Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Reunited after 5 years!!! How Ringo's microchip helped him find his way home.


During June we are promoting National Microchipping Month. National Microchipping Month is a campaign that encourages and promotes reponsible pet ownership through microchipping as the preferred method of permanent identification. 

Microchipping is the most effective way to identify a lost pet, and by keeping your details up to date, you'll increase the likelihood of a happy reunion if your cat goes wandering. You can get your cat microchipped by a vet, local authority or by a trained and insured member of an animal welfare organisation.

There is no minimum age to microchip your cat, and the procedure is simple and doesn't cause harm to your pet. Once the chip is inserted, your cat won't even be aware of its presence.
Ringo in our care



Only six days into June (aka National Microchipping Month) we meet a lovely cat called Ringo. He was found on a farm hungry and desperately looking for his next meal. After hanging around for a week, the owners of the farm contacted us for help. Our deputy manager Phil collected him and brought him into our care. During his routine health check, we found that Ringo had a microchip and had in fact been missing since August 2012! His owner had moved house during this time, thankfully she had updated her new address and telephone number so we were able to contact her. His owner was delighted we have found her cat Ringo after all of this time. She was happy for us to share his story to help promote the importance of microchipping your cat but also to update your address and telephone if you move house. We are delighted he has found his way home after all this time.

Reunited at last

To find out more details about microchipping your cat, please follow the link below http://www.cats.org.uk/cat-care/key-cat-care/microchipping

If you cat is already microchipped, when moving house please remember to change your address details on the central database when you move. In the UK, you can update your cat’s registered details by contacting your existing UK database company, or Petlog – on 0844 4633 999 or via www.petlog.org.uk – or Anibase – on 01904 487 600 or via www.anibase.com. If moving abroad, simply putting your cat through PETS or quarantine does not automatically update your records, so it is important that you remember to do this. For your own records also keep your cat’s unique microchip number safe. There may be a small fee when updating your details, but worth it to get your feline friend home.
 

Monday, 29 May 2017

Greg's Appeal


Gorgeous Greg came into our care as a stray with no history and no definite age. Greg was in such a terrible condition when he first came in, he was aged as a senior cat with flu medications prescribed. Over time it became apparent that he was suffering from more than just a simple cold. Off his food and looking very sad he was taken into a foster home to bring him back to the energetic, lovable cat we knew he could be.

Greg a week after arriving
Four months on and several tests later we were still no closer to a diagnosis for Greg so the decision was made to make the journey to a specialist vet in Bristol for an ultrasound scan. Finally we have a diagnosis - Greg has a portosystemic shunt meaning the liver is not working to its full capacity and can have detrimental effects on his body and brain. This is a life threatening condition that without intervention would cause poor Greg to have short unhappy life.
 
The good news is, this can be repaired by performing an ameroid constricter surgery to redirect the blood to get the liver working efficiently. Of course it is not without risks and expense (£2,500) but we are hopeful that being in excellent body condition Gorgeous Greg will bounce right back.

Greg at his foster home
 
Greg at the vets awaiting diagnosis
 
We need your help to pay for Greg's surgery so please donate to help us reach our target. If we are fortunate to raise over & above our £2,500 target, all surplus donations will go towards treating other cats and kittens in our care at Exeter Axhayes A/C. If you like to help Greg you can donate via JustGiving, Text Donation or donating to his appeal on our reception desk at the centre.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity. If you would like to donate to Greg’s Appeal – please follow the link below to our JustGiving page. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/GorgeousGreg
You can also donate by texting GGLS50 followed by amount £x to 70070.


Check out Greg's video below... he's a very cuddly boy!!! We will keep you posted on his journey whilst in our care. From Greg and everyone at Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre THANK YOU!


For more information about our adoption centre, check out our website at http://www.axhayes.cats.org.uk/.
 

Monday, 8 May 2017

Moggies Marvellous for Mental Health

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, we thought we'd share this article written a few years back by Cats Protection to promote the benefits cats can have on our Mental Health....

Our cats have a special knack for bringing a smile to our faces, whether it's through furry kisses and cuddles or entertaining antics. It's no surprise that a survey conducted by Cats Protection and the Mental Health Foundation found that 87% of people who owned a cat felt it had a positive impact on their wellbeing, while 76% said they could cope with everyday life much better thanks to the company of their feline friends. Half of the cat owners felt that their cat’s presence and companionship was most helpful, followed by a third of respondents describing stroking a cat as a calming and helpful activity.



The study was carried out in July and August 2011 and involved over 600 cat and non-cat-owning respondents, with half of them describing themselves as currently having a mental health problem. Cats Protection is keen to highlight how looking after a pet can bring structure to people’s day, reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness and even lower blood pressure.


In addition to this, a cat’s purr is widely recognised as having therapeutic benefits for humans. “Sitting with a relaxed purring cat at the end of a hectic day is a soothing massage for the soul,” said Cat Jarvis from Cats Protection. “Perhaps this is because the reassuring hum is generally associated with calmness and gentle communication, or perhaps it is because the frequency of the vibration is in the range that can stimulate healing.”
“The research findings tell us what cat lovers have known for years – cats are not just great company but they can also be very good for you.”

Cats Protection has thousands of cats ready for adoption across the UK and works hard to match the right cat to the right home. For more information about our cats and kittens ready for adoption here at Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre, please visit our website... http://www.axhayes.cats.org.uk/axhayes/adopt-a-cat


If you are currently unable to adopt a cat, why not became a volunteer cat socialiser, to get your weekly cuddles with our adorable cats and kittens. http://www.axhayes.cats.org.uk/axhayes/volunteering

(Source: Cats Protection)

(The study is based on a sample size of 621. Data was collected between July and August 2011 via Mental Health Foundation’s website/social networking sites. The majority of respondents were women (83 per cent) aged between 26 and 55 (78 per cent).)

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Air guns and cats

You may have seen this petition on Facebook recently but if you haven't, please have a look at it now. https://cats.e-activist.com/page/7153/petition/1


We are asking as many people as we can to sign and share it so that we can get the law changed. We are aiming for 50,000 signatures and with your help we will get there.


We have had a cat in our care in the past that was shot and injured. The pellet was flattened when it hit his skull and he was very lucky that he didn't receive a more serious injury or even been killed.


The piece of metal in the cats head 

After veterinary treatment, this injury healed and the cat was able to be rehomed.

Cats Protection monitors reports in the press of cats who have been shot with an air gun. In 2016, 202 cats in the UK were reported in the press as being shot with an air gun. Crucially, 90% of these attacks were in England and Wales.

On the petition link above, you will find a video about the campaign and stories about some of the cats that have been affected.

Jalapeno who lost an eye from being shot

We believe making it illegal to buy, own or use an air gun without a license will stop these deadly weapons falling into the hands of those that would use them to harm cats and reduce the number of cats killed or left with life-changing injuries.

Thank you for taking the time to read & sign this petition to help us to change the law on air gun ownership in England & Wales.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Bear's Story and what to do if you find a stray cat?

Bear's Story 

Poor Bear is one of the many stray cats we take into our care every year. He was found living rough on the grounds of the Police headquarters in Exeter. He would often sleep in a car they used for training or in any open storage buildings. Luckily he was spotted by a kind lady who noticed he was desperately trying to seek warmth and shelter. He was very frightened and wary of people, getting near him was tricky. After borrowing one of our traps, she continued to feed him and look out for him. It took many weeks before he was eventually trapped and brought into our care. Our Facebook team and members of the public had shared his photos around the local Facebook lost and found groups, posters put up, but sadly no owner had come forward.   

Bear sleeping in a car

Successfully trapped and on the way to our centre


Understandably he was very frightened on arrival to our centre. After lots of TLC from our CCAs, he remembers what it was like to have attention once again. He loves curling up on a lap and enjoys tickles. He has also been enjoying the perks of cattery life, which includes shelter, a warm bed, and regular meals and of course lots of fuss and attention. Bear is now available for adoption, we are hoping he will find love and happiness once again in a new home…..  
Helping Bear settle in


Bear now - enjoying some lap time with one of our CCAs
What to do if you find a stray cat?

Most cats are by nature, inclined to wander - so it seems inevitable that you might come across a stray. Unlike dogs, there are very few laws that give cats legal protection and for our helpline team, one of the most frequently asked questions is what to do when finding a stray cat.

Is it a stray cat?

Cats can often appear lost and wanting for food and this doesn’t necessarily mean they are a stray. If the cat appears a healthy weight and well groomed, they might belong to someone else – worth thinking about before you take the cat in for yourself.
Ask your neighbours if they recognise the cat. There might be someone in the local area frantically searching for their lost pet. Check out local newspapers for listings of a missing cat, or post up a photo on community Facebook groups.

What should I do if I find a stray cat?
 
If the cat is friendly enough to approach, check if there is a collar or ID tags – if it belongs to someone, you can give them a call to arrange a happy reunion. If there are no visible signs of ownership, take the cat to your local veterinary clinic or Cats Protection branch. The cat will be scanned for a microchip and contact can be made with the registered owners.

Keep the cat safe


In the meantime, keep the lost cat safe and provide it with food and clean water. It is advised not to give a cat cow’s milk as many are lactose intolerant. If you’re unable to take the cat home with you, you might want to provide it with a temporary shelter. Try a sturdy cardboard box with an old blanket or some straw inside. A piece of waterproof sheeting secured over the top will help keep the rain out. Make sure it’s properly and safely weighted down to stop it being blown away by the wind.

Advertise the found cat
Download our poster pack of on our the Cats Protection website www.cats.org.uk to advertise the missing cat in your local area – it might just catch someone’s eye. You can also report the cat as found on the Animal Search UK website. Post a picture on your local area’s Facebook group as well as the Cats Protection page, Animal Search UK and CatAware pages. Do the same on Twitter; you’re likely to reach a larger number of people if you ask your followers to retweet.

I’m worried about a stray cat’s health


A lost cat might be nervous, especially if sick and injured – so approach with caution. The safest way to move the cat is to carefully cover him in a blanket before picking him up. This keeps the cat safe as well as shielding you from claws!

If you’re worried about the health of the cat, call the RSPCA on its emergency number 0300 1234 999 (UK). If the cat is injured, take it to your nearest veterinary practice immediately. Vets have a duty of care to treat sick and injured animals and will help an injured stray cat at no cost to the finder.

I’ve found stray kittens. What should I do?
If you find stray kittens, you should first check that their mother is around. There might be no sign of the kitten’s mother but she may be frightened to return while you are there.
Check in a few hours and if the mother has not returned, you should call your local vet or Cats Protection branch. Give them as much detail as possible about the environment the kittens are in and they should be able to advise you on the best thing to do in this situation.

Kittens need veterinary care with worming, vaccinations and neutering before being rehomed, so it’s best to hand them into a rehoming centre as soon as possible.

I’ve accidentally hit a cat with my car. What should I do?
Unfortunately it is not unusual for cats to be involved in car accidents and although there is no law requiring you to report it, making an attempt to let the owner know is a good thing to do. If the cat is killed and you are able to pick it up, take it to a vet or rehoming centre to be scanned for a microchip. While it isn’t an easy thing to do, it’s always better for owners to know what has happened to their cat.

If the cat is alive and injured, take them to your nearest veterinary clinic. The vet should be able to find an owner or speak to a local rehoming centre to take in the cat after treatment.

How can Cats Protection help?
If you’ve had no luck in finding the lost cat’s owner, pick up the phone and speak to our National Helpline on 03000 12 12 12. They can give you the details of your nearest Cats Protection branch for a lost and found register. The Helpline team will also be able to send you some paper collars - you can also download these by following this link http://www.cats.org.uk/uploads/documents/COM_1032_Lost_and_found_collar_print_out_AW.pdf. 
Put these on the cat with your contact details asking people to get in touch if the cat belongs to them.

Thankfully, many missing cats are reunited with their owners and in 2014, we helped reunite 3,000 cats with their owners. Unfortunately, there are cases where the cat has been abandoned and no owner will come forward. If you have no luck in finding an owner, contact your local Cats Protection branch. Our volunteers and staff will do their best to locate an owner and if no owner can be found, they’ll find a loving home for them. (SOURCE: Cats Protection)

Scratching behaviour

Scratching is a normal behaviour. Cats scratch for two reasons; to keep their claws in good condition and as a communication signal. Scent glands in between the pads of the paws produce a unique smell, which is deposited on the surface that the claws are dragged down. This scent, combined with the visual signal of the scratch marks and discarded claw husks, leaves a reminder signal for the cat and a message for other felines in the area. 


Why is my cat scratching indoors? 

If your cat has limited or no access to the outdoors - either through their own choice or yours - they will have to maintain good claw condition inside the house. They will find one or two suitable scratching sites and continue to use them, whether this is a cat scratching post or the back of your settee! 

If the scratched areas are widespread throughout your home including areas of conflict like doorways and windows, it is likely the your cat is scratching for communication reasons and feels insecure in these areas. Just like spraying, the most common reason for scratching indoors is the presence of another cat. 

The reason for cats to show this behaviour can change over time. If your cat enjoys attention, they might learn that whenever they scratch the furniture you interact with them, so they will carry on scratching. 

What can I do if my cat scratches the furniture? 

If your cat is scratching furniture or wallpaper to maintain their claws you could:
  • Protect the scratched item by covering with thick, shiny, plastic sheeting as this is unappealing to cats 
  • at the same time, obtain a suitable scratching post and put it next to the area where they scratch
  • choose a scratching post with a heavy base so it doesn't topple over or wobble when in use. It should be tall enough to allow your cat to scratch at full stretch - ensure it has a vertical weave to let them drag their claws downwards
  • some cats prefer to scratch horizontally (e.g. cats that scratch carpets or stairs) or diagonally so provide a scratching mat to meet these needs 
  •  once your cat is consistently using the new post, you can gradually move it to a more convenient location if you wish and then remove the plastic sheeting from the furniture or wallpaper
  • cats often like to scratch and stretch after they wake up, so you could try placing the scratch post near your cat's bed 
Each cat in a household should have a scratching post - positioned in different locations to prevent conflict. Some posts are impregnated with catnip, or you could try rubbing quality catnip on the scratch post to entire them - placing pieces of food on the post may also help. Playing with your cat little and often throughout the day and providing toys may help redirect their energy away from scratching. 



Scratching to mark territory 

if you cat is scratching furniture as a marking behaviour, then try to identify what is worrying the cat in this part of their territory and remedy it. As mentioned above; cover the scratched areas with a protective material and place a scratching post next to them. However, to help your cat feel secure in their surroundings and permanently stop them scratching the furniture, you will need to identify and deal with what is worrying them. Don't just provide them with another scratching surface without attending to their feelings of insecurity. You may need guidance from a suitably qualified behaviourist to help identify the cause of their anxiety. 

Importance of praise 

It is important to remember that cats do not scratch just to be naughty. It is a natural behaviour they should be allowed to exhibit. Shouting when your cat scratches your furniture can lead to an increase in frequency as they become more anxious, or learns that scratching can be used for attention seeking. Cats quickly learn that unwanted clawing gets a reaction, but clawing a scratching post doesn't. Make sure you praise your cat when they claw the scratching post and try not to react if they scratch the furniture. (Source: Cats Protection) 

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Jingles success story


Jingles was a nervous cat in the centre but his new owners were willing to put in the time and patience needed to build this sweet cats confidence and allow him to develop his potential in their home.


We received an email from his owner Charlotte who is happy to share his story with you.


This is what she had to say..


I just thought you'd like to see how Endeavour (Jingles) is settling in to his new home.


A week since we picked him up and his new favourite place is now the washing basket!


He's still nervous but is starting to become quite the 'lad' at home now, after the first few days of only wanting to sit in his litter tray and not move from it. He's doing really well. We've had a few moments but a few treats and a lot of patience is starting to pay off and he's becoming a lovely, playful chap. He's looking much happier and settled since discovering the rest of the house to play in, after plucking up the courage to venture out of his cage and discovering it's actually quite nice having a comfy house to explore.


Thank you Charlotte for giving him a loving home.



Endeavour in the wash basket


Here is some more information about shy, nervous or timid cats that you may find helpful

While most cats settle into new homes quickly, some remain fearful despite a gentle welcome and time to settle in. Don’t be too disappointed if your shy or timid cat tries run away and, hide from you. Showing patience and sensitivity will go a long way to ensure that you have a happy and extremely rewarding relationship with your cat.

Why is my cat so timid?

Timid behaviour could be due to:

genetics – an inherited tendency. Some cats are naturally more anxious than

poor socialisation – a lack of contact with humans, particularly during their first eight weeks of life. If young kittens are not properly socialised with people, they will be frightened or stressed by human contact

bad experiences – a previous frightening experience that has made the cat fearful


What are the signs of shyness, nervousness or timidity?

As cats cannot tell us how they feel, it can be difficult to recognise that your cat wants you to move away. Signs of fear include running away and retreating to hiding places. A scared cat will show dilated pupils and/or flattened ears and will cringe and cower from you.

This fear can develop into aggressive behaviour – where your cat adopts ‘fight’ as a tactic instead of ‘flight’ as a last resort.

Usually aggression develops because the cat feels cornered or trapped, or because they have previously learned that flight is unsuccessful. Avoid putting your cat into this situation and ensure they can always get away easily if they want to.

Managing shy cats

There are a number of things you can do to make your timid cat feel more secure. As long as your cat had some positive contact with people when they were a young kitten, with patience your cat will learn not to be afraid but you must take things slowly. 

• provide plenty of refuges for your cat around the house. Cats de-stress quicker if they can hide, preferably in high and dark locations eg behind sofas and under beds. A cardboard box on its side or blankets placed on shelves or wardrobes can help your cat feel safe

• ensure other neighbouring cats cannot enter the house through the cat flap or open windows. Be vigilant to make sure your cat is not being bullied in the garden or intimidated by other cats through the windows, conservatory or patio doors

• keep all your daily routines consistent where possible. This provides a predictable, reassuring environment for your cat

• use synthetic scent pheromones – these can create a reassuring environment for the cat and may help to reduce stress – they are available from your vet

• sit quietly in your cat’s vicinity to allow them to get used to you in their own time. Ignore them while you read a book or take a nap so that they don’t feel pressurised or anxious about your presence. Do it while they are eating or provide a small treat so they associate your presence with something positive. The time you spend near them can very gradually be built up as they adjust

• let your cat make the first move –direct approaches are extremely threatening, so don’t force attention on your cat

• blink slowly at your cat, narrow your eyes so they are half open and then turn your face away slowly to reassure your cat that you are not a threat

  As your cat becomes braver, try:

• talking to your cat quietly in a calming tone – it is a great way to bond

• rewarding your cat with a treat when they approach you– at first, give the treat as soon as your cat approaches but gradually increase the time between the approach and the treat. Over a period of weeks, work up to being able to calmly stroke your cat once or twice before giving the treat

• using small toys you can gently throw for them, such as ball of foil, scrunched up paper or ping pong ball. Fishing rod toys allow the cat to interact without them feeling threatened by close contact.

Most importantly, never lose your temper or try to force your cat to interact too quickly as this will just reinforce their previous fears. Build on your successes gradually – eventually your cat will learn to trust you and will much happier. In some cases, you may find guidance from your vet or a suitably qualified behaviourist useful.

Overcoming a cat’s shyness through patient handling and care often leads to an extremely rewarding and close relationship between owner and cat and is well worth the extra time and effort.


This information was taken from our Essential guides leaflet-Managing your cat's behaviour.  There are more leaflets available for you on this link http://www.cats.org.uk/cat-care/care-leaflets/essential-guides