was able to talk directly to the boys and explain the implication their actions had had on the kittens and on the staff and volunteers at the centre. The deputy explains, “I went to the meeting with mixed emotions not sure what to expect although the Youth Offender Team had assured me that both boys were very remorseful and wanted to apologise in person. I have to say I felt quite shocked walking into the meeting to find two very young children sat shame faced and looking petrified, far from the harden criminals I was expecting! “The meeting lasted around 20 minutes and both boys explained how sorry they were, they had also written letters of apology for me to take away. Obviously this doesn’t change what they did and it doesn’t bring back the missing kitten however it does show how serious the crime was taken by the Police who are putting a lot of time and effort into ensuring the two boys are held accountable for their actions.” Cats Protection’s Chief Executive, Peter Hepburn, was pleased with the result, “One of the dimensions of restorative justice is helping offenders to understand the effect of their actions, and because our staff invested the time and emotional energy in seeing this through, there is a greater chance that these lads will not abuse animals, unthinkingly, in the future. That would be a superb outcome to a very sad beginning.” From reading these boys’ letters it is clear that they acted without thinking and were very sorry for their actions. One of them “really wanted a cat”. Upon reflection this boy realised that he really should have waited until the centre was open and he could attend with his mum. One of the charity’s key aims is education about cats and their care and our Education volunteers attend schools and community groups around the UK giving free talks to people of all ages. Should this service be of interest to you then please do email us on for further information.


Cats Protection is pleased to announce a new partnership with Donate Mobile, a mobile phone service committed to helping charities raise vital funds. Cats Protection supporters can switch from their current service provider to Donate Mobile with 10 per cent of their monthly spend going to Cats Protection – at no extra cost! Donate Mobile offers a complete service, which includes: • Phones and plans for both Pay as you Go and Pay Monthly • Customers can switch to Donate Mobile now (or pre-register if still in contract) • 98 per cent network coverage (via Vodafone) • Customers can keep their existing handset or buy a new one • Customers can keep their existing phone number In addition, when you sign up to Donate Mobile you will have the option of donating your monthly 10 per cent donation to Cats Protection general or to one of our branches or adoption centres. For more information about Donate Mobile and to sign up, please visit cats-protection/ Christmas offer! Donate Mobile has just launched a special Christmas offer of a user-friendly mobile phone that could be a perfect gift for an elderly relative (and comes with £10 free credit). Visit the website address above for more details.

Cinnamon Trust Awards

The wanderer returns

There was a story in the national press recently about a silver tabby called Pablo who had been found in Fife, almost 450 miles away from his home in Lewisham, London. He had been making himself comfortable on the chairs in a bank (having learnt how to activate the automatic Pablo returns doors), and staff took him to his family to our West Fife Branch of Cats Protection. When scanned it was found that his owner, Siobhan Campbell, was still in London and had reported him as missing almost a year previously. She was very surprised to hear that he was in Scotland and presumed he must have jumped in a travelling van. However, the mystery can now be solved, as Tracy Shiells, Regional Development Manager for North Scotland, explains, “We have learned that a lady living in Lewisham mistook Pablo for a stray and took him into her home early this year. She then moved to Rosyth in the last few weeks, bringing Pablo and her other cat with her. While she will miss him, she is happy for him to be reunited with his previous owner.” Pablo was flown from Edinburgh to Gatwick with Pet Travel Services to minimise his travelling time and keep him as stress-free as possible. Danielle Draper, manager at our National Cat Adoption Centre in Sussex said: “I was very surprised to see what a calm and confident character Pablo was when I went to collect him from the airport. His adventure didn’t seem to have affected him and he happily settled in to his overnight stay at the centre before being collected by his owner’s father. Pablo’s return to his original home shows how important it is to get a pet cat microchipped and to keep the owner’s contact details up to date, as was done in this case.” We would like to thank Siobhan’s family for making a donation towards the cost involved and Pet Travel Services who waived their usual fee and donated a special cat carrier in which Pablo was transported.

Photo: CP Library

Support Cats Protection with your mobile phone!

The Old Vicarage

Runnymede Court Photos: The Cinnamon Trust

Friday 18 October saw The Cinnamon Trust’s Pet Friendly Care Home and Retirement Housing of the Year Awards, held at the prestigious Lanesborough Hotel in London. From its foundation in 1984, The Cinnamon Trust has encouraged and helped care homes to welcome residents with pets. These awards honour some of these establishments and their dedicated staff. The Cinnamon Trust does all it can to ensure that people do not have to be separated from the beloved pets when ill or going into a home. They’ll walk a dog for a housebound owner, foster pets while the owner is in hospital and continue to encourage care homes to allow residents to bring their animals with them. More can be learned about the Trust at The overall winners were Runnymede Court, West Sussex for the retirement complex sector and The Old Vicarage in Dorset for the care home sector. Congratulations to all finalists for providing such a wonderful extra service to those in their care and making the residents’ much-loved animal companions so welcome.

The Cat  Winter 2013



It’s the Fort that counts

Cats Protection were winners at the International Cat Care (formerly Feline Advice Bureau) awards held up in London in September this year and you’ve never seen such a happy Veterinary team! The awards are designed to recognise the contributions made by individuals and companies in improving the lives of cats and Cats Protection won for our Feline Fort®. The first of the three categories is the Easy to Give Awards which recognises the efforts of pharmaceutical companies in making prescription only medicines that are easy to administer to cats. Efforts appreciated by millions of cat owners UK-wide, we’re sure! Winners were Semintra (an angiotensin receptor blocker used in the treatment of chronic kidney disease), Activyl (a flea spot-on treatment) and Kesium Chewable Tablets (a palatable form of amoxicillin/clavulanic acid antibiotic). The second category is the ICC Welfare Awards which recognised the outstanding contributions to the welfare of cats by David Yates (from RSPCA Greater Manchester Animal Hospital) and Melvyn Driver (of MDC Exports who is a great supporter of Cats Protection). Melvyn is the man that many Trap, Neuter and Return volunteers may want to thank as it was he who developed the squeeze cage (a restrainer basket which allows injections to be given to cats that can’t be handled). The third category is the Cat Friendly Awards which recognises the products that have made a real difference to cat wellbeing and welfare. Winners were Ceva for their Feliway pheromone spray, the British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for their Hide, Perch and Go Box and, as already proudly mentioned, Cats Protection for their Feline Fort®. Congratulations to all the winners whose work we cat owners perhaps sometimes take for granted. It was a great acknowledgement for all their behind the scenes effort in making the lives of cats and their owners a little easier. The ICC also took the opportunity to promote their campaign to protect against permethrin poisoning, warning cat owners not to use dog flea treatments on their cats after a spate of deaths were reported by UK vets. Readers can find out more about this campaign through this link

The Feline Fort® is a three-piece unit consisting of a cat step, table and hide which was developed by the Cats Protection team to enable cats to express natural behaviours like hiding. It increases their territory and allows them to view their surroundings from higher up, helping them feel safer. It’s now widely used in CP’s adoption centres across the UK and can also be used in the home and veterinary surgeries. More details about the Feline Fort® can be found online Feline-Fort-Leaflet_Final.pdf

CP’s Nicky Trevorrow and Maggie Roberts receive the charity’s award from ICC CEO Claire Bessant

The Cat for Christmas

We don’t encourage people to give cats, or any other pets, for Christmas, but we thoroughly encourage people to give The Cat! If you enjoy this magazine then why not consider giving a loved one a subscription as a Christmas gift? To ensure delivery before Christmas, please order before 4 December (overseas recipients) or 11 December (UK-based recipients) and we will send them a copy of the last edition with a covering letter stating that they have been gifted a year’s subscription to perhaps the finest feline magazine available! To buy this gift either call our Supporter Services team on 0800 917 2287 or go online at thecat-subscribe Not only will the recipient get a very good read for £15 a year but you’ll also be helping the cats and kittens in our care.


The Cat  Winter 2013

Gildersome and Padgate update

At the time of writing, our Gildersome Homing Centre near Leeds had just opened to the public and our new Warrington Adoption Centre in Padgate, Warrington was nearing completion. It’s been a long build for both centres, with some unexpected delays, but they’re definitely worth the wait. Staff and volunteers have been exploring their new surroundings while getting everything prepared for the arrival of the cats. You can find out their opening times from their websites and In the spring edition of the magazine we will be having an article celebrating these new centres, meeting the current residents and going behind the scenes, so watch this space!

Vet Professionals survey – still time to enter!

Our friends at Vet Professionals (who provide advice to both pet owners and vet professionals) have launched a diet survey and they’d love you take part. But hurry as the deadline for entering is the end of November. The questionnaire is open to all cat owners. This survey contains around 40 questions and it’s estimated that it will take between 10 and 20 minutes to complete. Data acquired from this study will be analysed by Cat Professional. It’s hoped that the data obtained will help Cat Professional to advise pet food manufacturers, veterinarians and owners on better care of cats. As a thank you for completing the survey you will be able to claim a 25 per cent discount on any book purchases by using the discount code provided when you submit your survey. All participants in this study will also be entered into a draw to win £50 in Amazon or Marks and Spencer vouchers (your choice). The draw will be made on Monday 2 December 2013 and the winner will be notified by email. Please only complete one survey per household.

Bid now!

It’s Celebrity Paws time again, our fantastic celebrity art fundraiser which raises thousands each year for the charity. The online auction takes place on eBay from Thursday 21 November until Sunday 1 December 2013. This is your chance to get your own paws on a piece of unique celebrity art and at the same time raise funds for the cats in our care. Star contributors have drawn around their hand and personalised it with ‘artists’ this year including model Twiggy Lawson, Hollywood star Christopher Walken, Level 42’s Mark King, ex-England goalkeeper David Seaman and Dancing on Ice star Frankie Poultney. David and Frankie own three cats called Princess, Smokey and Willow. Frankie says: “David and I are pleased to be supporting Cats Protection by drawing paper paws for the cause! Our cats bring so much love and fun to our home, so we hope our ‘paws’ raise plenty of funds and help many unwanted cats find loving homes.” This is the seventh year of Celebrity Paws with past contributors including Joanna Lumley, Gok Wan, David Cameron, Dame Maggie Smith, Simon Tofield, Bernard Cribbins and Dame Shirley Bassey. For the chance to get your hands on these works of art and to find out who else has donated their paw print to Cats Protection, please visit

CP on the BBC

Cats Protection’s Behaviour Manager Nicky Trevorrow appeared on television and radio after the results of the charity’s behaviour survey were released on 31 July. Our survey intrigued the nation, appeared in the national newspapers and led to Nicky appearing on B  BC Breakfastto explain the findings more fully. Nicky then answered our followers’ cat questions during a two-hour Facebook Q&A session. “I was really pleased with the interest the survey generated,” Nicky said. “It gave us a great opportunity to share our knowledge about cat welfare with a wider audience, dispel myths and raise awareness of Cats Protection.” The survey of more than 1,100 adult cat owners found a lack of knowledge in certain areas. In particular, the survey revealed twothirds of people 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. However, most adults (69 per cent) understood that cats slowblink if they are relaxed in our company. More than two thirds (68 per cent) knew a cat is greeting us when it is lying on its back – rather than having the common misconception that cats want their tummies rubbed when they behave in this way. A separate survey of 650 schoolchildren between the ages of five and 12 also uncovered gaps in their knowledge. Most children (70 per cent) didn’t realise that a cat exposing its belly is relaxed but is not asking for a tummy rub – a misunderstanding which could result in scratching. We also took the opportunity of the media coverage to promote our free online education tool to the public. Understanding Feline Origins( is designed to help owners recognise their cats’ basic needs 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. More Facebook Q&A sessions are planned for the future.

The Cat  Winter 2013


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.


The healing power of cats

From: Heather Hemmings, Midlands I would like to thank all the lovely people at Cats Protection for their great work. I must admit that I have been a lifelong dog lover but cats have come into my world recently. I am pretty isolated as I relocated to a new job two years ago and have been diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder. Throughout the last 12 months two cats have wandered into my life. The first was Fidget, a neighbour’s cat who would stroll in through the patio doors and curl up at my feet – I often had to tell her owners where she was for fear they would worry. The second is Mitsy, a beautiful little cat who my friend found as an abandoned kitten. Throughout the last three months I have spent a lot of time sitting outside on the bench with Mitsy and she has brought me an enormous amount of friendship, reassurance and calm. I truly believe that cats find you when you need them and offer the comfort you need to get through each day. I would very much like to get a cat of my own when I am in more suitable accommodation and hope to start doing some voluntary work for Cats Protection.

Cat spotting

From: Amiee Smith, by email Having just started receiving the magazine this summer, image my surprise when my mum told me there was a picture of my cat Lilo as Postman Pat’s cat in the letters pages! We no longer live in Bradmore, Wolverhampton; we moved house in March. My cats both love to get in cars. They are both friendly and Lilo loves to go for a trip. Our family love the way Lilo jumps into the car and onto the parcel shelf as soon as the door is opened, ready to be taken somewhere. It’s no surprise that she got in the van in the photo and wanted to settle down. Here is a picture of Lilo so you can decide for yourselves if you think it’s her or not.

Inspiring inscriptions

From: Sharon Powell, London I was so pleased to see and very much enjoyed your celebrity interview with James Bowen in the summer issue of the magazine. James’ humorous and moving books A  Street Cat Named Boband T  he World According To Bobopen eyes as well as hearts. They are enlightening and enjoyable for everyone, not only cat lovers, and are especially inspiring in helping anyone who is experiencing what James has gone through. Bob is amazing proof of how animals can have such a loving and positive impact on our lives. I highly admire James for courageously speaking with honesty about his former life, and also how (with help from Bob, of course) he has successfully transformed his life. I also respect the way that James is repaying Blue Cross’s generosity by fundraising and his intention to do the same thing for homelessness charities in the future. Well done, James and Bob!


The Cat  Winter 2013

Petrified purring

From: Norma Kinnison, Kent I was interested to read in the autumn edition’s news article, Moggies remain a mystery to many, that two thirds of us are unaware that cats sometimes purr when they’re in pain. I would like to add that several of my cats have also purred in fear. I had a recent experience of this. I was kneeling down gardening at home when some popping and hissing sounds which sounded like fireworks came from the road. My cat, Imogen, ran towards me with her tail down, and buried herself into me, growling and purring at the same time. She remained pinned to my side, continuing to growl and purr until the popping stopped. She knew that she could count on me to protect her, but she was still frightened nonetheless.


A perfect match

From: Jenny Richardson, Surrey In celebration of National Black Cat Day I thought I would tell you about my beautiful black-and-white cat Flossie whom we adopted from the National Cat centre almost eight years ago in December 2005. When we decided to adopt a cat I don’t think we considered adopting a black or black-and-white cat. During that first visit I remember Flossie was hiding under a blue blanket in her pen and on her door was written ‘loves a fuss’ which as we have come to know is so very true. This little black-and-white cat nervously made her way out from under the blanket to see us. When it was time to go and the pen door was closed, I still remember looking back to see her standing up against the glass watching us go. We decided to think about the decision and go back the following week and if Flossie was still there, it was meant to be. To our delight she was! That second visit we spent more time there with her and decided that she definitely was the one, but I truly believe that she chose us too when she came out of hiding that day. Flossie has brought so many smiles and so much happiness into our lives over the years. This little cat with her little white socks, as we call them, white bib, long white whiskers and big, beautiful green eyes is very much the lady of the house, but I would not want it any other way. I often refer to her as her ‘ladyship’ as she would much rather have the door opened for her than have to clamber through the cat flat, and will happily claim her place right in the middle of the sofa. If I come in from work and decide to sit down before feeding her I will be reminded by a gentle little tap on my shoulder followed by an ‘I am hungry’ miaow. She loves receiving lots of attention and affection but she is very good at reciprocating too, often with a gentle outstretched paw rested on my hand or face. Adopting a cat in my experience has been a truly brilliant thing and by opening our hearts and home to this lovely little girl cat she has given so much in return just by being her quirky funny little self. Thank you Cats Protection for all the amazing work you do.

A stitch in time

From: June Richards, Cardiff Last autumn I phoned CP to ask if you would allow me to use your logo on a knitted square I was making for a blanket. It was for Age Concern Cardiff and The Vale’s knitting project to celebrate their 40th anniversary. Your permission was kindly granted. Last September I joined a group of ladies at John Lewis store in Cardiff to begin the task of knitting our individual squares, each to be accompanied by a luggage label describing our choice or reason for our chosen pattern. Mine was my love of both cats and knitting. Many members of the public made and donated a square which was duly sewn together to make a magnificent blanket which will be displayed around Cardiff at various venues including the Welsh Parliament, libraries, community centres and John Lewis in Cardiff. Here is a photo of the finished blanket on display.

Letter led to firm friendship

From: Susan Bell, Peterborough Over 20 years ago you published in your magazine a letter from a lady in South Africa with a query about her cat. I replied and we became pen pals for more than 20 years, exchanging many letters, gifts and photos with phone calls each Christmas. Last year Barbara and I planned to meet at last with her paying her first ever visit to England to stay with me and visit her aunt in Surrey. We were both looking forward so much to her visit near Christmas. Our newly decorated bedroom was always referred to as Barbara’s room with many cat pictures and china cats dotted around. She gave a loving home to many South African strays and visited the animal shelter in Cape Town as often as she could, many times taking home a needy cat. You can imagine my total despair when I received a phone call from her brother to say she had been found dead in her flat. We were so near to meeting at last but now have to wait for the reunion at Rainbow Bridge where she has been reunited with her ‘babies’ (shelter cats). Thank you for giving me and Barbara many years of being pen pals through your magazine.

The Cat  Winter 2013



Friends to the end

From: Penny & Richard Blay, Crawley We’ve had a very sad time recently as we lost both our cats, Samson and Pepper, within two weeks of each other. They were a 17-year-old brother and sister pair that came from our local CP branch when they were nine months old. In her last month, Pepper had been back and forth to the vets, initially for cystitis, and subsequently with kidney disease and hyperthyroidism. Late one evening, Pepper started having a nose bleed and then started coughing up blood. My husband took her to the emergency vet. They said that Pepper was severely anaemic and because of her age and other conditions it was thought best to put her to sleep. We were both so upset, but at least we still had her brother Samson. One week later, Samson started having bad diarrhoea and went off his food. Normally he would eat anything and particularly loved fish and chicken, but he even struggled to eat these. Samson was taken to the vet. He could not find a cause of the diarrhoea, but did say that Samson had kidney failure and his eyesight had deteriorated rapidly. It was decided that he should go and join his sister Pepper at Rainbow Bridge. Although we had to make a very tough decision twice in two weeks, we know it was the right thing to do. At least we were able to cuddle them both and say our goodbyes. Our house seems very strange and quiet without our furry babies. We have made a little memorial in our garden for their ashes.

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  Winter 2013

Handle with care

From: Edyth Harrison, Anglesey I was reading the letter regarding the hazards of bells in the autumn edition of The Cat. Some years back I had a kitten called LaLa (yes, that tells you how long ago it was) and one day she was playing very enthusiastically with a ping pong ball which was attached to her scratching post with a piece of rope. Next thing, I heard her scream and on rushing through I found her frantically tugging away at the ball. Somehow or other, she’d managed to get the rope wound around her front leg and of course the more she pulled the tighter it got. Goodness knows what would have happened if I had not been close by to disentangle her – it makes me sick thinking about it even after all this time. Thousands of this type of toy must be sold every year – one just never imagines that they could cause some awful injury. Ever since then I’ve cut away any attachment to posts etc and removed bells from collars. Vets’ note: Toys are an excellent source of enrichment for kittens and cats and many are safe to be left with them. However, some toys need to be supervised and safely stored away out of the cat’s reach after the play session, such as those with string, such as fishing rod toys, or parts that could be ingested or cause injury. Cats also prefer a rotation of a variety of toys to maintain novelty and keep them interested. Play and the provision of feeding enrichment are an important part of a cat’s daily routine to provide mental stimulation and help prevent boredom and frustration.

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.

Time for tea From: Becky Lendrum, Trehafod This is our cat Timmy who came to us from a friend when he was a kitten. As soon as he was allowed out after being microchipped and neutered, he wandered around the garden and often slept in the bird table. On this particular day we managed to take this fab picture of him licking his lips!

Black beauties From: Nina Crane, Croydon I just wanted to send you a little bit of information about the black cats in my home. I have six cats, four of which are black. They are all amazing and unique characters. I have always had a bit of a thing for black cats and don’t understand the reticence people have about them. I love my black cats and will always have to have at least one in my life otherwise something will just feel amiss. Here is one of my black beauties, Tio.

That’s the spot From: Joanne Ellis, Surrey This is Harvey, who is 11 years old now. I got him as a kitten from the Cats Protection branch in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. Harvey moved down south to London with me nearly six years ago. The photo was taken in our back garden last year; he’s using the base of the bird table as a scratching post! His hunting skills aren’t great so the birds carry on regardless when he’s around. We have a pond with about a dozen fish in it too which captures his attention a lot; it’s only a matter of time before he catches his own supper. I adore him and he’s a much-loved member of the family.

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Cat by name, cat by nature From: Malcolm Risk, Hants Here’s a photo of our cat who’s called Cat! She’s three years old and came to us from CP a year ago. As she had had two previous homes and names we called her Cat to save confusion. She’s pictured prowling in the forget-me-not jungle, looking for the local frog – not that she knows what to do with it when she finds it and just sits there looking – an eco-friendly cat or what?

Cat on a hot tin roof From: Doreen Hale, Norfolk Peanut is a bull in a china shop or whatever the feline equivalent is. He rushes everywhere, leaving chaos behind him. Once he ran in, jumped on the stove in his usual haste, slid gracefully along the top and landed on the hearth below. As he picked himself up he looked at me as if to say ‘I meant to do that’ and stalked out, trying not to look too embarrassed. Fortunately, the stove is imitation and barely warm as it is his favourite roosting place. Peanut was originally found practically unconscious by my friend’s dog among some ripped open rubbish bags. The vet reckoned he was between 10 and 12 weeks old. He is now seven and huge and probably the most handsome cat in the world.

The elusive cat in the cupboard From: Roger Smith, Wolverhampton Milo, a very friendly female CP rescue cat (the name was with her when she arrived) lives in one of a pair of semidetached houses each with a bay window. When next door’s cat jumps on to their adjoining window, Milo instantly jumps onto the back of the chair against the cut glass cupboard and searches intently for the cat in the cupboard. The cupboard is against the connecting wall to next door, so that’s logical, isn’t it?


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READERS’ CATS Packed and ready to go From: Rachel Hair, Staffordshire Sisters Socks and Pickles not only spend every minute of every day together, they still both try and squeeze into the same bed they first had as kittens. Stupidly enough I put the bed in my suit case for extra room…it’s now their new and improved cat bed.

A rose by any other name From: Marie Quinn, Qatar I wanted to share this picture of my cat Monty relaxing in the plant pot. He and my other cat Larry were both adopted from Qatar Animal Welfare Society (QAWS), a wonderful organisation which was founded by British woman Janet Berry and her daughter Kelly. Monty had originally been found dumped by his owner in a very poor state and Larry entered QAWS as a kitten with his siblings. They are energetic rascals who love adventure and bring joy every day.

Thundercats are go! From: Lesley Smith, Wirral This picture captured one of my cats, Safi, enjoying her freedom and I thought you might like to see it. There’s no stopping her now!

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Susan Calm Scottish comic, writer and actress Susan Calman is a big cat fan. The Radio 4 favourite and Edinburgh Festival stalwart tells R  ebecca Evansabout her trio of feline friends. QUESTION Tell me about your cats ANSWER We’ve got three: Oscar, Muppet and Pickle. Oscar is 18 so he’s an old man, but he’s the most affectionate cat I’ve ever encountered. He sits on your lap and insists on cuddles all the time. He’s a wee sausage, he’s lovely. Muppet is a terrible boy! I got him when I went to the SSPCA in Glasgow. And right at the end of the cages there was a cage that no one was looking at. And in there was a horrible-looking black cat with an eye infection and so of course I said ‘That’s the one I’m having!’ He’s the noisiest, smelliest, grumpiest cat and I love him dearly! He’s like me – he just gets really grumpy. When I take him to the vet, the vet cowers to see this thing coming out of its carrier. Pickle is the sweetest, most gentle cat. She’s not a cuddly cat – you have to earn it. If she comes up onto your lap it’s like a big occasion. She doesn’t ever miaow, just sits and squeaks at us all the time. She’s the most beautiful cat in the entire world. They’re very different animals. We avoid going to look at cats because we would come back with armfuls of them. QUESTION Muppet is black and Pickle and Oscar black-andwhite. Do you prefer cats of this colour? ANSWER It just happened that way…it’s not a preference. My wife Lee and I like to take the cats no one else wants, the grotty-looking one down the end of a row. QUESTION Your cats are indoor cats – how do you keep them entertained? ANSWER In the area I live, I can’t tell you how many posters there are about lost cats. It’s not the best area for cats. We have a giant flat in Glasgow and they’re very happy – they have a nicer life than I do. The best thing I have found is not to buy toys at all because they ignore anything that I buy them. The plastic top of a water bottle is Pickle’s favourite. Muppet enjoys a game of Calmanball. I got some balls that are smaller than footballs and he loves to play. If you throw it over his head, he catches it! He also likes laser pens.


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Oscar really doesn’t want to do anything these days because he’s an old man, but he likes being brushed. If you brush him, he’s there for hours. My flat is full of toys I bought the cats that they hate. But they’re happy with a good old cardboard box and I’ll sometimes throw some catnip around the place. QUESTION What’s the most ridiculous thing you do to accommodate your cats? ANSWER I haven’t had more than half a foot of bed in six years because of Pickle. I’m away a lot. When I go away, everyone seems to rearrange the sleeping arrangements. I came back from the Edinburgh Festival to find that Muppet had taken to sleeping on my pillow and Pickle on my side of the bed. Pickle is a very stubborn cat and wouldn’t move. When I came home from the festival I asked my wife whether I should go and sleep in the spare room – and I think she genuinely thought about it! I get no duvet – the cat stays and I sleep with no duvet because the cat’s happy. QUESTION How do your cats adjust to you being away from home? ANSWER They’re used to it, and my wife’s here all the time and she sits here on the PlayStation, covered in cats. They sniff me when I come back for about half an hour and then they know I’m a soft touch and we’re all friends again. I came back recently and Muppet was sitting beside the kitchen table and he never does that. I realised that was because my wife had been feeding him from the table in August. And he’d got used to it. I said: ’You can’t have a cat begging at the table, they’ve got knives on their paws!’ I come back and I feel like one of those old-fashioned fathers! QUESTION How has having cats improved your life? ANSWER Muppet was and is my best friend; he was company when I was on my own, he danced with me when I wasn’t feeling very happy. The cats have such distinct personalities. Because I’m self-employed I’m in the house all the time and I talk to them as if they’re listening. Sometimes if I need to work through a problem I’ll talk to one of the cats about it. People might think it’s strange but for both my wife and I, they’re our best friends! Dogs will run around and fetch things for you but cats make you work, and that’s what I like about them. QUESTION Are people always coming up to you and telling you about their cats? ANSWER People tell me stories about their cats and send me cat treats. It’s absolutely brilliant to know there are people just as crazy about cats as I am.


man Talking about cats can be a starting point for a conversation. I did an episode (of her Radio 4 series S usan Calman is Convicted) on depression, the fact that I’ve got depression. What I’ve found is that people will come up and say that they’ve got a cat too and then say that they’re depressed as well. So I often find that people will start talking to me about cats and will then move on to something else once the conversation’s started and we’re onto safe ground. QUESTION What are your plans for the next six months or so? ANSWER I’ve just written another thing about the cats! I’m writing series two of the radio show (Susan Calman is Convicted). One of the episodes will be about the fact that I don’t have children, but I do have cats and that’s enough for me. That’ll be broadcast around April 2014. I’m also doing a mini tour at the start of next year to get a new show ready. QUESTION How have the cats responded to your success? ANSWER The cats are not interested in anything I do. I’ll come home and tell them ‘Mummy’s just been on QI!’ And I’ll get nothing back from them, nothing at all! I’ve had Muppet for 10 years and he does not care when I’m on The News Quiz! Keep up to date with Susan at and follow her on Twitter @SusanCalman

Photo: Steve Ullathorne

Come N

ow recognised all around the world as a symbol of good luck, Maneki Neko was originally a Japanese lucky talisman in the seventeenth century. Traditionally based on their native Calico Bob-tailed cat, Maneki Neko literally means ‘beckoning cat’ and is usually portrayed sitting down with one of his front paws raised in this gesture – to beckon in Japan is undertaken by raising the hand with the palm facing outwards and is similar to our waving action – which is why to us the cat may appear to be ‘waving’ rather than ‘beckoning’. But why would this humble figure of a common little Japanese Bobtail Cat be thought to bring such good luck or fortune in the first place? Where did these beliefs come from? And what is the significance of the raised paw?

History, origins and legends There are numerous stories relating to the origins of Maneki Neko, all of which seem to stem from the mid-seventeenth to mid-nineteenth century [the Japanese Edo-Period] and most of which are simply variations on the same theme. Probably the most frequently told of these legends is set at this time in the ancient decaying temple of Gotoku-ji in western Japan, where a penniless priest was said to be living in extreme poverty with his pet cat, Tama. The priest was also the guardian of the temple but he had no spare money with which to repair its crumbling walls and barely enough with which to buy food. What little he did have, he shared with Tama who, after one such meal, sat down in the entrance of the rundown temple and began to wash himself by licking his paw and sweeping it vigorously back over his face. At that moment a very wealthy man was passing by and stopped to shelter from an impending storm by standing under a nearby tree. He spotted Tama, still cleaning his face in the temple doorway and moved in closer to get a better look at the little cat as it appeared to the wealthy man that the cat’s raised paw was literally beckoning to him. Seconds later a bolt of lightning streaked across the sky and struck at the very tree


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closer! under which he had been sheltering, sending it crashing down in flames to the exact spot upon which he had been standing – and where he would have undoubtedly been killed had he not moved away. Grateful beyond words to the little beckoning cat that had saved his life, the wealthy man entered the temple to find the owner of the cat and to bestow upon him many riches and rewards before continuing on his way. Upon returning safely home again, he retold his story and influenced many of his wealthy friends to also go and visit the temple to see this amazing ‘beckoning cat’ for themselves. These visits – and their accompanying financial offerings – soon meant that both the temple and the priest became very prosperous indeed! So Tama the little beckoning cat had now brought good fortune to his poor owner, and the run down temple, and also to the wealthy man, by saving his life. A very lucky little cat indeed! Years later, after Tama died, a statue was made in his honour and placed in the entrance of the temple. The statue depicted him with the raised beckoning paw that had brought so much good fortune – and the very first Maneki Neko had been created. People still continued to visit the temple hoping for a share in his good luck. Once home again, they often began to make their own Tama talismans, complete with beckoning paw, and to place them in the entrances of their homes or businesses in the hope that these would bring them much good fortune, too. In this way, the legend of Maneki Neko was born. There are further legends relating to the origins of Maneki Neko, most of which simply repeat the above but may replace the priest with a girl or an old woman, the wealthy man with a Warrior or Emperor and the temple with a shop or business. In one particularly gruesome version, the cat is cruelly beheaded and yet still manages to save the life of his beloved mistress. All the versions of the story preserve the basic theme of a beckoning cat bringing extreme good fortune to its owner and Tama the Temple Cat still seems to be by far the most popular to date.


Mella May looks at the origins, beliefs and hidden meanings behind the little beckoning cat talisman

The traditional Maneki Neko was a white or calico ‘tricoloured’ figure, but nowadays he can be found for sale in pretty much any colour you can think of, and each colour supposedly has its own meaning. Although these meanings can vary from source to source some of the more commonlyaccepted meanings are listed below:

Traditonal Maneki Neko colourings: Calico or tri-coloured: These depict the traditional black, white and orange colourings of the native Japanese Bobtail cat upon which Maneki Neko is said to be based. This colour is said to be the luckiest of all the Beckoning Cats and will bring all round good luck, wealth and prosperity to its owner. Gold: Said to bring intense wealth and prosperity to its owner. White: Said to represent purity and bring positivity and happiness to its owner. Black: Said to ward off evil and represents safety for its owner. Red: Said to represent good luck in love and to bring protection against illness, particularly in children.

Modern Maneki Neko colourings Pink: A relatively new colour and said to bring good luck in love, marriage and romance to its owner. Green: Said to bring good luck in educational studies and to aid family relationships. Yellow: Said to bring good health to its owner. Blue: Said to enhance intelligence of the owner Silver/grey: Said to bring good luck and protection for travellers. Purple: Another new colour and again said to bring prosperity to its owner.

Significance of the raised paw As before, interpretations vary from source to source, but the more commonly-accepted meanings are again listed below. Apparently, the higher the paw is raised, the stronger that blessing will be! Front left paw raised: Inviting people [or customers] to come in. Front right paw raised: Inviting good fortune [or money] to come in. Both front paws raised: Protection for your home or business [depending upon where the Maneki Neko figure is sitting]. Maneki Neko is also often portrayed with various adornments on his body – such as a bib or collar and bell around his neck – and usually holding a Japanese lucky token or symbol of good fortune such as a gold coin. The collar and bib – usually red – along with the little gold bell, were all must-have cat accessories in seventeenth century Japan and would have been common on cats belonging to the wealthy households of that period. It is believed that the red collar and bib were worn as external signs of the owners’ material wealth, whereas the little gold bell was probably simply a way to try and keep a track of their rather freespirited pet’s whereabouts! It also seems that nearly 400 years on, in the twenty-first century, this little beckoning cat is still as popular as ever. Indeed, it would appear that for many of us, alongside all our modern-day logic and technology, there is still room in our lives for a little cat to sit quietly and raise his paw to welcome in good luck and good fortune after all!

Illustrations: Sam Roberts

Hidden meanings in the colouring and the raised paw

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'c' is for cat, but also care At Cats Protection we offer free talks to nurseries and schools about caring for cats. One of our volunteers can deliver an interactive session based on the five points that are vital in keeping cats happy and healthy: • • • • •

Freedom Freedom Freedom Freedom Freedom

from discomfort from hunger and thirst from pain, injury and disease to behave normally from fear and distress

We also offer visits to our adoption centres across the UK. For more info, please email or visit

Reg Charity 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland)

TOP TIPS Christmas is on its way and the arrival of trees, guests and fancy food will all have an impact on your cat. Cats Protection suggests the following tips to make sure your pet’s festive season is a safe and happy one

Twelve gifts a-giving Make sure that any toys you buy your cat for Christmas are feline-friendly. Choose ones with embroidered features as opposed to plastic and glass ones which can come off. If you get your cat edible gifts, only buy special pet treats.

Eleven things a-choking Avoid using tinsel and ‘angel hair’ as these can get stuck in cats’ throats. If your tree is real, vacuum around it frequently – as well as being a choking hazard, pine needles can hurt cats’ feet and cause infections.

Ten cords a-shocking Electrical cords for fairy lights could be mistaken for toys or prey, so keep them covered up to avoid disaster.

Nine candles burning They look pretty, but a fire won’t! Keep them out of your cat’s reach to avoid them being knocked over or causing him an injury.

Eight gifts a-miaowing Never give cats as presents unless this has already been agreed with the recipient. It goes without saying that cats are a commitment beyond the festive season and are not to be treated as novelty gifts.

Illustration: Rus Hudda

Several toxic plants A number of festive plants are potentially fatal to cats, including mistletoe, holly, ivy and Christmas roses so choose carefully and keep them out of the reach of moggies. For more information on which plants may be harmful to your cat visit the International Cat Care website at

Six baubles swinging Your cat may well be tempted to biff dangling decorations, so it’s best to avoid glass baubles as they could shatter.

Five dressed-up cats Do not be tempted to dress your cat up. You may think it makes him look ‘cute’, but he’ll only feel stressed and demeaned.

Four calling guests Having friends and relatives to visit is part and parcel of the Christmas period, but your cat may not wish to join in with the festivities. Ensure that he has a quiet room to himself with his food, water and litter tray easily accessible.

Tree water hazards If you have a real tree, the base should be a no-go area for puss. The water may contain preservatives applied to the tree that are poisonous to cats. Cover up the base so he can’t get at it.

Two turkey bones You may be tempted to share some tasty morsels with puss, but restrict this to a small amount of boneless turkey for his Christmas dinner. Some rich foods – like chocolate – are toxic to cats and should definitely be off the menu.

A kitten stuck up a tree To kittens in particular, the Christmas tree is a toy-toting gift in itself. Discourage your feline friend from climbing it, but also ensure that its base is as sturdy as possible in case he sneaks off on a festive mountaineering adventure!

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Cats in space Cats Protection’s logo was launched into space, thanks to an unusual idea from one of our supporters


s the UK’s leading feline welfare charity, we like to spread our cat welfare messages far and wide – but we didn’t expect to reach into space! But thanks to the ingenuity and dedication of a supporter who sent a CP-branded figure into the upper atmosphere, we’ve done just that. Engineer and cat fan Matt Downs launched high-altitude balloon MONTY-1 on 21 July to raise money for both CP’s Chelmsford Branch and Essex Air Ambulance. He attached mini mascots representing each organisation, one of which was Catstronaut Monty, named in honour of Matt’s late CP cat. The balloon, that Matt constructed himself, was equipped with a camera which captured some fantastic photos of the little figures high above the earth. With the help of some fellow ballooning enthusiasts, Matt launched MONTY-1 from Cambridge University’s grounds. The balloon climbed steadily as it drifted north, disappearing into the clouds as Matt and the team watched. High-altitude balloons rise into space, burst and drop quickly so Matt had a race against time to get to the predicted burst point and trace the equipment’s fall back to earth. As he drove, he followed the balloon’s flight on his GPS tracker. Matt says: “The burst prediction sent us to a small village off the A1. We were not alone, there were dozens of other radio hams located as far as France who were receiving and tracking MONTY’s signals.

“The predicted landing location was constantly changing due to the varying rates at which the balloon was climbing, so we soon moved on and stopped just outside of another village called Oakham. At 3.10pm the balloon burst, having reached just short of 32km.” Finding the landing point was Matt’s next challenge. He says: “All we knew is that it was parachuting down at about seven metres per second towards a small town named Bourne in Lincolnshire. However, I’d fitted a small GSM GPS locator in the lid of MONTY-1 and after making a quick phone call to the device it returned a text with its exact co-ordinates.” Matt eventually tracked down the balloon – which carried £300-worth of equipment – to a housing estate where it lay strewn across the pavement. The balloon had risen into near space during its two-hour-43-minute flight and had endured temperatures as low as – 60°c, but luckily Monty the Catstronaut was unscathed! “As I browsed the camera memory card I was delighted to see that we’d captured the entire journey up, including passing through the clouds and, most importantly, the view of earth from near space with the glowing curvature of the earth against the blackness of space,” Matt says. Monty the Catstronaut is still attracting donations for his daredevil space adventure – just see We’re very impressed by Matt’s technical skill and his unusual fundraising idea so go on, show him some support!

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A day in the life of a cat behaviour counsellor

Urine in your toaster? What to do when urine spraying strikes! Vicky Halls investigates…


robably one of the most complex and intractable problems I face as a cat behaviour counsellor is urine spraying. If you have never witnessed a cat spraying urine, the classical presentation involves backing up to a vertical surface, often after sniffing the area intensely and showing a flehmen* response with a gaping mouth and faraway expression. The cat stands with its tail erect and quivering and raises its hindquarters. It may or may not tread with its hind paws while squirting a stream of urine, usually small amounts. Urine spraying is a form of marking behaviour that enables cats to communicate with others from a distance. All cats are capable of urine spraying but the frequency is greater in males. The incidence is much higher in intact cats, suggesting it may be linked with the sexual hormones, providing information about the sprayer’s presence and reproductive status. Ninety per cent of males and 95 per cent of intact females show a significant decrease in spraying after neutering. Within the neutered population it is estimated that 10 per cent of males and five per cent of females engage in urine spraying. Studies have shown that the incidence of urine spraying in a household is directly related to the density of the cat population, with the likelihood of urine spraying increasing in proportion to the number of cats present.

Why do they spray? There is still some debate about the purpose of urine spraying, other than for signalling reproductive status, but many sources suggest that it facilitates communication between cats from a

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:


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distance, to coordinate movement in a territory to enable ‘timesharing’ and avoid direct encounters. Although the behaviour is still poorly understood, it is likely that urine spraying has adapted to fulfil other functions for the neutered pet cat, reflecting the emotional state of the individual. Cats tend to spray during socially stressful situations, possibly to increase their self-assurance, or as a coping mechanism for stress. Caution should be taken, however, in assuming that all urine spraying is purely behavioural, as diseases causing localised pain or discomfort may result in a cat adopting a spraying posture to urinate. One study showed that 30 per cent of the spraying cats involved in the research actually had concurrent urinary tract disease. Urine spraying is normal behaviour for the cat, occurring in areas where there is a sense of conflict or evidence of cats from outside the sprayer’s own social group. On that basis, in a safe ‘core area’ such as the cat’s home, urine spraying should not be necessary. However if the cat’s perception of its home changes, and a sense of danger or conflict becomes evident, then this behaviour may be utilised to cope with the situation. The location of the spray marks is significant to the sprayer, with the first location that was ever targeted being a strong indicator of the primary source of the stress, for example if the spray marks occur around external doors and windows then the stressor is outside the house. Targets can be many and varied but popular locations include radiators, electrical equipment, skirting boards, full-length curtains, bags from outside, doors and staircases and the owner’s clothing. Many owners report that their cats start spraying at the onset of social maturity, any time between 18 months and four years of age. Specific triggers include: • Inter-cat conflict within a household • Invasion of the home by a strange cat • Indirect threat from strange cats (eg scent on clothing) • Presence of a cat flap in a high cat population area • Environmental upheaval • Owner absence/change of work schedule

HEALTH CHECK What to do If you are experiencing urine spraying in the home then the best advice is to consult with your veterinary surgeon, to rule out illness, and request a referral to a qualified cat behaviour counsellor or similar professional.** The behaviourist will then conduct a thorough investigation including history taking, observation of the cats and assessment of the home. If you have a good idea of where the stress is coming from (with an intruder cat this may be obvious) then there are certain steps that you can take before any referral takes place. If the problem comes from outside the house then consider the following: • Block the lower panels of any glass windows or doors with opaque film*** to help your cat feel more secure indoors with the extra camouflage that the obscured glass provides • If the outside cat is sitting on top of a fence or shed to intimidate your cat from a high vantage point, consider preventing this by using rubber intruder strips (Prikka® strips) on top of fences or fixing upright panels on shed roofs to act as a solid barrier • Your cat may benefit from a high vantage point in the house to view the dangerous outdoors, so a tall cat scratching centre could give your cat more confidence when checking out the enemy • If your cat is targeting full-length curtains with the urine spraying then consider pinning them up or removing them temporarily until help is sought • Some cats may use an alternative strategy to urine spraying, given the opportunity, so ensure there are plenty of rigid scratching posts throughout the house, as scratching is also a form of territorial marking • The use of some deterrents externally, for example Silent Roar (pellets soaked in the essence of lion dung) or motion sensor water sprinklers may deter the outside cat from coming into your garden. Even your own cat’s faeces from the litter tray could be placed strategically at boundary fences or on pathways; anecdotally this has also been found to be effective in some cases

pairs or threesomes (defined as a social group) then you can revise the formula to one resource per ‘social group’ plus one extra • If you have identified just a couple of specific sites for spraying then, to prevent damage, you can prop empty litter trays (lined with an absorbent material) against these sites to provide a controlled environment for spraying • Synthetic feline facial pheromones (Feliway) can also be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions, either in the diffuser form, plugged into an electric socket, or spray form applied directly onto the cleaned urine-marked site • Placing food bowls near regularly sprayed sites can change the perception of the area from ‘dangerous’ to ‘safe’ so it’s worth a try but this doesn’t always have the desired effect Urine spraying is difficult to resolve as it is a normal behaviour and many of the identified stress triggers may be outside the influence of the owner, so help from a behaviourist sooner rather than later is often the best option. *Flehmen response = a gaping mouth with curled lip that enables the cat to draw the smell through its second organ of scent in the roof of its mouth called the vomeronasal organ. ** You can find a behaviourist via the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors ( **Opaque film = This attaches to the window without any adhesive and can be purchased from any good DIY store.

If the problem comes from conflict inside the home then you can consider the following:


• Ensure there are sufficient resources for the number of cats in the home. These resources include feeding areas, water stations, beds, high vantage points, litter trays, private places and scratching posts. The popular formula suggests one resource per cat plus one extra (in a four cat household the total number of each resource would be five), located in different areas of the home. If you can identify areas where each cat spends most of its time then these areas should contain the essentials. If you are positive that any of your cats represent bonded

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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…

Murphy is a black British shorthair, approximately 10 years old and a very happy cat who is not stressed. However he sometimes cries in the night. I adopted him over five years ago, but this is something that has only been happening intermittently over the last year and a half. There is no pattern to this; sometimes it is two consecutive nights, or it might be one night then nothing for weeks. The sound he makes sounds like a distressed noise and is not his normal miaow. When I go to see him sometimes he is asleep, other times he is content and purring when I get to him. The other week I got up and found him sitting up wide awake. There seems to be no pattern of the frequency of his crying, or his demeanour when I go to him. Are you able to tell me the reason for his crying? Do you know if he is genuinely distressed and if I should do something? Should I go to him or ignore him? Recently I have tried to ignore him in case it is for attention, but sometimes he seems to do it in his sleep, so I am not sure if it is this. Aimee Hamblin, via email We’re sorry to hear that you’re not getting a good night’s sleep! With any change in behaviour or any behavioural problem, the first step is always to take the cat to your vet for a full health to rule out medical problems that could cause the behaviour. You haven’t mentioned whether or not your cat is neutered as both male and female cats that haven’t been neutered cry or call – however we would expect that if this were the case he would have been doing this since you first got him. Cats Protection recommend that cats are neutered as a humane way to help control the overpopulation of cats, as well as benefiting for various health and behavioural reasons. There are a number of medical conditions such as hyperthyroidism, cognitive dysfunction/ senility, pain, or loss of hearing to name just a few that can cause excessive vocalisation. Please specifically discuss the behaviour with the vet and ask them to rule out medical causes. It may be useful to video the behaviour (even just on a smart phone if you have one) to show the vet as different vocalisations can be hard to describe! It’s also important to discuss the situations in which the crying occurs, what the cat’s body language and facial expression is like and any other changes in the cat’s behaviour that may have occurred recently (even if you think it is unrelated to the crying) such as sleeping more or less, hiding more or less, eating/drinking more or less, walking into a room and seeming to not remember why. If Murphy gets a clean bill of health then there are a number of behavioural reasons that could cause excessive vocalisation. As a species, cats are generally crepuscular,

26 The Cat  Winter 2013

meaning that they are more active during dawn and dusk, especially as this is when their prey species are most active. Many owners are woken in the early hours of the morning as their cats are ready to start their day. To find out more about the natural feline behaviours and how our pet cats share ancestry and many behaviours with the African wildcat, why not check out our free e-learning course Another possibility for crying at night could include territorial vocalisations if they have spotted another cat in the area that they tend to see near the house at night. Some cats develop a variety of ways to get our attention, which can range from pawing our face to knocking objects off the side and vocalisation is a very effective way of getting us out of bed! If your vet feels that the problem could be behavioural, then we would recommend a referral to a qualified behaviourist such as a member of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) – I have an ancient much-loved Siamese cat, Pearl, now 18 years old. She is in remarkable health and vigour for a cat her age, enjoying a mainly somnolent life with occasional forays into the garden in fine weather – no further, as she cannot manage fences or walls. The only problem I have with her is that she has spells of constipation, one or two days at a time, perhaps a couple of times a month. Since a bout of cystitis last September she has been fed exclusively on Hills Prescription diet k/d which she enjoys and drinks perhaps two to four fluid ounces of water per day. She weighs about nine pounds. Is there anything I can add to her food to relieve her occasional constipation, bearing in mind her age and kidney function, or is she OK as she is? (She never seems distressed in any way.) I would welcome your advice. Mrs M Barton, Bristol Many thanks for your letter about your concerns over your cat Pearl. It is so lovely to hear of an older cat enjoying her life and she clearly has a very loving home with you. I am sorry to hear that she sometimes suffers from constipation. Constipation can have different causes and so, unfortunately, we are unable to make any specific recommendations. Some cats which suffer from constipation benefit from being encouraged to drink more water, or by being given a wholly wet diet (you don’t mention if you are feeding the dried or wet version of the kidney diet). You could also try watering the food down. Cats often drink more if their food and water bowl are separated from each other; others drink more if given more bowls around the

HEALTH CHECK house – upstairs and downstairs – or if they are offered a range of types of bowl, such as ceramic or glass, in case plastic or metal adds a nasty taint the cat can taste. Some cats prefer dripping water or a water fountain. It is also important to consider how easily and comfortably your cat can reach a preferred toileting site – elderly cats can find the high sides of some litter trays a struggle and so delay accessing the tray which can lead to constipation. Others don’t want to have to go outside to toilet if there is no tray inside, and some find the climb up and down stairs off-putting, so will delay going to the toilet. For some cats, offering more trays, ensuring they are easily accessible with low sides, in quiet locations on all floors of the house, away from other pets and noisy thoroughfares/appliances can be helpful. Soft, fine litter can also be more comfortable than large hard substrates for cats, especially those with creaking joints – if considering a change of litter, gradually add in a new litter to the old making the change slowly over a week or two to avoid toileting accidents, and avoid scented litters which some cats don’t like. Make sure she has access to cosy comfortable resting areas and add steps/stools so she can easily get up to and down from favoured perches, which may help encourage her to make more frequent toilet trips. Cats which have constipation because of lots of hair inadvertently consumed can benefit from additional gentle grooming. For some cats, stool softeners or lubricants prescribed by your vet can be helpful. For others, anti-inflammatory treatment to aid arthritis can enable more frequent trips to the tray which may avoid constipation. The best thing to do would be to talk to your vet about your concerns and they can guide you on whether any medication is necessary and give you specific advice tailored to Pearl’s needs – it is important to make any changes gradually as Pearl will be very used to the way her life is now and may find sudden changes distressing. I often read about cats in other countries needing new homes and that sometimes it’s possible for them to be adopted by someone in the UK. Do you think this is a good idea? John Bennett, Didcot, Oxon Many cats find the experience of being adopted from overseas and transported over long distances very stressful and some may be at risk of carrying exotic diseases which not only affect them as individuals but may be transmitted to resident UK cats. Each year a number of cats that were adopted overseas are brought to Cats Protection because of their failure to adjust to a new home, climate and environment. As an example, one of our branches in the south of England recently took in a cat that had been provided to a family by an overseas cat rescue organisation. The owners had sold the cat on soon after receiving it. The next owner kept the cat for six weeks and brought the cat to us for adoption as it wasn’t settling well as an indoor pet. Cats Protection does not put healthy cats to sleep and tries its best to find each one a suitable home, but unwanted cats from overseas add to the thousands of cats that we are already looking after that are in desperate need of a home. We would encourage anyone thinking of adopting a cat to consider adopting from their local Cats Protection. Owners adopting from us have the peace of mind that their cat has been examined by a veterinary surgeon, microchipped, vaccinated, neutered if old enough and comes with four weeks’ free insurance. We understand that many animal lovers are affected by the plight of animals abroad, particularly when they go on holiday and witness firsthand the poor conditions that some of these animals are in and naturally they want to do something to assist them. The best way to help the greatest number of these animals is to support organisations that are carrying out work locally such as neutering programmes and education. These are the most effective ways of improving animal welfare in the longer term.

The experts 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 practice 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  Winter 2013


Share the love? We know ‘thank you’ means a lot to our volunteers Just two small words – but they mean a lot. Help us show just how much we appreciate our volunteers by becoming a Recognition Support Volunteer. Working with volunteers and staff, you’ll plan volunteer recognition activities and events in your local area – giving feedback on all the great things our volunteers do to help people and cats across the charity. In return, you’ll meet new people, have fun and really make a difference! If you like working as part of a team, have good communication skills and enjoy celebrating with others, we’d love to hear from you. Joining the team also means we’ll be on hand to support you every step of the way. Our volunteers help thousands of cats and kittens each year, and in the last five years we’ve helped over one million cats – so join the team and help us to achieve even more!

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Millicent’s invasion It’s all black and white to A  lison Prince


e have an additional cat. Two additional cats, actually. It was nothing to do with me, honest. Or with Mitzi, who did her little best to fend them off. I’m not so sure about Fingal. He’s looking a bit lofty and benevolent these days, like a comfortably-off gentleman who feels he can be charitable. I suspect he invited them in. They are both black and white and live next door – or used to. But everything changed after the owner of the house died, leaving a population of four cats, plus these piebald ones, neither of which quite belong. One of them arrived with the son now resident in the house, and the other used to live in an upstairs bedroom as permanent companion to a very ancient bed-ridden lady. It was a bit sad, really. When the old lady went into a residential home, the cat was unemployed. For the first time in her remembered life, she was pitched out into the large, alarming world. She crouched on the fence where she could watch out for attackers, and came to realise that the stuff called sunshine really was rather nice – but the absence of a bed and a bedroom worried her

Illustration: Alison Prince

a lot. At that point my daughter and grand-daughter arrived and spare beds downstairs were occupied, often until lunchtime, teenagers being what they are. So grand-daughter woke one day to find a black-and-white cat curled up beside her. You know how it is with visitors. You bend the usual rules in order to be hospitable and a mild degree of anarchy sets in. A lot of smiling and consent goes on. The black-andwhite cat understood this and moved in, occupying one or other of the downstairs beds all day, emerging occasionally to eat anything she could find and a quick trip outside. Then back again. But that wasn’t the end of it. The other black-and-white cat next door wasn’t happy, either. So one morning there were two of them, one on a bed, the other looking thoughtfully out of the window. The second one was blacker, with white toes and only one eye. Her erstwhile owner said she’d had an accident when young. I had a word with Fingal in the kitchen. “Look,” I said, “this is a bit much. I mean, to acquire one blackand-white cat is acceptable, but to acquire two…” I felt a bit like Lady Bracknell rebuking a prospective sonin-law about his absence of parents. Fingal licked a paw casually and said it was nothing to do with him. Nonsense, of course. He was visibly condoning it. Seemed quite pleased with himself. Mitzi spat and cursed whenever she met a black-and-white lady, but never provoked any opposition. They simply shrank away so spitting got her nowhere. A conversation over the fence

with the young man next door was amiable. He agreed that his black-andwhites were two too many. The four resident brown cats ran the house and did not want extras. He gave me a pack of cat food and said the ex-upstairs cat was called Millie. I think of her as Millicent. Kind of hapless, but with a hard core that you don’t suspect – as I found out. She was scratching so much that I reached for the Frontline and tried to apply it while she was eating. Whew! Millicent turned into a fighting, screaming devil on the spot and did her best to kill me. She shot out of the cat-flap and I thought that might be the end of it – but no. She was back that evening, looking for food – though it’ll be some time before I can get a hand on her again. The one-eyed cat seems to have yielded our house to her, unsurprisingly. She knows when she’s beaten. Now that daughter and granddaughter have gone and the downstairs bedrooms are closed, Millicent has taken up residence on the kitchen table. Heartless it may be, but washing bedclothes for a cat that sheds long hair all over the place simply isn’t on. Mitzi and Fingal continue their possession of the whole house, including the typing chair and their owner’s lap, while Millicent stays downstairs. But last night, I saw her sneaking up. She’s such a small cat, under all that fur. Very old and scrawny. I kind of admire her. She’s like a discarded live-in family servant, coping with an unknown world as best she can. I managed to stroke her yesterday, despite the Frontline episode. And she ducked her head against my hand, and purred. All together, now – awww. Looks like she’s here for keeps.

The Cat  Winter 2013 29

Inside CP

Connect with our cats In the first of a series of insights into the work of Cats Protection, our Director of Fundraising Lewis Coghlinexplains the charity’s new cat sponsor scheme


t’s great to have the chance to speak to our magazine readers – loyal members and other Cats Protection supporters – through T  he Cat. It’s an exciting time for the charity, with the number of new supporters growing faster than at any time in our history. This is incredibly important given the increasing demands on our services that the recession has brought; we need more funds so we can be there for the cats now and in the future. And I’m delighted that this autumn we launched our new Cats Protection sponsorship, a new way for people to support our work for cats. When I arrived at Cats Protection in 2011 I was surprised that we didn’t offer supporters the chance to sponsor a cat. We had a well-established Sponsor a Cat Cabin but this wasn’t about building a one-to-one relationship with a cat – as the name suggests it was about sponsoring a space and the feedback that Cat Cabin sponsors received was general, it was about the cats in our care at that time and it didn’t give the chance to link with a particular cat. I know only too well the power of sponsorship programmes and the great feeling it gives the sponsor. For many years I sponsored an elderly man in Ethiopia as part of Help the Aged’s (brilliantly named) Adopt a Granny programme. I used to get news about what he and his family were up to, and more recently I have adopted a tiger.

Several people in the Fundraising team here sponsor a dog or a puppy who will grow up into a guide dog to help a blind person. People love the idea because it gives them a way of linking with a person or an animal and to build a rapport with them. It’s not so easy for us at Cats Protection because we want to find loving new homes for every cat as soon as possible – as cats aren’t in our care for long it can make it difficult to build a rapport. But that’s precisely what makes our new sponsorship scheme different. You don’t just find out about one cat, you get to hear about cat after cat, and you know each time your cat changes that it’s done so because they have been found a new home. Happy ending after happy ending. I became a sponsor a month ago and already, the cat I began to sponsor, a beautiful tortie called Millie, has been homed and I am now the proud sponsor of Rocky, a white cat with kidney problems. I have two cats at home and for various reasons I don’t want to bring any more into our home (much to my children’s disappointment) so, for me, sponsoring a cat is a way to build a relationship with more pets. And it’s satisfying knowing that because these are cats in real need, many of whom have arrived in the charity’s care after some pretty harrowing experiences, giving them a new life is truly transformational. As part of the scheme I received a little scrapbook in which I can put photos of the different cats that I’ve sponsored. I think we’ve got something special here. If you want to find out more, go to or phone 0800 917 2287. I want to end by thanking you, for taking the time to read our magazine and for your love of and care for cats.

The Cat  Winter 2013


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Batten down the hatches There’s a new arrival in John Walker’s household. And she wants to destroy everything.


here have been big changes in the Walker household. Poor old Dexter received a double-whammy, of moving house to a new town and the introduction of an entirely unwanted baby sister – a new little kitten called Lucy. We really weren’t sure how this was going to go. Dexter, a grumpy six-year-old, who prefers the company of three or four carefully selected humans over other cats – and Lucy, a nail-bomb in kitten form. We set out to do what you’re supposed to do – keep them separate, let them smell each other from adjacent rooms, allow the process to take place very gradually over a number of weeks. This lasted a morning, then they were in the same room. The reactions weren’t what we were expecting. My prediction was Dexter attempting to pan fry the new addition and Lucy trembling in a corner trying to avoid the salt. The reality was pretty much the opposite. An inquisitive, gentle Dexter attempting to sniff a whirlwind of hissing teeth and claws. Lucy, it turns out, is short for Lucifer. For various reasons we received Lucy at only eight weeks old. Fully weaned and litter trained, she’d been rejected by her mother, which was too tragic for words. Turns out, you can kind of see her mother’s point. Lucy is a nuclear furnace of energy, a non-stop destroying machine, wrapped in the most deceptively cute and adorable form. Where stairs still terrified Dexter at 14 weeks old, Lucy sprinted up and down them immediately. Where an ordinary kitten cautiously explores, Lucy charges in, teeth and claws ready to tear to pieces anything she may encounter. This is a cat, and I promise this is true, that chews on radiators. Dexter was, and still is, utterly bemused. We’re very proud that he still, four weeks on, attempts to befriend her. But we’re not surprised that these attempts exclusively end in house-wide scraps. Lucy, thankfully, has scaled down from arched-backed horror, and now sees Dexter as her absolute favourite toy; one to be attacked and destroyed at every available moment. Dexter sees Lucy as a thumbsized annoyance, to be batted away, until his inevitable snapping and the fighting begins. He’s incredible. I’m so proud of him. Despite the claws and teeth that are flying at him from every side (and my ribboned hands can attest to the danger they offer), he keeps his at bay. His claws stay in, his teeth only press as warnings, never biting. But these faux-fights are epic. I don’t know if you’ve seen Family Guy’s running gag with Peter and the man in the chicken costume, but they’re on that level. In cartoon-style whirling clouds

Illustration: Rus Hudda

of stars and sparks, the pair of them somersault through rooms, down flights of stairs and through mazes of furniture. Of course at first we were very worried for Lucy, and quick to shout at Dexter. We’d leap up to intervene, just in case. But we quickly learned that this was all on our little devil-kitten. Even when pinned down, Dexter’s jaw wrapped around her back end in a demonstration of just how easily he could bite her in two, Lucy still thinks she has the edge. When Dex lets her go, assuming she’ll acknowledge his superiority, she instantly spins on her heels and charges at him again. It’s unrelenting and only ever over for Dexter when she either collapses asleep on the spot, or he goes through his magnetoperated cat flap. Those are Lucy’s two modes. Tornado or coma, with no transition stage between the two. And the fancy cat flap? That was a quick addition to the house when Lucy figured out how they work on her very first go. Remembering the weeks it took to teach Dexter how to operate this most complex of contraptions, it was utterly frightening to see our spiky ball just dive straight through. Dexter is being heroic. Clearly frustrated by his baby sister, we’re giving him a ton of love and extended periods of solo attention while Lucif- Lucy is kept busy in another room. His patience is remarkable, with an attacking beast he could easily chomp in half for a moment’s peace and quiet. Lucy, meanwhile, is idiotically adorable, has developed an attention-seeking miaow that genuinely sounds like a police siren and is on a mission to tear our house down from the inside. She removed one of the banisters from the staircase the other day. I wish I were joking.

The Cat  Winter 2013


Friends reunited Cats Protection reunites many lost cats with their owners every year, thanks to their microchips. We also take in thousands who are not chipped, making it harder for us to find their owners. R  ebecca Evansexplains the benefits of this simple procedure


icrochipping cats is a safe and permanent way of identifying them. If a microchipped cat gets lost, he is much more likely to be reunited with his owner than a non-chipped feline. And yet, despite the obvious benefits of this quick and simple procedure, many owners do not get their pets chipped. Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Advocacy Manager, says: “86 per cent of all the stray and unwanted cats that are brought to Cats Protection are not microchipped, making it very difficult for us to reunite any lost or missing cats with their owners. “It also costs us more than £200,000 each year to microchip cats in our care, taking precious resources


The Cat  Winter 2013

away from our core work of finding homes for unwanted cats, promoting the neutering of cats and providing cat care information to the public.” Unchipped cats can cause vets a headache – and owners heartache. Nathalie Dowgray, Veterinary Officer at Cats Protection’s National Cat Adoption Centre in Chelwood Gate, East Sussex, says: “If your cat wanders off and is not microchipped then your chances of getting it back are low. You’re relying on the person who finds it to put up posters and make an effort to find who the owner is.” Vets often have to treat cats who have been injured in road accidents, and, if the cat is not chipped, they might not be able to find the owner.

FEATURE Even worse, if a cat does not survive his injuries or is dead when brought into the surgery, then the owner may never know what became of their beloved pet. Nathalie says: “The vet can hold on to the body, but in most of these cases the cat will go unclaimed.”

Plenty of benefits All of these potential difficulties can be anticipated and overcome with one simple procedure, microchipping, which is Cats Protection’s preferred method of cat identification. Microchips don’t come off, or put cats at risk of collar-related injuries. And if you ever get into a dispute about the ownership of a cat, the presence of a microchip registered in your name may count in your favour. Another benefit of microchipping is that your cat will be able to use the latest chip-controlled cat flaps, ensuring that only your pets can gain access to your household. The cat is held next to the flap as the technology is tuned to its microchip. These high-tech cat flaps have made a huge difference to cat owners whose homes are being invaded or pets attacked by other cats. Microchip-operated models shut out such invaders. Because of the many benefits the procedure brings, Cats Protection microchips all of the cats adopted from us that are older than 12 weeks. This gives new owners peace of mind. We help adopters register their details with the microchip database at the time of adoption. If your cat is not from CP and you need to get him chipped, then the process is relatively simple and can be performed by vets, local authorities and trained and insured members of animal welfare organisations. Vets often suggest that the procedure is done at the same time as first or second vaccination, or neutering, but it can be done at any time after this. There’s no minimum age for microchipping; that is down to the preference of the person carrying out the procedure. A good rule of thumb is to get it done before you let your pet outside for the first time. You can expect to pay around £20 to £30 for the procedure and vets sometimes offer special deals so it’s worth checking around.

Microchip helps missing mog back home Debra Wood had given up hope of ever finding her cat, Nugget, who’d been missing for four years. So she was astounded to get a voicemail message from her local branch of Cats Protection in August, who told her that her beloved pet had been found. “When I got the message I couldn’t believe it,” says Debra. “I called Cats Protection every hour until I got through!” The tricoloured feline had gone missing from Debra’s North Norfolk home in 2009 after a neighbour’s cat frightened her. Debra had asked around the area, put up posters and contacted vets to no avail. Four years on, a lady staying in a nearby caravan park had been looking after a little stray cat that had been hanging around the area for months. When the holidaymaker’s stay came to an end, she took the feline to Cats Protection’s North Walsham Branch as she was concerned about its longterm welfare. Volunteers found the cat was microchipped and a call to the database company revealed that Debra was the owner. Soon after she was contacted, Debra was on her way to branch Fosterer Kelly Payne’s house to be reunited with her cat. Debra says: “When we walked into the pen she was really friendly. The woman who’d looked after her at the caravan park had been calling her Toffee…but when I called her Nugget she looked right at me. “Within five minutes of being home she was on my son’s lap. Now, wherever I am she’s there. She’s not a lap cat but she likes to be near me.” Debra adds: “I’d recommend owners get their cats chipped. I also think it’s important that if someone finds a lost pet they should get them scanned for a microchip.”

A simple solution

Photo: Eastern Daily Press

A microchip is a little smaller than a grain of rice and is inserted under the cat’s skin between the shoulder blades with a device known as an implanter. National Cat Adoption Centre vet Nathalie Dowgray says: “The microchip is inserted around the back of the neck, where the cat doesn’t have many nerve endings. The whole process takes around 20 seconds.” The procedure is simple and no more painful than an injection – your cat won’t be aware of the chip’s presence once it has been inserted. Once the chip has been implanted, the person carrying out the

Debra and Nugget were reunited after four years

The Cat  Winter 2013



procedure will place a hand-held scanner over the cat to check the implantation has been successful and the chip is readable. You should be sent microchip registration documents within a couple of weeks of the procedure taking place. It’s important to keep these safe, in case your cat goes missing and it’s vitally important to let the database company know if your contact details change to ensure you can be contacted if your cat is found; there’s usually a charge for this. Some owners ask to have their cat’s microchip scanned during its annual check-up. While it’s rare for a microchip to fail, a yearly check will reassure you. Should your cat go missing, and be handed in to a vet, animal organisation or local authorities, they will be able to scan for a microchip. The hand-held scanner will display the chip’s unique number; then the person doing the scanning will contact the database company and ask for the owner’s contact details. Then a quick call to the registered number will hopefully reunite owner and cat. Microchipping is safe, reliable and effective. For a relatively small fee and a few seconds on the vet’s table, your cat will be permanently identifiable as belonging to you. You’ll also be able to make the most of cat-flap technology, ensuring only your pets can access your house, protecting them from intruders. And, if your cat goes missing, you’ll know you’ve done everything you can to improve your chances of being reunited with your feline friend.

36 The Cat  Winter 2013

Cat trackers on trial Ever since the screening of the BBC TV programme T  he Secret Life of the Catthis summer, Cats Protection has been fielding enquiries from supporters and the public about the GPS trackertype devices used in the programme. We recommend microchipping as the safe and permanent means of pet identification. We recognise that devices designed to track the location of cats may be beneficial when trying to trace a lost or injured cat. However, current devices are often quite bulky and so the benefit to an individual cat must be weighed up against: a) The risk of fitting a collar (which should feature a quickrelease mechanism and be fitted correctly) b) The risk of attaching the device, which may hamper or aggravate the cat, may become caught on objects outside, or may affect the efficiency of quick-release type collarmechanisms, depending on fittings. Some devices may cause claws or other body parts to get caught or stuck if they come apart c) The fact that, unlike a microchip, they are not permanent, rely on a battery and on the collar staying on d) Many devices work within a limited range (which can be smaller than the normal roaming range of many cats) e) Whether the device will determine a cat’s location while it is being worn, and how this is done, to allow a lost/trapped/ injured cat to be quickly found, or whether the data can only be downloaded from the device once taken off the cat, to appease curiosity Cats Protection would not recommend GPS devices in place of microchipping.

Charlie 42 Church Road


10 Crown Sq


Make it easier to find your pet... get a microchip fitted. For more information, please phone our National Helpline on 03000 12 12 12 Reg Charity 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland)

Just in time for the festive season, here’s our pick of products from cat-shaped lamps to light those dark evenings to perfect feline-themed stocking fillers.

Cute keyrings


The Natural Pet Toy Company is selling these delightful handmade cat key rings. You certainly won’t want to lose your keys once you’ve attached one of these little lavender-filled characters! They come in a variety of fabrics with different coloured button eyes and whiskers and each is around 5.5cm tall. We have five key rings, worth £6 each, to give away to readers (fabric design will vary from picture). Just quote the prize phrase C  at Key ring. Visit to see the full range of pet accessories also including collars, seeds and toys.

Feline greetings These quirky cards have been created by cat-loving illustrator Janine George, who runs Dilys Treacle Treasures – a small, Sheffield-based greetings card publisher. The range features eight different feline designs that make perfect birthday cards, or note cards. They’re available to buy online for £2.35 each, or why not treat yourself to a pack of all eight, for £12.50, from The designs are copies of Janine’s original mixed media illustrations, reproduced on superior quality 300gsm textured board sourced from the Lake District. They’re made of 75 per cent recycled fibre, and are blank inside for your own message. Each card measures 104x148mm, and comes with a handstamped brown ribbed envelope. We have three sets of eight cards to give away – enter in the usual way quoting Cat Cards.



The Cat  Winter 2013


Creative crayons Make art and craft sessions even more entertaining with Colour Me Fun’s shaped crayons. The company makes crayons in a whole host of designs including animals, vehicles and the alphabet. Hand-poured using non-toxic wax, they would make perfect stocking fillers for children aged three and over – or for grown-up creative types with a sense of fun! We have five sets of eight cat crayons worth £4.99 each (pictured) to give away; enter in the usual way quoting the prize phrase C  at Crayons. See for the full range.

Fresher litter Keep your cat’s litter tray and your home fresh and pleasant with LitterLocker. The cat litter disposal system is a sealed unit which makes the task of removing waste from your cat’s tray more convenient. The LitterLocker is quick and easy to use; simply scoop the soiled litter into the unit, which is odourless thanks to its barrier film. The LitterLocker is designed so that the bag remains airtight once litter is inside. Instead of making daily multiple trips to the bin, soiled litter can be stored in the LitterLocker for up to two weeks, and the bin can be emptied at any time. When the bag is full, just open the unit, cut the bag and dispose of it. Then pull more film from the refill, knot the bag and pull it to the bottom of the bin. The refill, which holds the barrier film, lasts for up to two months on average for one cat. The compact unit is both lightweight and easy to store, making it great for small spaces as well as homes with multiple litter tray locations. The LitterLocker has a recommended retail price of £19.99 and refill cartridges £6.99. We have 10 LitterLockers to give away. Enter in the usual way, using the prize phrase L itterLocker. For more information visit


OUR FAVOURITE THINGS Kong are king! KONG have just launched three fantastic new cat products – all designed to keep your pets fit and healthy. KONG Scratch Apple for Catscombines all the fun, excitement and action of a catnip toy with the irresistible feel of a corrugate scratcher that cats love. Simply twist off the top to fill with fresh catnip. Vial of KONG Premium North American catnip included. KONG Cat Scamper– a hide-and-seek, scratch and roll toy designed to keep cats active and healthy by enticing play. It has a tethered mouse catnip toy and a scratcher for added excitement and fun. KONG Premium North American Catnip is available separately for refreshing the toy. KONG Cat Treat Ball – Dispenser for Cats A challenging and entertaining treat dispenser designed to keep cats busy, active, healthy and happy as they chase and swat it to release the treats inside. It has a fun unpredictable movement and is the perfect toy for house cats. We have five of each toy to give away, enter in the usual manner quoting K  ONG.



cat’ s miaow Shining lights Light Art’s range of animal lamps are finished by hand so no two items are the same. The lamps, which are designed and assembled in the UK, are sure to add a touch of fun to your living room. Each lamp is made in a process similar to glass blowing – the technique creates a seamless form which distinguishes the lamps from cheaper versions on the market. They’re energy efficient, too, running from 12v halogen lamps from a mains transformer that plugs into the wall. There are lots of types of animals to choose from and we have one Lottie the Dalston cat lamp, worth £75, to give away. Enter in the usual way, quoting the prize phrase C  at Lamp, and stating your colour preference – pink, white or orange. You can view Light Art’s full range and buy online at

Tea towel trio These funky feline tea towels would make drying up almost fun! The screen printed cotton towels are made by Mr PS in Salford. They’re available in three colours – blue-grey, orange and black – priced at £10 each. Visit for these and many more colourful home accessories including stationery, mugs and prints.


For a chance to win, just 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. You can also send your entries via email to Don’t forget to include the giveaway phrase in the subject header so we know which competition you’re entering, and remember to include your name and address in the email body. 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 10 January 2014.

The Cat  Winter 2013 39

Getting the show on the road J anet Revellfrom Crawley, Reigate & District Branch considers the merits of homing shows


inding new homes for cats is hugely rewarding. Seeing a once-unwanted cat settle happily and knowing that all our efforts have been worthwhile brings such a buzz, however often you’ve done it. Some cats have difficult times before they come into Cats Protection’s care and seeing them blossom, becoming the cat they should always have been – it’s just fantastic. Or seeing a much-loved cat, having to be rehomed through a change of circumstances or bewildered after the death of its owner, finding love and happiness again … the smile that brings never fades. But times are hard. The recession is hitting everyone’s pockets and people are becoming more cautious about taking on the commitment and cost of keeping a cat. People’s budgets are tighter and some are finding it harder to care for their cat, especially if it needs medical treatment, and sometimes parting with the cat is their only option. So finding homes for cats has become more difficult than before. The traditional method of homing, where an adopter is introduced to a cat or cats after a home visit, can work well and is the preferred method of some branches and some adopters. However some adopters prefer to view several cats before deciding. Therefore, as finding enough homes becomes harder, we are trying different ideas to help find more homes more quickly.

Making a choice

40 The Cat  Winter 2013

The internet is many people’s first call when looking for a pet, so CP branch and adoption centre websites show pictures of cats and kittens seeking homes. Social media such as Facebook and Twitter can also work well, especially when an appeal is made about a particular cat.

Proper preparation As the cats in most of our branches are cared for ‘behind the scenes’ in Fosterers’ homes, these branches face the additional challenge of not having a ’shop window‘ where people can view their cats. A good website can provide a ‘virtual’ shop window but some adopters prefer to meet the fur and whiskers face-to-face. One way of tackling this is to hold Homing Shows, where confident, suitable cats can be viewed in temporary pens for three hours at a local venue. Each pen carries a brief information sheet about the cat such as its name, whether it would be happy to share with other cats/dogs/children and its personality traits. Great care is taken to minimise stress to the cats, including setting everything up before the cats arrive and taking them home before clearing up at the end. The cats are selected carefully, as the change of environment together with new faces can inevitably be a source of stress for even the most confident cat. We ensure there is a visual barrier so that unfamiliar cats cannot see each other and each cat is given somewhere to hide, a natural coping mechanism for cats feeling anxious. They are also given something that smells familiar from their pen back at their Fosterer’s. This all helps to minimise any potential stress and ensures

Who’s looking at who?


the cats’ welfare. Cats which are particularly nervous or who for other reasons would not cope well with the show environment should not be taken to a Homing Show. These and other cats waiting for homes can be featured on posters or a ‘looping’ presentation on a laptop or TV screen. Naturally, only cats which are fit for rehoming and meet CP’s full minimum veterinary standard (which includes a veterinary health check, vaccination, parasite treatment, neutering and microchipping) are taken to homing shows where they are monitored carefully. Vets have advised us that a short period at a homing show may be less stressful for a cat in the long term than a longer period confined to a pen. If taking a cat to a homing show for a few hours gets it homed more quickly, the argument goes, it’s better than making it wait longer in a pen. The branch’s volunteers, including Fosterers and Home Visitors, are usually present to help and advise potential adopters. Many cats cope surprisingly well with the homing show environment; some just sit and watch the world go by, while some enjoy a little gentle play.

The chosen one Once someone has chosen a cat the procedure varies – some branches carry out a homing interview on the spot, some go with the adopter to their home straight away to carry out a home visit, while other branches reserve the cat for the adopter and carry out a home visit within a few days. Further reservations are sometimes taken for particular cats, with the later reservers being advised that if the cat is adopted by the first reserve, CP has many other lovely felines available for viewing/adoption and that we will do our best to help find the ‘right’ one. In this way several cats can sometimes be homed as a result of one being chosen by several people. It’s usually felt best not to let an adopter to take the cat straight from the homing show but to have a cooling-off period of a few days. In this way impulse adoption is avoided and the adopter has time to get everything ready for their new cat. There appears to be no evidence that more cats are returned to CP soon after adoption through homing shows than through the traditional method mentioned earlier. We take just as much care in matching the ‘right cat to the right

Raising funds for the kitty

home’ whether the adoption happens through an adoption centre, branch homing show or traditional homing. Putting on a homing show involves a lot of organisation, but it’s well worth it. As well as finding more homes for cats more quickly, it’s an opportunity for a branch to boost awareness of CP and to showcase the branch’s work. Information about neutering schemes and education work carried out by the branch can be provided, along with leaflets and other cat care information. Homing shows can also be good opportunities for advertising other branch events. A fundraising stall at a homing show can bring in as much as £400 and some branches ask for a donation of a tin of cat food instead of an entry fee – visitors can be very generous when donating food, perhaps because they can see some of the cats who will be eating it!

Spreading the message Chatting with people at homing shows has all sorts of useful spin-offs, some of which may be invisible. Admittedly not everyone who visits a homing show actually wants to adopt a cat at that time but they will remember where to go to when they do and they can all spread the word in the meantime. Visitors may talk about the show to friends, work colleagues and family, any of whom might want to adopt a cat, make a donation, leave a legacy or become a volunteer. The potential of this ‘ripple effect’ can be huge. New volunteers often come forward at homing shows: meeting the cats and chatting with volunteers can make them more aware of the help that is needed, what kinds of volunteering opportunities are available and how enormously rewarding volunteering for CP can be. A homing show can also provide a good training session for a new volunteer, with the support of experienced volunteers to hand. Whatever method of homing is used, the fact is that we need to find more homes more quickly for the increasing number of cats and kittens coming into our care. We want to continue to do our best to match the right cat to the right home and the right home to the right cat. We want to maintain our high standards and continue to keep the welfare of our cats and kittens as our highest priority. But we also want to see cats getting out of pens, however comfortable they are – and homing shows are one of the ways of finding those precious forever homes.

Our information stand

The Cat  Winter 2013


Kitten Calendar 2014 Postcard

Looking for the perfect present?



Cats Protection’s official calendars and diary are an excellent way of promoting awareness of Cats Protection as the UK’s leading feline welfare charity. Available now from your local CP branch or adoption centre!

Cats Calendar 2014 Contains brilliant photos of mischievous kittens and funny captions which are detachable to be used as postcards or keep for yourself when the month is over!

The 2014 CP Cats Calendar features some of the best entries from our annual photographic competition complemented by humorous captions. The clear layout will help you keep track of all those important dates and events.

As well as showing your support for CP, this diary helps you stay well organised with its handy weekto-view format.

Size: 340 x 150mm

Size: 305 x 225mm

Size: 305 x 225mm

RRP £3.95

RRP £3.95

RRP £3.95


Pets on the net – driving up standards T

he digital age is well and truly with us and the internet is now the place where most people advertise. You can look to buy most things from the internet – from Porsches to pets, writes Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection Advocacy Manager. Whether we like it or not the advertising of pets for sale on the internet is not going to go away. Even if one site closed its pets’ pages then the advertisements would transfer to another or new sites would spring up. And if there were no internet pet advertisements we’d run the real risk of creating a culture that is even less transparent and in which irresponsible and/or backstreet breeders would thrive. Advertising is in many ways the tip of a very big iceberg. Underlying problems relate to a surplus of cats, unwanted litters and unregulated breeding of cats. The law on breeding and sale of cats dates back to the 1950s and is not reflective of the internet age. These complex issues will all take time to change: some will require new legislation but all are part of our ongoing advocacy work with government and decision makers. Cats Protection is working on all aspects of this difficult problem. Cats Protection is committed to securing high standards so that the internet becomes a safe place to look for a pet. In the right circumstances

Links Government advice re buying a cat or a dog can be found here: For more information about PAAG and to view the minimum standards visit For information about becoming one of the new PAAG volunteer moderators or about CP’s advocacy work e-mail:

the internet gives unrivalled access to thousands of people willing to give a cat or kitten a good home. Cats Protection knows this itself from its own branch websites for example and from its ‘Find-a-cat’ online facility where someone seeking to adopt can do so by postcode. We have taken the step of putting Find-a-cat onto the pets’ pages of classified sites to encourage people to consider adopting from us. Cats Protection is a longstanding member of the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG) comprising leading animal welfare and specialist agencies across the UK. PAAG has been in discussion with the Department for the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) and it is clear that there is no prospect of a ban on online pet advertisements. PAAG has been working with online sites to develop and agree a voluntary set of minimum standards to improve the welfare standards of online pet advertisements and to protect members of the public from the risk of ending up with a sick, dangerous or even illegal animal. The problem is that the websites are almost entirely automated, and handle hundreds of thousands of adverts every day. The website owners have been very co-operative and already, as a result of PAAG, now use far more automatic filters to try and block irresponsible adverts. Sites will now take down multiple or repeat adverts where is seems a person is repeatedly breeding and selling. They also filter out keywords to reduce the number of illegal breeds eg ‘wildcat’ or words that suggest welfare issues, eg ‘suckling kitten’. If adverts do slip through, sites have been very responsive, taking them down within 12 hours and usually much sooner. In September 2013 there was a major development for PAAG when Defra publicly endorsed the PAAG minimum standards. Lord de Mauley, the Minister responsible for animal welfare, called a meeting at Westminster of the leading online pet classified websites to discuss

This online poster summarises the things to watch out for if you are looking at pet advertisements online. You can download a copy at:

the need for urgent improvement and adherence to the minimum standards. He will be reviewing progress in six months. During that time PAAG members will be recruiting a team of PAAG volunteer moderators who will regularly spot check pet advertisements and log details of any that breach the minimum standards. Our Advocacy team has already had volunteers helping us to spot check cat and kitten adverts on the major sites and PAAG is keen to build on this experience and extend volunteer moderation. A database will be used to log advertisements so we can track progress against finalised minimum standards. While the minimum standards are just the first step on the road to improving online pet advertisements it’s an important leap forward. Success won’t happen overnight but with government support we are working hard to ensure that pets advertised online are healthy, happy and find a loving home.

The Cat  Winter 2013


Give your feet a rest and exercise your mind

Ten-minute crossword

Amusing Heather Heather Cook’s kits meet a Tiny tearaway

Across 1 Plot (10) 7 Organised group of devotees (3,4) 8 Pound (4) 10 Frozen sweets (4) 11 Final (8) 13 Reply (6) 15 Consume (6) 17 Instances (8) 18 Fair (4) 21 Uninteresting (4) 22 Spare time (7) 23 Heavy projectile (10)

Down 1 Small boat (5) 2 Invalid, not binding (4) 3 Small smooth rounded rock (6) 4 Needed (8) 5 Large city in Illinois (7) 6 Boer (9) 9 Rued (9) 12 Airship (8) 14 Broad-bladed kitchen implement (7) 16 German capital (6) 19 Customary (5) 20 Former Italian currency (4)

To win one of these Giornata Espresso cup and saucers complete our crossword correctly, rearrange the shaded letters to find one of the seven wonders of the world. 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 10 January 2014. The prizes are kindly sponsored by The Cat Gallery. Visit or phone 01904 413 000 to request a catalogue. Last issue’s winners: Nicky Burrows, Debbie Glover and Alice Bennett. Answers to Autumn Crossword on page XX. The famous woman was suffragette Emily Wilding Davison.

44 The Cat  Winter 2013

I recently experienced that strange phenomenon which involves saying something you never had any intention of saying. Is this a variation of Tourette’s syndrome? Or further evidence of madness? “I think we could give it a try.” Those were the words I uttered – hardly life-threatening or even significantly life-changing, but context is all. I had just been told about a small tabby cat with brain damage who had lived for nearly three years in a veterinary surgery. Nothing wrong with that, you might think, but a feature of Tiny’s brain damage is that she knows no fear. She bounded up to rabid rottweilers in the waiting room, convinced that they would love her – she had to be caged during surgery hours for her own protection. As well as a total absence of fear, Tiny is handicapped by deafness which is severe enough to make roaming outside a dangerous hobby. Tiny had been homed twice during her sojourn at the vet’s, but had been returned due to inappropriate soiling and other problems. In the intervening weeks between my mumbled utterance and further developments, my husband – known to one and all as Poor Roger – happened to say how much he would love another tabby. Just every now and then, dear reader, a little nugget of good fortune drops out of the sky and it would be rude not to make the most of it. And so it was that a few weeks later we drove down the M25 to meet Tiny and to ask her if she would consider coming to live with us. She seems happy here and we love her – irrationally and completely. The other cats are adjusting to her impersonations of a heat-seeking missile and she is adjusting to the hardship of stretching out on our bed in the early morning sun. Paws for Thought is the latest book by Heather Cook and is an ideal stocking filler. It features the adventures of Stumpy Malone, a little black cat born without hind paws. The book costs £7.99 and £1 will be donated to Woking & District Cats Protection Branch for every copy sold. Books can be obtained from Amazon or direct from Heather by emailing, or by phoning Heather on 01483 740 815.


Best of the web We’ve rounded up the best cat content on the web. If it’s entertaining, extraordinary – or just plain eccentric – you’ll find it here. If you’ve found something great on the web and would like us to share it, email us on with the subject line Best of the web

Christmas. Henri also has his own Facebook page where he can share his pithy observations on life: “Many people think cats are colourblind, but we are certainly not. Please stop wearing that sweater.” With his own YouTube channel, book and merchandise, too, this monochrome muser’s star seems set to rise even further. Type in any website address into the box on Meowbify’s homepage and it’ll give the site a cat-themed makeover. We had a go with the BBC website – Meowbify illustrated a story on the US senate with a ping-pong playing cat, while a rolling kitten video accompanied an English football story. Yes, it’s shameless fluff, but it’s perfect for five minutes of lunchtime fun. Balloon modelling for cats, platypus-eating mogs, fishingfanatic felines…illustrator Sarah Lloyd’s flights of fantasy offer a charming cat-themed escape from day-to-day life. Her blog. I told them no…but they’re cats features Sarah’s four felines in a series of brilliantly unlikely but captivating scenarios. While the average cat owner probably hasn’t come downstairs to find their mogs playing curling in the hall (complete with Highland cattle), there’s something about the attitude of Sarah’s cats that any feline fan will relate to: ‘Today, Treacle and I were talking about dogs. “They must be particularly stupid,” she was saying, “To have to learn how to sit and lie down and roll over.”’ Take a look – it’s brilliant.

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) Henri, “the world’s first feline philosopher”, has become something of an internet celebrity since US filmmaker Will Braden picked the black-and-white cat to star in his 2007 college film project. Braden was interested in the American perception of French films as being pretentious and selfinvolved, “and what could be more self-involved and pampered than a house cat?” So the joke was born and Henri, who “shares” his philosophy on life in French with English subtitles below, went on to feature in in a series of short films on topics from literature and politics to cat food and

Answers appear on page XX.

The Cat  Winter 2013


How can

03000 12 12 12

we help?

The thought of losing a beloved companion who has made your sunny days all the brighter and has been by your side when skies are grey, is nothing short of heart-wrenching. Thankfully, the National Helpline is here. We speak to many pet owners every year who feel overwrought and are facing immeasurably difficult choices, but rest assured you are not alone. We are on hand to lend a warm and sympathetic ear.

Recognising the signs

• vomiting or diarrhoea that lasts for more than 24 hours • self-neglect or poor coat condition • reduced interest in food or drink, increased drinking or a sudden ravenous appetite • signs of pain when touched • general discomfort or an inability to settle • no desire to move • reduced tolerance of people or other pets, or reduced interest in play or other favoured activities – these signs can be indicative of pain or an underlying health issue Once a thorough health check has been conducted your vet will discuss options which will usually include treatment or further monitoring and/ or tests.

He had a good life – and death Your cat may be young at heart but with the average life expectancy of a cat being around 14 years the chances are you will start to see a change in your cat’s health long before age catches up with you. Consequently, we recommend keeping an eye on your cat’s food and water intake, bodily and coat condition, behaviour and – on the less glamorous side of pet ownership – toileting habits! If you notice any of the following then we recommend taking your cat to the vets for a check-up: • unusual lethargy or withdrawal • unexplained weight loss • lameness, reduced or altered mobility • any swelling, growth or wound • recurrent sneezing, coughing or laboured breathing • difficulty or pain when urinating • blood in either the urine or faeces • incontinence or more frequent urination • unusual discharge or bleeding from the eyes, nose or mouth

46 The Cat  Winter 2013

There may come a time when your vet diagnoses an incurable illness, but don’t panic – there may be treatments available that will alleviate any suffering and allow your cat to continue with a good quality of life for many months or years to come. Sadly, this will not always be the case and you should consider the possibility that the kindest thing to do for your cat is to say goodbye so that he may leave this life knowing neither pain nor suffering. This may seem like straightforward advice but we understand that the bond between you and your cat runs deep and many of us fight growing old in the high hopes of a few minutes more with those we love. However, if your cat’s health is deteriorating with no prospect of recovery, the way to truly show your cat the depth of your love is to let go. Understandably, you don’t want to jump the gun but at the same time you don’t want to prolong the inevitable and risk suffering so it’s really important that, once you’ve recognised the signs and consulted with your vet, you assess your cat’s quality of life moving forward.


After life

Once your cat has been euthanased you can decide where you would like him to rest. Your vet can arrange for a cremation or you can take your cat’s body to the pet crematorium yourself. Your cat’s ashes can then be scattered in the garden of rest, or you can opt for individual cremation after which the ashes can be returned to you and you can place them wherever will be of comfort to you. If your cat dies unexpectedly at home and it is not allowed by your local authority or you do not wish to bury him in your garden, you can still speak with your vet who can arrange cremation. There are also many pet cemeteries where you can take your cat. Most ceremonies have the option of a short memorial service which gives you and other loved ones the chance to say goodbye. Even though you have said goodbye, your cat will still live on in the hearts and minds of those who loved him. Treasure your memories – remember the good times and the joy that your cat brought you as well as the happiness you brought him. We always grieve for those we’ve loved and lost and a pet is no exception. If you’d like to talk

Illustration: Sam Roberts

Ask yourself whether or not your cat is living out his golden years in peace and dignity if he: • can no longer eat or drink normally • is unable to stand or move normally • has difficulty breathing properly • is badly injured in an accident • is incontinent • has an untreatable behavioural problem that leaves him feeling very unhappy • has any condition that causes uncontrollable pain The thought of ending a life may sound cruel or uncaring but it can be one of the most compassionate acts that we as humans do for our pets if they are suffering. The word ‘Euthanasia’ itself is literally translated from Greek as meaning “good death”. Euthanasia is a quick and painless process. It may be less stressful for your cat if he can hear a familiar voice however, if you are frightened or anxious your cat may sense this and become upset in which case you must choose whether or not it is right for you and your cat if you are present if your cat is put to sleep. A cat will be asleep in a very short time and his breathing and heartbeat will stop a few seconds later. As a cat loses consciousness, he may take a deep breath and it is natural for his muscles to relax. The vet will then check for a pulse or eyelid reflex and may place the cat into a sleeping position.

to someone who understands your feelings then many GPs and religious ministers recognise the negative effects of suppressing grief and now offer pet bereavement counselling. Pet bereavement helplines are also available for example, the Blue Cross have a Pet Bereavement Support Service. You can call their support line on 0800 096 6606 (UK only including Northern Ireland) from 8.30am - 8.30pm every day. All calls are free and confidential from a landline.

A new hope

Many pet owners hope that in time they can offer a home to another cat in need of a second chance. The decision to get another cat is entirely personal. You may find you want another one almost immediately or you may need time to come to terms with your loss. If your cat has had an infectious illness, your vet may advise you to wait before getting another to reduce the risk of infection remaining in your home. Try to remember that cats, like humans, are all individuals. If you are considering getting another cat then your relationship with any new cat will be just as rewarding, but will not be the same as your previous cat and this may take some time to get used to. Your local Cats Protection will be happy to have an informal chat with you about this and will help you find a perfect partner to share in new adventures! Finally, if you have had to say goodbye to a muchloved cat then rest assured that although they may be gone, they will have left their paw prints on your heart forever. 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  Winter 2013


by John & Julie Hope MEET BUNNI, a feisty cat matriarch, who guides her human staff to rescue an assortment of strays. DISCOVER traditions, religion and language through the eyes of the cats, as Bunni leads us through their lives and hilarious adventures.

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Coping with the loss of a pet? 0800 096 6606 Blue Cross is a charity registered in England and Wales (224392) and in Scotland (SC040154).



Pet Bereavement Support Service


Cretian comforts Lisa Page receives an unexpected holiday houseguest


our piece on Moggies in Mallorca in the Autumn 2012 issue has prompted me to tell you about our experience of a cat in Crete a few years ago. Having arrived at our rented holiday house in the coastal resort of Almeritha, we were unpacking when a white cat with ginger and tabby patches casually wandered in and sat by the fridge. We soon realised that she was feeding kittens and found some food for her. For the first few mornings she would be at the door when we got up, and each time we arrived ‘home’ she would appear from the scrubland across the road and station herself by the fridge. She never mewed or pestered, just sat there calmly staring until we fed her some tasty morsel. She had a regal bearing so we called her Duchess but she was also a very friendly little thing who loved a fuss and cuddles. When she had had enough attention – and perhaps respite from the kittens – she would trot down the outside stairs to the garden, squeeze through the gate, cross the lane and vanish into the undergrowth, sometimes reappearing on the top of the garden wall of a nearby villa before finally disappearing from view. It must have been about the fourth day, when at the gate, instead of crossing the road to go home, she sat down and started making a strange cry. Although we have always had cats, we have never had experience of a mother with young kittens, and didn’t realise she was calling them. It must have been five minutes later that we heard high-pitched mews and three tiny kittens appeared nervously on the other side of the road. Fortunately it was a quiet road but we still had some anxious moments while they crossed over and joined their mother. One was white with tabby patches, the second was white with ginger patches and the third was predominantly tabby with a white neck and legs. We guessed that they were between seven and nine weeks old. She led them back into the garden where they played in the sunshine, fed and slept. She had obviously decided that we were to be trusted and that it was safe to bring her family out of seclusion. Although the kittens were wary and would never come near us, we had a lovely 10 days observing them and their interaction with their mother. All the accommodation of the house was on the second floor, with just storage rooms on the ground floor, so the veranda looked down on the garden. Down there, the foundations of the house were partly dry-stone wall so the kittens had plenty of boltholes to run into to hide if they felt they were in danger. Duchess became even more friendly, if that were possible, sitting on our laps and even making herself comfortable on the bed.

Needless to say on our last full day, we gave them all a real treat – a tin of Whiskas from the local shop – I’m sure these tiny Greek shops only stock it for the cat mad British! On the morning we were to leave for home, we were all packed with suitcases on the veranda, awaiting our taxi. She had had her morning snack but when she saw the cases, she rubbed round our legs, collected the kittens from the garden and went off across the road. However just before they all disappeared into the brush, she stopped, turned around and looked at us – I’m sure she was saying goodbye. Needless to say I was in bits – I wonder what the taxi driver made of the snivelling English woman. Three years later I still think of Duchess and wonder if she continues to ‘work’ the tourists in Almeritha and whether the kittens made it to adulthood. I work for the company that provided the accommodation and I have been sorely tempted to ask subsequent visitors to the property to look out for her – but they’d probably think I was crazy!

Illustration: Rus Hudda

We’ll protect him while his owner seeks safety. 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 300 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)


Mitzi – a cat in a million Mary Morgan recalls the many lives that Mitzi touched


ay back in 2003, Cats Protection introduced their Rescue Cat Awards (now renamed the National Cat Awards) to celebrate and recognise remarkable cats and the stories behind their special lives. Chosen from almost 1,000 other entrants, Mitzi was the first ever winner of Rescue Cat of the Year and also winner of the Best Friends category. Back then Mitzi was an eight-year-old youngster. Her story of fame began when she was callously abandoned by her owners in Woking, Surrey. Fortunately for Mitzi, and as it turned out, also for literally hundreds of patients, their relatives and friends, she was rescued by Woking Cats Protection. Taken into the care of Heather Cook, the Woking Branch founder, Mitzi needed a new home. This is when Freda Larham, Volunteer Services Manager for North Surrey Primary Care Trust stepped in and recruited Mitzi to Hazel Ward at St Peter’s Hospital. She blossomed – as did many of the elderly patients. She worked her incredible magic upon everyone that came into contact with her. Withdrawn and depressed patients responded with delight to this cat’s obvious love of people. And so began the start of her remarkable career and fame! Unfortunately, later the ward had to close and Mitzi was inundated with offers of a new home. It was very wisely decided that she would be happiest in a similar environment carrying out her therapeutic role. So, in December 2003, Mitzi took up residence at Sam Beare Hospice in Weybridge, Surrey. It is beyond calculation just how many lives Mitzi touched during her 10 years at Sam Beare Hospice. What is beyond any doubt is that she really made a difference. She made the place feel more like home, bringing a great deal of pleasure and comfort to patients and boosting morale. This was particularly the case for patients who had to give up their pets because of illness.

Illustration: Rus Hudda

Children and adults would often exclaim with delight at the sight of Mitzi in her traditional spot on the counter – “Is that a real cat?” Mitzi received heart-warming letters from families saying how much comfort she had brought them. Those of us that were privileged to work alongside this remarkable cat will never forget her. She was extra special to a few members of staff and therefore it was a very sad day earlier this year when Mitzi became so unwell that the kindest thing was to let her go. Two of the nurses and me were with her and she went very peacefully. It was one of the saddest moments but I knew this beautiful cat was ready to take her rest. She was an elderly lady herself and had been deteriorating for some time. Almost every day, someone asks “Where is the cat?” Many of the nurses found great comfort and joy themselves having Mitzi wandering around the ward; she made a tangible contribution in bringing an atmosphere of normality to the hospice. Recently one of the patients, who had never known Mitzi, asked: “Do you have a cat here?” This was a real surprise to the nurse, who replied: “We did but sadly she is no longer with us, why do you ask?” “Well,” said the patient, “She visited my room last night!” We have been asked many times whether we’d like another cat but Mitzi is irreplaceable. I know if it was decided to have another cat then Woking & District Cats Protection would work very hard to find one. Mitzi has been laid to rest under a beautiful Salix Flamingo Tree in the garden of the hospice and a plaque has been placed in her memory. In my role of the Volunteer Services Manager for Woking & Sam Beare Hospices, I can say hand on heart that Mitzi was a volunteer in a million, a cat in a million and the smiles she brought to many people will have stretched a million miles.

The Cat  Winter 2013


CP in action

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

Friendly feline needs home


By Stockport Branch

Peanut’s a cracker By North Ayrshire Branch Poor Peanut was making a real nuisance of himself for a long time going from door to door in one of our local neighbourhoods, begging for meals and annoying resident cats in his bid to find a home of his own and enough to eat. By the time we heard about him, he was very underweight and when his hyperthyroidism was diagnosed by our vets we could understand why he’d been so desperate to find food. The vets suspect that he had been suffering from this condition for a long time. While he’s been in our care, it’s been a struggle to get it under control and it’s likely that it won’t be possible to achieve this completely at this late stage in his life. We would appreciate support for the care of this elderly boy to help us with the costs of his medication and regular blood test reviews. It would also be great to find a retirement home for him to live out the rest of his days, rather than him spending any more time than necessary in our care. He’s a real character with a friendly personality, so he really deserves a second chance at life. Donations towards the care of cats in need like Peanut can be made payable to North Ayrshire Cats Protection sent to North Ayrshire Cats Protection, c/o Treasurer, 1 Priesthill View, Stevenston KA20 4AT, or be given by clicking on the donation banner on their website Thank you.

Mr B was visiting a garden in Stockport. The owner of the house tried to get near to him but he wouldn’t allow anyone near. One day he arrived in the garden with an obvious injury, which steadily got worse. It took repeated attempts to catch Mr B and take him to the vets. When he finally visited the vets the injury was so severe that it was beyond treatment. Unfortunately his leg had to be amputated as Mr B had osteomyelitis in the hock part of his leg. He has now recovered from his operation and is a friendly boy who is looking for a home. Any offers of a loving home for Mr B or any donations to help with the cost of his operation are much appreciated. Enquiries should be directed to Ms Jacky Goodman, 3 Hexworth Walk, Bramhall, SK7 3DF, telephone 07900 415 674. Donations can be sent to the same address, with cheques made out to Stockport Cats Protection. Any funds received over and above those needed for Mr B’s treatment will be used to help the other cats in our care.

Awards and achievements  rawley, Reigate C & District Branchopened its boutique-style shop on 17 August. The ribbon was cut at 11am by Mary Humber, one of the original members of the Crawley, Reigate & District Branch, which started in 1978. We provided street entertainment throughout the day, with balloon animal making and face-painting for children and adults alike and two human-sized cuddly cats roamed the streets of giving out goody bags! We are looking for both volunteers to work in the shop and donations of goods to sell in the shop. So why not pop in and say ‘hello’?


The Cat  Winter 2013

Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness


Success stories

Jess makes good progress By Bristol Branch Jess is a very friendly six-year-old who was handed over to a vet by her previous owner as they felt they could no longer look after her. The Bristol Branch of Cats Protection agreed to take her on and find her a new home. The vet noticed a small lump on Jess’s paw which seemed to be bothering her so tests were done. Results came back confirming it was an aggressive form of cancer, which no one expected. Further tests were done to see if the cancer had spread, but luckily for Jess it hadn’t, so the decision was made to amputate her leg to give her the best possible chance of survival. Jess has been rehomed and is recovering well from the operation.

Earlier this year, Dawnie Cassidy did a sponsored wing walk to raise funds for Southend Cats Protection. Dawnie has previously done a parachute jump, and fed a tiger called Rocky by hand, but this was the first time she had done something truly dangerous where she had to sign an affidavit! She has loved cats since she was tiny and has been honoured to share her life with them for 45 years. Her wing walk raised a terrific £822 for our needy cats – and the admiration of everyone who has seen the photos!

Monty’s moved on By Bracknell & Wokingham Districts Branch Bracknell & Wokingham Districts Branch is pleased to report a successful homing for a cat in our care who tested positive for the FIV virus. Monty came into our branch after being left behind when his owners moved. A charismatic character, he lived on his wits, charming households in the neighbourhood. A 12-year-old long-haired cat, he was brought to our attention when his coat was getting very matted and he seemed to have some war wounds. When brought in and checked over he was in remarkably good shape, except for the fact that he tested positive for the FIV virus. Rehoming him was going to be a struggle as his immune system was not good, so he would have to become an indoor cat and could be infectious to other cats if he got into a fight. After many months of advertising for a special indoor home for our handsome boy, including being featured in a previous edition of The Cat, we were finally contacted by a couple who already owned a FIV cat called Colonel. Monty has settled in very well with his new family and is happy and content to at last find a special loving home.

Cats Protection’s Wharfe Valley Branchshop opened on 4 July at 21 Town Street, Horsforth. The branch sees the shop as a regular source of income, enabling it to reach more cats and contribute to the wider pool of resources for West Yorkshire. The team is already searching for a second shop. This additional income will enable the branch to be a key partner in supporting further CP facilities in the north. The shop’s refurbishment was enabled by a legacy from the late Sheila Hillas who was a lifelong cat lover and very active local supporter. The shop is open from Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm, selling clothes, gifts, toys and CP-branded goods. The shop has a manager called Jimmy and an assistant called Denise as well as a team of volunteers.

Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 •

The Cat  Winter 2013


Looking for a home Bracknell & Wokingham Districts



Females, 14 months old

Male, 12 years old

Male, 14 years old

Ninja and Gizmo





Ninja and Gizmo are a pair of extremely shy sisters who are now aged just over 12 months old; they were originally born outside and caught with a trap. Ninja is very small, with short black hair and specks of tortoiseshell colouring. Her sister, Gizmo, is a long-haired tortoiseshell. The girls are both very affectionate once they get used to someone and they are good with other cats.

☎☎ 0845 371 4212

Alley is a very loveable 12 year old; he’s neutered, vaccinated and chipped. His elderly owner was finding it difficult to look after him so asked if we could find him a new home.

☎☎ 0117 966 5428

Montrose & Brechin Branch


Male, eight years old

Jimmy has an overactive thyroid, previously uncontrolled due to his tendency to wander. He is an affectionate boy who looks a state (but don’t tell him). He wants a home of his own with someone to keep him company. Unfortunately he needs to be the only pet and to be kept indoors, because his condition is controlled by an iodine-free diet, which means he mustn’t eat any other food (including mice) as these will contain iodine and make his thyroid overactive again.

☎☎ 08453 712 736

Great Amwell & District

Feral cats

North Ayrshire

Lady and Rascal

Males and females, between one and three years old We currently have several feral cats at our branch in need of good homes. We have male and female cats available and all have been neutered. Being feral, they would be ideally suited to outdoor spaces such as farms, stables or smallholdings. We believe they will be fantastic help with any vermin problems!

Females, eight years old

☎☎ 0845 371 2736

Lady and Rascal are in care as their owner sadly died. We’d like to find them a home to share together. They are used to outdoor access, are both eight years old, and are lovely-natured ladies.

☎☎ 08453 714 218


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Alfie arrived at our branch when his elderly, caring owner had to receive some hospital treatment and consequently move to a sheltered house where pets aren’t allowed. Alfie is a gentle, cooperative cat who is still waiting for his forever home.

☎☎ 08453 712 738

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

Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness


Join the team Give a little time, make a big difference! Every year we help over 218,000 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 help sell goods at outside events and with the packing and unpacking of the goods. They need a volunteer who can donate a few hours of their time each month. The branch is also always looking for readers of The Cat to join the branch. There is a minimum donation of £6 per year, which will entitle you to receive our newsletter PawPrints, issued three times a year – in February, June and October. For membership enquiries please contact Kate Learwood, Membership Secretary on  ambridge Branchis seeking indoor Fosterers based in C the city to look after a homeless cat in their own home until it finds a permanent home. Fostering is rewarding and varied. Fosterers need to have no other pets. They will be responsible for taking the cat to the vet, keeping records and – importantly – getting to know the cat, to help us find the right new owners. If you could help us look after more abandoned and stray cats in the Cambridge area, we cover all costs: supplying heat pads, food, litter and vet bills for Fosterers. Please ring us on 01223 356 999 if you think you can help.  erby & District Branchhas many vacancies for volunteers D including 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 wants to help cats and is at home for most of the day. 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. We need someone to take on the challenging and rewarding role of Fundraising Co-ordinator at the Croydon Branchof Cats Protection. As Fundraising Co-ordinator you will play a key role in managing and supporting volunteers in raising those all-important funds to help cats in need in and around Croydon through fundraising events and activities. We are looking for someone with good communication skills and the management experience to support our dedicated team of fundraising volunteers. Please call us now on 01883 343031 or email your details to

 orsham & District Branchis looking for a Fundraising H Team Leader who can organise events and lead a team of fundraisers to help bring in much-needed funds for our branch. We have a regular schedule of events but also need new ideas to raise money, so if you have skills in this area why not join our small, friendly team? We also need volunteers to help us transport goods to and from local events. This is a commitment of one to two hours once or sometimes twice a month (some heavy lifting is involved so this is a good role for male volunteers). If you are interested in either of these or any of the other roles advertised on our website and would like to have an informal chat please call Lorraine on 01403 266 143 or email us at We would love to hear from you!

Thank you…  erby & District Branch D would like to thank everyone who contributed to the appeal to help with the cost of blind George’s vet bill (The Cat autumn 2013 issue). We were overwhelmed by your generosity which, at the time of writing, came to more than £3,000. George has found a wonderful forever home with a young reporter. They are absolutely besotted with each other and she has sent us many photos and videos of them playing together. He now has a smart harness and lead for outings in the back garden. We have been having a few very bad cases recently and this has restored our faith in human nature so, once again, many thanks.  xeter Branchis very sad to announce the semi-retirement, E due to health problems, of John Jose, head fundraiser for the branch for the past 23 years. During this period, John has raised a staggering £250,000, mainly from stalls at the Exeter car boot sales every Sunday. This entails an early morning start at 4am in all weathers, way and above the call of duty! John has also enjoyed the summer charity fetes at Dawlish & Teignmouth and has sold many items over the years from home and at local auctions. John has shown utter devotion to the welfare of cats and will still serve on the committee and be involved in transporting cats to and from the vets for neutering once he is feeling a little better. A huge vote of thanks from all at Exeter and best wishes for a full recovery.

Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 •

The Cat  Winter 2013


Diary of events

Find out what’s going on near you...

Cats Protection at national shows Spring Knitting & Stitching Show 13–16 March 2014: London Olympia Spring Country Living Fair 19–23 March 2014: Islington Business Design Centre (attendance tbc)


Bracknell & Wokingham Districts Stalls and collections 30 November: Collection day in Wokingham town centre, Berkshire. From 9am.

Newbury Events 30 November: Jumble sale at Catholic Hall, Bath Road, Thatcham. From 11.30am– 1pm. Entrance is 30p. Jumble will be accepted at the Hall from 9–10.30am or previously at Newbury Adoption Centre. Come and pick up a bargain! 6 December: Thatcham Christmas Lights, from 5pm–8pm. Please visit our stall in Thatcham Broadway. Purchase your calendars and Christmas cards and pick up a few stocking fillers.

Reading & District Events 7 December: All Saints Parish Hall, Downshire Square, Reading, RG1 6NH. From 1–3 pm. 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


Milton Keynes & District Events 10 December, 26 January, 15 February: Community Desk at thecentre:mk shopping centre, Milton Keynes. 30 November: Stall at the RSPCA’s Christmas Fayre at

56 The Cat  Winter 2013

be there from noon until 2pm! There will also be tables including jewellery, craft, gifts, tarot, hand-painted pottery, CP items, cards, fused glass and massage.


Great Linford Memorial Hall, Milton Keynes. 8 December: Stall at Dickens of a Christmas festival in Olney. 14 & 15 December: Collection at Jollyes, Westcroft, Milton Keynes.

Ealing Animal Welfare Bazaar (non-CP event) 1 March: From 10.30am–4pm at Hanwell Methodist Church, Church Rd, Hanwell London W7 1DJ. Many participating societies and admission is free. Phone 020 8567 6739 for more details or see www.



Events 30 November: Christmas Bazaar at Great Shelford Memorial Hall, Woollards Lane, CB22 5LZ. Wide variety of stalls including crafts, gardening, tombola, Cats Protection goods including diaries/calendars, bric-a-brac, books, Catsnaps photograph entries, and refreshments including tea, coffee, cake and bacon rolls. Entrance £1 or a tin of Felix. From 9.30am–2.30pm.

Fairs 7 December and 8 February: Woodley, Civic Hall, Hyde Road, SK6 1QG



Homing shows 7 December: Trans Pennine Oriental & Siamese Cat Club Show, The Stockport Masonic Guildhall, 169 Wellington Road South, Stockport, SK1 3UA. Please visit our stall at this show. For details of the show schedule and opening times please visit


Crawley,Reigate & District Shows 8 December: Homing show, from 11am–3pm. Barnfield Care Home, Upfield, Horley, RH6 7LA 5 January: Homing show from 11am–3pm. Crawley Horticultural Society, Ifield Ave, Crawley, RH11 7AJ 2 March: Homing show from 11am–3pm. Colman-Redland Centre, Croydon Road, Reigate, RH2 0LZ

Horsham & District Stalls 7 December: Billifest, Jengers Mead, Billingshurst. Events 25 January, 15 February and 15 March: Catstravaganza, Roffey Millennium Hall, Horsham RH12 4DT. From 2–4pm. Shows 12 January and 2 March: Broadbridge Heath Village Centre, Wickhurst Lane, Broadbridge Heath RH12 3LY. From 11am–2pm.


Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre Events 14 December: Christmas coffee morning from 11am–2pm at the adoption centre: Little Hill Cottage, Clyst Honiton, Exeter, EX5 2HS. Email for more information.

Deadlines CP branches and centres are encouraged to send in their success stories and diary dates for every issue. The deadlines for the next three issues are: • Spring 2014 issue (covers March to May): 6 December deadline • Summer 2014 issue (covers June to August): 14 March deadline • Autumn 2014 issue (covers September to November): 13 June deadline



29 November: Music night, SAKS Bar, Clifftown Road, Southend. 7pm for 7.30pm 7 December: Christmas Bazaar, St Andrews Church Hall, Church Road, Shoebury. From 10.30am–12.30pm.


Fareham & Waterlooville District Fairs 14 December: Treats & Therapies Christmas Fayre, from 10am–4pm at Lockswood Community Centre, Locks Heath. Father Christmas will

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. It is a legal requirement to add text to appeals explaining that funds not used for the featured cat will be used for other cats in your care; we will add this if you have not already done so. Images should be attached to the email separately, not embedded into a document; minimum requirements for print publication are 300dpi (high resolution) in jpeg or tif format. (Or, as a rough rule of thumb, they should be at least 1MB in size). 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.

Ways we help: Rehoming • Neutering • Raising awareness


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 *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  Winter 2013

Tenterden & District ☎☎ 01797 366 379

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 ☎☎ 07972 658 384 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 Minehead & District *10 * Wellington Square, Minehead, Somerset, TA24 5NH ☎☎ 01643 704 501 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  Winter 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 & Stowmarket ☎☎ 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 Mid Warwickshire *27 * Regent Street, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV32 5EJ ☎☎ 01926 338 250 Pershore *Royal * Aracde, Pershore, Worcestershire, WR10 1AG ☎☎ 01386 550 440 Stafford & District *Market * Stall 48, St John’s Indoor Market, Stafford Stourbridge & District *27 * Lower High Street, Stourbridge, DY8 1TA ☎☎ 01384 422 208 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

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 Norwich & District ☎☎ 08454 941 900 Peterborough & District ☎☎ 08453 712 750 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

60 The Cat  Winter 2013

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 *14 * Elizabeth Drive, Padgate, Warrington, WA1 4JQ ☎☎ 03000 120 612 York *582 * Huntington Road, Huntington, York, North Yorkshire, YO32 9QA ☎☎ 01904 760 356 Atherton & Wigan Metro Areas ☎☎ 01942 888 693 Barnsley ☎☎ 01226 762 658 Beverley & Pocklington ☎☎ 01482 861 866 Blackburn & District ☎☎ 01254 260 107 Boston & District ☎☎ 01406 424 966 Burnley & Pendle ☎☎ 01282 693 400 Burscough & Liverpool Bay ☎☎ 0151 526 5999 Calder Valley & District ☎☎ 01706 810 489 Carlisle & District ☎☎ 01228 540 330 Chesterfield & District ☎☎ 08453 712 754

Dewsbury, Wakefield & District ☎☎ 01924 261 524 Doncaster ☎☎ 07718 424 777 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) Preston ☎☎ 08451 770 708 Rochdale ☎☎ 01706 522 440 Sheffield Hallam ☎☎ 0114 327 0348 South Wirral ☎☎ 0151 355 9813 Stockport ☎☎ 0161 439 1274 Teesside ☎☎ 01642 589 090 Trafford ☎☎ 0161 610 2189 or 0161 969 0331 Wear Valley & Darlington ☎☎ 0845 313 4749 West Cumbria ☎☎ 01946 590 079 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

Glasgow ☎☎ 08453 712 722

West Fife ☎☎ 01383 419 975

Huntly & Keith ☎☎ 01466 760 311

West Lothian ☎☎ 08453 712 719

Inverness ☎☎ 07815 910 861

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

Inverurie & Alford ☎☎ 01467 625 695

Clackmannanshire & Stirling *The * Marion Hunter Cat Adoption Centre, Ochivale Terrace, Fishcross, Alloa, Clackmannanshire, FK10 3HT ☎☎ 01259 720 555

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

Alness & District ☎☎ 08453 714 204

Moray ☎☎ 07837 342 646

Ardnamurchan & Mull ☎☎ 01967 431 203

Nairn ☎☎ 08453 712 714

Barra & Uist ☎☎ 07050 121 586

North Ayrshire ☎☎ 08453 714 218

Caithness ☎☎ 08453 714 217

Orkney Islands ☎☎ 01856 771 642

Central Aberdeen ☎☎ 01224 749 568

Outer Aberdeen & District ☎☎ 01224 705 252

Central Dumfries ☎☎ 01387 710 083

Peebles & Biggar ☎☎ 0707 4357 228

Cumnock & Doon Valley ☎☎ 08453 714 219

Perth ☎☎ 08458 622 206

Deeside ☎☎ 07837 342 660

Peterhead & District ☎☎ 07791 834 226

East Neuk of Fife ☎☎ 08453 714 210

Renfrewshire ☎☎ 0141 876 4133

Ellon & District ☎☎ 01358 721 204

South Ayrshire ☎☎ 08453 714 216

Eskdale & District ☎☎ 01387 376 738

Stewartry & District ☎☎ 01557 339 233

Forfar & District ☎☎ 0845 647 2184

Stonehaven ☎☎ 01569 739 396

Fort William & District ☎☎ 01397 772 071

Stranraer & District ☎☎ 01776 840 619

Fraserburgh ☎☎ 01771 637 744 Giffnock ☎☎ 01416 385 110

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 Belfast *270 * Belfast Road, Dundonald, Newtownards, Northern Ireland, BT16 1UE ☎☎ 02890 480 202 Friends of Northern Ireland Adoption Centre Armagh ☎☎ 07709 483 550 Coleraine ☎☎ 07792 699 416

KEY: Adoption Centre Homing Centre Branch Charity shop

Strathspey ☎☎ 08453 712 725 Tain & District ☎☎ 08453 712 737

Find your local Cats Protection: 03000 12 12 12 •

The Cat  Winter 2013


Hello again, we hope you enjoy snuggling up with the winter Kids’ Corner. This issue, we bring you some ideas to keep your cats entertained indoors without having to spend lots of money on cat toys! If you’d like to send in a drawing, 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 with Kids Corner in the subject line. Don’t forget to tell us your name, age and address. The deadline for submissions for the spring 2014 issue is 6 December.

Indoor activities

In the wintry weather, your cat may decide he prefers it indoors, in the snug and warm, rather than braving the snow and cold. It’s still important that he gets exercise, though, so why not try these cheap activity ideas? Remember to ask your parents or guardians for help with scissors and glue if you need it! Older cats will love to play for a few minutes, three or four times each day, while younger cats like to play even more often! Remember to keep an eye on your cat when he’s playing and move the toys out of his way once playtime is finished.

Cardboard boxes Most cats love playing in boxes – and many choose to ignore an expensive cat toy or bed in favour of the box it came in! There are lots of ways you can make boxes even more fun for a cat. You could seal up a small box or cardboard postal tube and cut holes in it that are just big enough for him to get his paw in and out. Put a few cat biscuits in the box or tube for your cat to fish out! You could also put toy balls into a small box like a shoe box as some cats love to bat them around.

Newspaper Depending on your cat, he may like to attack the newspaper, hide underneath – or simply sleep on top of it! Create a ‘tent’ with a few layers of paper and see if your cat runs under it!

Paper or foil balls There’s no need to buy expensive toys for your furry friend – you can have lots of fun throwing balls made of tightly scrunched up paper or foil for him instead!

Toilet roll pyramid You can use clean toilet roll inners to create a fun pyramid for your cat (see photo). Use small amounts of double-sided tape to stick the cardboard inners into a pyramid shape. You could also use a non-toxic glue, as long as you let it dry thoroughly overnight. Once it’s ready, hide cat biscuits in each tube and let your cat find them and pull them out with his paw. Remember not to overfeed your cat – just give him a few biscuits each day in this way or, better still, use part of his daily food allowance. This mimics natural hunting behaviour and is a good way to keep indoor cats entertained.

62 The Cat  Autumn 2013

Artists’ alley

Thank you to this issue’s artists! Lara, Fiona and Grace win a JellyCat each and a toy for their cats! Clockwise from right: Lara from Dorset has sent in her pen drawing of a cat called Sage. Five-year-old Grace from Gloucestershire has drawn her cat, Prinny, in the garden. Prinny is from Stroud Cats Protection and Grace and her family love her lots! Nine-year-old Fiona Belbin from Yorkshire has drawn a day in the life of cats. Can you spot the three mogs?

Word scramble

We’ve taken four words and mixed up the letters. Can you re-arrange them so they make sense? They’re all about cats. The clues will help you!



e and e to hunt for thes Clue: Some cats lik s! or do in em may even bring th

Clue: Cats may flatten these agains t their head if they fe el scared and need to hide



Clue: Cats need this type of lifest yle to stay healthy

climb these – and are Clue: Some cat s like to tting down again! ge often not so good at

Once you’ve solved each scramble, take the first letter of each of these four words to make a fifth word. Clue: cats are carnivores, so they have to eat this to be healthy! Send the fifth word by email to Remember to put Kids’ Corner 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. Three lucky winners will get a JellyCat for themselves and a Kong prize for their cat! The deadline for entries is 10 January 2014. Illustrations: Rus Hudda

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

The Cat  Autumn 2013 63

ANSWERS Autumn 2013 crossword answers Across: 1 Marvellous, 7 Initials, 8 Taxi, 9 Soak, 10 Learned, 12 Entertained, 14 Bouquet, 16 Used, 19 Asia, 20 Decrepit, 21 Playwright. Down: 1 Mines, 2 Retract, 3 Edam, 4 Las Vegas, 5 Utter, 6 Extend, 11 Friendly, 12 Egoist, 13 Nest egg, 15 Quail, 17 Drift, 18 Scar.


This issues sudoku answers

Whether it’s an intimate four pen caĴery or a commercial fty pen outt, running your own boarding caĴery can be a rewarding, fullling way of life and having a home based business is both convenient and easy. With over 40 years’ experience, Lindee Lu provides the whole package and helps you create a high quality establishment your customers will return to time and time again. We manufacture in traditional wood and our new, very popular, 100% synthetic wood product which retains the look of our wooden pens but requires no annual maintenance.

Follow Cats Protection on Twitter & Facebook

For more information on starting a caĴery please visit our website where all your questions can be answered. Take a moment to browse through our gallery pictures and play with our nance calculator where you will see for yourself how you can benet nancially from this rewarding new way of life!

Tel: 01275 853800

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.

 ARMITEPTS 02.08.13 M aged 15. Tall, dark and handsome boy, gentle and loving companion. Also P  ICKLEPTS 11.07.11. Both greatly loved and missed. SANDYThe most gentle, friendly cat who disappeared one September day. BUBKASo proud of Mummy’s handsome boy at almost 21 years. I will see you forever napping on the garden bench. Now with CHLOÉPTS 24.01.10 and T  ABBYPTS 21.11.12. Night night, God bless my little friends till we meet again. Love you always, Mummy, Hannah, Oscar and MarthaMoo xxx In loving memory of  EPPER SAMSONand P – brother and sister aged 17 years, PTS within two weeks of each other. Missing you both desperately. Be good, sleep tight. Love Mummy and Daddy xxx BUNGLE03.08.13. Nearly 11. You were my life. My gentle sweet precious boy. All the love you gave to me. I will miss and love you forever. Mum and Dewey xx OEDIPUS– Psalm 73:23 ‘I am continually with thee’, Don

Love and tears remembering our special cats MASTER JACKand L ADY ALICEresting in the garden with FLINTYand T  REACLEBELLEand also G  OLDEN TOFFEE. Held in the memory locked in our hearts. The Pilcher Family x CLEO– passed away 13.10.11 aged 16½. With us for 16 years, greatly loved and dearly missed. Now with S  heba. Karen and Ian

S  MUDGE– You will always be remembered with love and affection for the joy you brought into our lives, at rest in his garden with his mom A  ngel12.12.95 ERIC– 01.11.03. Big Ez, if I had an ounce of your courage I’d be doing okay. Love always, The Bid. PORKY– aged 17½. PTS 08.09.13. Our handsome boy. Thank you darling for all your love and faithfulness. Mummy and Pippa are heartbroken. See you at Rainbow Bridge. Eternal love, Mummy and Pippa

In loving memory of M  ISTYwho has been guided to Rainbow Bridge by SYLVESTER, a very special boy, as well as L  UCY, THOMAS, E  MMA,  MILY, MILY, E L OTTY, M  ICKEY, D  AISY, K ATIEand T  HEO– all at Rainbow Bridge, waiting for me. Remembering SMOKIE. If tears could build stairways, I would walk the path to heaven and bring you back to me. Mummy Our beloved H  OLLYPTS 24.09.13 after 17 happy years with us. Rest around the willow tree that you loved to sharpen your claws on. From your loving family and your sister PENNY. I remember my first cat

B  ILLYwith whom I shared

J OLLEY– 17.11.04 and INKY– 14.02.01 – Two black cats who brought happiness into our lives – forever remembered with much love. Mam and Ev PIGGY– In memory of our dear gentle girl PTS 24.07.10. Never forgotten by all your adopted family. Rest in peace, girl.

B  ABETTE– such a lovely lady who lived until she was 19. Gone too soon, but I hope to see her again one day. Love from Genni, Diggory and Dawg. In loving memory of the finest cat that ever lived, B  RANDY BOTTLE BATES, a much missed ginger mog who stole our hearts. PTS 04.11.11.

a sunlit garden when I was five. I have never forgotten you.

Dear M  R TIBBS, went missing in 1997 after 10 years together. Missed every day since. Jane.

Fond memories of my friend June Godfrey’s cat A  MBROSEin Hastings – a proper gentleman who has just died.

To all my cats who were such good friends throughout my life, and to all the cats everywhere who meant the world to their owners.

In loving memory of

G  IZMO– 13.01.06 – and T  EDDY– 04.12.06. Loved and sadly missed. Always in our thoughts and hearts. Love Mummy, Daddy, Leo.

In loving memory of MOWIE, 1977-12.01.00. A loving friend, asleep in his favourite garden. Till we meet again. Peter

The Cat  Winter 2013 65

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

Of Dogs and Cats and Bear

by Jenny Melmoth This is a lovely memoir of Jenny Melmoth who grew up during the Second World War and documents her life’s journey to the present day. Needless to say there are plenty of animals who have kept her company through the years. Despite family antipathy Jenny’s growing love for cats ensures there is always a feline presence in her life. It is written with light hearted humour, engaging the reader to feel part of this down-to-earth adventure. It is also full of poems and wonderful hand drawn illustrations making it a delightful book all round. Francesca Watson Of Cats and Dogs and Bear(£9.95) is published by Alfresco Books ( ISBN 9781873727263

Cat Sense: The Feline Enigma

Keep calm and get a cat

by Susan McMullan A perfect stocking filler for anyone who has a passion for cats. This pocket-sized, hardbacked book is a collation of quotations, fun facts and trivia about the UK’s favourite pet. There’s something for every occasion with pithy sayings from the famous, the not-so-famous and that prolific soothsayer, ‘unknown’. Reading all these quotes you realise that perhaps it is Hazel Nicholson’s quote that sums up cats and yet means we’ll keep on being mystified about their allure. ‘A cat is a puzzle for which there is no solution.’ Rebecca Evans Keep calm and get a cat(£4.99) is published by Black and White Publishing ( ISBN 9781845026509 We have 10 copies to give away to readers! Just enter in WIN the usual manner with Keep calm in the subject header.

Learn to speak cat 

by Anthony Smith Another handy-sized book ideal for stockings! This delightful little book is full of amusing cartoons with puns galore. This is where you find out that Tourhissts are stray cats, the Meowfia are feared by one and all and see the works of Cat Cubism’s own Purrcasso. It’ll have you groaning and smiling at the same time. Francesca Watson Learn to speak cat(£4.99) is published by Souvenir Press ISBN 9780285642317

66 The Cat  Winter 2013


by John Bradshaw Despite the cat’s popularity, they are still a misunderstood species which is all the more surprising given we share our lives with them. In doing so, we risk greatly impacting on their welfare. As owners, we have a duty of care to ensure the needs of our pets are met under the Animal Welfare Act, 2006. C  at Senseguides the reader in detail through their turbulent history with humans. But not withstanding their chequered past, we now, more than ever, want to learn more about our feline friends. John Bradshaw give us an insight into the cat’s senses, how they perceive the world and their emotional lives. We’ll learn how to create a better environment to meet their needs and ultimately how to improve our cats’ lives by enhancing our understanding. Sure to be a fascinating read for any cat lover and even the most experienced owner is bound to learn something new. Nicky Trevorrow, Behaviour Manager for Cats Protection Cat Sense(£20.00) is published by Allen Lane ( ISBN 9781846145940

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The Cat Winter 2013  

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

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