Catworld DON’T MISS ALL THE TOP CAT COLUMNISTS ... & TOP FELINE EXPERTS www.catworld.co.uk
UK’S FAVOURITE CAT MAGAZINE FOR OVER 36 YEARS
£4.99 DECEMBER 2017 ISSUE 477
FESTIVE IDEAS THAT REALLY
‘TIS THE SEASON .. TO STAY SAFE
HOW TO KEEP YOUR CAT UNDER WRAPS 7
TEDDY BEAR TIMES
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Rescue cats Book reviews Stocking fillers
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December 2017 ● Issue 477 To reach us: Call +44 (0)1903 884988. Or write to: The Editor, Cat World, PO Box 2258, PULBOROUGH RH20 9BA Great Britain email: email@example.com Website: www.catworld.co.uk US office: Ashdown Inc., 68132 250th Avenue, Kasson, MN 55944, USA. Tel: 507 634 3143 email: firstname.lastname@example.org Editor: Jill Mundy email: email@example.com Advertisement sales: UK office: Maria Fitzgerald Email: firstname.lastname@example.org US office: Sara Vix Email: email@example.com Design: Richard Jennings & Wendy Crosthwaite Subscriptions: UK: firstname.lastname@example.org US: email@example.com Published by ashdown.co.uk. ISSN 0961 - 0944 Distributed to the newstrade by Comag.
Subscription prices: One year: (12 issues) UK £59.99. European and worldwide prices will be adjusted to local currencies. See online for details at www.catworld.co.uk or please call +44 (0)1903 884988. All of our subscriptions are handled by us at CW.
theinsidetrack 4 MEWS ROUND The latest feline headlines
34 LOST AND HOPEFUL
6 LOOKING GOOD Winter coat care
36 SAFETY ALWAYS
8 ON THE EDGE Catch up with Katy
38 FENCE FOR RESCUE
9 TEACHING CAT CARE BVA’s education plans
41 LOUIE’S LEGACY
10 SEASONAL SAFETY
44 BREED PROFILE
14 CIRCUS WORRIES
48 MEET THE AUTHOR
Advice for a happy Christmas An update from Animal Defenders International
16 BIG CATS
The secretive caracal
18 CHARITY FOSTERING Feline Cat Care Rescue
20 CHRISTMAS CHECKLIST
Don’t get caught out this Christmas
22 CATS ARE NOT FOR CHRISTMAS How to not disappoint someone wishing for a cat
23 GIFTS AND GIVING Gift ideas from Webbox
Postmaster: Send address corrections to Ashdown Inc, 68132 250th Avenue, Kasson, MN 55944, USA. Canada Post International Publications Mail - Sales Agreement No. 546038. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without the written permission of the publisher is prohibited. All editorial contributions are welcomed by Cat World but material is accepted solely on the basis that the author accepts the assessment of the Publisher as to its commercial value. All material submitted to the magazine for publication in whatever form is accepted solely on the basis that copyright in the work will be vested in the publisher who assumes all
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rights worldwide, in all forms and in all media.
32 CHARITY FOCUS
© copyright ashdown.co.uk
Heritage Crafts kits
28 KITTY COVERS
Great books for gifts or yourself
Stocking fillers from animal charities Help animals when you buy presents
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The lucky cats land at rescues ProtectaPet has animals at heart BCWR called on ProtectaPet for security A calendar for a US animal charity The terrific Tonkinese Sandy Lerner, author of Caticons
50 BOARDING HOUSE DIARY Cat meets toy bird…
52 KITTEN LOVE
Nala has won everyone’s heart
54 FEED THEM WELL
Inga MacKellar’s diet advice
56 TALKING CAT
Kim gets help decorating
58 CONFESSIONS OF A CAT LOVER What makes a cat person?
60 ASK THE EXPERTS
Health and behaviour worries
62 GORDY & ME
Cat care of the feline kind
64 LEADING CONCERNS
Debating a lead and harness
66 NOT FOR DUMPING
Rescue centres see surge in kittens
68 NATURAL HEALTH
The pancreas has a lot to answer for
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afurrywarmwelcome Ok, I have to admit it…I have started Christmas shopping. It still seems too early but perhaps I’m in denial that December is almost here. However, looking through all the websites and catalogues for this festive issue gave me so many ideas for presents that I found myself in the mood and hey presto! Lots of gifts already bought and I have donated a little bit to some animal charities too. With so much focus at this time of year on the elderly and alone, the feature about volunteering at your charity shop or rescue centre seems like such a great idea…why haven’t we thought about that before! There are so many ways in which we can help cats but also how cats can help people too. I hope this issue will inspire you to become more involved in helping cats either in your local area or maybe the beautiful but endangered big cats overseas. However you decide to spend the next few weeks, I hope Cat World makes it even more enjoyable. Till next month
Jill & the team 70 CAT LADY INVESTIGATES Ninety years of cat care
71 FUN PAGE
Festive fun for you
72 DON’T BE LONELY
Volunteering can ease loneliness
73 PAW POST
Your letters to us
74 SHOW DATES
Forthcoming cat shows around the UK and Ireland
Want to write or report for CW? We’d love to hear from you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
75 POSTAL CATS
The role of cats at the Post Office
76 NURSE’S NOTES
A feline firework fright
77 PASHA & TANNI
Pasha gets himself trapped
78 TOYS & TREATS Spoil your cat wisely 82 TAIL END
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OUR ROVING REPORTERS BRING YOU ALL THE CAT NEWS, GOSSIP, HEALTH AND MORE. EMAIL JILL@ASHDOWN.CO.UK In the line of duty A cat loving US police woman has so far rescued more than 60 cats and kittens. Two years ago Gretchen began feeding stray cats while out on patrol. When a group of stray cats was moved in to the police station she worked from, she began feeding those too. One of the cats had kittens but with four cats at home already, all she could do was nurse them and then find a home for each of them, which she did. She now turns to social media to rehome many other strays she has come across, always caring for them at her home initially to ensure they are happy and healthy before she passes them on. Gretchen finds coming home to kittens is the best way to de-stress after a busy day on the beat.
Firework safety Research by vet charity PDSA has revealed that thousands of dog and cat owners report that their pets are afraid of fireworks, with more than a thousand pets being seen at its pet hospitals in the last 12 months for fireworks-related issues such as phobias and injuries. To help pet owners reduce their pets’ fears, the charity is urging people to take action early. Thanks to funding from the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, PDSA’s expert vets have produced a step-by-step Fireworks Ready guide for owners to help them prepare their pets. The Fireworks Ready action plan takes owners through the process of preparing pets for fireworks season, use of pheromones and sound CDs, how to build a noise-reducing fireworks den for pets, plus a checklist for the day itself. Go to pdsa.org.uk/fireworksready
Blue Cross vet nurse of the year Fiona Leathers from Bonnybridge has been named ‘Vet Nurse of the Year’ by Blue Cross pet charity. Fiona, who is a veterinary nurse at A & G Vets in Falkirk village, received 16 nominations from clients and colleagues. She was nominated for going “above and beyond when it comes to looking after pets” and for making her clients “feel more like a friend” Fiona was presented with her award by Kath Urwin, Veterinary Clinical Manager at Blue Cross Friday 6 October at the British Veterinary Nursing Association (BVNA) Congress in Telford, Shropshire. Fiona said: “I was speechless when I heard I had won this year’s Vet Nurse of the Year award, which, as everyone who knows me can tell you, doesn’t happen very often! I was truly gobsmacked, delighted and grateful to everyone who nominated me.”
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Japan stray numbers drop Over the past ten years, the numbers of cats being admitted to shelters in Japan has dropped dramatically, by around 70%, according to recent press reports. There are far less cats being euthanised too. One enterprising cat cafe decided that the way to highlight the plight of stray cats needing loving homes was to convert a passenger train into a ‘pop-up’ cat cafe for the morning commute. Travellers were delighted to find 30 playful kittens accompanying them on their way to work and were certainly kept a-mews-ed.
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Malaysian mystery Relatives of a deceased man were mystified when a white cat appeared at his funeral and refused to leave the man’s grave, despite numerous attempts to remove it. The mysterious feline mourner began by circling the grave and then lay on top of
the mounded earth, quite peacefully, once the burial was complete. Family members said that although the deceased was a cat lover, they did not think the cat was a pet and most likely lived near the mosque in the man’s hometown. Regular readers will
see similarities between this story and the legend that surrounds the origins of the Birman breed, featured in last month’s Cat World, where white cats living at a temple were believed to be dead priests, paying homage to a particular goddess.
Fundraising for Félicette The use of animals in scientific experiments is despised by all animal lovers. Félicette, pictured far right, was once part of a scientific space experiment. She survived her space flight of just 13 minutes and was returned to the French space programme’s laboratory. Sadly, just a few months later, she was put to sleep so that the effects on her brain could be studied. Since then, thankfully, no more cats, dogs or primates have been sent into space. Now, Matthew Serge Guy has launched a campaign to raise £40,000 for a bronze statue to be installed in Paris to commemorate Félicette’s sacrifice for scientific research. Matthew said: “I became fascinated with Félicette’s story, how it had been forgotten over the years and misattributed. I felt like something big should be done to right these wrongs. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sergethe w/1584820724?ref=4bv8rr&token=ec5777b0
PAWS FOR THOUGHT “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.” —Albert Schweitzer
WIN! Paw Prints in the Butter As winter approaches, what better way is there to spend a cold, dark evening than curled up with your favourite feline and a good book? Paw Prints in the Butter, by Patricia Feinberg Stoner, will have you smiling and chuckling through the winter. This wonderful collection of poems explores our beloved feline friends and the situations they get themselves and their owners into with humour and compassion. Among the cats we meet inside the book are ‘Lulu the Terrible’ and The Cat Who Howls in the Night’. There are many more and I’m sure we all have our own feline characters who we may well identify with some of the cats captured in rhyme. Paw Prints in the Butter is available through Amazon and we have two copies of the book to give away to two lucky readers. ● All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning is send an email to email@example.com with the answer to this question: How many toes does a cat usually have on a back paw?
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How to keep kitty looking We all like to get dressed up for Christmas so why not give your cat a treat and help him look his best for the festive season too
ost of us like to put on a special outfit for Christmas Day or, as is very popular these days, invest in a Christmas jumper. Sparkly or comical, these have sold in their thousands in recent years and have become part and parcel of Christmas tradition for many families. I have to confess that I have a festive apron that I wear when I’m cooking the family lunch and I make sure I book a hair appointment in good time so I am looking my best and I am not constantly bothered by hair falling over my eyes while I am cooking, eating or doing a spot of last-minute present wrapping. So while we are rushing around stocking up on gifts, food and the odd bottle of booze, we should make time to get our pets groomed and looking their best too. Here is a quick guide to get maximum effect from minimum effort. If your cat’s coat is looking sleek
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BY CORINNE MANSFIELD and shiny, not only will he look lovely but it is a sign that he is in good health too. For the purposes of this feature, I will assume that you are feeding kitty a good quality, healthy and well balanced diet that will mean his coat is already in tip-top condition so that all you have to do is help him to look after it. Most cats, except the old and infirm, will groom themselves regularly but that doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate being brushed by their owner. Brushing your cat’s coat will keep it looking healthy but will also remove any loose hairs, reducing the risk of hairballs. It also allows you to spend a little time with your cat to improve the bond between you. Short haired cats will only require brushing once a week but those with long hair will benefit from a few minutes of brushing daily. Massage your cat’s coat against the direction of the hair growth to loosen the dead hairs.
Gently brush the coat along the direction of the hairs, starting at the head, along his back and flanks and finishing with the tail. Finally, wearing a grooming glove, smooth over the coat with your hands. You can also buy grooming pads to do the same job. Even cats such as the Sphynx will appreciate a gentle smooth over with a soft cloth or chamois leather. For long haired cats, a wide toothed comb should be used instead of a brush. If you find any knots, gently tease them apart with your fingers. Winter weather can be muddy and messy, especially if it turns cold and icy, so if kitty goes outside, take care of his paws too. Grit used to de-ice paths and roads can get caught it a cat’s paws and if he then licks his paws to groom himself, it could be ingested. Some of these products can be highly toxic so try to wipe paws as soon as kitty comes inside. Many vets and pet stores sell special grooming wipes that are designed to wipe the cats’ paws and coat and contain anti-bacterial properties. Usually supplied in a handy resealable pack, they are easily stored by a door or catflap. Only groom your cat when he is calm and relaxed and only for as long as he is happy for you to do so. Cats should be introduced to being groomed as a kitten if possible and the amount of time spent grooming increased very gradually. Never force your cat to be groomed if he isn’t happy to be handled or brushed.
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king good this Christmas
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ON THE EDGE THE ADVENTURES OF TWENTY-SOMETHING CAT LOVER KATY EDGE
Ode to Widget - or, how do you frustrate and puzzle me? Let me count the ways… cats have many odd habits but doesn’t that make us love them even more?
ave I mentioned recently what a strange animal my cat Widget is? We’re newly fosterkitten-free, having recently handed back our very exuberant third litter, and I’ve been taking some time to reconnect with my resident feline family. Or rather, Widget has been taking time to remind me what a colossal weirdo he is. With the kittens, Widget was a sort of grumpy, curmudgeonly uncle. He’d let them pass by him before swearing in their general direction (I don’t speak cat but there were definitely some fourletter meows in there). He’d frame them for hiding things. He’d whinge about them behind their backs. He’d generally play the part of an elder who demands respect from the young – which would be fair enough, were he not barely out of kittenhood himself. (His last vet visit went something like this – Me: He doesn’t move around much and when he does he’s rather awkward. Vet: Ah, well, he
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is getting on a bit, aren’t you, you poor old gent? Me: He’s three. Vet: Oh.) I’ve never been able to figure out his relationship with my girl cat, Happee. Happee is the closest thing to a normal cat I’ve got; she claws carpets, chirrups for attention, dislikes water and belly touching, and will trade face rubs for ear scratches. Aged eight now (how on earth do I, a lady of delicate youth, have an eight-year-old cat!?), she appreciates the quiet life. However, I’ve seen her openly and brazenly set Widget up to get him into trouble. She’ll pretend to be friendly – Widget wants to be her friend above all things – before swiping him in the face and pretending he hit her. Poor Widge may not be innocent but he’s a simple fellow and easily falls foul of her scheming. Widget is the only cat I’ve ever known who will pass up pieces of ham for French fries. Only last week he ran off with an empty Sausage McMuffin wrapper, holding it aloft
like it was the rarest and most precious treasure known to catkind. His love for kitchen sponges is well documented (in this column, no less) and his fondness for sleeping in his carrier, the same day that he has been transported to the vet in said carrier, is canon. To say that his meowing sounds like fingernails on a blackboard is to significantly downplay the melodic potential of fingernails and blackboards. But did you also know that his favourite sleeping place is with his face propped on the hoover – the very hoover that, when hoovering, is his greatest nemesis? And don’t even get me started on sleeping positions. Widget is not famed for his poise and still less for his guile. He is often to be found upside-down on the floor or in a box,
paws akimbo or failing to be stealthy under a pile of clothes. I recently had to postpone doing the recycling because Widget had fallen asleep on the bin. Yet somehow, this is also the cat that has amassed more nicknames than any other of our menagerie (my friend will address him only as Sir Widginald von Wideface – “It’s pronounced widee-fa-SAY!”). For reasons unknown, my family and most of our visitors speak to him in French. And he’s renowned at my work, to the point where the most fitting leaving present for a colleague last month was a 2018 ‘Widget Calendar’. Yeah, he may be an oddball - but he’s our oddball. I just hope the next litter of foster kittens are a resilient bunch…
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Teaching children about looking after animals Children love stroking animals but when it comes to knowing how to care for them and respecting their needs, only a quarter of them learn about this at school
BY CORINNE MANSFIELD
t is always important for children to be aware of how to care for their pets correctly so the Veterinary Animal Welfare Coalition - which includes the British Veterinary Association (BVA), BVNA and charities Blue Cross, PDSA and RSPCA - has launched a set of stickers as an educational tool for vets, teachers and parents. The release of the stickers coincides with the tenth anniversary of the Animal Welfare Act and the stickers have been designed to be used as a fun way of introducing and discussing the five vital needs of animals as described in the UK’s Animal Welfare Act. These are: ● the provision of a suitable living environment ● a suitable diet ● the need to exhibit normal behaviour ● to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease Figures released by the BVA show that 85% of school children have never heard of the five animal welfare needs yet it is at primary school age when most vets decide they want animal care to be their profession. Half of all young vets taking part in the BVA’s recent Voice of the Veterinary Profession survey had decided on a career in veterinary medicine by the time they were ten years of age and 76% said their choice was driven by an interest in caring for animals.
Adversely, a report by the PDSA showed that despite over half of all UK households owning at least one pet, only around 25% of children have been taught how to look after pets at school. The BVA hopes that by teaching children about the five welfare needs, they will talk about them at home with their friends and family. It is hoped that this will not only improve responsible ownership but will also instil in young people a lasting respect and compassion for all animals, not just those in their own homes. BVA President, John Fishwick, said: “Year on year, irresponsible ownership and lack of owner understanding for pets’ needs comes out in vets’ top three concerns. Educating children and young adults about the five welfare needs of animals is an invaluable step towards ensuring that the next generation not only values the humananimal bond but is aware of its responsibilities towards pets. “We hope that using these stickers and holding sessions on animal welfare at school, local groups or in practice will translate to happy pet owners and, indeed, happy healthy pets too.” ● To
order a set of five welfare need stickers for free, email media@bva. co.uk with the requested amount (max 10 sheets/150 stickers) and a postal address. C AT W O R L D
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Celebrate in style but with safety in mind The festive season is an enjoyable time of celebration and partying but there are some potential hidden dangers for your cat that could ultimately spoil the fun
BY SONJA K STEINER
s the festive season approaches, our feline friends have some potential hazards to contend with. For some cats, their routine gets disturbed and they become anxious. With a little bit of preparation, you can enjoy the Christmas activities and create as little stress for your cat as possible. Christmas is a time when family and friends may come to visit and whilst humans enjoy the hustle and bustle, cats are the complete opposite - they like peace, quiet and routine so unfamiliar noises such as Christmas crackers, party poppers and balloons being popped could cause upset to a cat, resulting in them panicking and trying to escape. This can be more problematic if they are an indoor cat and not familiar with being outside. A stressed-out cat whose routine has been disturbed can be more prone to feline lower urinary tract disease so it might be worth getting your cat used to another room in the house where they can have some peace and quiet. Catnip can be placed onto unfamiliar items if they are particularly nervous and a synthetic pheromone may help induce a calming effect as it replicates their own natural pheromone that they produce when they feel safe and secure. There are many potential hazards that can cause harm, especially over the festive and winter period, such as antifreeze, batteries, candles, Christ-
mas decorations and trees, flowers and plants, and food but if you are aware of their potential dangers, you can try to avoid them wherever possible.
Decorations Real Christmas trees only have a low level of toxicity but if cats chew the needles it could cause a gastrointestinal upset such as diarrhoea and vomiting or even intestinal perforation. If you can, choose a tree with â€˜non-dropâ€™ needles, vacuum regularly and water the tree well to prevent it drying out as this will minimise the needle drop. It is advisable to avoid leaving your cat unsupervised in the room where the tree is. Of course, we also have artificial trees, some of which may already be sprayed so it looks like they have been dipped in snow; you can also buy artificial snow but this is best avoided as it is toxic to cats. We all know that some cats and kittens are more destructive and inquisitive than others so if your cats have a tendency for chewing things then it is worth being cautious, especially if you have Christmas lights. Check the wires on the lights for any signs of fraying or chewing before you put them up. Cats who have a preference for chewing could get an electric shock if they try to gnaw their way through the electric cable and this could cause tongue lacerations and possible death. Then we come to the Christmas
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SEASONAL SAFETY decorations themselves - another potential attraction to our furry friends and although ribbon and tinsel are not toxic, their appearance can attract a catâ€™s attention as they reflect light and can move with the slightest draft, making them very appealing to a playful cat! However, if they were to be eaten they could cause choking or they could twist and bunch inside the cat, causing an intestinal obstruction which would require immediate veterinary intervention, otherwise it could be fatal.
choking hazard. If you can, try and place the decorations higher up on the tree. Keep your Christmas wrapping paper and any toys off the floor to avoid your cat chewing or swallowing those too. If you use candles try to put them out of the reach of your cat, the last thing you want is your cat knocking them over thus creating a fire hazard. Hot wax can easily burn the pads of catsâ€™ paws.
Baubles on the tree, especially those made from glass, are yet another temptation for a cat. If they are placed on the lower branches of the tree there is a higher risk that they can be easily knocked off which may cause them to smash and shatter on the floor, potentially causing an injury to your cat if they step on them. Also, your cat could chew and swallow these fragile objects, so not only can the broken pieces form sharp edges that may lacerate your catâ€™s mouth, throat and intestines, they could also become a
When we think of Christmas plants, the poinsettia is one of our favourites. Cats will rarely eat poisonous plants such as festive berries, holly, lilies, mistletoe and poinsettia due to them being unpalatable; however, if they brush past them there is always the chance that the cat could then lick their coat, ingesting some of the pollen. Since these plants are all toxic to cats, it is advisable to keep them out of their reach. This is especially important where lilies are concerned as they contain a toxic crystalline alkaloid called Lycorine. If you suspect that your cat could have ingested any of the pollen, please seek immediate
Around the home
veterinary attention. With electronic gadgets often being given as presents, many households may have batteries in store and whilst the ingestion of batteries is more prevalent in dogs than cats, it is more common during the festive season. All batteries are dangerous but there is more likelihood of the small round lithium batteries being ingested as they could be mistaken for a treat. If the battery is chewed and pierced it can cause chemical burns and metal poisoning and if it is swallowed whole it is possible that it could cause an obstruction. Any battery is potentially toxic so if you suspect your cat has come into contact with one, please do speak to your veterinary surgeon.
Food Chocolate toxicity is the most common problem seen during the festive period. Chocolate contains theobromine so the higher the cocoa content, the more toxic it is, meaning that dark chocolate is the worst; however, theobromine is present in all chocolate, even chocolate cake, and should be avoided. Cats who ingest chocolate can suffer from heart problems, muscle tremors or seizures. If you happen to have a box of chocolates wrapped up by the tree or sweets hanging from the tree it is advisable to keep them well out of reach. Onion and garlic can be toxic to cats as they contain compounds which destroy red blood cells. Grapes, raisins and dried fruit are found in many festive foods such as Christmas cake, pudding and mince pies and can cause kidney failure. Nuts are poisonous to many pets including cats and
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SEASONAL SAFETY their consumption should be avoided. The same applies to blue cheese. Cats have sensitive digestive systems and any sudden change in diet can lead to potential digestive problems, so whilst it might be tempting to give your cat some of your Christmas dinner, as well intended as it might be, it could cause indigestion and in some cases vomiting and diarrhoea. Cats are not used to eating rich or fatty foods so apart from the fact that it could lead to them putting on excess weight, eating fatty foods could trigger pancreatitis. If you are having turkey, be aware that the bones can cause choking, constipation or damage to your cat’s intestines. If you are wanting to give your cat a treat then ensure they are specifically for cats. If you are at all concerned that your feline friend has eaten any food that may cause them harm, seek immediate veterinary advice.
Outside the home As the weather gets colder and frost appears, many people begin to use anti-freeze in their cars. As it is sweet in taste, it is palatable to cats but if they ingest even a small amount it can cause serious kidney damage and be life threatening. If you suspect your cat may have ingested some, please take them to see a vet as a matter of urgency as the longer the delay between ingestion and the start of treatment, the less favourable the outcome can be. Whilst out on their daily ventures, some cats may look for warmth and climb under a car’s wheel arches or into the vehicle engine. If your car is routinely parked on the driveway or roadside, before you reach for the de-icer, tap on the bonnet. Also check under the bonnet of your vehicle just to make sure a cat has not made its way beneath. If you can, try to avoid salt and chemical melting products on your driveway as these can be toxic to cats, especially if any gets onto their paws. When they clean themselves they could ingest some of the products so
if your cat has been outside, wipe their paws to remove as much residue as possible. When it is cold, cats can look for shelter in sheds, garages and outbuildings so keep the doors either shut or wedged open, so that cats do not become trapped. More cats tend to go missing in the winter months as many lose their bearings. It is advisable to have your cat microchipped and, if you have moved address, that the database holder has your new contact details, including an up to date phone number. If your cat goes missing you can be reunited much quicker. In the winter, try to let your cat outside when temperatures are warmer and avoid the peak traffic hours. Check your cat flap on a regular basis to ensure it has not frozen over or become blocked by snow. Try to keep your cat indoors during the dark hours, when there is a greater risk of cats being involved in road traffic accidents, theft and physical attacks. With a lot of people setting off fireworks on New Year’s Eve it is advisable to try and keep your cat inside, where they feel safe and secure, to minimise
their stress levels. If your cat is uninsured, have you considered taking out a policy? Vet bills, especially for emergency vet treatment, can run into hundreds of pounds if not more, so they are definitely worth the peace of mind for the sake of a few pounds a month. Depending on your budget, do try to get ‘cover for life’ or ‘lifetime cover’. Make sure you have enough supplies to get you through the festive season if your cat is on regular medication or prescription food. It is worth noting that if you are wanting to offer a cat or kitten a home in time for Christmas, the majority of rescues stop rehoming in the lead up to the festive period until the New Year. This is because cats need time to settle in and get used to their new owners and surroundings and the hustle and bustle of this busy period could cause them unnecessary stress. Whilst there are so many hazards that can potentially affect a cat, prevention, as they say, is better than cure. By being aware of them as a cat owner, you can prevent your feline friend from coming to harm and you can all enjoy the festive and winter period. C AT W O R L D
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A LIFE NOT WORTH LIVING BY AMANDA BARKER
ormer Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus big cat trainer Alexander Lacey is back performing in Europe following his controversial departure from the US last month. Footage released by Animal Defenders International shows the British-born trainer with his lions and tigers at the ‘Grande Fête Lilloise du Cirque’ as the event opened in Lille, France over the weekend and where Lacey will be performing until 12 November before moving to Germany. Lacey left the United States last month under a cloud following the closure of Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus and leaving a tiger called Suzy shot dead in Georgia after the animal escaped without anyone realising. The new footage from ADI shows an archaic circus performance and the animals forced to live in mobile cages on the backs of trucks, despite a claim when justifying the export of the tigers to Europe that they were: “for the purpose of enhancement of the sur-
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vival of the species.” Twelve of Alexander Lacey’s fourteen big cats – seven tigers and five lions – perform in the 8-minute show which opens with the animals sat on stools, some in a ‘begging’ position. During the act, the big cats jump from stool to stool and over one another, snarling and swiping at the trainer on cue. One by one they leave the ring until just one remains, a male lion, with whom Lacey gives the obligatory ‘circus big cat kiss’. The big cats are housed in a series of cages, each with access to a small exercise area, sited on gravel and containing just a ball, the animals’ only enrichment. During ADI’s observations animals remained in their cages, with lions, tigers and the leopard documented pacing back and forth. These repetitive, abnor-
mal movements known as stereotypic behaviour are commonly seen in circus animals but never in the wild. Tim Phillips, President of Animal Defenders International, said: “The plight of these animals symbolizes everything that is wrong with the use of animals in travelling circuses. They are forced to live in cages on the backs of trucks and shunted from one country to another. The lives of these animals are miserable and, as we saw tragically in Georgia, the public and the animals themselves are put at risk. Forty countries have taken steps to outlaw this but we urgently need more countries to act to end circus suffering.” Over the years, ADI has caught on film a catalogue of abuse at circuses owned by Lacey’s father Martin Lacey Sr. ADI video evidence showed elephants were chained daily for up to 11 hours and lions and tigers confined in transporters 27 hours for a journey time of 3 hours 25 minutes. Expert analysis of scientific evidence commis-
sioned by the Welsh Government and undertaken by Professor Stephen Harris at Bristol University last year concluded, ‘The available scientific evidence indicates that captive wild animals in circuses and other travelling animal shows do not achieve their optimal welfare requirements.’ The report stated that ‘Life for wild animals in travelling circuses…does not appear to constitute either a ‘good life’ or a ‘life worth living’.’ The British Veterinary Association concludes that ‘The welfare needs of nondomesticated, wild animals cannot be met within a travelling circus - in terms of housing or being able to express normal behaviour.’ In the UK, the Scottish Government has introduced a bill to ban wild animal acts, while a similar commitment for England has yet to progress, despite legislation being drafted, scrutinised and ready to go. Please visit www.ad-international. org for more information. Watch the video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v =LcllUmBTvpY&feature=yo utu.be
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Available from all good pet stores
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Caracal - the largest of Africa’s small cats With its distinctive black ear tips the caracal is a stunning sight - but these secretive creatures like to keep out of the limelight. Nevertheless, they are endangered in certain countries
BY YOLANDA WESSELS
he caracal, most closely related to the African golden cat, is a medium-sized feline native to Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and India. Caracals are the largest member of Africa’s small cats. The name is derived from the Turkish word, ‘karakulak’, meaning ‘black ear’. These secretive, nocturnal, territorial, solitary felines are widespread within southern Africa and especially the Western and Eastern Cape of South Africa. In South Africa, the caracal is also known as a ‘rooikat’. Caracal inhabit forests, savannas, woodlands, mountainous regions, semi-deserts and scrub forests. Dry areas with low rainfall and availability of cover are preferred. They can survive long periods without water, obtaining the requirement from the metabolic moisture of its prey.
Appearance The caracal is a medium-sized, robustly built cat with long powerful legs, large paws, a short face, a short tail and distinguishing long hair tufts on the tips of their ears. They have short, dense coats and the colour ranges from light sandy to reddish-fawn, light cinnamon to deep brownish-red, reddish-grey or rich brick-red. The fur - soft, short and dense - grows coarser in the summer. The ground hairs (the basal layer of hair covering the coat) are denser in winter than in summer. The ventral parts are lighter with small
reddish markings. The backs of the ears are black and topped with long black tufts about 4.5 centimetres long. The ears are controlled by 20 different muscles. The long tufts are thought to enhance their hearing by directing sound waves into ears. Prominent facial features include two black stripes from the forehead to the nose, the black outline of the mouth, the distinctive black facial markings, and the white patches surrounding the eyes and the mouth. The hind legs are longer than the forelegs, so that the body appears to be sloping downward from the rump. Their powerful hindquarters can launch caracals three meters into the air from a sitting position. Their claws, sharp and retractable (able to be drawn in), are larger but less curved in the hind legs. Males weigh between 12-18kg and females 8-13kg. Vocalisations include growls, spits, hisses and meows.
Hunting Adult males hold territories which they patrol widely, mark with urine and scats, and defend against other adult males. Male ranges are up to three times larger than female ranges and may overlap the ranges of several females. Caracals spend virtually all their time on the ground but are also adept at climbing trees and masses of broken rock when they need to. They typically prey upon small mammals like squirrels, monkeys, dassies (hyraxes), birds and rodents but can also bring down larger prey like Reedbuck and Duiker. They stalk their prey until it is within five metres, run it down and kill it with a bite to the throat or the back of the neck. The caracal’s speed and agility makes it an efficient hunter, able to take down prey two to three times its own size. Caracals are known for their acrobatics and use their agile leaping and climbing ability to catch hyraxes in rocks and birds from the air. They often have to compete for prey with foxes, wolves, leopards and hyena.
Reproduction Both sexes become sexually mature at around one year of age. Breeding takes place throughout the year. The pair separate after copulation. After a gestation period of approximately seventy eight days, one to six kittens are born. Births generally peak between October and February.
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The caracal’s speed and agility makes it an efficient hunter.
Birth takes place in dense vegetation or deserted aardvark and porcupine burrows. Kittens will begin taking solid food at six weeks old and are weaned at ten weeks. They will make their first kill at approximately three months of age. Cubs remain with their mothers for up to a year, although a few females stay back with their mothers. The average lifespan of the caracal in captivity is nearly 16 years.
Threats The caracal is categorised as ‘Least Concern’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN). The actual number of caracals in the wild is unknown and so a thorough assessment of their population status is not possible. In central, west, north and northeast Africa and Asia, the major threat to the survival of the caracal is habitat loss due to agricultural expansion and desertification. Caracals are also threatened by severe habitat loss as people move further into their territory and their prey species are driven out. Hunting for skins and bush meat is a threat in Central and West Africa. Caracal are often killed in retaliation for preying on small livestock. The African caracal population is not protected over most of their range, while the Asian population is protected over half their range and is listed as endangered by some agencies; the Indian subspecies is highly endangered. C AT W O R L D
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Becoming a fosterer is so worthwhile Feline Cat Care Rescue, like all rescue centres, is often bursting at the seams and relies on trained foster carers to look after some of the cats and kittens
ithout a constant and loyal band of fosterers, many cat rescues would be completely lost. It is not unusual for rescues to have a network of foster carers who have a spare bedroom with one or more felines temporarily in residence. In some cases visiting cats are even able to be integrated with the family or individual’s own cats, depending on their circumstances, the history and temperament of all cats involved, not to mention the experience of the fosterer. Full back up and support is usually given by the rescue, including costs such as any necessary veterinary care. Many people can be deterred from fostering as the thought of a bond forming and then having to say sad goodbyes can be a daunting prospect. The truth of the matter is that without fosterers many cats would have nowhere to go and the pain of goodbyes is far outweighed by the happiness felt when a cat finds their happy-ever-after home. The fosterer is an integral part of the process and one of the main reasons the cat was given a second chance in the first place, which all cats deserve. At Feline Care Cat Rescue there are a number of fosterers who look after pregnant queens, cats who have just given birth or who are in the early stages of taking care of their kittens and need extra support and tic and who have, for one reason or another, found themselves without a home and
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BY TINA READ the safety a new kitten family needs to have a happy and healthy start in life. Some kittens sadly arrive without a mother and require round the clock feeds and when possible, integration into another litter if an opportunity arises. Julie Wilkinson is one of the fantastic team of volunteers at FCCR and also a long term fosterer, whose spare room is now permanently reserved for her temporary charges and is dedicated to every aspect of their care. This is how Julie feels about her role as a fosterer for FCCR: “For me one of the most rewarding aspects of fostering is looking back at pictures and seeing their transformation - how the tiny and sometimes malnourished kittens and scared pregnant mum cats change for the better over the months they are here. I can’t keep them all but I show them all the love I can. I do my best to improve their
quality of life straight away when they arrive, in whatever state they are in (sometimes a very sorry sight), making them feel safer than they ever have up until then. It is a fantastic feeling to watch them grow with confidence as they look at me trustingly and come to meet me in the mornings when I give them breakfast. Keeping in touch with their new families over the past few years about how they are all settling into their forever homes makes all the worry worth it.” In order to foster litters, kittens experience is essential and a willingness to be available for night feeds. However, there are many opportunities for fostering adult and elderly cats with local or national rescues, which makes a world of difference to the cats lucky enough to have a second chance. If you are interested in becoming a fosterer, please contact Feline Care Cat Rescue on 01953 718529.
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Emerisle - RAGDOLLS Reasonably priced Ragdoll kittens available with wonderful personalities. Vaccinated, vet checked, GCCF reg. and insured. Scottish Fold kittens also available.Specialising in Ragdolls since 1988. 11 years running P.R.B.C.C. Breeder of the year winner.
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Coping with Christma Here’s a handy list of things to check and do that will ensure you and your cat have the best of times over the approaching festive season
Christmas opening hours - check the Christmas opening hours of your veterinary surgery and keep a note of their emergency contact number in case there is a problem and you need to call them urgently. Most surgeries will offer a 24 emergency service but it might be one of a group of surgeries and not always your own local one that will respond to your call. Health - make sure all vaccinations and flea treatments are up to date, especially if you are going away and your cat will be visiting a cattery. Ask visitors not to give your cat treats
without checking with you first…they may offer something like chocolate if they don’t know it is harmful to cats or, if everyone offers kitty a little extra, she will soon be piling on unnecessary weight. Routine - during all the excitement and preparation for Christmas, it can be easy to step out of routine but remember that routine is important for a cat. Try to stick to usual meal times as much as possible and find time to groom and play with your cat, preferably somewhere quiet and peaceful. Insurance - like a seasonal ‘old ches-
nut’, insurance comes round again and again but the cost of an emergency vet consultation or call out can be very expensive so having an insurance policy in place well before the middle of December will give you peace of mind that if your cat should suddenly need veterinary treatment, the cost should be recoverable. Christmas and January are usually expensive enough without the worry of a large vet bill to contend with. Shopping - stock up with kitty’s favourite food and treats so that you don’t find you have suddenly run out
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tmas spelt out for you
when the shops are closed. Nowadays there is usually a mini-supermarket or convenience store open for a few hours but it isnâ€™t always convenient or desirable to have to trek out on Christmas Day. Traffic - many of us will go out and about visiting friends and relatives at this time of year or they will come to us. If you have visitors arriving by car and they are not used to thinking about cats, ask them to be especially careful and check under their bonnet before driving off again if the weather is very cold. Alternatively, keep kitty indoors
for a while if possible until visitors have arrived and again before they are about to leave. Medication - if your cat requires regular medication, do make sure that you have sufficient supplies to last over the Christmas period. If you are going away, mention it to your veterinary surgery in good time so that they can adjust the prescription if necessary. Amaryllis - some houseplants, like amaryllis, hyacinths and mistletoe, are more popular at this time of year and are often given as gifts. All of these plants are very toxic to cats so if you
receive one as a gift, please keep it in a room where your cat does not have access or politely rehome it where it can be safely appreciated. Poinsettias are generally not as toxic but some cats can react badly if they nibble at them so these should also be kept out of reach. Seasonal pleasures - Christmas is for celebrating and spending time with loved ones so when all the visiting is finished or if you are staying home with no visitors, sit back, relax and enjoy some peace and quiet in the company of your beloved feline. C AT W O R L D
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Cats should not be Christmas gifts Pleas for a pet are hard to resist but Christmas is a stressful time of year and a new pet will probably find it hard to settle; give a hint instead BY CORRINE MANSFIELD
t can be so tempting to give in and succumb to giving someone a kitten for Christmas. That innocent little face with ‘take-me-home’ eyes, the playful nature, bursts of energy and unconditional love; who wouldn’t find that hard to resist? It’s almost as if kittens represent the essence of Christmas itself. However, while the kitten may seem irresistible and appealing; the reality of giving one as a gift at Christmas time too often ends in disaster. Here are
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some of the reasons why: Imagine Christmas morning in an excited, noisy household. All those strange noises, smells, colours and vibrations are enough to frighten a new pet. For the best start, a pet should be introduced to its new family and home in calm and quiet surroundings, without the loud noises, flashing lights, screeching children, ringing phones and hubbub of visiting company. We all know what happens to half the mountain of toys under the tree that by the afternoon lay broken or discarded. Too many times the child treats the kitten in the same way and is not ready for the care and responsibility that a live pet needs. The excitement inevitably wears off and the once compelling ‘toy’ falls out of favour. A living animal should never be thought of as a toy. If a kitten makes its first appearance as a gift item under the Christmas tree, it is more likely to be thought of by children as an object – a thing - like a toy that can be discarded rather than as a family member. This will not teach one of the most valuable lessons there is to learn from a cat, which is respect for living beings and concern for others in
the form of attention to their needs. It is often between the ages of 7-14 months that the new pet is brought to the rescue centre by a frustrated owner as a ‘nasty’ cat or as a pet with ‘behaviour problems’. Sadly, the chances are that nobody else wants an untrained, unsocialised pet with behaviour problems. But don’t give up on this gift idea altogether. Here’s how you can make it work so that the kitten or cat is not put at risk. If you are absolutely set upon getting a pet for Christmas, consider this alternative; purchase some supplies instead, such as a collar, a good book on raising a kitten, a gift certificate for a veterinary checkup or a gift subscription to Cat World magazine! Wrap these up and put them under the tree. As the family member unwraps the various pieces of the ‘puzzle’, their delight and anticipation will grow as they understand what the present is! Then, after the Christmas tree is taken down and the frenzy of the holiday season is over, the family can once again enjoy the anticipation and excitement of discussing and selecting a shelter or breeder, choosing the new family member and so on. This will increase the family’s mutual commitment to and investment in, the well-being of the newest family member and when he does arrive, the new cat or kitten can have the best possible chance of settling in.
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CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE
Naughty or nice, every pet
deserves a Webbox Christmas!
is the season to be jolly, or at least to start thinking about it, and Webbox have a whole host of new festive products for cats to enjoy. Webbox creates innovative food, treats and toys that give your pets not just what they need but also what they really want so they can get more joy out of every single moment. Toys that surprise and excite, food that is droolworthingly tasty and of course super healthy, so they have the vitality to play. At Webbox we try to see the world from their point of view, and we put all of our understanding, love, fun and inventiveness into everything we make. The Webbox Festive range consists of best-selling lines, along with new food and treats, an added festive twist and luxury giftable toys for cats (and ‘
dogs) – in fact, some of them are so good you will want to put them on your Christmas list! With a focus on understanding the three things consumers are looking for at Christmas - quality, gifting and affordability - Webbox is confident that their new range will both surprise and delight your furry friends. New for 2017, Webbox has launched a range of food, treats and toys that even the most stubborn of feline friends won’t be able to resist. Christmas dinner is one of the best meals of the year, even for our
fur babies, and the Webbox Festive range includes their first ever Festive Dinner for cats. Made in Blackburn, Lancashire and available in 140g trays, the Salmon Pate and Festive Three Bird Roast dinners are full of chicken, duck and turkey with a RRP of 80p. Both varieties contain no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives and are packed with meat, meaning cats will certainly be needing a postChristmas meal nap in front of the fire! Every cat will be dashing through the snow and singing sweet Christmas carols when they hear about the firm-favourite Webbox Tasty Sticks and Lick-e-Lix in limited edition, Turkey and Cranberry Festive flavours. Webbox Tasty Sticks RRP at £1 for six sticks and are made with 75% fresh meat and without cereals, these meaty sticks are a favourite with both kittens and adult cats. The ever-popular Licke-Lix, also with an RRP of £1, comes with 5 x 15g sachets in turkey and cranberry flavour. With no added sugar or artificial colours, they are sure to have your cat purring for more! C AT W O R L D
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CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE
HERITAGE CRAFTS’ CROSS STITCH KITS
ross stitch is a wonderful hobby. It is therapeutic, relaxing and rewarding. There is nothing as nice as sitting in a comfortable chair working on your design in the company of your cats. Counted cross stitch is worked from a chart and you start with a plain piece of fabric. As you stitch, the picture appears and it is really exciting to see this happen, especially if the design is of a cat. Warning - cross stitch is addictive but what a lovely addiction! Cross stitch is suitable for all ages. Heritage Crafts’ designs are stitched by six year old children, a lovely lady of 104 and all ages in between. They are stitched by both men and women and designs cater for beginners and for those who like a challenge.
driving!), on a plane, in doctors’ and hospital waiting rooms - and wherever you do it, it is sure to attract interest. There are lots of cat designs that you can stitch for special friends or for yourself. Cross stitch kits also make lovely Christmas presents, large kits for fellow stitchers, smaller ones for beginners and stocking fillers for children. You can also stitch your own greetings cards. Pictured are some of the current cat designs: ‘Cat’ from the ‘Junior +’ range will appeal to children of ten and over but it is also ideal for adult beginners, as is ‘Floating’. The ‘Little Friends’ designs, pictured in the advert on page 26, make attractive little presents for cat lovers, and for really serious stitch-
ers the ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ designs are perfect. Designs with a message are popular, such as ‘Hold on to Your Dreams’, ‘Make Your Dreams Happen’ and ‘Don’t Let it Beat You’. Christmas designs include ‘Sleigh Belle’, ‘It’s Christmas’, ‘I Hate Christmas’ and ‘Happy Crisp Mouse’, featuring the terrible Tiddles. If you would like to make a Christmas card, ‘Christmas Tigger’ is a good choice. ● If you are not a cross stitcher yet, perhaps you will be tempted by the lovely range of designs. There are other designs which don’t feature cats and you can see them all on the Heritage Crafts website www. hcrafts.com
All you need The kits come with charts, full instructions, fabric, needle, and threads, which for most designs are threaded onto cards. Everything is made as straightforward as possible. You can do cross stitch almost everywhere - at home, in the garden, in the car (as long as you are not
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just Google us!
Ornaments, bags, jewellery, scarves, mugs, clocks, gloves, hats, coasters, paperweights, vases, doorstops, cards and a VERY HAPPY PUSSYCAT CHRISTMAS
Is primarily a tribute to cats from the wrong side of the tracks; cats who have survived by living on their wits. It is a true account of former Cats Protection volunteer Heather Cookâ€™s introduction to the shadowy world of wild or feral cats, and her continuing fascination with these brave and beautiful animals.
ÂŁ7.99 ISBN: 978-1-78803-584-2 Paperback Available from Amazon or www.troubador.co.uk
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MAD ABOUT CATS HighCat Quality High Quality ThemedCat Gifts for CatThemed Lovers andGifts their Cats for Cat Lovers
www.madaboutcats.com • Homewares • •
Jewellery Bags & Accessories
Homewares • Jewellery www.madaboutcats.com Collectables • Catnip toys Ticklers Teasers Cat Toys and&Accessories. Toys • CatnipYeowww Toys • Teasers & Ticklers and much more.
Cat Beds Grooming Products 100’s of quality products. www.madcats.co.uk GREAT New stock always arriving. GIFT 100’s ofservice Quality Products. Excellent IDEAS F O Something New! andAlways fast delivery. CHRIST R MAS Secure Online Ordering. Excellent Service & Fast Delivery. • •
Tel: 01942 717667 Tel : 01942 717667
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Purring Angels: The book for cat-lovers! Read the lovely, often hilarious stories about seven cats and a dog. Including other cat stories, poems, info, cats and religion and so much more! Two books in one! Part of the proceeds will go to cats in distress. Order directly from Trafford: http://books.trafford.com/07-0604 Site: www.rietkat.be Donsje wants to tell you something.. Prrrr https://youtu.be/g_No9vXVtL0?list=PL4ZFVDCBndX267 nU7BIG0FGbnns5nUk7i
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A CAT CALLED DOG 2 -
Cats Have Sta˜ The Sa° & Misa Diaries
THE ONE WITH THE KITTENS by Jem Vanston
By Ingrid Hooper
“I recommend this book for the young + young at heart. 5 stars.” NetGalley.com
Out now in paperback and for Kindle.
“The story’s delightful” Thebookbag.co.uk
An ideal Christmas gift for both children + adult cat lovers Follow Pasha & Tanni’s kitten adventures on their blog
Available at Amazon.co.uk: www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1786293382
Paw Prints in ˜ e Bu° er by Patricia Feinberg Stoner
A wonderful collection of poems that highlights traits and situations that come with owning a cat. This is a fun read that will make an ideal gift, for any cat lover. Available worldwide through Amazon for only £3.75. ISBN:9780995746220 www.paw-prints-in-the-butter.com
4 , 0 0 0 Y E A R S O F A R T I M I TAT I N G C AT S “The MUST HAVE book for true cat lovers” - The Purrington Post
Creating a very personal, private homage to all things Cat amassed over the course of more than 30 years, Sandy Lerner has meticulously collected tangible expressions of the special love between cats and their humans. A joyous and intimate journey through the cats of art, prose and poetry, and, of course, the cats of the taste makers and amateurs from the ancient Hittites to Picasso and Giacometti, Caticons celebrates 4,000 years of Art Imitating Cats. Ayrshire House Publishing
www.caticons.info ~ $49.95 plus S&H
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CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE
KITTY COVERS THE BOOKS WE’RE ALL READING AND ROLLING OVER THIS MONTH
A Cat Called Dog 2
A Very Furry Christmas
By Jem Evanston
By Sandy Lerner
By John D Ottini
Priced at £7.99 for the paperback, this book is also available in hardback and as an e-Book. Available at Amazon.co.uk: www.amazon.co.uk/ dp/1786293382
Publisher: Ayrshire House Publishing ISBN: Hard cover 9778-1-5136-2024-4; Soft cover 978-1-5136-2022-0
Priced at £3.78 for the paperback, this book is available through Amazon.co.uk ISBN: 9781517712785 https://jdonovels.wordpress.com https://amazon.com/author/johnottini
In this sequel to the much-loved A Cat Called Dog, we begin the tale with George continuing to teach Dog how to behave like a cat, because that is what he is. For me, it felt like I was back amongst old friends and I couldn’t wait to find out what adventures lay ahead for the old gang. Although this is a sequel, it can be read as a stand alone book and you will soon get to know and love the characters you meet, well most of them anyway. The story centres around three kittens who have escaped from some particularly nasty two-legs, and the journey they all embark on to find and return them to their mum. We meet some interesting animals along the way, from slimy creatures called squiggles to square, black and white monster cats, and even dinosaurs! Once again the story highlights the importance of loyalty, friendship and doing the right thing, even though the right thing may not be what you want to do. It is beautifully written with humour, sensitivity and believable characters. This is truly an adventure that will entertain children and adults alike. About the author: Jem Vanston is a former teacher who now runs his own editing and proof reading agency. Born and brought up in Kent, Jem now lives in Swansea with his two rescue cats, Honey and Bumble, who do their best to distract him from writing whenever and however they can.
When Sandy Lerner discovered that her new husband had an allergy to many animals, she was devastated. Sandy was not to be deterred and so she began collecting cats in all forms of art that she could surround herself with to give her comfort. Now, some thirty years later, she has captured her collection in a fascinating book - ‘Caticons’ - where she can share her collection with everyone who reads it. Thousands of cats in many different forms are pictured over 300 pages - but this is not a picture book. Caticons is a journey through 4,000 years and five continents, discovering how cats have been represented as iconic beings. The pages present hundreds of wonderful photographs and are embellished with text about the collection, written with a certain humour by Sandy, plus numerous poems or pieces of prose, all about our wonderful felines and how they have influenced our lives for centuries. Caticons by Sandy Lerner truly is a treasure trove on paper and is a fascinating read whether you are researching something or just simply appreciating the wonderful photographs of feline-themed items on every page. With the collection ranging from ancient times through to now, there really is plenty to interest and appeal to everyone, whatever your taste. About the author: Sandy Lerner has returned to her rural roots and runs Ayrshire Farm in Virginia, USA. Read more about Sandy on page 48
A Very Furry Christmas is a book of short stories that take place during the Christmas holidays where cats play a very important part in each tale. It is a heartwarming book that reminded me of the importance of love and companionship, and how there can still be magic at Christmas even if situations are sometimes difficult. Each story takes you away from the commercial side of Christmas and makes you think about people that may find it hard at this time of year, while also giving you a happy ending. There is always hope and by unconditional acts of kindness, there can be miracles too. The author writes with compassion and I am sure that many readers will identify with some of the experiences of the characters involved. It is also wonderful to have a collection of short stories at this time of year when many people are too busy to read an entire novel. It is important to note that this book is for adult reading and not for children. About the author: John D. Ottini was born in Northern Italy, raised and educated in Canada and currently resides in Central Florida with his wife and mischievous kitty named Bella. “This book contains four heartwarming Christmas stories about our feline friends and the humans who love them.”
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CHRISTMAS GIFT GUIDE
Tempting gifts from Tattypuss Wild? These Cats are Furious! By Heather Cook ISBN:978-1-78803-584-2 Priced at £7.99, this book is available through Amazon or Troubador: www.troubador.co.uk
This is a tribute to cats from the wrong side of the tracks, cats who have survived by living on their wits, and is a true account of Heather’s introduction to the shadowy world of wild or feral cats and her continuing fascination with these brave and beautiful creatures. Heather is a former Cats Protection volunteer and the book starts with her first encounter with the wilder side of cat rescue, when she and other members of the Woking Group of Cats Protection League were asked to help with feeding a colony of feral cats in the local hospital grounds. (Cats Protection have since dropped the ‘League’ from their name). It transpires that one of the cats is injured and after a trip to the vets, she was to spend the evening with Heather before returning to the colony once she was deemed fit enough. That evening Heather named her Sophie and it will come as no surprise to find out that Sophie never returned to the colony. Sophie is one of many characters that Heather has loved, taken home, worried about and had her life enriched by and we meet a few of them in this wonderful book. We are also re-introduced to the famous Evie and the adorable Benjamin Wobble. Heather writes that she has always had a soft spot for ferals – wonderful spirited cats who have survived abandonment, persecution and callous treatment. In Heather’s clever writing style we also get a insight into the different personalities of each of the cats, because they are individuals and every one has a story to tell. About the author: Heather Cook fostered unwanted cats and kittens for Woking Branch of Cats Protection for nearly 30 years. She was honoured to be chosen as the charity’s Volunteer of the Year 2011.
ome people are just really difficult to buy for; it’s not that they have everything, just that they like things that are a little bit different. Tattypuss has hundreds of individual gifts and cards in stock. All are carefully sourced and many are specially made by independent British artists. How about this unique glass and silver pendant by Louise Nelson. Louise has designed a range of cat-themed jewellery especially for Tattypuss - you’ll not find it anywhere else. These sumptuous soft gloves by Alice Hannah are the perfect winter gift. You’ll find matching scarves and hats too. Put the fun back into functional this Christmas with a super soft
leather purse by Ciccia. It has all you want in a purse, including seven card slots, an I.D slot, two note pockets, a zipped coin compartment and six slide-in slots. When you’ve finished your present shopping, don’t forget to add Christmas gift wrap and cards too. Whether you want to be the height of fashion while you entertain your visitors, have the best dressed table in town or wrap up warm while you deliver your presents, Tattypuss has Christmas covered. ● All
available from www.tattypuss.co.uk. Tattypuss supplies gifts and cards that are just that bit different.
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theCAT WANT IT.. NEED IT.. LOVE IT.. WE SHOWCASE THE PURRFECT
A selection of stocking fillers and other gifts to purchase from animal charities so you can help rescued animals this Christmas too
Spoil yourself or a cat loving friend to a cool, colourful tin filled with sweets. When they’ve all been eaten, refill it with biscuits or cat treats. £5.99; Blue Cross
Adopt Dolo the lion and help ensure he gets the food and care he needs. Items sent to you in your gift pack include a Dolo cuddly toy, glossy photo, personalised certificate, window sticker and a free folder. £2.50 per month. https://give. bornfree.org.uk/products/adoptdolo-the-lion-201
Why should the excitement of the Christmas build-up be limited to only the humans in the household? With Battersea’s animal-friendly advent calendars, each day of December up until Christmas Eve holds a tasty treat behind each door that your cat will love. £5.00 Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
Patchwork cat shopper A pretty, cotton, patchwork shopper with lining and zip fastening. Size: 370 x 370mm. £14.99 Cats Protection
Finely detailed silver-plated Elsa-head charm, also featuring ‘Born Free’ and our Elsa logo on the clasp. Charms and clasps are high quality, silver-plated white brass, with a 100% cotton adjustable cord £10.00 https://give.bornfree.org.uk/shop/christmas
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RRFECT PRODUCTS FOR YOU & YOUR LOVED ONE
Cuddly toys Shell cat necklace
A pretty little shell cat decorates this necklace made and designed in the UK. Presented in a keepsake fabric pouch with bright pink lining and little bird motif. Necklace chain length: 470mm. Cat height: 15mm. £12.99 Cats protection
Stunning hardback notebook featuring a striking grey cat photograph on the cover. 160 lined pages. With ribbon marker. Size: 102 x 149mm £3.99 Cats protection
These cute lion and tiger toys are from a selection of enchanting wildlife soft toys, each unique in character, finished in irresistible high quality super soft fabrics and identified with their signature labels. 15cm tall with shimmering sparkle eyes and full of even more beans than ever before. Suitable for children over 1 month. £7.00 https://give.bornfree.org.uk/shop/christmas
The Wacky World of Cats
A4 Calendar 2018 - Full of bright cartoons and witty captions sure to raise a smile. Month-to-view. Wirobound. Size: 297 x 214mm. £5.99 Cats Protection
Peeping Toms egg cups Make family breakfasts fun with this set of modern egg cups. Matching china mugs and tea caddy also available. Egg cups £12.99; Blue Cross
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Shop at charities and help cats in need When you start shopping for gifts this Christmas, make animal charity shops, either in your town centre or online, the top of your list to visit
BY JILL MUNDY
he majority of leading animal welfare charities and rescue centres now offer a wonderful range of gifts, cards and wrapping paper that take the stress out of Christmas shopping. At the same time, any purchases you make will be contributing to the charity’s funds, helping to look after rescued animals in the process. What could better symbolise the true meaning of Christmas for an animal lover? Gifts for humans, such as calendars, mugs, jewellery and clothing, puzzles and much more will soon have you ticking people off your present list. There are great ideas for your pets too, including cat treat advent calendars, toys and blankets. But the gift you purchase doesn’t have to be a toy or knitted hat…
Adopt an animal The Born Free Foundation’s ‘adopt an animal’ scheme is a really wild gift - and for only £2.50 per month. Born Free animal adoptions help provide the care and protection each animal needs. If you adopt an animal as a gift for someone, they will receive a great gift pack and regular news about the animal. So if you love wild animals, adoption makes an ideal present for someone you care
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for - or why not treat yourself? Perfect for Christmas or presents at any time of year. Born Free also offer the opportunity to buy ‘gifts in kind’ - there is always that one relative you just don’t know what to buy for, right? Well what about some binoculars for a tiger warden? Close to extinction in the wild, there are only around 1500 of these magnificent animals left in India. Tiger wardens patrol the jungle, doing their best to protect and monitor tigers and good binoculars are crucial. The recipient of your gift will receive a gift card that states: ‘I’ve bought you some binoculars’ on the front and inside reads: ‘But the binoculars aren’t for you, they’re for a tiger warden!’ See https://give.bornfree.org.uk/ shop/gifts-in-kind?p=1 for more gift in kind ideas. Take a look at the Catalist on page 30 for a few gift ideas from Born Free and some of our other well known charities. All proceeds from the Blue Cross online shop go towards helping the thousands of sick, injured, unwanted and abandoned pets the charity cares for each year. With plenty of fabulous gifts to choose from, present shopping will be a breeze. Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has a great range of gifts on offer and with the
whole amount or a percentage of the proceeds from all items going directly towards supporting the animals calling Battersea home, you will be choosing gifts that give in more ways than one. Alternatively, why not purchase a gift directly for a Battersea dog or cat via their online shop and help spread a little cheer to the animals that aren’t lucky enough to spend Christmas with their own loving family? Cats Protection also has a wideselection of gifts in their online shop to suit all ages and tastes, feline or human. Once again, your purchases will help to care for animals when they need help most. Please remember the smaller charities too - any donation you can make, large or small, will be such a huge help to them. Many are run in the majority by a team of volunteers, without whom many abandoned or mistreated animals would simply suffer and could even die. Have yourself a merry and charitable Christmas! Above: Dolo is just one of the many lions to have been rescued by the Born Free Foundation and is now living a life of freedom in one of their animal reserves.
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helps you create a high quality establishment your custSupplying omers wil returnCatteries to time and time agaiandn. WeKennels manufacture in for over 40 years traditional wood and our new, very popular, 100% synthetic wood product which retains the look of our wooden pens but requires no annual maintenance.
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Now available on your tablet!
Lindee LindeeLuLuisisthe theUK's UK’sPremier PremierCattery Catteryand andKennel KennelBuilder Builder.Lindee LindeeLu Luhave havebeen been designing designingand andmanufacturing manufacturingCatteries Catteriesand andKennels Kennelsfor forlicensed licensedboarding, boarding, rescue rescue groups years. 40 over for individuals private and groups and private individuals for over 40 years.
FOSTERING: WHAT’S INVOLVED?
Ever thought of running your own Cattery?
Cat World magazine is now available to read on your favourite device, including the iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Samsung Galaxy Tab. Buy the latest issue anywhere in the world at a fraction of the cost of the paper edition.
Thousands of cats each year rely on the help of animal charities and fostering is just one way you can be part of the happy ending for cats in your community. Whether it’s an intimate four pen cattery or a commercial fifty pen As a Fosterer, you take a cat into your care and provide the TLC it needs until a new outfit,home running your own boarding cattery can be a rewarding, forever is found. Once you have decided to become a fosterer, the Charity will supply you with beautiful cat pen a in home your garden, food and litter,isbedding fulfilling way of alife and having based business both and towels, any vet treatment needed as well as ongoingthe training andpackage support. and convenient and easy. Lindee Lu provides whole Lindee Lu is proud to be the major supplier of foster pens to Cats Protection. We helps you create a high quality establishment your chat with you about the size of pen you will be having and discuss access and customers willinreturn to time time again. Wewemanufacture delivery dates well advance. Duringand the ordering process are always on in the traditional wood ourwith new, popular, 100% synthetic other end of the phoneand to help anyvery queries you may have about your pen and our dedicated installation are courteous, extremely tidy.but Once wood product whichteam retains the look helpful of ourand wooden pens your pen is installed, you’re ready to receive feline guests! requires no annual maintenance. Why not consider becoming a part of this very worthwhile and rewarding service by contacting Cats Protection for more details on how to become a fosterer? www.cats.org.uk
Download your FREE App today. Simply search for ‘Cat World Magazine’ in the Apple App store or Android Market.
For more information on starting a cattery please visit our website where all your questions can be answered. Contact us today email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01275 853800
For more information on starting a cattery please visit our website where all your questions can be answered. Contact us today email email@example.com or call 01275 853800 SNUGGLESAFE
Hillier Garden Centre, Dept. CW12, Woodhouse Lane, Botley Nr. Southampton SO30 2EZ. Tel: Botley (01489) 781260/781811 email: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.grangepetcentre.co.uk
MANUFACTURERS OF CAT DWELLINGS AND ACCESSORIES. DELIVERIES THROUGHOUT U.K. MAINLAND
C6 KITI-KIT CAT RUN
2820mm (9’3”) long x 1830mm (6’0”) wide x 1868mm (6’1½”) Constructed of 38mm x 38mm planed timber covered with 13mm x 25mm x 19g galvanised wire. Other gauges and size of mesh can be quoted for. We are always pleased to quote for any extensions or alterations you may wish to make.
The above has been treated with red cedar wood preservative - this is an additional cost.
THE SEVERN SUITE CAT HOME
Overall Size: 9’3” long x 4’0” wide x 6’1½” high House Size: 4’0” wide x 3’0” deep x 3’0” high Framework: 38mm x 38mm planed timber. House area: is clad with 12mm x 100mm tongued and grooved boarding. There are two access doors and a two way magnetic pet door. The roof is covered with bitumen felt. A glass window is at the front of the house. Run area: The run is covered with 1/2” x 1” x 19 gauge galvanised Twilweld.
The above has been treated with red cedar wood preservative - this is an additional cost
YOU WILL BE AMAZED AT THE CAT HOMES, RUNS, PENS, BOOKS AND ACCESSORIES AVAILABLE AT VERY MODERATE PRICES IN OUR FREE ILLUSTRATED CATALOGUE. PLEASE SEND £1 STAMP FOR YOUR COPY
HAMWICK HIDEAWAY C60
Overall Size: 7’6” long x 3’0” wide x 5’1½” high House Size: 3’0” wide x 1’3” high x 1’3” deep raised 1’0” with legs
Special Offer Only
Visit us online at www.grangepetcentre.co.uk
A major innovation in low-cost, energy efficient heating, the slimline ecoheater has a patented built in thermostat that keeps energy usage to a minimum. Comes with a 1.5m push fit power cable with plug. Available in 3 sizes, 500mm (55w), 1000mm (120w) & 1500mm (190w). For wall or floor mounting complete with fixing brackets. Heater guards are available, please see our website or phone for further information.
THE HAMWICK IS AN INEXPENSIVE RUN AND SHELTER PROVIDING A SECURE AREA
The above has been treated with red cedar wood preservative - this is an additional cost.
CHALLONER PET COMFORTERS ‘Pet Comforters’ are supplied with chew resistant cable covering. To be used aluminium side up and covered with a single thickness of blanket or similar. It may be left on day and night, economical to run. Singly wrapped with instructions. 13¼” x 8” Small comforter £34.99 15” x 10” Medium comforter £42.99 15” x 20” Large comforter £50.99
Snugglesafe™ (a 210mm round disc) is a microwave heatpad for your pet’s bed. Simply heat Snuggle Safe™ in your microwave, then slip it under your pet’s bedding for all night warmth. Contains non-toxic, environmentally friendly, Thermapol™. New advanced technology, designed for microwave use. No dangerous electric wires. Use Snuggle Safe™ anywhere indoors or out, even in the car.
Superb value at only Carriage £55.00
Overall size: 9’0” long x 4’9” wide x 6’0” high House size: 4’9” wide x 3’0” deep x 6’0” high The above has been treated with red cedar wood preservative - this is an additional cost.
500mm Ecoheater 1000mm Ecoheater 1500mm Ecoheater
£29.99 £34.99 £42.99
BUILD YOUR OWN CAT HOME OR RUN We have an enviable selection of panels that are all manufactured in our own factory. The benefit of these panels is that it is possible to design your own cattery, run, pen etc. If the panel you require is not shown please contact us, as the diverse number of panels we produce run into hundreds. All planed timber Panel 6’ x 3’ - ½” x 1” 19G galvanised wire £18.45 each Door Panel 6’ x 3’ - ½” x 1” 19G galvanised wire £32.85 each Carriage £45.00 on any quantity
Carriage terms on accessories - orders over £75.00 free delivery. Orders under £75.00 add £5.50 Excludes Scottish Highlands & Lowlands & Offshore Islands, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands, Isles of Scilly & Isle of Man
MASTER CARD AND VISA WELCOME. ALL CARD HOLDERS CAN PURCHASE BY MAIL OR TELEPHONE BY QUOTING CARD NUMBER - OPEN 9.00am - 5.00pm DAILY
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The lost & hopeful When a beloved cat goes missing there are many avenues to follow, a rescue centre being only one but, says Pat Clements, the most important thing is to never give up hope
s you can imagine, I get a number of calls about lost and found animals, especially cats, and I always feel sad for the owners who are so desperate to find out what has happened to their much-loved pet. Recently the telephone rang and the call was from Linda, a friend who runs a beautifully-appointed holiday home for cats and dogs near to me. Like the rest of us, she also gets lost and found calls and lets me know about them in case information comes my way. This particular night, a black and white longhaired cat had been brought to her as a stray. He had been hanging around a car showroom for some time in a nearby town and one of the mechanics took pity on him. After several telephone calls, Linda obtained the number of a man who had lost just such a cat five months previously. On speaking to him, it appeared that this might well be his much-loved pet, as the description and collar tallied. It was arranged that he would ask a friend for a lift
and come up the following morning. It was quite a long shot as the showrooms were ten miles from his home but the cat was notorious for jumping into cars. Originally adopted from the RSPCA, it had been discovered as a stowaway on board the Irish ferry - so it clearly enjoyed all forms of travel. Arriving the next morning, the man was overjoyed as it was indeed his long-lost cat Patrick, named as a tribute to his recent transportation. According to the RSPCA the cat was microchipped but nothing was found with a scanner - a point worth remembering. Ironically, the mechanic who took the cat to Linda had called the RSPCA only to be told to just leave the cat alone. If he had followed those instructions, the animal would still be homeless, its owner still devastated at its loss and I wouldn’t be writing this story. Another tabby lady who adores cars climbed into a delivery van in my local area a few weeks ago. When the driver got home and spotted her, he kindly but mistakenly
returned her to the wrong place and she is still missing. One chap’s owner still hopes hat her favourite feline is alive and well after disappearing in the West Drayton area. His distinctive half a tail might jog someone’s memory or he may have settled in with a new family but any news would be welcome. Finally, unless a cat is clearly friendly, it is often better to put out food and water for it but not to try to pick it up. Cats who have been on the run for some time can be very timid and attempting to catch them scares them off. The best idea is to contact the owner, if you know who it is, or a local sanctuary which will have a trap and can do the job much more easily. I am hoping that these stories, and there are hundreds of others, will prompt people to take note if they see a stray animal, as someone could be eating their heart out somewhere. The joy of Patrick’s owner was worth a million dollars. And if you have lost an animal, pull out all the stops and never give up.
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Catification and outdoor enrichment for many When it comes to making outdoor spaces safe and secure, ProtectaPet has a fantastic track record of success stories and can tailor make a design to suit your cat’s needs
THE CAT FACTS: ProtectaPet call: 0800 999 4008 email: email@example.com web: www.protectapet.com
BY JILL MUNDY
ince ProtectaPet was inaugurated in 2012, their UK designed and manufactured cat containment systems have been used to catproof over 2,000 gardens in Britain. In this - the sixth year of product development for feline welfare - the innovation team has turned their focus to cats staying in multi-cat facilities such as adoption centres and cat hotels. Here is an overview of some of the projects completed this year:
ing perspex sneeze guards and ‘airlock’ gates to keep the cats safe and prevent neighbourhood cats from contracting the virus. Eve Davies, Communications Director at ProtectaPet said: “Owners of cats infected with FIV often worry about allowing their cat to roam freely. Building a secure and stimulating territory offers a solution to keep FIV cats safe, especially as they are more susceptible to infections and fits, while minimising the spread of FIV.”
Cat window boxes
Cat play pen
Cat ‘solariums’ as they have become known in the US or ‘cat window boxes’ as they are more commonly known in the UK, offer the ideal opportunity for urban dwelling kitties or cats residing in luxury cat hotels to bathe in the sun. ProtectaPet installed seven bespoke window boxes at the Great Catsby Luxury Cat Hotel in Wigan earlier this year. Jenny Harris of the Great Catsby said: “The cat balconies allow our guests to safely sit outside in the sun and watch the local wildlife visiting the landscaped pond and garden.” Cat balconies installed for domestic customers have also included retractable sides so as not to impair the view.
Cats in adoption or foster facilities often have indoor pens with limited opportunities for exercise and outdoor enrichment. Forward-thinking staff at Wood Green’s Godmanchester Adoption Centre set about the task to commission an outdoor cat play pen. Upon contacting ProtectaPet, computer aided designs were drawn up to visualise the space before work began. Juliette Jones of Wood Green said: “The enclosure is fabulous! ProtectaPet is a fab team to work with.” Cats are now able to meet prospective owners in a natural and open outdoor setting.
Barn of cat suites
Cat fosterers can have a challenging job to look after several cats with differing needs within the space of their home. One cat fosterer contacted ProtectaPet because she wanted the cats in her care to be able to come
One kind-hearted man in North Yorkshire decided to build cat pens in a barn to care for feral kitties infected with FIV. ProtectaPet was commissioned to build cat enclosures featur-
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and go from indoors to outdoors as they pleased. ProtectaPet designed and installed a two-level Cat Tunnel at her home in Staffordshire. The cat tunnel led from an upstairs window down to a catio with latrine and play centre. Simon Davies, Founder of ProtectaPet, said: “Innovation is at the heart of ProtectaPet: we are always looking for ways to enhance the lives of pets and their owners. I am heartened every day that thousands of cats have been kept safe by our cat containment systems. As a qualified product designer, prototyping is always underway and current projects include cat climbing shelves, weatherproof catios, detachable cat tunnels and roofed walkways for disabled access through large scale cat enclosures.” While ProtectaPet cat fencing and cat enclosures have won numerous awards, perhaps one of the most highly prized accolades comes from their recent time installing a cat enclosure at Bradford Cat Watch Rescue Kittens. Three two-week-old kittens were named after the Installation Engineers. This photograph shows Phil feeding his namesake Phyllis. It’s all in a day’s work! C AT W O R L D
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Everything is now safe and secure Although many of the BCWR rescue cats have special needs, they still love to spend time exploring outside so funds were raised to safely enclose the garden
BY SONJA K STEINER
017 has certainly been another busy year for Katie Lloyd and the volunteers at Bradford Cat Watch Rescue. This year has seen an unprecedented amount of motherless kittens come into the rescue and in the summer alone, Katie has successfully hand reared 35 kittens. The younger kittens and ones who are more vulnerable require feeding every 20 minutes as some can only take a maximum of 0.1ml per feed, whilst some older and stronger ones are fed every three hours. This explains why Katie has not had a full night’s sleep for the whole of the summer. It is easy to forget that Katie herself is not in the best of health. The rescue continues to spend thousands of pounds a year on veterinary fees; Katie would like to acknowledge the support, care and compassion of all the staff at Northcote Vets to support the work of the rescue.
There is one national charity who, when you contact them regarding an emergency, give a log number and £60 of treatment can be given to an injured animal but when you take the cost of the consultation fee, that does not leave much if vital pain relief and antibiotics are required. Whilst some practices will contact their local rescue to see if they will help, others take the option of using that fund to euthanise the cat even if there is a potential it can be saved. Cuthbert was taken into a veterinary practice in Leeds by a member of the public who found him severely injured. It emerged he had a complex open fracture. Using this emergency log number, Cuthbert was given the basic treatment - thankfully a locum vet who was working for the practice at the time is a very caring and compassionate vet and has worked closely with BCWR so contacted them
for help. Sadly the practice the vet he was working for, who will remain nameless, did not offer the same compassion and an immediate decision had to be made about Cuthbert’s life as they were prepared to put him to sleep. Katie did ask if they could move Cuthbert to their own vets but the practice refused. They also refused to allow the rescue to pay in two instalments, despite having worked with the rescue over the last few years. So the race was on to raise the £800 needed for an emergency amputation planned for the next day. An immediate appeal was launched and once again supporters dug deep into their pockets and raised the money within hours. I am delighted to say that Cuthbert’s surgery went well and whilst he was sore for the first couple of days, he is now feeling so much better. He even had a little walk, which I am sure felt rather strange for him but he seems to have sussed how to move around on three legs. Readers may remember Carrots who was found by a member of the public with a horrendous injury to his eye which lead to his eye being removed. Despite being blind, thanks to the SENSE program devised by Katie he leads an enriched and happy life. There is no doubt that Carrots, with his handsome looks and endearing personality, is the official mascot for BCWR.
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There is a large garden at BCWR and they believe all the cats in the rescue, including those with extra special needs, benefit from the garden which provides an enriching and stimulating environment.As a rescue BCWR are unique in that they have many cats and kittens with severe disabilities and extra special needs. When working with such kitties they work within their SENSE framework and take into account all their individual needs in order to achieve a: Safe Enriching Nurturing Sensory Environment They believe that in providing these five elements of care to the cats with extra special needs, their quality of life will be the best it can possibly be. Carrots, like many cats, is inquisitive and sometimes playing in the garden is simply not enough. He learnt how to escape out of the garden, potentially putting his life at risk; not only that but he taught his friend Pascal, who is also blind, how to escape too. During the early hours of one
morning Katie heard the most horrific sound. She immediately suspected that a cat had been run over and rushed outside in her dressing gown. Sadly her fears were proved to be correct and although it was not one of the BCWR cats, it further re-enforced her concerns about the safety of the cats in the rescue. As a subscriber to Cat World magazine, Katie had read about the work of ProtectaPet so contacted them the following day to see if they could help. They arranged a visit to assess the garden and provided Katie with a quote. Within a couple of days ‘Operation Fence S.E.N.S.E’ was launched to raise £3,3578 and what a response! Within three days generous supporters had raised the full amount which is a huge achievement in such a short space of time. Katie arranged for ProtectPet to start work on 29 August. Due to the size of the garden it took two and a half days to erect the full fence system and turn the garden at BCWR into a safe enclosure. Katie has nothing but praise for the fantastic team who installed the system and she has complete peace of mind
that the cats can now venture out in the garden and be safe. For more information about the wonderful work done by Katie and her team of volunteers please visit their website www.bcwr-kittens.co.uk
About ProtectaPet ProtectaPet is an innovative, tailor made fence system which is designed to prevent cats escaping out of the garden and getting lost or becoming road traffic victims. Whether you have a large garden like Katie, a back yard or a balcony/terrace, ProtectaPet work with owners to provide them with an effective solution for their pet’s needs. Their award-winning designs are manufactured in the UK for quality assurance. Whether owners are looking for a professional design and installation service or for the supply of premium pet containment, they have the answer. For more information please visit their website www.protectapet.com.
| CAT FENCE BARRIERS | | CAT ENCLOSURES | CATIOS |
www.protectapet.com 0800 999 4008 SAVING PETS ONE BY ONE
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EXCITING NEW GIFTS YOU WON’T WANT TO MISS Subscribe today!
Don’t miss our amazing new gifts... free to new subscribers. Your cat will love cuddling up in this cosy blanket and playing with this exciting mouse toy. Subscribe to the print edition of Cat World for one year and we’ll send you a beautifully cuddly cat blanket. Subscribe to the print edition for two years and we’ll send you the blanket, plus a wonderful mouse toy that your cat will go crazy for. Your loved one will go crazy for these gifts. Demand is bound to be great so subscribe now while stocks last.
Subscribe today at www.catworld.co.uk and claim your free gift. Or call us at the CW office on 0800 435553 (calls are free in the UK) Outside UK: +44 (0)1903 884988 US: 1-866-606-6587 One year magazine subscription (12 issues): UK £59.99 PRICES/OFFERS SUBJECT TO CHANGE & AVAILABILITY. OFFERS APPLY ONLY TO NEW SUBSCRIBERS TAKING AN ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION
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PAWS OF GOTHAM CHARITY CALENDAR Fans of New York will enjoy this calendar from US animal rescue charity Louie’s Legacy every month features a cat, dog or other rescue animal photographed in the city
aws of Gotham’ is Louie’s Legacy’s fourth annual calendar aimed at raising funds to rehabilitate and re-home animals from high-kill shelters across the United States. ‘Paws of Gotham’ was shot by famed South African photographer Candy Kennedy. The images she captured focus on the diversity of both people and pets. Each month features a stunning photo of a real rescue pet, most from Louie’s Legacy, with a celebrity, influencer or model and is shot in front of an iconic New York scene. Candy Kennedy, along with celebrities photographed, donated their time and efforts in the hope of raising more funds for Louie’s Legacy’s important cause. “This project has given me the opportunity to combine my love for animal charities and New York,” say
Kennedy. “Not only was I able to work with some amazing and creative people on this calendar but they all share the same love for animals, which makes this project very rewarding and special. There is nothing better than the feeling of helping an animal or person in need.” Pre-order from www.louieslegacy. org/wp/calendar.
Louie’s Legacy Animal Rescue Louie’s Legacy Animal Rescue, Inc., is a non-profit, grassroots all-breed animal rescue, which saves, rehabilitates and re-homes animals from high-kill shelters across the United States and has so far saved over 10,000 animals. Recently, during the hurricane season of 2017, LLAR rescued more than 200 animals who were in shelters in Texas and Florida prior to Hurricane Harvey
and Irma, taking on over $10,000 in additional non-routine medical expenses in addition to the cost of the rescue mission. Louie’s Legacy Animal Rescue is proudly foster based, meaning their animals live in homes, not shelters. As part of their commitment to the health and wellbeing of all of the animals and to reduce pet overpopulation within the community, every pet is spayed or neutered prior to adoption. They are committed to ensuring the safety of their animals for their entire lifetimes so that they will never suffer abuse, neglect or abandonment again. ● Please
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Photos: © George Logan
Adopt our cheeky cheetahs – just £2.50 per month Born Free rescues adorable baby cheetahs and gives them a forever home. Will you help look after them? Cubs like Tamu and Nura, stolen from the wild to be sold as ‘exotic pets’. The girls are now safe at our sanctuary in Ethiopia and you can adopt them! Recovered from their terrifying ordeal, the speedy sisters love to pounce and tumble, chasing each other around. You’ll help provide the good food and loving care they need.
Makes the purrfect Christmas present – show how much you care! Includes: ● Personalised gift pack ● FREE cuddly toy ● Magazine updates To adopt visit bornfree.org. uk/cheetah
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Tonkinese tea - the perfect family pet A
If you are looking for an affectionate, talkative pet, ‘Tonks’ love to interact with their humans and will thrive on the companionship and activity of a busy family home
popular cat, both as a pet or for showing, a Tonkinese will soon settle in and make himself at home as long as you keep him entertained and give him plenty of attention. Some years ago it was believed that the Tonkinese, along with the Burmese, was a particular type of Siamese. Although the breed has been well known in the East for centuries, the Western world has only really known about the Tonkinese for around a hundred years or so. In the USA they were originally known as the Golden
Siamese but did not generate much interest until the 1960s when the breed reappeared as the Tonkinese. Most Tonkinese cats found in the West now are all descendants of cats that were bred by crossing Burmese with Siamese, resulting in kittens that had many of the physical attributes and personality traits of the parent cats but were a distinctive breed in their own right. The breed was recognised by the GCCF in 1991 and is a popular member of the show circuit. Tonkinese are intelligent, sensitive cats that love to show affection and bond well with their humans as they enjoy plenty of company and attention. If you are looking for a pedigree breed as a family pet, the Tonkinese will happily become part of the family and repay your affection, although on its own terms. Children should be aware that ‘Tonks’ will defend themselves if they feel it is necessary and so their feelings should be respected. They are very inquisitive cats and love to know what you are up to - they also love to have a good ‘chat’ but are generally less vocal than a Siamese. Very active, they are not cats to respect fine furniture or precious ornaments!
Breed standard A well balanced, medium size cat of Foreign build, the body of a Tonkinese
is firm and strong with well-muscled, slender legs and a gently tapered tail that balances the body for length. The back rises slightly from shoulders to rump. They can often be heavier than they appear. The head should be a gently rounded wedge shape that is neither pointed nor square, with mediumsized ears spaced well apart. Eyes are large and expressive, set well apart and more almond-shaped than oriental or round. Eye colour is governed by coat pattern. The feet are oval rather than round and the coat is shorthaired, very soft and velvety, in a variety of colours. Head: Top should be gently rounded with good width between the ears, a moderately proportioned wedge with a muzzle that is neither pointed nor square and a definite but not exaggerated whisker pinch. In profile there should be a slight nose break leading down to a level bite and chin of medium depth. Ears: Medium size, slightly taller than wide, pricked forward, with broad base oval tips. Base equally balanced between side and top of head, with outer line continuing line of wedge. Eyes: Large and expressive, more almond-shaped than round and set well apart. The top line of the eye is
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slanted down towards the nose; the lower line of the eye is rounded. Eye colour: Any shade of greenishblue or blueish-green is acceptable. The eye colour in all Tonkinese may vary in intensity depending upon the influence of the light and the mood of the cat. Incomplete development of eye colour may be found in kittens and young cats. Body: Medium to long, well balanced, firm and muscular. Chest slightly rounded, flanks level, back rising gently from shoulders to rump.
Legs and feet: Legs slender and well-muscled, the hind legs slightly longer than the front. Feet neat and oval. Tail: Tapering tail of medium length, neither thick nor whippy. Coat: Close lying and short. Fine, soft and silky with a lustrous sheen. Tonkinese cats may have one of three basic coat patterns; each unique pattern is neither pointed or solid. Ears, mask, legs, feet and tail should be darker in tone, becoming a lighter shade of the same colour on the body.
Intermediate or tonkinese (with a lower-case â€˜tâ€™) coat pattern, now officially known as TCR (Tonkinese Colour Restriction) - subtle gradation of colour with a lighter shade of the base colour blending into noticeably darker, contrasting points and aqua eyes. Colourpoint (Siamese) pattern - pale body colour, especially when young, with strongly contrasting darker points and blue eyes. Burmese Colour Restriction (BCR) - less contrast, with darker body colour and points only slightly darker than C AT W O R L D
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body. Eyes may be green or amber. Colour: The TCR coat pattern is unique. It is expressed as a subtle merging of toning colour from the darker ears, mask, legs, feet and tail to the lighter body colour and is quite different to a self or pointed pattern. It is important that the difference between the points and body colour is not sharply defined. Legs and feet may be paler than the other points but should match in tone. Body colour should lighten gradually towards the underparts. The body should be free of any tabby markings in non-tabby adults; the colour will be pale towards the roots of the hair. Coat pattern in kittens may develop slowly and may show some slight tabby markings.
show good contrast with the ground colour but may be less contrasting in the dilute colours (Blue, Lilac, Caramel, Cream and Apricot) and may be paler on the legs than on the points. Colour of the markings on the points and body should match in tone. Tabbies in the dilute colours will be lighter in tone than the equivalent solid colour. Markings can take longer to develop in Reds, Creams and Apricots. Head markings: there should be a clearly defined ‘M’ on the forehead, ‘spectacle’ markings around the eyes,
a ribbon running from the outer edge of the eye and spotted whisker pads. Ears are solid colour but show clear ‘thumb’ marks which may be less apparent in dilute colours and mottled in tortie tabbies. Nose leather may be pinkish, outlined with colour that matches the paw pads or more solid in colour. Leg markings: Clearly defined broken stripes. Solid markings on the back of the hind legs. Leg markings may be paler than the other points. Tail markings: Clearly defined broken rings. Body markings: The markings will depend on the nature of the tabby pattern but will appear as a lighter shade of the points’ markings against the agouti ground colour. The markings go down the flanks to the underparts, which will be a paler shade of ground colour and may show spots. The Tonkinese expression results in a broad band of more colour over the top of the head, along the back and into the base
Tabby pattern The tabby pattern is formed by markings of the solid pattern colour on a background of agouti hairs. The pattern may be ticked, mackerel, spotted or classic. The points’ markings should
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of the tail that is more noticeable with maturity. There should be one or more broken or unbroken necklets on the neck/upper chest.
Scale of points Type & shape (55) Head Ears Eye shape Body Legs & feet Tail Coat & Colour (45) Eye colour Coat colour & pattern Coat texture Total
20 05 05 15 05 05 15 20 10 100
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MEET THE AUTHOR
A conversation with Sandy Lerner, author of ‘Caticons’ There have been several books illustrating how cats have been portrayed in art but none as comprehensive and fascinating as Caticons by Sandy Lerner
ith a love and respect for all animals, Sandy Lerner has always needed to live with cats. However, marrying someone who was allergic to many animals presented a huge problem, the solution to which would take Sandy on an incredible journey through centuries, guidebooks, museums and auction rooms. Probably best known for co-founding telecoms and high-technology company cisco Systems, amongst other business ventures, Sandy could not be without cats in her life so she embarked upon the collection of a lifetime. She began researching and collecting cats in the arts, not limiting it to painting and sculpture but covering all manner of creative forms, including
BY JILL MUNDY music, theatre, ornaments, sewing items, book illustrations, film stills and even what some might consider mundane household items such as a trivet or wooden spoon. Having spent 30 years collecting her cat items or icons - Sandy has now produced a wonderful book, Caticons, that features her amazing feline collection in a celebration of felines. With 300 pages of photographs, text written by Sandy plus poetry, prose and quotations, the book is a fascinating read. I wanted to know more about this lady and her vast collection. CW: Caticons is such a fascinating book, covering 4,000 years of cats featured in art - how did you decide where to start? SL: It kind of evolved naturally really. I started with the items I knew were really worthy of being
included, which was actually a very small percentage, then added to them. I have tried to keep an order - one chapter deals with cats chronologically, another east-west and others deal with a different theme such as music or the various rooms of our homes. However, it does deviate slightly too, just as a cat meanders around in its day-to-day life. Unlike some collectors who follow trends, I have collected simply on the basis of 1: is it a cat and 2: do I like it? Therefore there are no images of unhappy, unlucky or even unsociable cats. ‘My cats’ are happy, healthy and loved, in art as in life.
CW: Thirty years is a long time to be collecting. SL: I have enjoyed every minute of it. When I began I had modest funds available. Then my circumstances changed and I was fortunate enough to be able Above right: Cat perched cane. to enter the prestigious Left: Silver tea caddy with sleep- auction rooms. Even when ing cat finial, John Wakelin & Wil- I parted company with my animal-allergic husband, liam Taylor.
the obsession to collect these cat icons continued. Friends have also been on the lookout for various pieces for me. CW: How long was Caticons in the making? SL: It took a good five years to bring it all together and be ready for publication. When I had decided on the items I wanted to include, we had around 400 pages which was just too many so I had to be brutal. However, I was determined that Caticons would not be just a catalogue of the pieces from my collection but a celebration of how cats have been loved over the centuries (far longer in the east than in the western world). I fought to keep all of the quotations and prose, as I feel they are an important way of expressing that love and affection for felines. I have chosen every photo, proof read every page and approved every quotation and piece of writing. CW: One of my particular favourite photos is, I
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MEET THE AUTHOR
‘As we all know, cats now rule the world.’
John R. F. Breen - contemporary American author and publisher.
Above left: “Fuzzy on the Golden Gate Bridge” Michael Leu, acrylic on paper. Above right: “Playful Kittens”, Henriette Ronner-Knip. Right: Le Chat, Pablo Picasso, 20C, Spanish. Below: Porcelain model of a cat on an Ormolu base, Dan Chung.
think, one of your earliest acquisitions: ‘Fuzzy on the Golden Gate Bridge’ by Michael Leu. SL: Oh that’s right. I originally bought it when money was tight, from a street fair, to hang in my office at cisco. Now it hangs above the sink in my art studio…I don’t think I could ever part with it.
My other real favourites appear on the book jacket. CW: You have such a large assortment of beautiful items but I wonder if there was something that you really wanted but couldn’t find? SL: Two - the first was a jade pendant of Yin and Yang cats. The jade was black and white and so it suited the design perfectly. Sadly I missed getting that and regret it to this day. The second was a painting that I also missed. I would happily have given up the Picasso to have that one instead. CW: If you had the op-
CW: Are there any other treasures that you will always keep? SL: I have said many times that I will probably be buried with the cat tea caddy! I might fill it with catnip too, just to increase the surprise if I’m found in years to come!
portunity of a second life, would you come back as a cat? SL: Only if I could come back as MY cat! CW: So are you still adding to the collection? SL: After all these years, the thrill of the chase has gone really and so I will keep some of the collection but much of it will be sold. CW: Can you tell us about those plans? SL: For the moment, I’m very excited that I have been asked to exhibit some of the collection in 2018, at San Fransisco Airport. In collaboration with the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the airport has been hosting art exhibitions since 1980. Over the years, the programme has grown from modest beginnings to an extensive museum offering cultural and educational programmes through-
out the airport’s terminals. CW: That sounds wonderful. Thank you so much for sharing your experience of creating Caticons with us. Is there a thought you would like to leave our readers with? SL: When I had the idea for this book, I just wanted to bring joy to cat people. I am very happy to be a ‘crazy cat woman’ and I want everyone to know that it’s ok to be a crazy cat woman - or man for that matter. I have included a chapter about cats and men in the book. Felines are so often associated with women but there are plenty of male cat lovers out there too.
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BOARDING HOUSE DIARY THE
Gonzaga is a travelling cat so spending time in the apartment is strange - until a yellow bird saves the day BY DOMINIQUE URQUHART
onzaga Dei Diamanti di Luna arrives in a specially designed backpack on the back of his proud Italian owners. Nervous at first, he walks slowly on the tips of his paws, his neck stretched tall as a giraffe’s, peering over treetops on the lookout for danger. Soon though Gonzaga is comfortably exploring his surroundings and his humans, Ezio and Danielle,
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get ready to take their leave. Gonzaga dutifully hops back into his backpack and stares up at them expectantly, for Gonzaga is a travelling cat. At just over a year old he has already travelled extensively around Britain, visited the Dolomite mountains and the beaches of Italy. Alone for the first time, Gonzaga, a classic Siamese with piercing blue eyes, looks at me with a
mixture of curiosity and suspicion. He circles the room, initially taking care to avoid me but getting closer on each round until eventually he arches his back and brushes against my leg. I give him a stroke and he looks up at me and blinks, eyes narrowing to a slit of approval, he lets out a gentle purr. He is soon tired after the morning’s excitement and settling on the sofa opposite me, his eyes locked on mine, he gradually drifts into sleep. On the other side of the room I drift off too, lulled into sleep by Gonzaga’s hypnotic stare. A few minutes later I am roused by a soft paw gently tapping my face. It’s playtime. For a while I throw a rubber ball and he bounds enthusiastically after it but he is soon distracted and disappears, face first, into the cat cave. He emerges with a catnip fish between his teeth and collapses onto his back, holding it to his nose and rolling back and forth. Abandoning the fish he hops into the next room where he first meets
his nemesis. The yellow, fluffy, toy bird is hanging by elastic from the doorframe. Gonzaga leaps up and bouncing into the air, bats the toy bird with an open paw, catching it in his mouth before landing and walking away, satisfied, with it clenched firmly between his teeth. The elastic is still attached to the door frame and soon springs back and pulls the little yellow bird, suddenly resurrected, out of Gonzaga’s mouth. The bird bobs silently in the doorway while a surprised Gonzaga watches from below. Just then the door bell rings and for an instant Gonzaga freezes. He arrives at the front door in two bounds and growls. It’s an old friend and Gonzaga is overjoyed to meet her, rubbing against her legs in a figure of eight as soon as she sits down.. It’s been a long day for Gonzaga and he eventually follows me to bed, curling up by my legs and quickly falling fast asleep. I wake to a mournful cry and find him sitting by the front door. I collect him in
I collect him in my arms, a warm bundle of fur, and tell him not to worry, his humans will be back soon.
my arms, a warm bundle of fur, and tell him not to worry, his humans will be back soon. But he is up and down for the rest of the night, scratching the front door and crying out throaty meows. Neither of us get much sleep that night but as the morning breaks I wake to find Gonzaga sitting on my back ready for breakfast. I follow him into the front room and he weaves his way around my legs, tripping me up as I go. I notice a trail of soft fluff and feathers that lead to the legs of the coffee table. Yellow bird has been pulled, together with the elastic, off of his perch and tied to the legs of the coffee table. The elastic is wrapped around bird dozens of times and one of his toy eyes is missing. He has lost all his feathers with one side completely bald. The remaining plastic eye stares optimistically in the direction of Gonzaga and I and, unable to resist, Gonzaga crouches down, focuses, wiggles his bum and pounces, catching the bird in his teeth, pulling him as far as he can go on the elastic and letting it bounce back, ricocheting off the legs of the coffee table, while a frenzied Gonzaga chases it around. The next night and the following nights Gonzaga sleeps well, curling up by the side of my body or sharing my pillow and gently pawing me awake in the morning. His days are spent leaping after
yellow bird who is constantly being repaired and returned to the doorframe, people-watching on the balcony, trying to trip me up, tearing around the flat at great speed or snoozing on the bed. When Gonzaga’s humans arrive to collect him he approaches them cautiously and sniffs their outstretched hands. Happy, his tail curls with excitement as he hops into his back pack and looks up at them as if to say ‘Where to next…
THE CAT FACTS: The Notting Hill Cat Company Pampering Your Pets While You Are Away email: firstname.lastname@example.org web: www.nottinghillcatcompany.com call: 0781 354 7461
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Naughty but nice - a tale of Nala the kitten Circumstances dictate that a new boisterous kitten would not be a good idea so the opportunity to visit one regularly and enjoy her antics is such a pleasure
BY LORRAINE SCHOFIELD
ne of the benefits of my job as a personal tutor is the opportunity it gives me to meet students’ pets and if those pets happen to be cats, so much the better. Recently I have been tutoring a young man named Jordan who to my great delight lives in a household that is home to six cats, a dog and also a tortoise named Fifi. Needless to say, every time that I arrive to tutor Jordan I am in my element and love to hear what the animals have been getting up to especially the youngest feline, a most adorable twelve week old kitten called Nala, who has really stolen my heart. It only takes one look at her tiny upturned face, with its perfect little feline features, combined with her beautiful tabby markings and I am truly entranced and totally under her spell. However, according to Jordan, looks can be deceiving and Nala is actually a naughty little kitten who likes nothing better than scratching and biting him at every opportunity, as well as pouncing on his toes so that she can yet again sink her teeth into them. Certainly he has the scratches to prove his point and Jordan’s mum Jess also confirms that Nala is a little minx who loves to pounce on you whenever she gets the chance and likes nothing better than sharpening her claws down your leg should she feel so inclined! Fortunately, so far, I have avoided Nala’s nibbles and scratches in spite of picking her up for numerous cuddles
and the most she has inflicted upon me is a hearty lick upon my nose! Nonetheless, from observing Nala it is plain to see that she is a very playful and boisterous kitten. I always arrive at the house with a carrier bag laden with text books and note pads and each time, without fail, Nala dives inside the bag in order to explore. It really is hilarious to watch how she dives in for a good root around before her cute little face will pop up and look out periodically, displaying a look of pure innocence. Her favourite toy is a wrapper from a piece of Baby Bel cheese and she takes great delight in flicking it around the kitchen until she eventually grows tired of it. She also likes to chase the reflection from a mini laser toy and will leap and bound all over the sofa in order to pursue it, becoming very bemused when it suddenly vanishes. Watching her leaping and pouncing with such energy and enthusiasm has reminded me of how entertaining it is to have a kitten in the household and also how those first few months with a kitten really are special. Indeed, Jess told me how she had adopted Nala through a friend whose cat had just given birth to a small litter of three kittens. Nala had two brothers who were especially close to each other and who loved to cuddle up together. In contrast, the first time that Jess set eyes upon Nala, she was sat alone but quite content in her basket,
demonstrating how independent she is. Naturally, Jess fell in love with Nala at first sight and in view of her independent nature felt sure that she would soon settle in well in her new home. Nevertheless, introducing a new kitten into a household of five adult cats, an elderly dog and a tortoise was likely to involve some hiccups and a period of both adaptation and compromise before a semblance of domestic harmony could be reached. In addition, Jess is also a mum to four children, the youngest of whom, Dawson, is a four month old baby. This meant she had to be especially careful when introducing Nala to the baby and also needed to remain vigilant at all times to ensure Dawson’s safety. Fortunately, with regards to Dawson, Nala has been an absolute sweetheart and a model of good behaviour. She has never once pounced upon him nor scratched him and in fact she loves nothing better than to cuddle up to him for a nice long nap. Dawson himself is content to have Nala around him and is totally unconcerned when she snuggles up next to him for a snooze. Similarly, Monty the old Yorkshire terrier, has also wholeheartedly accepted Nala and the pair of them love to cuddle up together and sleep in his basket. Fifi the tortoise has proved to be a great source of fascination to Nala. Yet, although Nala likes to prod and poke her or even leap upon her in an
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KITTEN LOVE attempt to initiate play, Fifi appears mainly unconcerned by Nala’s antics and always has the option of retreating into her shell! The other felines in the household, however, have found adjusting to Nala’s presence a little unsettling. Nellie and Duchess, a ginger tom and tortoiseshell respectively, who are also brother and sister, have found Nala’s exuberance somewhat annoying, as have the other cats who are Shadow, a beautiful and sleek black Tom, Pilchard a cute tabby and white and also Tom a lovely tuxedo cat. Indeed, Nala likes nothing better than to sit in wait by the cat flap in order to pounce upon whichever one of the cats happens to be making an entrance. Her favourite trick is to hide under a fleecy cat bed and slowly edge her way under cover towards the cat flap so that she can then surprise whichever cat it may be with a great big leap towards them, followed by a quick swipe of the paw before she chases them into the kitchen. Watching her is hilarious and I have to laugh at both her cunningness and her ingenuity. It also provides a wonderful respite when Jordan needs a well earned break from tackling difficult subject matters. After all, who can resist being distracted by such an amusing and cute little kitten when the alternative is essay writing or solving a quadratic equation! Of course, with three cats of my own I shall not be adopting any kittens in the foreseeable future, so to see and interact with one regularly every week by playing and cuddling with Nala has been an absolute delight for me. She maybe a boisterous and often a naughty little kitten but there is no doubt that she is extremely entertaining and has stolen everybody’s heart. Jordan will jokingly call her Satan’s cat or naughty Nala and although Jess will laughingly and heartily agree, I know that deep down they would not have her be any other way. She may be a little minx but she is their little minx and undoubtedly irresistible beyond words. C AT W O R L D
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CATS ON COUCH
WITH LEADING BEHAVIOURIST INGA MACKELLAR
It’s not what you feed, it’s the way that you feed it, says Inga Mackellar, when it comes to giving our felines what they need
ow that December is almost upon us we all start planning for the Christmas festivities; buying presents, decorating the house and ordering in all the special food and drink that is part of the seasonal celebrations. I was drawing up a list of all the various foods that I am planning to buy, which set me thinking about pet cats and how we, as owners, feed them. Cats are obligate carnivores, that is, they have to eat meat. Whilst there is great debate about the merits of a raw diet versus a manufactured diet, what interests me as a behaviourist is how we feed our cats. It is commonly believed that our domestic felines evolved from the African wild cat or possibly the Near Eastern Wild Cat. Our pet cats, although now domesticated, will still display many similar behaviours to their ancestors and our understanding of these behaviours enables us to ensure that they are provided for adequately in our often busy modern environments, which are very different from the desert like conditions that they originated from. The African wild cat is a solitary nocturnal hunter who lives and hunts in the savannah and will spend many
hours hunting prey. Because it hunts on its own and does not have the advantage of hunting in a pack it will be unable bring down large prey and has to target its predatory behaviour onto small prey such as rodents. Not all hunts are successful and it is believed that it will only manage to kill prey on one out of three occasions. As a result of this, the wild cat will be searching for food most of the time and has numerous small meals throughout the day. When we consider the domestic environment, more often than not owners will feed their cats twice a day or sometimes leave a bowl of dried food down for the cat to munch on during the day. However is placing food in a bowl a couple of times a day the best way to feed our cats? Feline obesity is growing due to over feeding, or the constant provision of food and particularly indoor cats can develop numerous behaviour problems as they are not provided with an adequate or sufficiently stimulating environment. Therefore, should we consider replicating the feeding patterns of the cat’s ancestors in providing numerous small meals during the day? And how can we achieve this if we are at work during the day?
Ideas to try If your cat is fed a dry diet then its daily activity can be greatly increased by dispensing with the food bowl and hiding food around the house or garden for your cat to find. This can easily be achieved by initially scattering lots of small piles of food which the cat will find easily. As it becomes accustomed to its new feeding regime, scattering can be changed to hiding the food around the house in less obvious places and in activity toys. Empty toilet rolls filled with a little food and loosely packed with some tissue paper at each end will enable your cat to smell the food but work a little harder at obtaining it. Shoe boxes with food can have small holes cut in the sides so that your cat has to ‘fish’ for the food. Empty, small, plastic drinks bottles with a few holes for food to fall out are enjoyed by most cats as they learn to ‘bat’ the bottle around the floor to obtain the food. The possibilities are endless and only limited by your imagination. However, if you feed your cat a raw diet or a tinned diet, then the hygiene implications of leaving ‘wet’ food around the house have to be considered. A good compromise would be
The possibilities are endless 54
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to still provide some wet food as a very small meal in a dish but provide dry food during daytime for the cat to ‘hunt’. Whether you are able to implement this more ‘natural’ way of providing your cat its food will depend on your own individual household and who lives in it with you. If you also share your home with dogs, they will certainly think it is Christmas to have little piles of food around the house and will probably eat the lot! So, segregation may be necessary, such as hiding food upstairs or in a particular room and keeping the dog out of that area by the use of a dog gate. Alternatively, try hiding the cat’s food in places that are inaccessible to the dog, such as high up on shelves or on tops of cupboards. Once you do start to hide food for your cat, always remember where you have placed the food so that
you can check it is being eaten and it does not lay in some corner for months! It is also worth considering watering arrangements as well. The African wild cat would drink from puddles or streams and it is equally possible to provide our domestic cats with a variety of ‘watering holes’ rather than just one water bowl which is typically placed next to the food bowl. Have a variety of water containers around the house and garden. Experiment with different shapes, depths and sizes to see which your cat likes the best. Many cats like to lean down to drink, so be creative in providing a ledge for the cat to sit on in order to reach down to some water. So, as you sit and make your Christmas lists remember to have a think about how your cat’s life could be made more exciting, not just over Christmas but throughout the year.
Tip of the month During the Christmas season take care not to disrupt your cat’s routines too much. Some cats can become very anxious if the house is full of strangers or if people are behaving erratically after a drink or two. If you are concerned about how your cat will react to parties etc, place it in a quiet and secure room that it knows, provide a litter tray, food and water and ensure that the door cannot be opened by visitors. If you are experiencing behaviour problems with your cat, to find your nearest APBC (Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors) Member visit www.apbc.org.uk
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Tabs helps Kim with Christmas decorating A box of baubles, tinsel and other tree decorations is a wonderful invitation for a playful cat but at the end of the day, it’s all about sharing the love BY HANNAH BARRICK
gave a happy trill as I wound myself around Kim’s legs, my tail curling around her calf like a scarf. “Tabs come on stop that! You’ll trip me over!” She continued laughing as she carefully stepped over me and placed the box of decorations on the floor. Seeing the tail end of a piece of tinsel draping out of the box, I couldn’t resist. In the blink of an eye I pounced and gripped the tinsel with my paws, falling onto my back as I got tangled in the festive thread. When Kim walked back in the room, I had turned from a tabby cat to a gold, silver and red cat, the shredded remnants of the glittery decoration over my head and coat, as well as the floor around me. “Well, I guess that’s one decoration we won’t be using!” She was still smiling and I tilted my head to the side, wondering why she was in such a good mood. What happened to the usual shouting and yelling at me for making a mess? Maybe it was the ‘Christmas spirit’ - who knows with these humans? She picked up the tattered remains of the tinsel and threw it away, before coming back to rifle through the box. I silently watched like a lion on the prowl to see what she would go for next. She pulled out two ceiling decorations – one gold star which seemed to flash and shine as the light reflected off it, and a silver Christmas tree. Kim looked towards me, the Christmas tree
in her hand. “So, Tabs, what do you think of this one? I just got it today!” I was dubious. Well you’re the one that thinks trees can fly. The wide smile she had spreading from ear to ear didn’t fade as she stood on a chair. I couldn’t believe it; she still wanted to hang the thing from the ceiling. Stars I can understand but trees? Whoever heard of flying trees? She giggled as she placed the pin in the ceiling to hang it, clearly excited. I stared at her with big, wide eyes. Yep, years of living with me had finally made her crack. She had lost her marbles. About five more flying trees later, Kim stood back to look at her masterpiece. “See, it’s looking great already,” she enthused. I wasn’t sure. I couldn’t see this trend catching on myself. She saw my impassive expression. “Don’t look like that! You’ll see. I know I’m starting early but everyone will be decorating like this in a few weeks.” I don’t know, Kim – us cats have a sense about these things and this is just unnatural. Abruptly losing interest, I prowled back over to the box of decorations. My eyes alighted on the shiny baubles. There were three of them, all neatly in a row as if placed there just for me, with the strings for hanging them on the top pointing towards the ceiling. Great! Cat toys! I pounced without any hesitation straight at the centre bauble. The other two flew across the room in opposite
directions like ping pong balls, while I gripped the one I had pounced on in my two front paws. I tried biting it but my small canines wouldn’t pierce the hard plastic. As I gripped tighter with my paws, the bauble finally shattered. I looked down at the tiny pieces of broken plastic, then glanced hesitantly at Kim, guilt evident on my face. She just shook her head. “No wonder I have to buy new decorations each year!” Well I never was a fan of recycling. “Go on Tabs” she continued, “That’s enough now… go and find something else to do.” Something else? There wasn’t anything else. I skulked off to the side, my tail
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elegantly folding around my haunches as I sat down. My head tilted to the side, I watched her unpack and pin up the rest of the decorations, her clothes becoming more and more covered with glitter and bits of tinsel with every minute. Last but not least came Kim’s pride and joy - the Christmas tree. She carefully took the tree out of the box and began to assemble it, unfolding each of the synthetic green branches meticulously. I glanced at the cardboard box that had a minute ago been housing it. The gaping top of the open box just looked simply too inviting… a cat’s equivalent of one of those strange
miniature houses the human kittens play with and it was just too tempting. Kim didn’t even notice as I padded over to the box, she was completely focused on unfolding the tree branches and setting the tree on the stand. By the time Kim had finished placing all of the decorations on the tree, I had already settled myself into prime position and had a perfect lookout post from my hiding spot inside the box. I watched as she turned around and finally realised I wasn’t in the same place as earlier. “Tabs?” I smiled inwardly to myself, biding my time. She was gradually moving closer and closer to the box
where I was hiding. Finally, she was exactly where I wanted her, right in front of me. I leapt from the box, causing Kim to give a surprised gasp and as soon as my four furry paws touched the floor, I wound myself around her legs purring. Kim laughed. “Tabs, what were you doing in there?” I meowed triumphantly. My Christmas present to you Kim… Me! I started purring even louder as she scooped me up in her arms to cuddle me. This was what it was about, I realised as happiness engulfed me. We had each other, and that’s all that mattered. This was going to be a great Christmas indeed! C AT W O R L D
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57 17/10/2017 20:47
CONFESSIONS of a CAT LOVER IT TAKES A CERTAIN TYPE OF PERSON TO BE A CAT PERSON; TIM RELF EXPLORES THE TRAITS THAT ONE MIGHT NEED IN ORDER TO QUALIFY
erely living in a house which has a cat isn’t enough to make you a ‘cat person’. Lots of people do that and are largely indifferent to it, having only agreed to its presence thanks to an enthusiastic spouse or child. Being a real cat person involves more than simply being fond of cats. We’ll find ourselves doing things that the rest of the world occasionally finds perplexing. People might sometimes raise an eyebrow at us but, hey, that’s fine. They just don’t understand. We’re like a little club – our fondness
for cats binds us together, however different we are in other ways. We relax, ever so slightly, when we find ourselves in the company of one another. Here are 10 traits that many of us share: Cat conversations With a work colleague, a friend, a neighbour - even a random stranger. If we spot another cat person, we’ll be deeply engaged in conversation within a flash. Normal social rules simply don’t apply. It’s a brilliant ice-breaker. Cues for such interaction can range from the obvious (a person holding a cat-carrying basket or an overheard
feline-related conversation) to the less obvious (someone reading a book on the subject or even a covering of fur on a garment of clothing). Numerous nicknames - Ordinary owners have a name for their pets and they stick to it. One name. It’s something functional, probably boring. They pronounce it without emotion. Cat people have a name for their cat and then some. Not just one nickname – usually quite a few. Some would be potentially embarrassing to yell out of an open back door. Currently, Nutmeg is most commonly
called Little Haze, while Parsley is referred to as Doughnut. Just don’t ask. Any cat will do - We like all cats. Any shape, any size, any marking – they’re all cute and any peculiarities or blemishes merely emphasise their character and individuality. Obviously, we think our own cats are prettier/more handsome than anyone else’s but being sensitive souls, we keep this to ourselves when meeting relatives’ or friends’ cats, complimenting them profusely on the appearance of theirs. Happy snapping - We take lots of photos of our cats with our cameras or phones; they may even be a screen saver on our computer. We’re quick to show them to other people; sometimes a little too quick. It often becomes like a game of ‘swaps’. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours... A constant worry - Our animals prove to be a regular source of worry. We fret about small, silly, at times implausible, things. We know we shouldn’t but still do. At the moment, my principal source of concern is a dog that lives a few doors up the road. It’s silly be-
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“Some would be potentially embarrassing to yell out of an open back door.”
cause it’s a soppy, friendly retriever that doesn’t have a bad bone in its body but whenever I hear its deep booming bark, the thought flashes into my head: Has it bitten Nutmeg or Parsley? Vet-worship - No two ways about it, vets are expensive. They’ll knock the stuffing out of your credit card before you’ve parked the car but something about the sight of one sparks a feeling of ‘everything’s going to be alright’. You know you’re in safe hands from the moment you walk in the surgery. They’re heroes who, often with little more than a thermometer in an unsavoury place and a quick injection, can turn a cat’s well-being around. And I’ve never met
a less-than-lovely person working there. Cat chat - OK, they can’t understand but who hasn’t found themselves saying the odd few words to a cat occasionally? I’m not saying we discuss politics or the mortgage with them but I’m happy to admit I sometimes find myself mumbling to them. It’s all in the tone of voice. Quiet, low, gentle voices are calming and reassuring to pets. Cats everywhere - On public transport, when we’re driving, when we’re walking…we have a welltrained eye. We notice cats. We spot ones that other people miss. On walls, on windowsills, in gardens. Once we’ve seen a cat a few times in a particular
spot, we look out for it – perhaps give it a nickname, maybe engage in conversation with its owner. If we’re walking, we’ll often stop to pet it but then, we’ll worry about inadvertently encouraging it away from home or in the direction of a road. Lost pet panic - Whether we’ve lost a pet in this way or not, those posters on trees and lamp posts always give us a twinge of sadness. It’s the photos. The heartfelt messages. The thought of someone waiting – and a much-loved pet on the loose, lost, possibly worse... I can’t see one within a mile of the house and not go straight home and check the shed. Never their fault - A
torn piece of furniture? It’s simply rotted through age. An ornament knocked over? It was the wind. Even if a cat is clearly culpable, we claim it either wasn’t deliberate or, if it was, we think: It can’t help it, it’s instinct. We’re also quick to blame ourselves for our cats’ transgressions. A disappeared item of food from a kitchen unit? It was our fault for leaving it there. Fur all over the carpet? Our fault for getting a light-coloured one. A piece of furniture scratched to near-obliteration. Our fault for not buying that deluxe scratching post... I will forgive them anything - are you a real cat person like me?
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59 17/10/2017 20:47
ASK EXPERTS the
LET THE CATWORLD TEAM OF EXPERTS HELP WITH YOUR PROBLEMS
Operation concern Q: Six months ago my cat Thomas had to have a tumour on his gum cauterised but sadly it has returned. Thomas is 14 and I am wondering if it is advisable for him to have the operation again, not to mention being concerned about the additional cost.
A: It is disappointing for all concerned - owner, cat and the vet when a growth of any sort recurs a short time after surgery. The decision to cauterise the mass will have been made after discussion with you about the advantages and disadvantages. Generally, it is not a good sign for the tumour to have grown back so quickly and suggests that it was not possible to completely remove the mass. You are right to be concerned about Thomas’ age, as any further surgery will involve another general anaesthetic and the associated risks. Without examining the patient in person and having full knowledge of the case history, it is very difficult for anyone else to be specific. I really would recommend that you take Thomas back to your vet as he will be able to assess the risks of further surgery and investigate if any alternative treatment strategies are possible. The other side of this dilemma is how it will effect you as the owner and Thomas as the patient if further treatment is deemed inappropriate.
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Ask yourself if the tumour is interfering with Thomas’ enjoyment of life - can he still eat normally? Does he show signs of discomfort such as pawing at his mouth? Is he suffering any other old-age-related illnesses which may end his life sooner than any effects the tumour may have on his gum? Do please seek advice from a veterinary surgeon because he or she will not be aware that the mass has grown back unless you take Thomas back for another examination.
Is his cough asthma? Q: My cat has been troubled by a cough and when I took him to the vet, I was told he probably has feline asthma. He has several coughing spells a day, that don’t produce anything, and has lost quite a bit or weight. I don’t like the thought of having to give him steroids so I wonder if there are any natural remedies or homeopathic medicines that I could give him instead?
A: Probably is a rather vague word. Has your vet x-rayed your cat’s chest or performed any other tests to determine if he does actually have feline asthma? Coughing, with loss of weight, is usually a concern and I feel you should ask your vet to make sure of his diagnosis or ask to be referred to a specialist if he can’t be certain.
If it is decided that the cough is ‘non-threatening’, meaning that there is no serious underlying cause, then there are several natural remedies that may help. Firstly though, ensure that the atmosphere in your home is not too dry - a lack of humidity can aggravate coughing, particularly at this time of year when the central heating goes on. Investing in a room humidifier could be worthwhile; these can be simple containers that hang on a radiator or something a bit more technical (and costly). Homeopathic remedies that could be helpful are: ● Arsen alb. - for a harsh cough that is worse in the early hours of the morning; ● Bryonia - for a hacking cough brought on by movement; ● Ipecac - for a spasmodic cough, often accompanied by intermittent vomiting; My advice would be to consult a homeopathic vet who can suggest any of the above or alternative treatments.
Toilet trouble Q: My three year old cat Suki was fine until summer last year when she developed a problem going to the toilet. She would need to go frequently, often only producing a little urine which was sometimes a little bloody. I took her to the vet and she was given antibiotics for cystitis. She soon seemed to go back to toileting normally and her urine is clear. However, she has been left with an odd habit of suddenly raising her rear end while she is urinating, which results in some urine falling outside of the litter tray. I have tried using a larger tray but she still seems to make a mess on the floor. Sometimes she stays in this ‘raised’ position after she has finished urinating but she does a poo quite normally. Do you think there could be a problem?
A: Vets are commonly presented with cats who have Feline Urinary Tract Disease. This is now thought to often be idiopathic in nature, with no underlying medical cause. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed for a bacterial infection but with the increasing awareness of antibiotic resistance, it is more often decided that there is no infection and the problem resolves itself in a day or two. If passing urine doesn’t seem to be causing Suki any problems in itself, ie. she is not in any pain when urinating and the frequency and amount of urination is normal, then I would try not to be too worried. It might be a good idea to collect an overnight urine sample and take it to your veterinary surgery to be analysed. This should detect if there is any underlying evidence of bladder irritation.
Her coat isn’t right Q: I have a three year old, long haired cat who has the most adorable nature and temperament. She seems to be in good health generally but I am concerned about her coat. When she is groomed, white dandruff appears as she has dry skin but at the same time, her fur is greasy and feels very sticky when I stroke her. Even though I brush her regularly, her coat looks rather scruffy. I am wondering if it might be diet related?
A: Dry skin that it also greasy is a classic sign of seborrhoea - a condition characterised by a dry, scaly,
greasy skin and coat. The term is really a description of the condition rather than an explanation of how and why it occurs. True seborrhoea is thought to be a genetic defect and is mostly associated with Persians. However, certain conditions such as Thyroid abnormalities, other hormonal disfunction or autoimmune diseases can also be a factor in seborrhoea occurring. If you haven’t already seen your vet about this, you could ask him to do some blood tests, skin scrapes or biopsies to try to determine the cause. If that seems too invasive, al-
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ternatively you could decide to ask your cat to ‘live with it’ and find ways to make it more bearable. Even if the veterinary skin tests are able to determine a cause, there may not be a cure and you will still need to resort to supportive treatment such as shampoos and regular grooming. Do seek advice from your vet or ask to be referred to a vet with homeopathic experience. Diet is rarely thought to be a factor in this condition as long as you are feeding a balanced, healthy and nutritious food. Again, your vet should be able to advise you.
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ELAINE MEAD SHARES HER EXPERINCES OF LIVING WITH A CHALLENGING SPECIAL NEEDS CAT
Clairvoyant cats and getting back to normal - living with cats who have special needs is always a challenge but definitely never boring
ince ‘the episode’, as I now refer to it, when we thought we were going to lose Gordy last month, he has been fighting to return to normal. It is taking time and on some days I think we have taken a step back rather than forward. Today is a step back day. Since Gordy was so withdrawn last month, he has had trouble with regulating his bowels. He is still ‘going’ but sometimes he is needing a bit of help. I am giving him coconut oil off and on although this morning I have decided that maybe I should dilute the coconut paste with water and give him a ‘dose’ at least once a day, maybe over his chicken. I did try putting the coconut over everyone’s chicken the other week, thinking that maybe they would all benefit; after all, the coconut has wonderful properties for ‘oiling’ the system and keeping fur coats in tip top condition. Freddy Bear was appalled at this decision and promptly went out the cat flap and brought back an enormous rat, dead, thank goodness, just in case I needed reminding that cats prefer their meat as near to its natural state as possible with no fancy sauces thank you very much. Out of all the cats, Freddy Bear is the only one that wrinkles his nose at coconut oil and looks completely horrified that ‘someone’ actually eats ‘that stuff’. Most of the time, Gordy is quite regular with his toileting; he isn’t much of a ‘once a day’ cat but more a ‘once every 36 hours’ cat. He does
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prefer to just eat chicken but then he is a very fussy cat and has to be told that chicken is twice a day and biscuits are there to fill in the hungry spaces in between. I do like him to eat a few’cat’ biscuits as they are designed to be a complete meal, with all the nutrients. So I monitor toilet habits. The only cat that is private about this is Miss ‘Mudge who goes outside regardless of the weather. Freddy Bear will come in and use the litter box upstairs if the weather is not to his liking. I have to keep an eye on Teeko as he is prone to fitting if his ‘little rocks’ fail to roll around the bathroom floor as he dances his way out of the litter box and around the room every other day. Gordy has developed his own ‘tells’ for when he needs to ‘go’ but is having a bit of trouble performing. He becomes a little lethargic – and yes this is quite difficult to tell if you don’t know him well, for being active isn’t his strong point unless motivated by cheese and damp grass. As well as being a bit quieter than normal, he seems to not co-ordinate his ‘back end’ very well. He be-
comes very wobbly. Although I am not a vet or know anything about ‘the inards and workings of said inards’, I can feel that his tummy is a little more ‘compact’ than it normally is. We have got to this point, when the grass, the coconut oil and a gentle tummy massage hasn’t moved things along a bit. I have even tried a little milk and cheese in the hope that something more natural can help him out but twice in the last month he has needed ‘divine intervention’ and a drop of lactose. After ‘the episode’ last month and the consequent bum explosions, helping Gordy to have an enforced explosion really doesn’t seem very fair but, needs must. The first time I did this, I used the syringe and gave him the same dose I would Teeko, which is about 1ml. I placed Gordy into his radiator bed, it was over breakfast and he had refused his another sign he needs help, Gordy NEVER refuses food! As I was eating my cornflakes and the husband was sipping his coffee, a smell engulfed us. Glancing over to Gordy I saw that the ‘explosion’ had taken him quite by surprise and he hadn’t moved from his radiator bed but his bottom was definitely ‘unblocked’. I morphed into Wonder Woman and whisked Gordy to the utility room for a bath in the sink. These radiator beds are washable and respond well to high temperatures in the machine, which is a good job because we had a repeat performance this morning. I only gave Gordy a ‘dribble’ of lactose but he
responds so quickly and so... violently... that I do think I need to find a way to ease his ‘pipes’ so that we don’t find ourselves in this predicament. It can’t do his body any good having to cope with bum explosions. The other problem, since ‘the episode’, is that Gordy has lost a bit of weight, especially on his back end; he has gone a little bony. Again, I don’t think anything is wrong with him as such but we are just not right. Hopefully, given time, we will get back to his normal self. Special cats seem to be a ‘thing’ in this house. Gordy with his needs and the joy he gives so many people when I talk about him online, not least the joy he fills my days and heart with, is obviously special in many ways; Teeko with his bowels and fitting, his age of 16, which is pretty good for a Birman and the way in which he always seems to be so worried about what is around the next corner. Teeko really is a bit of a ‘girly wuss’. But, he is our Teeko and he is very special to us; Miss ‘Mudge and her ever expanding tummy and diva ways and lastly, our Freddy Bear who it seems might just be a little ‘sensitive’. Freddy Bear hadn’t been himself. All day he seemed to be channelling his inner Gordy, he was lethargic,
gloomy even. Standing in the rain first thing one morning and calling him, I found it most odd that it was raining and Freddy Bear wasn’t ready in the hall for breakfast; since he has decided to stop being a stray and call this home, Freddy Bear never stays out in the rain! He didn’t come that morning so I fed everyone else their chicken breakfast and left his on the side. I was most surprised, about 15 minutes later, to meet him in the hall, completely dry, even his toes. “Freddy Bear”, I said to him catching him up in a cwtch ,”where have you been?” I gave him his breakfast but he walked away from it and let Miss ‘Mudge polish it off. Not one to let food go to waste, Miss ‘Mudge! All day I worried about him, then I thought, maybe he is sensitive to Gordy and his ‘not quite right-ness’. The day carried on as normal; tea time came and still Freddy Bear wasn’t interested in eating. It was most odd. He hadn’t really been in and out of the cat flap but then the weather was inclement. That evening I went upstairs around 8pm and was just in time to catch Teeko on the very edge of my daughter’s bed as he went into a massive fit. I was surprised, as was Teeko - we had no warning of this. Normally, Teeko will
be restless and come down to the living room and just ‘be there’ before a fit but this time, nothing. He had even been ‘pooping’ regularly so I hadn’t worried about a fit. I supported Teeko to keep him on the bed. I didn’t want to pick him up and move him whilst he was fitting so I stood and gently held my hands under the part of his back that was over the edge of the bed, then from nowhere, Freddy Bear appeared. He jumped on the bed and sat quietly next to Teeko whilst poor Teeko was thrashing about, his limbs going rigid, his eyes wide and scared, his mouth open and drooling. Freddy Bear just sat. And waited. As Teeko started to come round, I manouevered him onto the bed so he was safe and gently stroked his fur and talked to him softly. Freddy Bear ‘bumped noses’ with Teeko and sniffed both his ears. Once he was satisfied Teeko was OK he charged off the bed, ran downstairs at the speed of light and launched himself onto the sofa, flying over a sleeping Izabel and landing on my husband’s lap, where upon I heard (I was still upstairs) my husband exclaim “Freddy Bear, you seem more yourself” before the cat flap ‘flapped’ and Freddy Bear went off to annoy the wildlife.
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Cats walking on leads freedom or restraint? An increasing number of cat owners are using a lead and harness to allow their cats outside in safety but some experts argue that this is damaging to their welfare
ne of my most vivid memories as a cat owner has to be the time my cat Salem brought in a live bird and dropped it on the mat just inside our front door. Cats are hunters and always have been, yet in our modern, urban world more and more cats are being kept indoors. It is estimated that around 10% of cat owners in the UK own an indoor cat but the number is on the rise and is already much higher in America. As a result, ‘cat walking’ has become popular among owners who wish to give their cats more enrichment. However, now the RSPCA has spoken out, raising concern that walking our cats on leads may be detrimental to their welfare.
The rise of indoor cats Up until fairly recently, all cats spent at least part of their day outside hunting and patrolling their territory. It wasn’t until the arrival of cat litter in the 1950s that cat owners had any choice about letting their cats roam outside. Since then, more and more owners have made the decision to keep their cats indoors. Much of the recent growth in the idea of indoor cats has occurred due to our change in lifestyle, with many people now living in flats or apartments with no easy access to the outdoors. Cat owners are also becoming more concerned over their pets’ safety, especially in urban areas where there is a greater volume of traffic and
BY CARLA GREENWOOD number of roads. In an interview with the Radio Times, Dr John Bradshaw, author of ‘Cat Sense’ said: “For some cats, going outside is an incredibly stressful experience. It’s not about shutting cats up because you can’t be bothered to let them out, it is a genuine way of helping some cats to avoid getting stressed. It is not going to work for all cats but if you’ve got a neighbour with a rather aggressive cat, sometimes the only solution is to keep one cat indoors.” Indoor cats can have longer, physically healthier lives than cats allowed outdoors. However, indoor cats have additional requirements that need to be fulfilled to ensure they live a healthy, happy life. Outdoor cats have constant access to so much stimulation; trees, birds, other animals. An indoor cat will have none of these so it is important that you provide a variety of activity and sensory stimuli to keep your cat from getting bored. As a minimum, indoor cats need plenty of space and a variety of toys to allow them to use their natural instincts like climbing, playing and hunting. Not only will this keep them fit and mentally stimulated but it will also prevent health issues such as obesity and curb behavioural problems brought on by stress. In recent years, more and more products have been released tailored towards allowing indoor cats access to the outdoors, such as cat harnesses
and leads and even cat strollers! With mental stimulation being essential in order to keep a cat healthy, surely this additional stimulation can only be positive for our indoor kitties?
A sense of control When you think of walking on a lead, the image that will most likely spring to mind is that of a dog. Yet many cat owners are now choosing to walk their felines on a lead as well. Popular pet brands such as PetSafe UK have been capitalising on this trend by releasing their own lines of cat walking products and stocking a variety of cat harnesses and leads. Social media may also be playing a part in encouraging owners to walk their cats, with the hashtag #catwalking used over 14,000 times on Instagram alongside pictures of owners leading their cats through city centres and country parks. However, the RSPCA has warned that this wellmeaning trend may actually be causing more harm than good. An RSPCA spokesperson says: “A sense of control is very important to cats and being walked on a collar or harness prevents them from having control. It may be more difficult for them to be able to move away or hide from anything which might scare or worry them.” Despite this, the internet is filled with extraordinary pictures of cats in harnesses and leads travelling the world with their human companions,
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“Every cat is different and it is essential we weigh up the pros and cons for our own cats before making any decision that may impinge on their welfare.” showing us that it is possible to train a cat. However, your success will depend on the style of training as well as your cat’s temperament. Laura Moss, author of ‘Adventure Cats’ says: “Venturing outdoors on a harness and leash isn’t for every cat — in fact, it’s not for most cats. However, it can be a great way to enrich the lives of indoor cats and help them stay active. Allowing your indoor cat to go outside — whether it’s on a harness or in a catio — is all about enhancing a cat’s life. If your cat doesn’t enjoy it or is distressed, then it certainly shouldn’t be done.” The vast majority of pet cats in the UK still have the opportunity to roam freely outside and come and go as they please. However, the risks of an outdoor lifestyle are obvious espe-
cially for cats with medical conditions and for those breeds whose traits may mean they are not well equipped for the outside world. For these animals, walking on a lead may be the only way they will get to experience an outdoor environment. Yet, unlike dogs, cats are still very much independent and territorial creatures that may suffer mentally from the lack of control they may sense by being attached to a lead. Every cat is different and it is essential we weigh up the pros and cons for our own cats before making any decision that may impinge on their welfare.
An ideal world There is an ongoing disagreement when it comes to keeping cats indoors, weighing up safety concerns over allowing our cats to perform their natu-
ral behaviours. In an ideal world cats would roam free, patrolling their territory and stalking prey but the world we live in is fraught with dangers, from cars to other cats. The number of pet cats being kept indoors is growing worldwide so using a harness and lead to allow your cat to explore the outdoors may be one viable option to provide enrichment. Any form of training takes time, but if your cat continually refuses to cooperate when on a lead then as an owner you may have to accept that lead training may not be the best option. Even if your cat does accept a lead you should never force them to go outside of their comfort zone. Let your cat explore and enjoy the outside on their own terms, with the lead there as a security measure. C AT W O R L D
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These kittens are not for dumping Paws for thought, urges the RSPCA, which has taken nearly 12,000 cats into its care this summer as the cat crisis reached its peak
very summer, the RSPCA centres and branches end up bursting with cats and kittens as a result of unplanned litters born at this time of year and unwanted older animals. Across England and Wales from May 1 to September 24, there were 11,313 cat abandonment complaints reported to the RSPCA. The charity is urging responsible pet owners to get their cat neutered from four months old to avoid unwanted pregnancies. Alice Potter, RSPCA cat welfare expert, said: “They may look cute but having a litter of kittens to look after is hard work and costs money. Sometimes the reality of looking after them does not live up to the expectation and it is times like this when we see so many kittens abandoned. “From being tied up in plastic bags, dumped in boxes, left on a bus, or thrown out with the rubbish, the RSPCA has sadly seen too many kittens abandoned this summer. “There are an estimated
10.3 million pet cats in the UK and although it is estimated that around 90% of owners have their cats neutered, about 13% of owners of female cats say that their cat has had at least one litter. Of these owners, 70% said their cat’s pregnancy was unplanned which inevitably results in a lot of kittens*.” Between May and September 2017, the RSPCA has neutered more than 4,000 cats. The numbers of cats in RSPCA centres and branches in May reached a whopping 3,652 and June saw even more with 3,848. In July there were 2,492 and August there were 1,950 cats and kittens needing care. Alice Potter added: “Not all cats and kittens abandoned by their owners will have been lucky enough to make it into care. Unfortunately there are kittens who have been dumped and will not make it. “If your cat has reached about four months old or more, there are voucher schemes which can help with the cost of neuter-
ing such as the Cat Smart scheme in Sheffield and the Cat Care and Control Consortium in London. Check with your local RSPCA branch to see what services are available.”
Case studies Three black kittens, Maggie, Chester and Jet were tied in a plastic bag and dumped underneath a vehicle at Manchester Airport on one of the hottest May days the UK had seen in 176 years. Luckily they were found in time and taken to the RSPCA Cheshire and Altrincham branch. The kittens were just hours old and still had their umbilical cords attached but with
round-the-clock care by fosterer Joanne Yoli they made a full recovery. Another tiny newborn kitten, Misty, was found abandoned in a bin in Salford also with her umbilical cord still attached. Fosterer Joanne Yoli also hand reared the brown kitten after she was found in August. Three kittens were dumped in a shoebox and left on a London bus in July. Arriva, Diesel and Oyster were rescued and taken to Harmsworth Animal Hospital where they got the care they needed. A poorly and weak kitten was found in a Disney Frozen shopping bag dumped in Kingstanding in August
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New fundraising packs
and taken to Birmingham Animal Hospital but sadly his condition deteriorated and he died. Casper, a tiny white kitten, was very fragile when he was kindly brought in to the RSPCA North West Middlesex branch in London by a member of the public at the end of August. He was newborn when discovered in a garden in London, freezing cold and covered in flies and their eggs. Though very weak and near death, he soon became stronger thanks to fosterer Sarah Blackband. To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org. uk/give
hen cats and kittens arrive at rescue centres around the UK, many are not in the best of health. In 2016, Yorkshire Cat Rescue found new homes for nearly 900 cats and kittens - a record it looks set to break for the third year running. Many of the cats that have been rescued in 2017 have arrived in such poor health that they needed immediate and intensive veterinary treatment and round-the-clock care. YCR has become known for saving cats when many other local centres and charities don’t have the funds, expertise or facilities to help. But the charity desperately needs more funding to continue. “At the current level of demand for help, we could fill our re-homing centre 10 times,” said Sara Atkinson, founder of Yorkshire Cat Rescue. “We enjoy a huge amount of support from volunteers and foster families. Their effort and dedication is absolutely invaluable. But we desperately need more funds to pay the bills that inevitably come with the level of care we provide to our cats.” Back in April, Yorkshire Cat Rescue stepped in and took on 22 cats living in squalid conditions and all suffering from
a highly contagious fungal infection. More than four months later, most of the cats are still undergoing treatment at the centre - a rescue mission that has so far cost the charity thousands. Then, in August, the charity agreed to take responsibility for a staggering 44 kittens and their mums who were found living outside on a housing estate. Many were in poor health and had to be admitted for intensive care. They are now being raised in foster homes and YCR is paying all the associated vet and food bills. Once they are old enough, all of them will have to be treated for worms, fleas and vaccinated before they can be put up for adoption. Sara added: “We get a lot of praise for what we do and that really keeps our spirits high on the toughest days (and nights). But we receive no government funding and really need the community to help us this autumn. The fundraising packs can be collected from the charity’s re-homing centre and shops, sent in the post (email mail@ yorkshirecatrescue.org) or downloaded from https://yorkshirecatrescue.org/doyour-own-thing
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NATUR NATURAL ATURA ATUR TURAL AL HEALTH L LTH An examination of two common but serious feline conditions by Richard Allport who also has some suggested natural remedies
y younger son might well have known that the capital of North Korea is Pyong Yang but I couldn’t expect him to be aware that the Islets of Langerhans are not a sundrenched set of tiny tropical islands but are in fact to be found in the pancreas, a little lump of tissue situated near the stomach. The Islets of Langerhans constitute one of those names that stuck in my head as a veterinary student, several decades ago. The pancreas is a tiny organ that tends to get forgotten about until it causes trouble, but when it does cause trouble, it’s trouble with a capital T. There are two main conditions that can affect the pancreas, both of which are serious, and both of which, without treatment, are lifethreatening. The first is Diabetes Mellitis. Here we come back to our tropical islets, because the Islets of Langerhans are little dots of special tissue in the sea of the pancreas which secrete Insulin, the hormone responsible for controlling sugar in the blood. Putting it simply, when Insulin isn’t present, sugar levels in the blood rise and the condition we call diabetes develops. As there are far too many fat cats in the land, and
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as many of these fat cats have imbalanced diets and most of them have been neutered, diabetes is an all-too-common phenomenon. If diabetes is diagnosed early, it can be possible to avoid having to give replacement Insulin as a treatment. An Atkins-style diet (high protein, low carbohydrate) is invaluable – and this doesn’t need to be an expensive prescription diet. Just give lots of meat and few carbs – it’s as easy as pie. But don’t actually feed your cat pies, obviously! Without doubt, treating a diabetic cat with natural remedies is best left to those with experience, so if your cat is, or becomes, diabetic and you are interested in looking at a natural medicine approach, ask your practice to refer you to a holistic vet with experience in treating diabetic cats. Even if your cat has to go onto Insulin therapy, it is likely that adding natural medicines onto the treatment will help to minimise the requirement for Insulin, help to reduce the likelihood of instability of symptoms and lessen the risk of hypoglycaemic collapse (when the sugar level drops too fast, too suddenly). The symptoms of diabetes include an increase in thirst and appetite,
together with weight loss. Compare this with the other major pancreatic disease, pancreatitis, in which the pancreas becomes inflamed and painful. Here there is often weight loss, but with a loss of appetite rather than an increased appetite.
There is often vomiting, sometimes diarrhoea, abdominal pain or pressure is common and most affected cats are lethargic and show loss of interest in their surroundings. Severely affected cats can go into shock and die, so it is a really serious condition. However much natural remedies can assist, some conventional treatment is almost always necessary and ultimately life-saving – particularly the use of intravenous drips to prevent shock. Antibiotics and steroids are also usually given but treatment with homoeopathic remedies is often successful. Remedies such as Hypericum, for the pain; Belladonna or Pyrogen for the fever which often accompanies pancreatitis; Aconite for the shock and Pancreatin to support the pancreas after the crisis is over, will be likely healing agents. As with diabetes, treating pancreatitis means a joint approach from a good conven-
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tional vet, and an experienced holistic vet (or someone who is both!)
Risky cats Those strange and weird people who don’t like cats – they must have a defective gene in my view, and we should pity them – will often point to the supposed health risks posed by cats: usually the finger is actually pointed at worms and toxoplasma. While it is important to worm kittens and young cats, the incidence of roundworms – the ones that can in theory be passed on to humans – is very low in adult cats. Some vets suggest worming adult cats regularly. I would, however, suggest faecal samples are regularly examined for worms by a vet, so that if many worms or worm eggs are found, worming can be given for a valid reason. There are some excellent homoeopathic remedies that seem to keep worms away. Granatum and
Filix mas. for tapeworms and Cina for roundworms are my favourites. Regarding the other ‘danger disease’, Toxoplasmosis, the risk of picking up this disease from cats is very small indeed, compared with the risk of contracting Toxoplasmosis from handling raw or undercooked meat, or from gardening where soil is contaminated, or from eating/handling vegetables and salads contaminated with affected soil. Only pregnant women and those with suppressed immune systems are at any significant risk from cats, and even then strict attention to hygiene controls more or less solves the potential problem.
Heart felt About one third of cats are thought to have a mild heart murmur. This means there are probably thousands of cats in the UK wandering around with minor heart disease that no-one knows about, least of all the poor cat. However, unless the condition gets worse, there is not necessarily any need to take any further action if the cat concerned is in good health, can tolerate normal amounts of activity without problems and is still eating and drinking normally. In fact treating cats with asymptotic heart disease with conventional heart drugs is probably counterproductive, since there are then fewer drugs to use if the symptoms worsen. Some vets suggest investigations of heart disease if a heart murmur is heard. This may or may not be a good thing. A patient recently referred to me with a heart murmur but no symptoms had just been through a battery of ECGs, ultrasounds, x-rays, blood tests and blood pressure recordings which had left the poor thing a quivering wreck. The blood pressure was high – but as the specialist noted – this was probably due to fear and anxiety!
THE CAT LADY
WITH ELEANOR FORRESTER
The history of the Cats Protection - one of Britain’s most well known feline charities is celebrating 90 years of cat care
his month is my final investigation for Cat World because I am moving on to pastures new and so I am donning my deerstalker for the last time and opening my case to solve one last moggie mystery. Britain is called a nation of pet lovers but programmes such as, ‘Animal Rescue Live - Super Vet Special’, really highlight the fact that this love for animals comes at a cost as many are abandoned, often as a result of various different circumstances, such as a family breakdown, an owner passing away or simply because a person does not realise the huge amount of responsibility it takes to look after a pet. The rescue centre has had a long established history in our culture and this year marks the 90th birthday of the Cats Protection, charity. In 1927 an animal welfare campaigner by the name of Jessica Wade founded the Cats Protection League. At this time cats were considered no more than pests and Jessica brought together some likeminded individuals from Caxton Hill, London. They were all concerned about the well-being of domestic cats.
By 1935 the charity opened its headquarters in Slough and is based there to this day. Throughout the Second World War it went from strength to strength. and during which time, a scheme was developed, called ‘Tailwavers’, that was aimed to support cats that had been caught up in blitzed out buildings. Then from 1949 the charity began to progress forward and started to begin neutering cats as way to control numbers. In the 1950s, as a result of a legacy that was given to the Cats Pro-
tection, they set up their first shelter in Haslemere, Surrey. As the swinging sixties came into full flow, the charity brought out neutering vouchers, the first to be offered, and continued into the 1970s nationwide. By the latter part of the seventies Cats Protection had reached 10,000 supporters and established its three objectives: 1. To rehome cats and kittens 2. To educate the public about the importance of good cat care 3. To encourage owners to get their cats neutered In the nineties the charity published its first education pack for schools and by 1994 they began a microchipping scheme which is offered at all of their shelters. At the end of the nineties, ‘The Cats Protection League’, changed its name to, ‘Cats Protection’; they also developed a new logo and branding. The year 2004 saw the charity move its headquarters to Chelwood Gate in Sussex, where their largest adoption centre is based. In the five years following this they helped over one million cats and in 2015 the charity put together its first ‘manifesto for felines’.
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FELINE FUN Spot the difference
Can you find 6 things in the picture that are missing?
We’re getting in the mood with a festive, film-themed word search puzzle this month. Not all of them feature cats but they are guaranteed to give you a warm, fuzzy feeling - can you find the one that is missing from the grid?
V L L D I T UO J N F MM V Q N B A O E T NQ R A I F U L I Z L O H C R N S L A E L V S V Y V X D R S V R W T J B P I W T T H E A E WU H Q D E G O O I I R D H S Y N A F MA Y A A
O E A E A C E M J E M T R F R M F I
F W M L K C Z M C G V R I E C G I P
P O K H R F T H K F C U S Y S M T P
H T D U X E R U Y R P R T R D F T V
LOVE ACTUALLY HOME ALONE ELF ITS A WONDERFUL LIFE THE POLAR EXPRESS THE SNOWMAN
Answers from last month Across: 1. Burma, 6. Arthritis, 7. Diabetes, Down: 1. Black, 2. Microchip, 3. Birmingham, 4. Eurasian, 5. Fireworks Spot the difference, right.
C W D Z R I D M A X U N O K L X A I
S Z A P S G K N N L U V C X U O T R
U A M T F X W W O A L E A C C G S J
H U M M J L S I G W X Y T G L D A N
D A Q L G S E A Z L N I S V E R F K
S J V W Q H H X V K I I J K Q D K Z
S S E R P X E R A L O P E H T I A X
H Z W P WN T R H V E M S C N Y O J W P M J A J N Q C D K I S S E R Y M
W Y A M Z B I N P X B H B M C L B A
D P I D L Y Z S W L J X C B T X A L
WHITE CHRISTMAS SCROOGED BREAKFAST AT TIFFANYS ALICE IN WONDERLAND THE ARISTOCATS
DID YOU KNOW?
TIME A CAT IS ‘CATS SLEEP SO MUCH THAT BY THE BEEN AWAKE NINE YEARS OLD IT WILL ONLY HAVE FOR THREE YEARS OF ITS LIFE!’
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Pets won’t let you be lonely this Christmas Loneliness is something none of us want to experience so a top charity is urging lonely people to volunteer or adopt a pet for great companionship and other benefits
BY JILL MUNDY
lthough Christmas time can be lonely for many people, possibly cut off from their families for a variety of reasons, loneliness can be felt at any time of year. The Royal College of General Practitioners has revealed the health dangers associated with loneliness which can soon become a downward spiral. Leading animal welfare charity the RSPCA has urged anyone feeling the effects of being alone to consider taking on a rescue animal. A pet is a wonderful companion and can help you to get out and meet new people, shopping for cat food or on a trip to the vets. However, many lonely people are housebound and so the companionship of a pet is of even greater benefit and comfort. For those who can get out and about easily, volunteering at rescue centres or animal charity shops will not only get a lonely person out of their house meeting people but also give them a sense or purpose, something that many people miss.
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Adopting a pet can be a fantastic way to combat loneliness. C AT W O R L D
Statistics show that more than 1.1m people are thought to be chronically lonely with 17% of older people having human contact less than once a week. The Royal College of General Practitioners recently revealed that loneliness can be as bad for someone’s health as having a long-term illness
such as diabetes. Dr Julia Wrathall, chief scientific officer at the RSPCA, said: “Adopting a pet can be a fantastic way to combat loneliness and animals can make wonderful companions for those who find themselves alone. As well as pets helping people, pairing lonely people with a suitable animal could also help to ease pressure on the animal welfare charities and rescue centres across the country who are full to bursting with unwanted pets. And of course, it can provide the opportunity for a wonderful new life for a needy animal too. “As well as providing vital companionship to people who live alone, there are also a number of other benefits to owning a pet. Evidence suggests that when we stroke animals our bodies release oxytocin, a hormone that brings about bonding between individuals as well as helping us feel more optimistic and lowering blood pressure.” The charity’s staff and volunteers work tirelessly to rescue animals, rehabilitate them and then match them with the perfect owner. “Of course, owning a pet may not be suitable for everybody and it’s essential that the many responsibilities associated with taking on an animal are fully understood beforehand,” Dr Wrathall added. “Interacting with animals can be a great way not only to overcome loneliness in people but also to help improve the lives of the many animals in need as well.”
Got something to share about your favourite feline? email email@example.com
Big panic over Mini Our cat Mini, a mix of grey, brown and tan, is a ten year old female that we acquired from a pound around four months ago. My wife and I have lived with her in the same house for 30 years until last spring when we moved from urban Massachusetts to New Hampshire where it is less urban. After a few days Mini pushed her way through the screens in the porch and disappeared. She had been gone for four months then last week suddenly reappeared. She was in great condition, coat was clean, no ticks or fleas but she has lost a lot of weight. Mini seemed exhausted and scared. We carefully let her back into the porch and have been feeding her and letting her sleep and she
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seems to be on the road to fully returning to her high energy self. Where did she go? Why did she return? These questions will remain unanswered but we are so glad to have here home. Bob Keirstead, Durham, New Hampshire, USA
Katy - an inspiration I always enjoy reading Katy Edge’s column each month but her recent accounts of becoming a foster mum have inspired me to take the plunge too. Initially I began working in our local animal charity shop, sorting clothes and other items that came in. Then I started visiting the animal shelter as a volunteer, just talking to the cats and giving them some company. Now I am ready to take the next step and help the
Dear Paw Post I am usually against dressing cats (or any other animals for that matter) in ‘fancy dress’ costumes. It seems unnatural and unfair. However, a very good friend of mine had quite a surprise the other day. She has young children as well as a very lovely cat called Harry. The children were rehearsing for a play at school and so my friend had taken the box of Christmas hats, gloves, etc down from the top of her wardrobe. The children had left it open and when my friend went into her bedroom, there was Harry, curled up in a red woolly scarf with his head on top of, and looking like he was almost wearing, a Christmas hat! I was visiting her at the time and I have to admit he looked very cute - and clearly it was his own choice. Melanie Reddup, Gloucester
poor cats and kittens who find themselves in need of care, often as a result of terrible circumstances, in a much more hands-on way. Wish me luck! Gemma Pearson, Cardiff
Call of the wild Thank you for highlighting the fact in the October issue (Mews Round) that Born Free were issuing
coin cards for the now no longer accepted round £1 coins. My husband and I each obtained cards then turned out pockets, handbags and drawers. To our amazement and delight, we have collected £23 which we will be giving to Born Free and know it will be put to good use. Lesley Mitchell, Scarborough
SHOW DATES CLUB EVENTS FOR YOU DIARY
GCCF NOVEMBER November 04-05 National Pet Show The NEC, Birmingham, West Midlands B40 1NT November 11 Blue Persian Cat Society Hartlebery Parish Hall, Waresley Court Road, Hartlebery, Kidderminster DY11 7TQ British Shorthair Cat Club The Dome, Doncaster Lakeside, Bawtry Road, Doncaster, South Yorkshire DN4 7PD Yorkshire County Cat Club The Dome, Doncaster Lakeside, Bawtry Road, Doncaster, South Yorkshire DN4 7PD November 18 Cheshire Area Cat Club Sutton Leisure Centre, Elton Head Road, St Helens WA9 5AU Ulster Siamese & All Breed Cat Club Bangor Aurora Aquatic & Leisure Complex, 3 Valentine Road, Bangor BT20 4UT
Colourpoint, Rex-Coated & AOV Club Bloxwich Leisure Centre, High Street,Walsall WS3 2DA Chinchilla, Silver Tabby & Smoke Cat Society Samuel Cody Specialist Sports College, Ballantyne Road, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 8SN Red, Cream & Tortoiseshell Society Samuel Cody Specialist Sports College, Ballantyne Road, Farnborough, Hampshire GU14 8SN
December December 02 Trans-Pennine Oriental & Siamese Cat Club Stockport Masonic Guildhall, 169-171 Wellington Road South, Stockport SK1 3UA West of Scotland Cat Club Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility, 1 O’Donnell Way, Motherwell ML1 2TZ
Scottish Cat Club Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility, 1 O’Donnell Way, Motherwell ML1 2TZ December 09 Sphynx Cat Association Bracknell Leisure Centre, Bagshot Road, Bracknell, RG12 9SE Tonkinese Breed Club Bracknell Leisure Centre, Bagshot Road, Bracknell, RG12 9SE December 16 Maidstone & Medway Cat Club Bracknell Leisure Centre, Bagshot Road, Bracknell, RG12 9SE
TICA NOVEMBER 11/12 CatTICA, Newbury DECEMBER 8 - 10 SpoTICAt, Coventry
2018 JANUARY 06-07 LondonCats, Leatherhead
November 25 Bengal Cat Club Cricklade Town Hall, High Street, Cricklade, Swindon, Wiltshire SN6 6AE Birman Cat Club Lutterworth Sports Centre, Lutterworth, Leicestershire LE17 4RB
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New postal museum is looking for cat mascots The UK postal service has a long history and felines have played their own important part in keeping mail sacks secure, ensuring safe delivery of the Royal Mail
he Postal Museum in London opened in July this year, revealing over five centuries of British communications history as seen through the eyes of its iconic postal service. One of the many displays will pay homage to the Postal system’s feline employees of the past, which were used to keep sacks of letters mouse-free. Now the museum is calling on volunteer cat owners to send in applications from their furry felines to be the new post cats! The cats will be working from home but they will get a starring role on the Postal museum website as well as an official postal hat.
History of post cats In September 1868, three cats were officially employed at the Money Order office in London to catch rodents, with an allowance of one shilling a week to feed all three cats. They were given six months by the Secretary of the Post Office to reduce the mouse problem or they would be sacked. Luckily they did a good job and in 1873 they were awarded an increase
BY CARLA GREENWOOD of 6d per week. The use of cats soon spread to other post offices with the pay varying widely. Across the Atlantic in America, Postal cats were just as popular. In 1904, the New York Times reported that George W Cook, ‘the only Superintendent of Federal Cats in America’, gave a party for 60 post office cats to celebrate his own 81st birthday, with calve liver and lamb kidney on the menu!
Tibs the Great There have been many post cats over the years but the most famous of all was ‘Tibs the Great’, the 23lb giant born in November 1950, who served at the Post Office Headquarters for 14 years. Tibs was an official member of the Post office staff, earning 2s 6d a week. He lived in Post Office Headquarters’ refreshment club, in the basement of the building, and never ventured from his domain. However, he did find time to appear at a special cats’ and film stars’ party and have his portrait included in the 1953 book
‘Cockney Cats’. Tibs worked diligently throughout his life, keeping the Headquarters mousefree until his death on 23rd November 1964, after he was found to have cancer of the mouth. His obituary in the January 1965 Post Office Magazine was entitled ‘Tibs the Great is No More’. His successor, Blackie, was the last cat to reside at Post Office HQ and served until his death in 1984. Since then, cloth sacks have been replaced by rodent-proof plastic bags.
Reviving an old custom Earlier this year, the Postal Museum and Mail Rail exhibition officially opened its doors to the public. The museum has five zones, exploring over 500 years of the postal service with interactive exhibits, displays of rare stamps and access to the revamped Mail Rail; a set of underground tunnels originally opened in 1927 to shuttle post around London before its closure in 2013. The museum will also pay homage to the great cats that served the Post Of-
fice throughout its history. The use of post cats ended 33 years ago but now the postal museum is reviving the custom by calling on cat owners to send in applications for their kitties to be the new post cats. The cats can work from home, so won’t even need to leave their comfy beds to apply! Each month a successful applicant will be appointed to the ceremonial role of Postal Museum Cat (PMC) until September 2018. Recruitment adverts have been placed across national and local newspapers to help find the right candidates for the role. The adverts state: “PMCs are expected to work from home so must be reliable purr-fessionals. While a volunteer position, there are great purrks, including provision of an official hat. Refurrences not required.” To apply, cat owners must submit a photo of their cat to The Postal Museum on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram using @ThePostalMuseum and the hashtags #catsinhats and #jobsfurcats. C AT W O R L D
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NURSE’S NOTES JANET PENNINGTON REPORTS FROM THE FRONTLINE OF A BUSY VETERINARY PRACTICE Whether fireworks were to blame for Poppy’s terrible injuries or not will never be known for sure
’ve come full circle where fireworks are concerned, now I’m a mother and my cats are a little hard of hearing. Not even bangers disturb their comfy naps in front of the fire on cold November evenings. But it wasn’t always like that. When my cats were kittens they would tremble when the whees and whirrs exploded in the air, and spend bonfire week behind furniture. One year, on Remembrance Sunday, someone rang the veterinary practice where I worked and said they had found a burned cat in a bin. In a stunned silence the vet took a basket and his medical case. I connected the oxygen tank to the anaesthetic machine then prepared some bowls of antiseptic solutions. This was going to be a tough one. The poor cat must have been in a terrible state. And Remembrance Sunday was a week after bonfire night. Had it been in the bin all week? When he returned, the vet gently laid the sedated cat on the table. Silently another nurse and I came to assist.
Half of the tail looked as if it had been ripped off and there were grazes all over its body. Worst of all, the ears, tail and fur along the back were all singed. It looked indeed as though it had been burned. Immediately I thought of fireworks. I began to rant that they should be banned, they didn’t serve any purpose except to frighten and injure animals. I conjured up images of the cat having a rocket tied to its tail and it flying into the night sky, just to fall down to earth in a shower of red and green stars. No-one commented so I continued to monitor the anaesthetic. The damaged part of the tail was amputated so that a neat stump was left. The other lesions were fairly superficial so I just bathed them when the operation was over. We knew of no owners so we decided to call her Poppy because it was Remembrance Day. The vet thought that she had suffered a very traumatic experience so suggested that we leave her in a large cat basket instead of a kennel.
I found the doublesized one, padded it well with several blankets and left a small bowl of water. I placed her inside when she came round and looked at her lovely but whiskerless face. How could anyone be so cruel? When she was fully round she began to tremble. I wished there was more I could have done to comfort her. If anyone got too close she hissed. She was petrified. All I could do was talk gently and soothingly to her. The weeks passed and Poppy’s injuries improved. The amputated tail healed well and all the little singed bits of fur grew back, even the whiskers started to gain some length. But no-one called to claim her. We put her details in the local newspaper but still nothing. She was too afraid to be re-homed, she would not have adjusted and would not have made a good companion. Not yet anyway. After a while she let me remove her bowls and litter tray without trying to slice my hands off
with her claws. I waited patiently for the day when she didn’t tense up when I opened her kennel door. Eventually that day arrived. I talked to her gently then let my index finger slide over the top of her head. She flinched slightly, looked at me but let me continue. A few days after that she began to purr. The next day the vet said that we should try her in a kennel. Poppy stretched out in her new enlarged territory. She looked happy. Her appetite increased and she began to put on weight. It was nice to see. We still had to move slowly, any sudden movement or noise would make her literally jump six inches into the air. We never did trace her owners or find out what really had happened to her. She did, however, find a new home. A nice, quiet couple, well known to us, offered her a place to live with them. They had a big garden on the edge of woodland so there was no danger of sudden noises and definitely no fireworks.
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PASHA & TANNI
Pasha is the king of misadventure The nights may be drawing in but that doesn’t stop the Siamese duo getting up to mischief, especially Pasha who forgot to tell anyone he was playing hide and seek
he daylight hours are diminishing fast which is not good news for those cats only allowed outside during the hours of daylight. Pasha & Tanni clearly do not approve of having their outdoors time restricted. When I tell them it’s the same for other cats too this fails to impress them. But to be fair they are lingering longer in their sleeping quarters in the morning and Pasha in particular is often reluctant to get up. Tanni is the early riser, up and about long before the rest of us wake. Not for nothing is Tanni sometimes known as Fidget Pants! But come night time and Tanni is ready for bed long before Pasha. There are more birds to be found in the garden, especially woodpigeons black birds and robins. Time to put out the bird food while the Siamese duo are indoors for a warm up. During the night there can occasionally be heard the eerie sound of a bird of prey out on the hunt. Or could it be foxes? But just as often the Siamese boys are alert to the sound of something way beyond the range of the human ear. Sometimes I think Pasha and Tanni are the Princes of Spook! Just a few weeks ago the garden was full of spiders of all different sizes and cobwebs hung everywhere. Indoors we had more than our fair share of spiders racing across the ceiling, curtains and carpet. Neither Pasha or Tanni were particularly interested in catching them so it was left to me to
BY INGRID HOOPER catch and then release them outside. When Pasha and Tanni get bored they resort to teasing the two Jack Russel dogs which visit a neighbour on a fairly regular basis. They jump up on the fence between the two gardens ready to tease the dogs and get them into trouble! I have watched Pasha make a bee-line for the dogs from the safety of the fence and then tree climb like an acrobat. This gets them barking and their humans have no idea that Pasha is the culprit. A soon as the dogs get told off I can almost see Pasha smirk! Tanni, always more cautious and sensible, tends to watch things from a safe distance. It wasn’t long ago that Pasha had another one of his mis-adventures. It suddenly rained heavily and Tanni came running indoors while there was no sign of Pasha. I reckoned he was probably just waiting for a break in the shower to run back home. The lull in the shower came and went and still no sign of Pasha. After an hour or so I began to get worried and looked for him in all the usual hiding places indoors. He was nowhere to be seen. I went outside again and called but still no sign of Pasha. Tanni meanwhile was hanging around the kitchen but wasn’t touching his food which is unusual. I asked Tanni to lead me to Pasha and he continued to mill around the kitchen. Something he wouldn’t normally do. Then it occurred to me that I had been
out in the garage earlier and had propped up a pole behind the door. I called for Pasha and heard his gentle meow in reply. I went to unlock the door but it wouldn’t budge. The pole had fallen across the door and become firmly wedged. Pasha was stuck inside and I couldn’t get to him. What to do? I remembered there was another door with a rusty lock which was unused. As luck would have it the key was in the lock. I turned it and nothing happened. Pasha by now was clearly getting frightened inside the garage. Nothing for it but to put my shoulder up against the door and try to break in. There was a splintering of wood and a groan of metal as one of the hinges came away and the door started to collapse. Then I remembered I had stacked up heavy objects the other side of this unused door. I gave one almighty heave and things moved. Pasha was clearly frightened that his Mum was coming through ‘the wall’. I ran and scooped him up in my arms with Tanni close behind and breathed a huge sigh of relief. Once again all was well that ended well! ● Follow
Pasha & Tanni’s kitten adventures on their blog at www.CatsHaveStaff.co.uk ● Cats Have Staff – The Saffi & Misa Diaries by Ingrid Hooper is available from the above website or from Amazon. Out now in paperback and Kindle. C AT W O R L D
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Toys and treats for festive feline fun If you are wondering what to include in kitty’s Christmas stocking this year, here are a few ideas that are fun but have health in mind too
BY MANDY WILLETT
ost cat owners will admit to getting their favourite feline one or two special treats over the Christmas period. While we humans look forward to a few glasses of our favourite tipple or the odd box of chocolates, it is important to look after our health and fitness at what can be a stressful and exhausting time of year. The same applies to our cats and while a few treats are ok, too many can lead to problems with weight gain. By keeping treats healthy and spending time playing with your cat in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of Christmas, he will have fun but keep active at the same time.
rustle loudly as the cat moves through them. All of these toys are designed to keep a cat active while stimulating his brain at the same time.
Shake, rattle or roll
For some reason, the spot of light from a laser pen moving across a carpet or wall will have your cat leaping and pouncing all over the place. From simple pen-style lasers to more advanced laser toys with multiple pattern options, cats just love interacting with these narrow beams of light. They are battery operated so be sure to keep a supply of spare batteries stored safely out of kitty’s reach.
Any toy that rattles, rustles or jingles will have your cat’s inquisitive streak going ten to the dozen. You will find bells hidden inside plastic balls or securely tied to a ribbon or string; cat mats that rustle when walked on and puppet-style toys that rattle when moved on your hand. Golf balls, disco balls, glow-in-the-dark balls…the variety is immense and your cat will love to chase them all. More elaborate toys include covered runs where balls roll through tunnels and can be swiped at through gaps at certain points; domes with balls inside that can be removed through several holes and fabric tubes to run through or hide in that
Food, fabulous food Who doesn’t like a special food treat now and then? You will find treat dispensers and feeders galore, in all sorts of shapes, colours and designs, that will keep an inquisitive cat happily pawing and rolling them to release the edible cat treats hidden within. Some feeders come with a timer that means your cat won’t be prone to scoffing the lot all at once.
Let it shine
Catnip cuteness While not all cats are affected by catnip, those that are go mad for it and the internet is full of videos of cats going bananas over catnip-stuffed, well yes, bananas and many other soft playthings such as mice, spiders,
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slippers and fish. Even scratch boards come with a stash of catnip to sprinkle over them, enticing kitty to use the scratch board as he delights in the heady scent of the catnip (we humans can’t smell it so don’t understand what the fuss is all about - but it can be very entertaining to watch!)
Super snacks Edible treats should always be included as part of your cat’s daily food intake but are a great way of showing kitty you are pleased with them or just how much you love them. Christmas can be very stressful for anxious cats as visitors and unusual
sounds and smells can all make a timid cat feel very uneasy. Save a treat or two for when visitors have gone for the day and the house falls quiet, back to some sort of normality. A tasty snack, a new toy to play with or a cuddle from you should hopefully work wonders. C AT W O R L D
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DIRECTORY THE UK’S LEADING BREED-BY-BREED GUIDE TO CATS AND KITTENS FOR SALE
AUSTRALIAN MIST ROSE VALLEY. Australian Mist kittens. New breed to the UK. Claimed to be the perfect family cat. Reg/Vac/Ins and microchipped. Spotted or marbelled in six colours. Tel 0118 9811109. Also Burmese kittens. www.katsacute.co.uk firstname.lastname@example.org
BENGALS OAKMERE HALL AMIGAMIA BENGALS AND RAGDOLLS. Alison Newman. Family reared indoors, well socialised, affectionate from multi champion lines. GCCF/TICA ref TBRCC/ PBRCC VACC/INS. www.amigamia.co.uk Mid-Cheshire 01606-883528.
BIRMAN JANDOUGLEN. Mrs Ann V C Mott Bury St Edmunds. *Birmans - Seals, Blues, Chocolates, Lilacs, Reds. Also Tabbies in these colours. 01359 221200 email@example.com www.ann.mott.freeuk.com
BRITISH SHORTHAIR CARASSACAT British Shorthairs, GCCF Registered Breeder. PKD Tested. All my kittens are fully vaccinated, microchipped & insured before they leave me. They are reared in my house so are used to dogs & everyday comings & goings. Specialising in Colour Points, Self’s & Bi colours. Email firstname.lastname@example.org phone 01527 273942 website www.carassacat.co.uk CROWVALLEY. Mrs Betty Williams Pontypool F.A.B. Listed cattery breeder of British Shorthair Silver Tabby/Spotted
ous colours, home reared, well socialised and used to dogs. This unusual breed makes fun loving, affectionate family pets. GCCF Reg/Vacc/Insurance/ Flea & Wormed/Microchipped. Enquiries welcome, contact: 0208 641 5695 or email: email@example.com
You have seen the rest, now ask the 'BEST' We are a group of dedicated, experienced and well respected breeders of the British Shorthair Cat. If you need help, information or advice in choosing the ‘purrfect’ companion for you, whether you would like a kitten or an older cat, please contact us. www.bestofbritishshorthairs.co.uk
and Black Smoke. All kittens are home reared with Ped/Reg/Vac/ Ins.flea & worm treated. Parents can be seen. 01495 785546 Williams0ja@btinternet.com Crowvalleycattery.co.uk KERNMERE BRITISH BLUES, Creams, Silvers, Colourpoints, Lilacs, Torties. Tel: 02476 681335 Mobile: 07519972046 Email: jeanette.Knapp@ btinternet.com Web: www.kernmere-cats.com LARNIKAT. British Shorthairs kittens, Colourpoints in all colours, + Tabby Colourpoints, selfs in Blues and Lilacs, sometimes Spotties and Tabbies. Reg/Vacc/Ins. Homereared. PKD-negative tested. 01922-620505.W.Midlands. firstname.lastname@example.org www.larnikat.com LEAHS BLUES British Shorthairs. Available now: Lilac boys, Lilac girls and Lilac Point boys. Sometimes available: Blues, Blue points & Chocolates. Reg/Vacc/Ins. 01442 236860 / 07866266477. email@example.com web: www.leahsblues.com Hertfordshire
Telephone: Valerie: 01652 654574 Sharon: 02476 684350
BURMESE KATSACUTE BURMESE, most colours. Bred for temperament, substance and quality. House reared with children and dogs. Fully Vacc/Ins/Reg and microchipped. Responsible homes only. Tel 0118-9811109. www.katsacute.co.uk Hants/Berks.border.
BURMILLA GAZZELLA. Burmillas & Asian Smokes - Experienced breeder. Cats tested PKD negative Home reared, vaccinated and microchipped kittens sometimes available. See website for current details. Gloucester 07507 649294 / 01594 564071. firstname.lastname@example.org www.gazzellacats.co.uk
COLOURPOINT AMORAMIST COLOURPOINTS, chocolate torties and red points available. PKD negative. Micro chipped. 01326 240907 email@example.com www.amoramist.com
CORNISH REX Curly coated Pedigree Cornish Rex kittens, vari-
FOREIGN MS MARJORIE DAVIDSONSMITH, Hatfield. Ootha. *Siamese, Foreign White & Oriental SH. Kittens sometimes available. 01707 264450 firstname.lastname@example.org
KORATS KOORAHK KORATS often have kittens available. Home reared with love. Registered, Vaccinated, Insured, Microchipped. Own stud. Tel 0161 281 6482. Email: email@example.com Web: www.koorahkkorats direct.co.uk
MAINE COONS AMORAMIST MAINE COONS Maureen Holden Ritchie. Breeding solid whites, tabbies with and without white, and solids. Champion lines. Persians and colourpoints. (winner of Supreme). All PKD negative and reared underfoot. 01326 240907 mareenholdenritchie@yahoo. co.uk www.amoramist.com LEAHSBLUES. Maine Coons - Silvers, Blues, Torties & Reds. British Shorthair - Blues, Blue Points, Chocolates, Reg/Vacc/ Ins. 01442 236860/07866 266477. firstname.lastname@example.org. co.uk web: www.leahsblues.com
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Y OF BREEDS TO BOOK YOUR ADVERT IN THE DIRECTORY OF BREEDERS CALL US ON 01903 884988
THE MAINE COON CAT CLUB GCCF AFFILIATED, ESTABLISHED 1985
For general information about the breed or the club, contact Linda Swinburn on 0161 7662674 For details of kittens available countrywide, contact Sarah Holden on 07720 773718 after 7pm please Or visit the club’s web site at
LUNARIS. Mrs Jean Brown Aldwincle Maine Coons - Quality home reared kittens sometimes available to approved homes. 01832 720359 email@example.com www.lunaris.uk.com
NORWEGIAN FOREST ELFENTANZ. Mrs Elinor M B Herbert Kirkcaldy. Norwegian Forest Cats - Brown Tabby, White and Black kittens 01592 267002 firstname.lastname@example.org www.elfentanznfc.co.uk
ORIENTALS MS MARJORIE DAVIDSONSMITH, Hatfield. Ootha. *Siamese, Foreign White & Oriental SH. Kittens sometimes available. 01707 264450 email@example.com
UK RagaMuffin Cat Society For Authentic RagaMuffin kittens Phone 01730 300692 www.ukrmcs.co.uk
RAGDOLL EMERISLE CATS. Mrs Jeanette Fitzpatrick. Ragdolls - all patterns & colours. *Seal Colourpoint, *Seal Tabby Colourpoint, *Blue Bi-Colour, *Cream, *Seal Mitted, *Blue Mitted. *Tiffanies. *Scottish Fold. *British Shorthair. Reasonably priced. TBRCC or PRBCC Breeder of the year 1999- 2011. TBRCC breeder of the top Ragdoll 1993, 1995/96. Best Opposite Sex 1995/96. Breeder of Supreme Show 1999 Top Ragdoll & sire of the first Ragdoll to win the UK Grand Title 2003. Breeder of the Best kitten, adult & neuter 1999-2003. Established 27 years - our beautiful cats feature on ‘Its a Cats Life’ video, appeared on Granada Live TV and photographs regularly feature in all cat magazines. 01943 461852 07774 650217 fitzpatrick.jeanette@googlemail. com www.emerisle-cats.co.uk OAKMERE HALL AMIGAMIA BENGALS AND RAGDOLLS. Alison Newman. Family reared indoors, well socialised, affectionate from multi champion lines. GCCF/TICA ref TBRCC/ PBRCC VACC/INS. www.amigamia.co.uk Mid-Cheshire 01606-883528.
SIAMESE Ms Marjorie Davidson-Smith, Hatfield. Ootha. *Siamese, Foreign White & Oriental SH. Kittens sometimes available. 01707 264450 firstname.lastname@example.org
USEFUL ADDRESSES THE GOVERNING COUNCIL OF THE CAT FANCY, 5 King’s Castle Business Park, The Drove, Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 4AG. Tel: 01278 427 575 www.gccfcats.org/contact.html BLUE CROSS The Animal Hospital, Sheppard House, High Street, Victoria, London SW1V 1QQ. Tel: 020 7834 1128 FELISBRITANNICA Office of the General Secretary, 63 Fingal Street, Greenwich, London SE10 0JL Tel: 0208 858 5318 Email: email@example.com www.felisbritannica.co.uk FELINE ADVISORY BUREAU Taeselbury High Street, Tisbury, Wiltshire SP3 6LD Tel: 0870 742 2278 Fax: 01747 871873 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.fabcats.org
ALNAKEED SPHYNX world Champion babies to loving indoor homes. Kittens often available. All colours including Lilac. Tel: 01383-721311/07939 116861. email@example.com. Find me on Facebook under Carole Langham.
THE INTERNATIONAL CAT ASSOCIATION Phil Cornwell, Regional Director, 31 Louthe Way, Sawtry, Cambridgeshire PE28 5TR Tel: 01487 800014 www.tica-uk.org.uk ASSOCIATION OF PET BEHAVIOUR COUNSELLORS For details of a behaviour counsellor in your area, send a SAE to: PO Box 46, Worcester WR8 9YS. Tel: 01386 751151 THE BLUE CROSS ANIMAL WELFARE SOCIETY Shilton Road, Burford, Oxon OX18 4PF Tel: 01993 822651 THE PET BEREAVEMENT SERVICE Run jointly by the Society of Animal Studies and the Blue Cross. Freephone: 0800 096 6606, (between 8.30am and 5.30pm)
VARIOUS EMERISLE KITTENS. Ragdolls from breeder of the year 11yrs running, Tiffanies, Scottish Fold, British Shorthair. Reasonably priced. 07774-650217/01943-461852 www.emerisle-cats.co.uk
SHOWCASE your special cat Give your cat the recognition he or she deserves with a spot in Cat World’s prestigious breed gallery. firstname.lastname@example.org call: 01903 884988 (opt. 2)
SPHYNX WOOZLES Mrs Sue Bloxham, Colchester. Sphynx - Happy outgoing personalities. Indoor homes. Various colours. 01621 815769 email@example.com www.woozles.uk.com C AT W O R L D
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The daily presents from our cat have changed over the years, some are never to be forgotten and some are still completely baffling
ave you ever noticed how some cats have a penchant for bringing their owners certain gifts? There are the obvious collectables that any cat will toil for restlessly, such as rodents and birds, but it’s then that the list can become a little hazy, depending on the preferences of the individual cat. My cat, Ziggy, has always been a little eccentric with his ‘gifts’. Why, oh why, can it never be chocolates? He began quite normally but as his confidence or curiosity grew, much stranger creatures began to appear on the doormat. However, the all-time worst animal Ziggy has so thoughtfully brought home for us has to be a rat. Prior to this, I thought only people in movies jumped onto chairs when they saw a rodent. I stand converted. I had no idea rats actually could - and would - jump so high or that they made such a fearsome screeching noise.
Faced with this, Ziggy made a quick exit and I was left berating his cowardice from my perch on the chair. Why is it that cats can act so proudly when dropping off this kind of gift but are so reluctant to finish off the job? Ziggy learned his lesson from that experience and has since moved on to frogs, which are to date his favourite and most frequent present. There have been many mornings at our house spent digging frogs out of shoes or from under newspapers, whilst he purrs on proudly from the sidelines, admiring the burst of activity he has provoked. We are told our cats bring us these gifts as a sign of their affection but, as I pick up yet another shrivelled frog from underneath the sofa, I do begin to wonder. With his increasing age, Ziggy’s gifts have become more bizarre. It was over a period of time that I noticed a
number of strange objects appearing around the house; there had been two wristwatches and several random socks. I questioned the family but no-one knew anything about these phantom items so I just forgot about them. I was sitting alone at the kitchen table one night when I heard a noise from the cat flap. I looked over, expecting to see Ziggy’s black face but instead I saw a gloved hand reaching through the flap. I was terrified and assumed a burglar was trying to get into the house. I was about to run and call the police when I noticed that the figure following the glove through the cat flap was not in fact an intruder but Ziggy. Stunned, I watched him struggle into the kitchen, pick up the filthy object – a yellow gardening glove – and drag it into the laundry room. Still shaken from the shock of the glove’s
appearance through the flap, but equally disturbed by my cat’s strange behaviour, I followed Ziggy to check he was OK. What I discovered in the laundry room was that he had obviously been collecting quite a stash for himself. There he was, looking totally contented, curled up amongst his gains and licking the gardening glove as though it were his long-lost child. Surrounding him were another glove, woollen this time, one of my partners’s sweaty headbands he used for running, a couple of socks and a small, knitted cuddly toy. On reflection, it would seem that I am no longer the object of my cat’s affection and that he now prefers to feather his own nest rather than lavish gifts upon me. He may be attracted to some of these objects because of their strong smells but I still can’t work out what attraction or purpose the watches hold for him.
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