Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Welcoming your new cat home

When you first adopt a cat or kitten, you will need to help him gently settle in to his new home. A change of environment is always stressful for a cat, so it will often take a few weeks for him to feel relaxed in his new abode. Following the advice here will help him to successfully adapt to his new surroundings.

Bringing your new cat home
The first few hours after bringing your cat home can really affect how well he accepts his new life. First and foremost, be prepared to be patient and never attempt to rush your cat into doing things he may not be ready for.
It is important to provide him with a quiet place with everything he needs, so set aside a dedicated, secure room before you collect him, This room should include:

-       Separate areas for food and water

-       At least one little tray placed in a private, accessible location which is as far away as possible from his food and water.

-       Somewhere to hide such as a box

-       Access to a high spot where he can view his surroundings

-       A suitable place to sleep, ideally, a choice of them

-       A scratching post

-       A few cat toys and space for him to play

The significance of scent
Cats rely heavily on their sense of smell and will settle quicker if their new home smells familiar. To help your cat get used to your scent, take an item of clothing or a blanket from your home and leave it with the cat for a few days before you bring him home. Make sure you bring the same item back – ideally it will fit comfortably in his carrier with him and then it can be placed in his room.

You could also use a synthetic form of feline facial pheromones such as Feliway. These come as a plug-in diffuser or a spray. The scent helps to create a reassuring environment and may help to reduce stress.

Travelling home

Being territorial and a creature of habit, a cat becomes very attached to his familiar environment and finds travelling very stressful. To help your cat stay calm during journeys, use a strong, secure and easily cleanable carrier, with a familiar smelling blanket inside and cover the carrier with another light blanket. You may wish to spray the inside of the carrier with a pheromone spray at least 15 minutes before putting your cat inside, to allow the alcohol to evaporate. The pheromone can help to create a feeling of familiarity and security.

The first steps…
When you arrive home, leave your cat alone to explore his room for an hour or so before introducing yourself, although some cats may need longer. When you go in to see him, get down to his level, put out your hand and call his name softly, let him come to you.

If your cat chooses to hide, just sit quietly in the same room and occasionally talk to him gently in low tones – do not force him to come out. Give him plenty of time to adjust and continue to visit him so he can get used to your presence. As long as he is eating and using the litter tray, there should be no cause for alarm. If your cat is very timid, he may not want to come out to eat. In this case, try moving the food bowl closer to his hiding place and leaving the room.

You may want to try offering a small treat or using an interactive toy, such as a fishing rod toy with feathers on the end to tempt your cat from his hiding place. Play is a good bonding tool because it is less intimidating than physical contact, relieves stress, and provides mental stimulation and an outlet for pent-up energy. You may find it is easier to encourage play at dawn and dusk when cats are naturally more active.   
Meeting the family
Once your cat seems confident with you, introduce other (human) family members, one by one. Children are likely to be excited about the new arrival, but it is important to keep them calm. Let the cat come to them and when he does, show the children the correct way to gently stroke and interact with him. Children, particularly young children with little experience of cats, need to learn how to treat cats appropriately. Even the friendliest cat will defend himself if he is pushed or pulled too much so make sure they understand he is not a toy. Avoid picking your cat up in the early stages – wait until he has settled in and knows that your are not a threat. 
Some cats may not have had much contact with people, or may have had bad experiences in the past, so be patient. Bear in mind that not all cats will become lap cats.
Exploring the rest of the house
Once your cat is comfortable in his space and if you have no other pets in the house, you can gradually let him explore more rooms. It may help to gently wipe your cat’s cheeks with a soft cloth – to pick up the facial pheromones – and rub it around points in the house at cat height to make the house smell more familiar. Let your cat come out of his room of him own accord and keep the door open so he can dash back to his refuge if he feels the need. Make sure all external doors and windows are shut so he can’t escape outside.  

The big outdoors
Don’t let your cat go outside until he has fully adjusted to his new home and knows where his food will be coming from – this usually takes between three and four weeks. Kittens should always be supervised when outdoors. When you let your cat out, do it when he’s hungry so that you can tempt him back inside with food, until he is used to coming back to the house freely. (Source: Cats Protection)  

Thursday, 21 May 2015

The Cat magazine

Did you know that Cats Protection have a quarterly magazine?

Since 1931, The Cat magazine has been informing and entertaining cat lovers all over the UK. The Cat is a widely-read publication with the distinction of being part of the UK’s largest feline welfare charity, Cats Protection

Some recent editions

To subscribe, phone 0800 9172287 or email

you can also apply on the website

or by post to Cats Protection, National Cat Centre, Haywards Heath, RH17 7TT.

Subscribe to The Cat for just £15 a year and you’ll get four issues delivered direct to your door. Want to try before you buy? We also have four samples for you to read on the website

As the official publication of Cats Protection, subscriptions to the magazine help rehome and neuter unwanted and abandoned cats in the UK, while also helping to inform the public on issues surrounding cat welfare. In line with these aims, we are committed to bringing our readers the latest developments from the cat care world so that they and their cats can continue to get the best out of their relationship.

Francesca Watson, Editor

The magazine has lots of very interesting articles that are cat related. The Spring edition has an article about creative ways to feed cats using some of the cat feeding toys you can buy or make your own. It has been written by Nicky Trevorrow who is a behaviour manager. She works in the veterinary department at Cats Protection national cat centre.

 A treat toy made from cardboard rolls


A feeding toy from our Amazon wishlist

Cats Tales is the section dedicated to your cats. You can email or post in a picture and a few words as to why your cat is 'funny, weird or just photogenic'

This is Mighty Mitre one of our very special kittens from last year

There is a great section to win prizes ( all cat related, of course) by just sending in your name and address. Some of the spring edition prizes are: a lovely feline print scarf worth £12, a cute cat cushion worth £29, a surefeed Microchip pet feeder worth £99 and a fabulous designer Ciccia handbag worth £135.  Well worth the price of a stamp or you can enter by email!

You have to be in it to win it!

Surefeed Microchip pet feeder


some of the other articles are :

  • Kitty Kapow-Amy Rutter looks at the rise in popularity of cats in comics

  • Black Magic-national black cat day, our annual campaign has been running for four years

  • Ask the vets-CP's team of veterinary experts tackle your feline-related questions

Our very special black cat Panjo

We hope we have inspired you to take a closer look at The Cat Magazine and find another way to support Cats Protection and learn more about our wonderful feline friends.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Lost Cats Advice

You’re probably used to your cat’s comings and goings but what happens when suddenly the usual friendly greeting you receive when you arrive home isn’t there?

Don’t panic!

Even if your cat does have a routine like clockwork, cats will often go ‘missing’ only to arrive home later that evening, the next morning or even a week later looking very pleased with themselves and showing no concern about their poor, worried and often fraught owners. So, if the worst happens and puss doesn’t show up what should you do?

Step 1 – Have an action plan!
First things first – check your home and garden. Cats can be crafty little things and can hide themselves in all sorts of places. If you have checked every nook and cranny and are positive he is not at home then start to check the garden. Check sheds and shady places especially if the weather is hot as they will often try and find a nice cool spot to sit and relax. Still no luck? Take a walk around the neighbourhood and call their name. Sometimes the sound of a familiar voice will be enough to bring them running back home.

Next, make all of the neighbours aware and ask them to also check their sheds and garages. If you are able, make some flyers up. When preparing a flyer make sure to include a good description of your cat, the gender, age, colour, colour of the cat’s eye, breed and any distinguishing features they may have. A photo is a big help. A contact telephone is necessary but for your safety do not give your address. It’s also worth asking the local postman or milkman to keep their eyes peeled.

Step two

Once all of this has been done then it’s time to make some telephone calls:
• Notify your local Cats Protection. To find out your local branch please call 03000 12 12 12
• If your cat is microchipped, call Petlog: 0844 4633 999 so that they can register your cat missing, and also to check any ‘found cat’ reports in your area – lines are open 365 days a year 24/7
• Register the details of your cat at
• Contact the RSPCA helpline on 0300 1234 999
• Call all local vet practices in your area – not just your own vet
• Most local councils’ Environmental Health Departments will keep a record of cats found killed on the roads. Although not an easy call to make it is worth giving them a quick call to help rule this out
• Get in touch with any other local animal rescue organisations in the area

Step three

Take your flyers to local shops, vets, local notice boards and put them anywhere where it is legal to do so.

The internet and social media sites can be a great tool to help track down a lost animal. If you have a Facebook and Twitter page make sure you put the details on there and notify all of your friends. Ask your friends to notify their friends. Post it on your local animal charities’ Facebook pages too. Get in contact with your local radio station, police station and fire station.

Hopefully by this time puss will have sauntered back in as if nothing has happened but if not now is the time to intensify the search. Use a few tricks and put them into action:

• If your cat has a favourite toy, try leaving it in your garden

• A cat’s main sense is smell so if it has a regular blanket or bedding it usually sleeps on leave it out in a dry spot to try and entice it out of hiding

• Cats may be more active at night, especially in the hot weather, so go out with a friend or relative when it is dark and call for it by name

• Leave a bowl of water out and some food. Food may attract other animals but it’s still worth putting something out to help lure puss out of his hiding spot

If you do get any calls claiming to have found your cat don’t build your hopes up too soon. Be prepared for the disappointment that it may not be yours.

For safety reasons, make sure you take a friend or relative with you if you do follow up on any calls. Hopefully your cat will soon be safely back home but you can help to ensure this doesn’t happen again by following two steps:

• Keep your cat in at night

• Make sure your cat is microchipped

Cats get themselves into all sorts of mischief, especially at night. A cat’s natural instinct is to hunt so by keeping him in between dawn and dusk you’re helping to keep him safe and also helping other wildlife that is active at night.

Cats Protection believes that all owned cats should be identified in order to trace their owner should they become lost or injured. The preferred method of identification is an implanted microchip as this is permanent and safe. If an owner also chooses to fit a collar with their contact details attached, CP advises the use of a quick-release or snap-opening collar in preference to an elasticated one. This means that the cat is less likely to be trapped should the collar become caught or tangled.

The collar must be fitted correctly; two fingers should fit snugly underneath it when the cat is wearing it. A cat’s leg or jaw may become caught in an elasticated or ill-fitting collar and this can result in serious injury. Above all, don’t give up hope. We hear so many tales of cats being found and reunited with their owners, sometimes years after they have gone missing (Source: Cats Protection - The Cat Magazine)

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Success Story - Erin

We have been posting blogs about a special little cat called Erin. She was found living rough in the woods before being brought into our care. She was very thin, very hungry and dehydrated. Our CCAs and vet helped her to gradually build up her weight. Of course our volunteer cat cuddlers and CCAs to give her lots of attention and helped her settle in to centre life.

We are pleased to announce Erin was adopted last week and we have already received an email from her new owners. They have called her Bonny, and she made herself at home on her favourite sofa in just 24 hours! They said she is happy, healthy and very affectionate. They are very pleased with her.

She will continue to flourish in her new home. We would like to thank her owners for getting in touch with us so soon.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Update - Erin (Our poor little cat lost in the woods)

We thought we would give you an update on Erin. This poor little girl was found living rough in the woods before being rescued and brought into the centre. She was very lucky to be rescued in time as she weighed only 1.25kg and very dehydrated. She has been in our care for over a month now. She’s having regular meals and seeing our vet. She has doubled in weight; she is still quite frail so she still has a little way to go. She is doing really well, as you can see from her latest photo.

She’s a lovely little girl who is friendly, affectionate and playful, she deserves a home with a family who will love and cherish her forever. Her new owner will need to continue building her up to a healthy weight and of course to spoilt her.   
If you would like to give her a home, you live in the Exeter, Devon, UK area, please contact us on 01395 232377 or via our website, thank you.

Friday, 1 May 2015

You find a cat that is looking thin and bedraggled, what do you do?

Approach the cat cautiously and carefully. He may be frightened or even sick and injured. As such he may lash out. Remember that your own safety and that of the cat are of great importance. If you do have concerns about his health and cannot approach him, this is the time to call the RSPCA on its emergency number 0300 1234 999.

If the cat is friendly, speak calmly and reassuringly, perhaps entice him to you with a bit of food. Once you’ve got him, it is time to check whether he already has an owner. If possible, take the cat to your nearest veterinary surgery. They should be able to scan for a microchip for free and will try to make contact with the registered owners. If there is no microchip, you can give our National Helpline a call on 03000 12 12 12 for details of your local Cats Protection branch which will keep a lost and found register. The Helpline will also be able to send you some paper collars and some missing cat posters. On the paper collar put a note saying ‘Please call this number if this is your cat…’.

If the cat seems friendly, fitting a paper collar shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If the cat is nervous, please do not risk being bitten or scratched. If someone calls, it will hopefully end the mystery for you and also make the owner aware of how far their cat has gone astray. If possible, take a picture of the cat and put it on the poster with details of where and when the cat was found. The posters could be put up places such as your local vets, shops and wherever you can get permission to display them.

If you are unable to take the cat home with you, you may want to provide it with a temporary shelter. You could use a sturdy cardboard box and put a 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.

If possible, do try and provide the cat with food and clean water. Cow’s milk is not advisable as many cats are lactose intolerant. Ask around the local neighbourhood to see if anyone recognises the cat while keeping an eye out for any ‘missing cat’ posters. Have a word with the postman and milkman to see if they know of any missing pets on their rounds. It is also worth checking the local newspaper to see if anyone has placed a ‘lost ad’ that could describe the cat. You may wish to take out an ad of your own in the ‘found’ section.

It is also worth contacting the following organisations with information about the found cat:

• SSPCA 03000 999 999

• USPCA 028 3025 1000



• Local radio stations

• Schools

We all hope for a happy ending when it comes to missing or lost cats. In 2010 alone, Cats Protection helped reunite 3,132 cats with their owners and increased the chances of those who become lost in the future by microchipping a further 43,729.

Unfortunately, there are many cases where the cat has been abandoned and no owner will come forward. If this happens please phone your local Cats Protection branch or adoption centre where our volunteers and staff will do their best to try and find a loving home for the cat.(Source: Cats Protection - The Cat Magazine)