Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Our first Christmas Appeal video

Lights, camera, action! CCA Gemma has been busy filming our latest youtube film, for our Christmas Appeal. Our Youtube channel is nearly two years old and has undergone a make over this year; this is its first Christmas film. This latest film has made some of the CCAs a little teary when they watched it in the office. We hope it will help many kittens and cats here at Axhayes find homes in time for Christmas.

During filming Mrs Ewing and Lady loved the camera a little too much. They enjoyed kissing the lens and head butting the camera. Unfortunately they didn’t make the film this time; we will try again if they are still with us. They were just grateful for the attention and cuddles.  

Our mischievous and usual hyperactive duo Trinity and Morpheus, were very chilled out and relaxed during filming. They are usually very difficult to photograph or film, they love cuddles and to play. Waggle dance and Puddle duck were also relaxing this afternoon, both purring happily and enjoying tickles. Our wonderful mums Maisie and Tabitha were pushing each other out of the way for their moment in the spotlight.   

Haddeo and her brother Digby also star in this film. These kittens were rescued from under a dual carriageway bridge in Exeter back in September. They have moved to our rehoming section this weekend. They were very frightened when they first came into us, now two months later; they have come on leaps and bounds. All they sociable, affectionate, playful and always greet you with purrs. Little Haddeo also took part in our Axhayes Christmas photos which have been featured on our facebook page along with our kittens Coverly, Pumpkin, Baby Sue and Ellen.   

We are hoping this video will help our cats and kittens find loving forever homes in time for Christmas. Please watch our video on our youtube channel today.

If you are interested in adopting any of our cats and kittens, please contact us on 01395 232377 or please visit our website or facebook page for more information. Over the Christmas period the way we home cats changes slightly. Many people's homes are very busy, full of excitement and hustle and bustle, and this is not the right kind of environment to settle in a rescue cat. For this reason homing during the Christmas period will be at our adoption centre manager’s discretion. We will continue to carry out home-visits, and after these, you can still reserve a cat to be picked up in the New Year.  Our opening hours only change in that we are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year's Day. Thank you.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Please Help Felix

Poor Felix has been flooded out of his foster home – he needs your help.  

The weather in the South-west and Exeter has been really terrible this past week. Thankfully our centre has been left intact, we’re very fortunate our building is on high ground and our CCAs have all made it to Axhayes despite many roads being closed due to flooding. We have also been very lucky to continue rehoming our cats and kittens this week. One of our long-stayers Felix has returned to Axhayes ahead of schedule this week. Sadly due to this horrendous weather we’ve had, Di’s family home (where Felix has been staying) was flooded on Wednesday morning and it will be several weeks before it is safe for him to live there again.  

Our CCA Diane has been his foster mum since January and she has really enjoyed sharing her home with him. When he came to the centre one year ago, he had a wound on his neck which was taking a long time to heal. When he stayed on our admissions section, he wore a little leather boot, to stop him scratching his wound. He became increasingly unhappy in his pen and his wound just wasn’t making much progress. After a couple of months, Felix moved in with Di. He started off wearing socks to prevent him from scratching his neck; he then began to wear colourful jumpers to wear to help protect his neck wound. These jumpers have allowed his wound to heal over time and don’t bother him at all. He is now going through a trail period without it and so far so good.

Felix when he first came into Axhayes

We are now desperately looking for a home for Felix. He’s a lovely chatty, affectionate cat, he needs a quiet stress free environment, He’s looking for a forever home with a patient, caring owner who is able to continue with his daily medication and make sure that he is kept on his special diet. He’s not keen on other cats so need to be your only cat but he has been ok living with a dog for the last ten months. He loves company, so it would be great if you were retired or working from home and can keep an eye on him. He is not much of a lap cat and is not keen on being picked up but enjoys sitting and sleeping with you.


Please help him to get out of here soon as he is not happy in a pen. If you are interested in finding out more about this lovely 7 year old cat, please speak to a member of staff. Our CCA Di is one of our social media editors and is happy answer any questions you might have about him via our Facebook page. For more information about our adoption process, please contact us on 01395 232377, thank you.

Keep your cats safe if there’s actually a flood warning….
-          Keep your cat carriers to hand and check you have enough food and medication to last 
-          Keep familiar toys dry with their smells of home on it, this will help reduce stress
-          Think about taking your cat(s) to a family member of friend who lives away from the flood risk area until the danger has passed.
-          Put all documents such as vaccination records, your vet’s details and your pet’s microchip number in a sealed bag with any other important documents.
-          Keep up to date with the lastest information, local radio, TV or call Floodline 0845 988 1188.  
If disaster strikes…
-          If at all possible, don’t leave your pets behind, even if you think that you’ve created a safe place for them – it could be several days before you can make it back home.
-          If you have no choice but to leave your pets behind, shut them inside an upstairs room with plenty of food and water
-          Leave notices outside your home to alert RSPCA or your local flood warden that there are pets inside
-          Put cats into suitable carrier with a warm blanket.
-          Remember to take your cat’s food, water, bowls, medication and bedding with you.
(Courtesy of The Blue Cross Flood advice)   

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Cappuccino and Butterscotch

For some cats who come in to the centre, being in a pen can be really scary for them. When Cappuccino and Butterscotch came into Axhayes back in the summer, they were very unhappy and nervous in their pen. These boys need a special home as they have the medical condition FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), so they would require an indoor home together. Luckily for these two, one of our cat fosterers was able to take them home.

In a home environment the pair soon relaxed, full of character and proved to be very sweet little cats. In less than a week in their foster home, both cats enjoyed playing games and being stroked. Butterscotch and Cappuccino (nicknamed Butter and Cappi) have been keeping their fosterer very busy with their antics, they enjoy pouncing on her feet while she sleeps, playing with cat toys and her glasses. Cappi loves to be around you at all times, he likes to sit beside you on the sofa and sleep beside you in bed. He loves lots of strokes and attention.
Butter is more playful, he loves to play with anyone at anytime of the day. His favourite thing to do is watching the fish and bats the tank when the fish swim up to him. Both cats love to play with each other and will keep you entertained for hours. They have made terrific progress in the foster home, now they are ready for a home of their own.

They are doing so well in their foster home; we would like to find a permanent home for them from there. If you are interested in giving Cappuccino and Butterscotch an indoor home where they will be loved forever please contact us on 01395 232377 or get in touch with us via our Facebook page. Thank you   

Monday, 19 November 2012

Success Story - Walnut and Waffles

Walnut and Waffles came to Axhayes back in June of this year with their siblings Wilberforce, Wesley, Whiskers and William. These kittens were found living outside and were very frightened when they first came to the centre. These kittens needed lots of help building up their confidence, some of them were socialised by our cat socialiser Carolyne and one pair spent some time in a foster home with CCA Vicky.

Two months later Walnut and Waffles (now renamed Luna) were chosen and went to live with a family. They told us during their telephone follow up, it took a little time to for Walnut and Waffles to gain their trust but once they did, they turned into friendly and loving kittens. They have settled in extremely well, they are really happy with them. Their owner’s previous older cat just loves them and has got a new lease of life!

 Today we have received some lovely photos from their new owners; these once shy and nervous kittens are now playful, funny and loving. They told us they have become “fabulous family pets and well hooligans” as you can see in their photos of Walnut playing on the trampoline. We always enjoy hearing about our cats and kittens in happy homes.

Interested in adopting an Axhayes cat or kitten? Please visit our website or our Facebook page. Thank you :-)

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Cats and Allergies

Cats Protection is marking Indoor Allergy Week (12-18 November) by providing tips for sufferers with the aim of helping to ease the UK's unwanted cat problem.

Things that cause allergic reactions are called triggers or allergens. Almost anything can be an allergen including pollen, dust mites, detergents, tobacco smoke, insect stings, pets, feathers and perfume.

The severity of a reaction to an allergen varies dramatically from person to person. Symptoms include:
-          Sneezing and a running or blocked nose
-          Itchy and watery eyes
-          Coughing and wheezing
-          Itchy skin

Asthma and eczema sufferers may find that their symptoms are exacerbated by the presence of an allergen.

Am I allergic to cats?

For some people it is fairly obvious that they are allergic to cats because they have an almost immediate reaction to a cat entering a room. In other cases it may not be so easy to tell, particularly if someone is allergic to more than one trigger in their environment.
If you think you or a family member might be allergic to your cat it is a good idea to have a trial separation to determine if the cat is the cause of the reaction. Cats are often singled out because they are easily identifiable but it is important to remember that they are just one possible household cause and that dust mites are by far the most common trigger for house-born allergies.

If you do not own a cat but are thinking of getting one, a simple visit to someone who has a cat or to an Adoption Centre will show you whether you are allergic or not.

Is there anything I can do to ease my symptoms?
There are a number of different things that significantly ease allergy symptoms, including:
-          Using anti-histamine tablets or nasal spray – please consult your doctor first
-          Wash your bedding twice monthly in a hot wash
-          Designating some areas as cat-free zones, particularly bedrooms, its especially important not to let your cat(s) sleep on your bed.  
-          Regularly cleaning rooms where the cat sleeps – vacuumed rooms should be allowed to settle as vacuuming stirs up allergens
-          Grooming your cat outdoors and wiping him with a damp cloth
-          Washing your cat’s bed regularly

In tests, Petal Cleanse (Biolife International) alleviated the symptoms of 90% of sufferers. For more information on Petal Cleanse, and many other products endorsed by Allergy UK, visit its website or phone its helpline on 01322 619898.

Breeds of cat
Certain breeds and even certain cats are better than others for allergy sufferers because of their fur – trial and error is the only way to tell if this is the case for you. However, bear in mind that it is a cat’s skin cells that are usually the trigger for allergy sufferers not the fur.

Please note – Cats Protection does not condone the creation of hypoallergenic cats. The money spent on just one of these engineered cats could help so many others 

Can I get a cat if I am allergic?
If you still want a cat even though you have a reaction to them then your symptoms are probably mild to moderate and therefore manageable via the steps outlined in this blog piece. Some people find that repeated exposure to the same cat or cats over time banishes their allergic reaction altogether.

Should I keep my cat?
The answer to this varies greatly from person to person. First you must make sure that it is the cat causing the allergic reaction. You do not want to go through the upset of rehoming a much-loved pet only to discover that stress is what brings on your asthmatic attacks.

In the end, the decision about whether to get or keep a cat depends entirely on you and the severity of your reaction. In some cases the symptom-easing steps mentioned in this blog post may provide enough relief for you to live happily with a cat. If not, it is advisable to avoid cats and seek advice from your doctor.

If you feel you cannot keep your cat, please contact our Cats Protection Helpline on 03000 12 12 12 for advice.

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Trinity and Morpheus

Morpheus and Trinity first came to Axhayes back in May when they were just a few weeks old with their brother Neo and their beautiful mother Missy. They were sadly one of many unwanted litters we take into our care every year. Their mother Missy and brother Neo quickly found homes during the summer. Sadly Morpheus and Trinity are still waiting for someone to take them home and love them forever. These kittens are one of the friendliest pairs of kittens you will meet on our rehoming corridor; they happily greet you purring whenever you open their pen door. We have mentioned them in a previous blog back in the summer after we took them out to our outdoor playpen for some exercise and sunshine. They are nearly 7 months old and growing up fast in their pen.

Today Morpheus and Trinity have enjoying having lots of attention from our volunteers and our work experience girl Amy. After they watched CCA Theresa clean their pen, they had lots of fun playing with a fishing rod toy with Amy. Both kittens are full of energy and they love to play like all kittens do. When some potential adopters came in to look around at the kittens, they sat at the front of their pen hoping they would open their door and say hello. Today wasn't their day to be chosen, we are hoping their turn will be next. This afternoon they had a CCA visit them, they enjoyed trying to both squeeze on to her lap, jumping on and off to play with their ping-pong balls. Morpheus was running around batting the ping-pong ball across the floor.   

By the late afternoon after burning some energy playing and enjoying plenty of fuss from our volunteers and CCAs, they settled down for an afternoon nap. It will soon be teatime…

We are hoping someone will fall in love with them soon and take them home. They are very friendly, affectionate and playful kittens who will make lovely additions to a home. If you are interested in adopting Trinity and Morpheus, please contact us on 01395 232377 or please visit our website for more information about our adoption process. Thank you.  

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Success Story - Violet and Dandelion

One of our jobs as a CCA is to do follow up checks on some of our adopted cats and kittens. We normally phone our adopters after three months to chat about how their new cat or kitten is settling in, to give any advice for any problems they may have had and to answer any questions. We do occasionally do follow up checks in person too, due to constraints on our time we can only do local visits. These visits are always nice because we get to see our ex-Axhayes cats and kittens in a happy loving home where they should be. This is a very rewarding part of the job.

Today I visited Violet and Dandelion armed with my camera. As mentioned in previous blog entries, these kittens starred in “The Life of an Axhayes kitten”. This youtube video has over 370 hits and took nine weeks to record. Violet and Dandelion were adopted back in July and their siblings Foxglove and Bluebell were finally rehomed last month.  

Dandelion now renamed Ernie was a little wary of this strangle cat-smelling lady in familiar blue uniform walking over to him. It was lovely to see him curled up on the sofa and he is grown up so much, he now looks like a fully grown cat. Violet was happily sat in their conservatory and said hello. Their owners absolutely adore them and both kittens love them too. Violet and Ernie settled into their home very quickly, both very playful, loved running around the house and up and down the stairs. They love playing in the garden, Violet is much more adventurous whereas Ernie is much more homely. Both kittens love being around their owners and don’t like to go too far. After about 10 minutes Violet and Ernie came over to me for a stroke and to sniff my hands and cat-smelling uniform.

It was great to see them again, now they are seven months old and have grown up so much. It was fantastic to see them in a happy loving home together and their owners are really happy with them and love them lots. A very happy ending for our famous youtube/facebook kittens. 

Interested in adopting an Axhayes cat or kitten and you live in the Exeter area? Please contact us on 01395 232377 or visit our facebook page or our official website at Thank you.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Bonfire night - 5th November

Remember, remember your cat this November!

With fireworks seemingly no longer confined to 5th November, spare a thought for your feline friend this autumn….

While the festivities – particularly those based around Bonfire Night and New Year’s Eve – are entertaining for us, they can be distressing for pets. Apart from the obvious physical damage that can occur as a result of accidental contact with fireworks, cats can also be badly affected by the resultant noise and lights. In some cases, behavioural problems could arise as a result of fear and stress, including soiling of the home or excessive grooming, while there is also the danger of them running away. The following recommendations should ensure that you can enjoy the celebrations with the peace of mind that your cat will be safe and sound.

First of all, keep him in after dark and provide him with a litter tray if he is used to having outside access. In order to feel secure, cats need to be settled in cosy, familiar territory such as a comfy bed or favourite chair, so make sure these are available. Make sure that all doors and windows are securely closed – this will also reduce the level of noise from outside. To create a semblance of calm, pheromone plug-in diffusers – available from pet shops – have a beneficial effect, but you must start using them a couple of weeks before the fireworks season starts in order to maximise the benefit. Playing soothing music or having the TV on may also help.

If you are having your own celebrations, you could consider buying hand-held cascading fireworks rather than noisier varieties. Similarly, many companies now offer quiet or almost silent fireworks – giving you the same spectacle without the loud bangs. Try to keep fireworks and bonfire displays as far away from your home as possible, but do bear in mind the effect these displays will have on wild animals. Finally, check bonfires before lighting them to ensure that no small creatures are sleeping inside.

For further advice on keeping felines safe and happy during the fireworks season, please call our centre on 01395 232377.

Ripley's story

Ripley's story : a ‘tail’ about the unseen side of our job.

We received a phone call about the ‘tolerant’ Mr Ripley from a lady who was out in the countryside in Mid Devon.  She said that she had found a bedraggled biscuit-coloured cat.  The lovely lady then literally went ‘the extra mile’ for an animal in distress, and took him too the vet.  After an examination, ‘Ripley’ as he was then named, was found to have two massive gashes in his throat, severe ear problems, and had bad teeth.  He was clearly aged, and later it was discovered that he had also contracted FIV.

Ripley when he came into us 17th September

His organs were good though, and the vets soon called us and we found Ripley to be a darling boy who actually enjoyed having his injuries nursed!  We nursed him for weeks with antibiotics, ear drop and pain relief, bathed his wounds frequently; and of course he got a lot of good food and love! He loves being stroked, and if you stop, he puts his paw gently on your hand and puts his head underneath!

3rd October CCA Christie bathing wound

After a dental, a major operation on his ear and having his two wounds stitched together into one, Ripley has made a remarkable recovery, especially considering he has FIV!

18th October - wound healed over

We are very happy to announce that on 03/12/12, Ripley found a loving forever home where he can enjoy life and play ping-pong (he always loved chasing a ball!) to his heart's content!

(If you are interested in adopting an FIV cat, please call us on 01395 232377.  Thank-you.)