Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Our little orphan Bamboo

Bamboo came to our centre when he was only 7 weeks old. This poor little chap was made an orphan after his mother was sadly involved in a road accident. A kind lady contacted us and he came to Axhayes in the hope to find a loving family to care for him forever....  

Bamboo is quite a character! He’s a typical lively youngster, loves attention, he loves playing! He’s very sociable, he loves being around our CCAs and managers. Bamboo is all by himself, so we make sure he has some time spent with him. He always greets you when you open his pen door. He runs over to you, climbs on to your shoulder and purrs very loudly in your ear. This is also a good opportunity to look around the corridor and maybe play with your hair too.    

He’s so energetic; we play games with him too, this helps him burn off some of his energy; normally he would play with his siblings. He likes to crab walk if any CCAs walk past him, our shoes are very scary! He was given a track toy with a ball inside which was kindly donated to us a few weeks ago. He has already managed to pull the track a part to get to the ball inside. Every day our CCA's who look after him, have to put the toy back together again for him so he can play with it again.  

Last Tuesday, as mentioned in our previous post, a photographer came in to the centre. Our little Bamboo was a little star, he enjoyed the fuss and sitting on our Deputy Manager Louise’s lap. He also had some photos on our reception desk, he loved his new catnip he was given. He spent some time in the office, he loved jumping into the bin and onto laps while unsuspecting members of staff where on the phone. He was given some more toys to play with; he happily batted a ball around the floor and pouncing on his toy carrot.

Today Bamboo enjoyed attention from our cat cuddler volunteers and our two work experience students. He is full of energy as usual, he loved playing with ping pong balls in his pen and of course dismantling his track toy outside. He was given a treat for lunchtime of some pate food which was kindly donated. He also enjoyed a trip to see our deputy manager and receptionist in the office, for a fuss, cuddle and to play a few games. This afternoon Bamboo has noticed that people come up to the desk now and again. He now likes to stand on the chair to have a better view of any visitors who come in. Of course everyone who sees him, coos over how sweet he is :-) He thinks it's a good way to sell yourself :-) He really enjoyed being around everyone, happily purring away. It was soon time to go "home", he was taken back to his pen, where he felt very sleepy, he enjoyed some tea and went to bed.       

Bamboo needs a home in away from busy roads and traffic so he can safely play and explore the world around him. Can you give this loveable cheeky chap the home he deserves? Please take a look at our official website at or Facebook page for more information about our homing policy and our centre. Thank you.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Vaccinating your cat

Routine vaccination has greatly reduced the extent of several feline diseases (including some that can prove fatal). It is vital that your cat has all the necessary vaccinations and boosters. Vaccinating your cat will help your cat stay healthy and help stop the spread of disease.

What vaccines does my cat need?
Cats Protection, as a member of The Cat Group, recommends vaccines for the following feline diseases:

Feline infectious enteritis (FIE) - a vaccination must
Feline infectious enteritis (a severe and often fatal gut infection) is caused by the feline parvovirus (or feline panleukopenia virus). Vaccination against FIE has been very successful. Unvaccinated cats are at great risk because the virus is widespread in the environment.

Cat 'flu - a vaccination must
Two types of cat 'flu are vaccinated against feline herpesvirus (FHV-1) and feline calicivirus (FCV). These viruses are very common and vaccination will protect your cat against prolonged illness, but because there are many different strains of cat 'flu the vaccine will not totally eradicate the threat.

Feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) - a vaccination must for outdoor cats 
FeLV is a lifelong infection and unfortunately most cats will die within three years of diagnosis, usually from a subsequent disease like leukaemia, lymphoma (tumours) or progressive anaemia. It is not an airborn disease and can only be passed on via direct contact between cats (usually by saliva or bites). Because of the serious nature of the disease, CP recommends FeLV vaccination.

Feline chlamydophilosis - depends on your circumstances
This bacterium, which causes conjunctivitis in cats, can't survive in the atmosphere and is thus spread by direct contact between cats (affecting multi-cat households and kittens predominantly). Your vet will discuss your situation and advise as to whether this vaccine is necessary.

Did you know that... ?
A kitten should be vaccinated around nine weeks of age, with the important second dose being given at 12 weeks.

A booster vaccination one year on is important to enhance the initial level of immunity. Regular boosters throughout a cat's life will help maintain a good level of protection against cat 'flu, feline parvovirus and feline leukaemia. Your vet can advise you on the frequency of these boosters.

All of our cats and kittens are fully vaccinated before they are rehomed. For more information about vaccinations please contact us on 01395 232377 or your local vet.  

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Success Story - Daisy

Our star mummy Daisy!

We were delighted at the centre when we received a card and photo from Daisy’s owners. Daisy was our mummy in our youtube movie “The Life of an Axhayes kitten”. She was a fabulous mum and she was very lucky to find a home so quickly.  

Her new family have told us Daisy has settled in really well, she loves her food. She is quite partial to a game with a piece of string or her feather toy. She loves to spend much of her time outside in the garden watching the neighbour’s bird table or chasing frogs (thankfully she hasn't caught anything yet). She loves her garden too much, she doesn’t venture far. Her family are delighted with her and say she is a great addition to the family.

If you haven’t seen Daisy and her kittens movie, please watch our youtube video below....

We are so pleased she found a happy home! We would thank her family again for sending us a nice card and photo. Please send us photos and letters about our Axhayes cats and kittens you have adopted from us. Our CCAs love to hear how they are getting on in their homes. Please feel free to share photos and stories on our official Facebook page too at Thank you.   

Monday, 10 September 2012

Celebrating 25 years!

We've been helping cats for 25 years!

It was 25 years ago on the 9th September that Bagpuss, a female black cat was adopted from our newly built Adoption Centre. Exeter Axhayes Adoption centre is one of the oldest Cats Protection adoption centres in the United Kingdom. Our centre had it's Official Open day on 14th August 1988, we will be celebrating 25 years of Exeter Axhayes at our next Annual Open day!

This is a more recent photo of our centre, but the building has seen many thousands of cats and kittens through its doors in the time it was built.

We are very proud to still be able to rescue and rehome hundreds of cats and kittens every year!

Please visit our official website at or our Facebook page for more information about our centre.   

Romalda's story

Romalda is a very lucky black kitten. She was brought in here back in July by one of our CCAs who rescued a couple of litters of kittens which were born outside. She brought in little Romalda just in time, she was very poorly, thin and very hungry. She stayed in a foster home with CCA Gemma for a few weeks, she had runny eyes which needed bathing and medication....and of course lots of TLC. She was thin and needed lots of small meals to help build her up.

During her time at Gemma's she got much stronger and started to play like a normal kitten of her age. She loved sitting on her cuddly toy cow (which was much bigger than her), pouncing on her toy bird, batting a ping-pong ball around her pen and chasing her tail. Romalda was a bit nervous when she first came in to us, now she is getting very brave and has stolen the heart of all the girls who has spent time with her.  

After weeks of TLC in her foster home, she returned to Axhayes where she was vaccinated, neutered and spent a few weeks waiting for a pen to become available in our rehoming section. During her time in our admissions section our CCA Therese spent lots of time socialising little Romalda to help her become more confident. She now loves cuddles and attention, she will sit at the front of her pen when she sees people instead of hiding in her bed. She loves to play games with you too. Last week Therese gave her a very girly lilac fluffy bed for her to sleep in, which Romalda loved!  

Romalda feeling much better....relaxing in her very girly lilac bed.

Nearly two months later, little Romalda is looking much better, she is much happier and is now waiting in our rehoming section for someone to take her home. If you have the time and love to offer this wonderful girl then you will get so much back! Please give her a chance, you won’t regret it! If you would like to give Romalda a home and you live in the Exeter area, please get in touch with us via our website at or please call our number is 01395 232377, thank you.   

Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Mrs Brown’s Boys (and girls) TV dinner

A couple of months ago we had a mum and her six kittens arrive at the centre and CCA’s Anna & Di decided to name them after one of their favourite TV shows. Naming kittens is just one of the many parts of the job that we enjoy but sometimes we struggle for inspiration or unique names or ones that haven’t already been used many times before.

The kittens were named Betty, Cathy, Dermot, Maria, Rory & Winnie. And of course mum cat was Mrs Agnes Brown.

Mrs Brown was an excellent mother and always attentive to her babies needs. Feeding and cleaning them and making sure they played nicely together. Though I’m sure you can imagine six is a lot to look after and this took its toll on her. She always had extra portions of food but didn’t put any weight on. Now the kittens are all weaned and looking after themselves. She has been neutered and has got back her former beauty. She has a very pretty longhaired tortoiseshell coat. She truly is a star!

When the kittens arrived at the centre they were very nervous of people and hissed and tried to bite.  By spending time gaining their confidence and giving them lots of attention and cuddles, they have grown into wonderful friendly little characters.

In their pen there was a small wooden bench where they loved to cuddle up together and it was just big enough for them all to squeeze on.

Last Friday, CCA’s Theresa and Anna decided that they needed a TV to look at while they were on the bench. So, they made one out of a cardboard box. You might remember our previous blog showing some of the other boxes, a mini bus, a pub, a post office and a police station! Well, this box was even better than those! 

As you can see it even has a TV guide and a remote.  What’s on TV?  Well… on ITV-Cat’s do the funniest things, on BBC 1-Catadale, on BBC 2-Catanation Street and on Channel 4-Robocat. Our staff have a great sense of humour and put such a lot of effort into caring for the cats. They will even go one step further to help prevent the cats getting bored while being in a pen. 

Mrs Brown’s boys and girls were then treated to a TV dinner

The great news for them is that they are now ready for adoption. They are so cute and cuddly that when one of our vet nurses met them recently she decided that she wanted to adopt two. Her only problem was deciding which ones!  Well, lucky for them she chose Rory and Maria. Maria was our Face book cover photo at the end of July.

Here she is on the TV!

The rest of the gang are Cathy & Dermot who are shorthaired and Betty and Winnie who are longhaired. We really hope some of you will come in to meet them and decide to adopt these lovely kittens soon.





But… don’t forget Mrs Brown. She’s going to need someone to appreciate and pamper her for the rest of her days. No more kittens for her to look after, so now she can relax and enjoy life… 

Interested in adopting Mrs Brown and her kittens? If you live in Exeter or in the surrounding area, please get in touch with us. Our official website is at and our contact number is 01395 232377, thank you for your support :-) 

Monday, 3 September 2012

Introducing your new cats

Cats in the wild are solitary and generally choose not to live in social groups like dogs. The cats you are homing didn’t arrive at Cats Protection together so need some time to get used to each other. If cats are forced together too quickly it may lead to lifelong conflict and stress which is difficult to resolve; first impressions are all important. Although a cat might have lived with another cat in the past, this does not mean that it will tolerate a new cat immediately – each relationship is specific to the individuals and ensuring a gradual introductory period is critical.

The tips below will help you ensure that initial introductions start off long and happy relationships.

-          Give each cat a room with food and water, somewhere to hide (an upturned box or under the bed) and a litter tray where they can get used to their new home in peace. Install a Feliway diffuser to make the atmosphere more relaxing.
-          Smell is important when distinguishing friend or foe. Whilst the cats are separate, introduce their scents to each other by stroking each cat in turn and swapping their beds and food bowls. Try to ensure the scent of the other cat is a positive thing, praise and treat both cats. Do this for several days until neither cat reacts fearfully or aggressively to the scent. When the cats meet they will smell familiar and so less likely to react aggressively to each other.
-          When both cats have settled in (which can take some cats weeks) make introductions at feeding time; cats form social bonds best around this time. Position the cats as far away as possible from each other. Choose somewhere where either cat can escape to another room, get behind furniture or jump up high if it wants to. After feeding they should be separated again.
-          Continue to feed the cats together and gradually start increasing the time during which they have visual contact but fussing with or playing with them for a short time so that their attention is on you, before the food is put down. If this is tolerated, move the bowls closer together very slowly as they become more comfortable with one another
-          Once both cats are relaxed whilst feeding, start including short periods of time where the cats are not distracted by playing or fussing. Supervised time spent together can be extended. The aim is for the cats to associate each other with pleasant happenings, not shouting or chasing.
-          Be prepared to be patient. Should there be any violent reaction, separate them immediately and go back a step. Don’t give up if there is some hissing and spitting initially. Bear in mind it is often a slow process which will take weeks rather than days but the time taken will be worth it if you are repaid with happy cats.

If you have problems please seek help sooner rather than later as they can usually be resolved. 

Top tips
-          Cats may choose to live in different parts of the house. If this is an acceptable relationship to them, and neither cat seems to be suffering, then it should be acceptable to you.
-          From a cat’s point of view, another cat poses a threat to their food and other resources. To reduce this feeling of competition, make sure there are plenty of places to sleep, eat, drink and go to the toilet that can be reached without having to pass another cat
-          Hidey holes mean cats can retreat if ambushed – cardboard boxes with holes are ideal. It can be a good idea to put retreats on the routes to food or litter trays, and many cats like to sit up high
-          Despite careful introductions, some cats never learn to be friends. Personality differences play a great part in all social interactions, and cats are certainly no exception to this rule.

For more advice please contact Cats Protection on 08702 099 099 or If you would like a friend for your cat, please visit our official website or please visit our facebook page for more information.