Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Success Story - Alan

This success story just goes to show how you donations have helped safe this cat’s life. Back in June of this year Alan came into our care after his owner sadly had to go into a nursing home. During his health check with our vet, we soon discovered his ear was very infected and starting bleeding upon examination. Further tests by our vet revealed Alan needs a life-saving surgical TECA operation (Total Ear Canal Ablation). We set a target of £550 to help cover his operation and aftercare. Our deputy manager Phil launched an appeal for Alan so he could have this life-saving surgery.


In just 48 hours after our appeal’s launch, we managed to smash our target raising over £700 plus gift aid will increase this. All of these surplus donations will go towards helping any future cats in need of veterinary treatment. We would like thank everyone who has donated towards Alan’s treatment. Alan had his operation on the 16th June and made a brilliant recovery. He is now deaf in the ear that has been operated on but he is no longer suffering with the pain he would have been in. Alan was lucky enough to find a home with a nice family in July.



We have received an email from his owners this week, they have said “He’s really settled now and definitely part of the family, he’s become best friends with our border terrier” We are so pleased he’s enjoying life! We would like to thank his owners for sharing their photos with us and letting us know how he is getting on.

The 12 Nays of Christmas!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Success Story - Anastasia

We received a lovely email from Anastasia’s new owners with an update on how she’s getting on. Anastasia came into our centre back in September after living in a rabbit hole with her four kittens. Luckily we were able to rescue her and her kittens all found homes. It took Anastasia a few weeks to settle into cattery life, it was all a bit scary. She needed extra TLC to build up her confidence from our CCAs, especially CCA Carolyne, as she was very frightened to begin with. Once she was ready to sell herself in her pen, she moved to rehoming and eventually found her purr-fect home!

Anastasia at the centre

Her new owners have renamed her Pumpkin and have said “We just wanted to let you know she's settling in very well and we're so glad she's part of our lives. She likes to play a lot as she's still young. She wakes us up around 5am for cuddles and attention, then some play. She bites us a little bit but not hard, and then licks us afterwards!

We can't pick her up yet and have been too scared to let her outside, which will change soon as we don't think she'll run away. Her first vet visit is this Saturday. We're getting her used to her basket by leaving food in there, which is working well! She's registered at our local vet, Steve, Zoe and the team took good care of our precious Inky and I know they'll do the same for Pumpkin. Best wishes to you all and the cats in your good care”

We would like to thank her new owners for getting in contact with us, we’re so pleased she’s settling in well. If you are thinking about giving one of our more timid cats a loving home, here is some information to help settle them into your home….
While most cats settle into new homes quickly, some cats remain fearful despite a gentle welcome and time to get used to their new surroundings. Do not be too disappointed if your shy or timid cat tries to hide or run away 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 shy?

Shyness could be due to:
-          an inherited tendency – like people, some cats are naturally more anxious than others
-          a lack of contact with humans – if young kittens are not properly socialised with people they will not learn that people are a normal part of life and so may be stressed around them
-          a previous frightening experience that has made the cat fearful

What are the signs of shyness or timidity?
Cats communicate in a much more subtle way than humans and dogs. It is often difficult to recognise that your cat is attempting to tell you to move away. If your cat retreats to hiding places, cringes, cowers away or displays dilated pupils and/or flattened ears he is displaying signs of being frightened.

This fear can develop into aggression – where your cat adopts “fight” as a tactic instead of “flight”. Aggression usually develops because the cat feels cornered or trapped, or because he has previously learned that flight is unsuccessful. Avoid putting your cat into this situation and ensure he can always get away if he wants to.

Managing shy cats
There are a number of things you can do to make your cat feel more comfortable. With patience your cat will learn not to be afraid but you must take it step by step. It helps to:

-          Provide plenty of refuges for your cat around the house. Cats de-stress quicker if they can hide, preferably in high and/or dark locations e.g. in cardboard boxes, on shelves, behind sofas or under a bed.
-          Use synthetic scent pheromones. Available from your vet, these can create a reassuring environment for your cat and may help to reduce stress

-          Sit quietly in your cat’s vicinity to allow him to get used to you in his own time. Ignore him while you read a book or take a nap so that he does not feel pressurised. Do this while he is eating so he associates your presence with something positive. The time you spend near him can be built up gradually as he adjusts

-          Let your cat make the first move – direct approaches are extremely threatening so don’t force attention on your cat

-          Narrow your eyes and turn your face away 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 – this is an excellent way to bond
-          Rewarding your cat with a treat when he approaches 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 toys you can for him, or fishing rod toys that invite the cat to interact without him feeling threatened by close contact.

Most importantly, never lose your temper or try to force your cat to socialise too quickly as this will reinforce his fears. Build on your successes gradually so your cat has time to learn that everything is not a threat, and that it is worth overcoming his fear for the reward of being around you! In some cases, you may find guidance from your vet or a pet 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.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Coby the Devon Rex

This handsome boy finds himself here after his owner had to move house and sadly couldn’t take him with her. He is friendly and enjoys a lap to sit when he’s in the mood. He does not like other cats so has found it difficult adjusting to life at the centre. As you see he’s a stunning Devon Rex, he is looking for a home with someone who has knowledge of the breed so they can meet all of his needs. This may require living as an indoor cat to protect his coat from the elements.

Coby is 6 years old

The Devon Rex coat is soft and silky

Devon Rex are friendly, extrovert, lively, playful and attention seeking. They need a warm place to sleep due to their type of coat.

If you are allergic to cat hair, a Devon Rex may be a suitable cat for you as they have little fur compared to most other types of cat.
(Source: Encyclopaedia of the cat-Angela Sayer and Howard Loxton) 

The Devon Rex is a breed of intelligent, short-hair cat that emerged in England during the 1960s. They are known for their slender bodies, wavy coat, and large ears. These cats are capable of learning difficult tricks. They are even known to recognize their owner's name, just as they do their own.
The Devon Rex is a breed of cat with a curly, very soft short coat similar to that of the Cornish Rex. They are often associated with being one of the most hypo-allergenic cats available because of their type of coat. However, they are technically not hypoallergenic.

(Source: Wikipedia)

A few days ago, we gave Coby one of new toys from our Amazon wish list. A cat it 'Play & scratch' toy which he really enjoyed, especially as it comes with a small bag of catnip to sprinkle on to the cardboard scratch pad.

Coby really responds to catnip and proceeded to sniff it, eat it and play excitedly with his new toy.

Here's a short video of him on our You Tube page..

After he'd finished playing

If you are able to provide Coby with a suitable home, with no other cats, please come and meet him at the centre. You're sure to be charmed by this special cat.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Rosie - one of this year's head-rears

Meet Rosie one of our adorable orphans who was found in a garden without her mum before rescued by a worried member of the public. Rosie and her brother Jim were hand-reared by some of our CCAs and deputy managers here at the centre. Our CCAs and managers had been taking them home each night between them to help especially with the night feeds. They need feeding every three hours to begin with and help stimulating them to go to the toilet. As they have got older they have been living in a foster home with our deputy manager Phil. Now they are 12 weeks old, Rosie is ready to find a loving family of her own. Jim is unfortunately not ready for homing yet.    
Rosie now 12 weeks old at the centre
Here at Cats Protection Exeter Axhayes Adoption centre, we are always looking for cat fosterers to help us with our more nervous cats or kittens, older cats which don't cope with cattery, our kittens which need extra TLC and our mums with their kittens. It can be a hugely rewarding experience and helps the lives of our cats and kittens who need extra care. Interested in becoming a cat fosterer? Please read some information in this blog and any questions you would like to ask us, please contact us on our details below.....
Bottle feeding at a CCAs house

Rosie eating solid food

Interested in becoming a cat fosterer?

Over the last five years Cats Protection has helped over one million cats, fosterers have played a huge role in achieving this fantastic milestone, can you help us help more cats?

Unfortunately thousands of cats each year rely on the help of animal charities because of a change in their owner’s circumstances, they have been abandoned or have strayed. Volunteers at Cats Protection give these cats and kittens a second chance in life and help to create happy endings for cats across the UK.

Fostering is just one way you can be part of these happy endings for cats in your community! As a fosterer you take a cat into your home temporarily and provide the care and TLC it needs until it finds its new forever home. Some fosterers ‘house’ their foster cats in a cat pen in their garden or yard while others prefer to provide a spare room in their house for their foster cats.

Fostering not only benefits cats and kittens, it provides cat lovers with an opportunity to give back and help cats in the best way they can. Some volunteers can’t commit to owning a cat 365 days a year, others foster because they can’t guarantee that they will lead a cat-friendly lifestyle for the life span of a pet cat, others prefer doing something practical rather than donating money to the charity; all love cats and others like Mary do it for the joy it brings them every day…

Interested in becoming a cat foster carer?

As a fosterer I derive a great deal of pleasure in knowing that what I do makes a huge difference to the present and future welfare of the cats and kittens that come into my care. Seeing them go to lovely new homes is one of the greatest rewards of all.

Whatever your reasons for getting involved we welcome those with cats in their hearts as fosterers. Almost anyone can foster, you just need spare time to care for cats, be confident around cats, have a caring but practical personality, enjoy interacting with people and are happy to follow our cat care standards and charity policies. A thirst for knowledge around all things cat and happy to keep up-to-date information and complete paperwork for cats in care are also key for this role.

In return for your time, commitment and all the TLC you can offer cats we provide everything that you and your foster cat will require:

Cat accommodation e.g. a cat cabin or equipment to adapt a spare room
Food, litter, bedding, bowls, litter trays and toys for your foster cat
Veterinary treatment for Cats Protection cats/kittens in your care
Help, support and training so you feel confident and happy as a fosterer

Please get in touch with us if you would like to find out more about becoming a fosterer or volunteering with Cats Protection.

These are common questions we get asked from potential fosterers so
who else is better to answer them than people who already volunteer to
help cats in their area:

Ask our fosterers…

Which is best, fostering accommodation inside or outside?
This really depends on your and the branch’s or adoption centre’s circumstances; in some circumstances only one particular way of fostering will be available. Both ways of fostering has its benefits for you and the cats – other volunteers and staff at Cats Protection can help you decide which is best for you, the organisation and the cat.

What are cat care standards?
These are Cats Protections policies and guidelines which have been developed with vets, staff and volunteers to ensure the welfare of cats and people. They refer to the general care of a cat while they are with the fosterer, they are straight forward and there is plenty of guidance and training to help fosterers maintain great standards of care.

What if I have other pets?
You can foster if you have other pets but all foster cats must be kept separately. This is to protect the foster cat as well as the fosterer’s own pets. As rescued cats’ backgrounds are often unknown it’s important that all pets in the household remain healthy and we would recommend that a fosterer’s own pets are fully vaccinated and boosters are kept up-to-date.

Can I decide on what type of cat I want to foster and who decides which cat comes into care?
Sometimes it is possible to specialise in the type of cat you want to care for; some fosterers prefer caring for older or nervous cats while others like lively kittens. However this may not always be possible. Other volunteers or staff will discuss the range of cats that are in need of help with you and decide on the best foster cat for you and the best foster home for that cat at that time.

How do the cats get homes?
We advertise the cats throughout the local community and beyond, and there are a number of ways we can match the right cat with the right person. If you foster with a branch and the cat in your care has been matched with a new owner you will be contacted to liaise with the potential adopter to arrange a suitable time for them to meet the cat(s). If you foster with an adoption centre (AC) you may bring the cat to the AC to be rehomed or liaise with staff and volunteers at the AC to meet the potential adopter. We always carefully match the right people with the right cat by asking a series of questions so you can rest assured that once you have cared for the cat or kitten it will be very well taken care of in their new home.

What if I get too attached to the cat?
We know it is easy to fall for the cats, but fosterers remember that they are temporary carers. If you do want to adopt a cat you can talk to volunteers or staff and discuss what would be best for that particular cat. Most fosterers know that if they adopt cats their ability to help more cats decreases so are more than happy to be the temporary carers which are much needed.

What about holidays/breaks?
Fosterers liaise directly with other volunteers and staff to plan and arrange holidays and breaks. We can make arrangements for cats to be moved to another fosterer, to keep your space free until you come back or are ready for another cutie!

What do I do next?
If you are interested and live in the Exeter, Devon, UK area, we would like to hear from you!
Please contact Mark on 01395 232377 or visit our website at , thank you.

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Amy-special appeal

Amy is a 3 year old female dark tortoiseshell cat that was left on our doorstep of the centre back in April this year. She is very gentle and affectionate and would be more suited to a quiet home where she can become settled in her own time.

As we have no information of her previous experiences, we do not know if she has lived with other cats or dogs, but we feel she could be rehomed with older children.

Do you like to pull the duvet up over your head and snuggle down for some peace and quiet? Well, if you come and visit Amy, you will find a cat shaped lump under her bedding!

Now you see me...
Cats naturally like to hide, to help them de-stress and some like Amy even like to hide their food. In the wild, cats do this to discourage predators.  
Now you don't!

It is important to provide your cat with a place to hide which will help to make them feel safe and secure. There are many things that can cause a cat to feel anxious or fearful, such as fireworks, building work in the house, unfamiliar visitors or conflict with other cats. A hiding place can be something as simple as a cardboard box on its side, an igloo style cat bed, a space under the bed, or in a wardrobe with the door left ajar. The cat shouldn’t be disturbed while they are in their hiding place.

She enjoys a biscuit diet rather than cat food but is a little 'rounder' than she should be due to a lack of exercise and time spent in a pen.

Amy spending time in our exercise area

Do you have a cosy place in your home that she could fit in? Please help us to find Amy a home for Christmas.

Monday, 26 October 2015

Black Cat success story-Jelly Bean

Back in June 2014, a tiny black kitten was brought into the centre by a kind lady. She was rescued from a farm where she was born. She was only 20g when she came in which was very small for her age.

Jelly Bean at 4 weeks old

She was too little to be at the centre on her own, so CCA Di took her home with her for extra TLC. She needed to be hand fed as she was too little to eat for herself.

Di named her Jelly Bean. In her foster home she really flourished, she gained weight and got into all sorts of mischief. She loved to play with Di's border collie dog.

Jelly Bean at the end of Jul 14 in her pen

Once she was feeling better, she returned to the centre and quickly found a home.

Jelly Bean Oct 15
            We recently received an email from Jelly Beans owner Brigitte...

Good morning all at Axhayes

Thought you would like to see how I have grown. In my photo I'm just about to pounce on the other black cat that shares the house, she warms a spot up then I move her on and settle down. I'm still full of mischief!!

I spend most of my time going in and out exploring my neighbourhood but I get a curfew just before dark. Now it's colder the log burner is lit so I lounge about all cosy and warm.

'I cant wait until that Xmas tree goes up again lol' !!!!

Love Jelly Bean  X x x
We love sharing your stories, so if you adopted an Axhayes cat and want to share your pictures and cat tales, please email us on



Thursday, 22 October 2015

National Black Cat Day 2015!

On Tuesday 27th October Cats Protection centres all over the UK will be celebrating National Black Cat Day!!! Our CCA Diane, Sue and Deputy Manager Becky have created a special “theatre style” black cat board in our centre to show off all of our black cats and kittens!   
Did you know that, on average, it takes a monochrome moggy 13 per cent longer to find their new home than a more colourful cat? That’s one week longer in care, simply because of the colour of their fur! We’re bigging-up black cats with this year’s National Black Cat Day – let’s show the world what amazing pets black (and black-and-white) cats are and help find them homes faster!

Here are some of our wonderful black and black & white cats available for adoption….  
Maria - 1 year old female black cat
Our Maria is a sweet but shy young lady she is lovely once she gets to know you but can be hesitant at first. She is very playful and would love someone to adopt her who has time and patience to help her regain her trust in humanity!!!
 Penny - 5 year old female black cat
 Penny is a lovely affectionate black cat who deserves a second chance of happiness with an owner who appreciates her. Stroke her and she purrs, feed her and she purrs in fact she is a purrrfect pet cat. Penny came to us when her owner could not cope with having a pet in her home. This young girl needs a quiet home with a safe garden to call hers. Can you love this black fur ball of affection and let her call your home hers too?

 Poppy - 1 year old female black cat

Poppy is wonderfully friendly little lady who turned up at a farm with her brood of kittens. Seeing how friendly they all were they were brought here to find their first real homes. Poppy is very affectionate and we are sure she will adjust to most family situations. She would love a safe garden to explore too!!

Max - 5 year old male black cat

Max came into us when his owner could no longer take care of him. He also came in with his brother Nelson so has been well socialised with other cats. Max is a bit scared of people at present but loves a treat and will accept a scratch on the head. If you have the time and patience to spend on nurturing a lovely cat like Max who would be much happier out of his pen then please ask the staff for more information on how to help!
Tee - 1 year old female black and white cat

As my name suggests I was playing a game of golf with my kitten in tow when all of a sudden I was brought here. In all fairness it was getting boring, it was ruining a good walk. I am now in search of a home where I will be treated with understanding and kindness. In time I am sure I will be a great family pet. Please give me a chance.
Rosie - 2 year old female black and white cat
This dear cat had to share a small flat with lots of other cats, so has never had the time just spent with her. She is in search of a loving home after owner could no longer care for her. If you can offer her the time and patience she so deserves then we are sure you will be rewarded with the best pet ever.
If you can offer any of our wonderful cats a loving forever home, we would like to hear from you!!! Please visit our website for more information about our adoption process, thank you!

Friday, 2 October 2015

Callanish's story

Meet our very special little girl Callanish! She came into our centre with her siblings/cousins after being trapped from a grand country estate. Upon arrival we soon discovered she only had half of her back left leg. Whether we was born like or and lost it due to injury we will never know. After being health checked by our vet on that first week, her deformed leg is fine and isn’t causing her any trouble. She was very frightened to begin with due to lack of human contact in earlier life. As the weeks have gone by, she’s a lot more confident and has the loudest purr.

In her pen she gets around just fine on three and a half legs. She has mastered the ladder from her cabin to the outdoor run. Our CCAs have covered the floor with blankets and towels to cushion her if she should fall. She loves to play with her best buddy Deer too who was also trapped from the same place. He's just as sweet, affectionate and playful!

Deer and Callanish

After a few weeks on our admissions section she is soon to move to our rehoming section to find her new home. She is looking for an extra special home away from busy roads and traffic so she can enjoy the great outdoors safely. She is a wonderful little kitten who will make a lovely addition to your family. For more information about her please visit our website thank you.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Success Story - Roger, Galilee, Venus and Garbine

We thought we’d share this lovely tale of four cats Garbine, Venus, Roger and Galiliee. These four came into the centre this month after the farm they lived on was sold which left them homeless. These four were very friendly, affectionate, sociable cats so they could leave farm life and go into warm cosy homes.


Garbine liked to sunbathe a lot on the farm as a result she sadly lost her ears due to the sun damage. Her new look didn’t worry her. After spending a few weeks with us seeing our vet and waiting for someone to choose them, they found their perfect home. Not one but all four of them, which doesn’t happen very often. We have already had news on how they are getting on; we would like to thank their owners for giving all four of them a loving home and for getting in touch with us….
I thought you'd like to see how Roger, Galilee, Venus and Garbine are getting on. As you can see they are all very happy to be together, they often clean each other and share their beds! It's almost as if they have all remembered each other and are delighted to be reunited. They haven't gone outside yet, they are still exploring the house, which they all seem to be enjoying very much! They're eating very well, particularly Venus, she's definitely into her food. But the others too never leave anything in their dishes. They particularly like the little tins of Gourmet Gold.”

Cats Living Together

Domestic cats are similar to the Africian wildcat in that they still have an inherent desire to be solitary hunters and maintain a territory. However, they can live well together in circumstances when…
-       They perceive each other to be in the same social group and
-       There are sufficient resources provided for them to avoid competition.

While some cats can form very strong social bonds, sometimes cats living in the household do not perceive each other to be in the same social group.

-       Some cats will “block” access to food, water and litter trays from other cats they live with. This is done very subtly so owners often do not notice and it can be very stressful for the affected cat.

-       Some cats operate a more tolerant “time share” system where one cat may use a particular area in the morning and the other will then use that area in the afternoon, for example

-       Others may live separately in a particular area of the house. For example, one cat may live upstairs, while the other cat lives downstairs.  

Same social group?
Signs of aggression and conflict are not the only way to tell that cats are in different social groups. The signs can be subtle, so you need to look for the positive signs of social interaction.

Cats are in the same social group if they sleep touching each other and spend time rubbing and grooming each other, sharing and reinforcing their common scent. There is nothing more endearing that seeing two cats choosing to cuddle up with one another.

If you have more than two cats, you may find you have more than two social groups – in fact it is quite possible to have six cats and five or six social groups within them. This is more likely to happen if they were introduced as adults, were forced to interact too quickly and given insufficient resources. Even sibling cats may not necessarily remain in the same social group and may drift apart as they approach social maturity between 18 months and 4 years of age.

Resource placement
Cats in one social group are best provided with separate food, water and litter trays from cats which are in a different social group. Place these in a different part of the home. In fact, it may even be a good idea to feed cats in the same social group in different areas to reduce the risk of relationship breakdown.


Important resources for cats 
-       Food and water. Cats like to drink away from where they eat, so place the food and water bowls in separate areas sited away from the litter tray.

-       Somewhere to hide. It is very important for cats to have somewhere to hide – for example a cardboard box in its side or under the bed.

-       A viewing platform. Cats love to view their surroundings from a height. You could offer access to high spots for example shelves, on top of a wardrobe or window sills. Ensure easy access by placing a stool nearby.

-       Somewhere to sleep – igloo beds, cardboard box, blankets in elevated places

-       A scratching post – try placing this near to where the cat sleeps as they often like to stretch and scratch after they wake up

-       Litter tray – placed away from food and water bowls. (SOURCE: Cats Protection)
By providing plenty of resources for each cat, many cats will live together in harmony.