Friday, 30 December 2016

Success Story - Smokey and The Colonel

We thought we’d end the year with a lovely success story – back in the summer we had two loveable cats Smokey and the Colonel. Smokey was very outgoing whereas Colonel was quite a shy boy. His new owners have been in touch us and were happy to let us share their story. Smokey is now renamed Humphrey and Colonel is now called Hugo – we love the new names. We would like to thank them for their lovely email and photos. Here is what they had to say….

“Thank you so much for your email and for your help in finding us our now beloved cats.

When we came to Exeter Axhayes back in July we knew that we wanted to adopt two cats and when we came inside we absolutely fell in love with Smokey and The Colonel, who are now known as Humphrey and Hugo. I have attached some photographs of them for you to see.

They have both settled in very well to their new environment and are now completely ruling the roost in the way that only cats can! Humphrey, the confident one, settled in immediately and is a real character. He is always quick to let us know when he is hungry.... whatever time of the day or night! The problem that he had with his weepy eye is, unfortunately, ongoing but a great deal better than it was and not really causing him any discomfort. He is under the supervision of our local vet who feels it may possibly have been stress related and will continue to improve, the more he settles in to his new home. Hugo came to us as an extremely nervous cat and hid himself away from us for the first few days. After lots and lots of love and patience, though, he has really come out of his shell. He has gained lots of confidence and is now a different cat! He loves lots of attention and cuddles and enjoys relaxing in the sunshine. He does still become a little apprehensive when new people come into the house but has a safe place where he goes until he feels happy to join us again.

Both of our boys have brought us so much joy and we now can't imagine our life without them! We are so pleased to have been able to offer them a place in our home but we couldn't have done that without the wonderful work of the Cats Protection. So on behalf of Humphrey and Hugo and all of the other cats who you help ... thank you!”

We would like to thank their new owners again for getting in touch with us – we always love to hear how our ex-Axhayes cats are settling in to your homes  or maybe you’ve adopted any of our kittens which are now fully grown and enjoying life. You can share these on our Facebook page or you can email them to us at Thank you.

Christmas Day - Santa Paws Appeal 2016

We thought we’d share a few photos taken by our CCA Jackie on Christmas Day. On 1st December we launched our Santa Paws Appeal – again you’ve all been brilliant making up some lovely gift boxes for our cats, we cannot thank you enough. We received just over 120 presents for our cats and a some for our staff who work here, which were opened on Christmas morning. We would also like to thank our online shoppers who had donated gifts via our Amazon wishlist. We would like to thank Beryl for donating Christmas turkeys for our cat’s dinner and Jane at the Lamb Inn for cooking them. Finally we would like to thank our volunteers who came out to help us during the Christmas holidays!


Our hand-rear kittens with their present via Amazon wishlist
Napoleon recovering well after his operation
We hope you had a good Christmas and a have Happy New Year!   

Monday, 12 December 2016


On the 14th October we launched a JUST GIVING appeal for 10 week old Napoleon.

This is how the story unfolded...

Napoleon is a 10 week old ginger male kitten who came into our care when he was found in a very traumatic & distressed state on a country road having believed to be in a RTA.  He was rushed to our vets and given IV fluids via a drip to rehydrate him.  Initial examination identified abrasions to his face & side and he was also badly limping on his back leg.  After several days in our care, Napoleon’s condition had improved sufficiently for our vet to take x-rays of his back leg as he was still very lame.  The results showed he had severe damage & had fractured his femoral neck which will require extensive surgery to correct, at a reduced cost to us of approx £500.

We started a Just Giving page to help pay for his treatment with any surplus donations going towards treating the other cats and kittens in our care at Axhayes. We shared it on our website and Facebook page.

Amazingly in just 24 hours we hit our target and the money just kept on coming.

This was our facebook update at 9am on 15th October :

FANTASTIC NEWS - We have smashed our target within 24hrs! Napoleon would love to thank all those generous supporters who have kindly donated towards the cost of his operation. We will keep you updated on his progress, he cannot have his operation for a few weeks until he has grown a little more, he still only weighs under 1kg! In the meantime we will continue to love & care for him and provide him with the necessary pain relief. Many thanks again from Napoleon & everyone here at Axhayes.

Well, 8 weeks later Napoleon now weighs 2kg, the weight he needed to be before the vets could do his operation. 

His surgery is booked for this Friday 16 December and we are all excited for him.  

He is a very special kitten that deserves a purrfect future. 

We will keep you updated on his recovery and when he will be available for adoption.

Friday, 19 August 2016

Queenies move to our new centre in Somerset

Yesterday, Queenie made the trip from our Exeter adoption centre to our new
Taunton Homing and Information Centre.
Here's a few pictures of her settling into her new apartment...

Queenie surveying her new room

Are you looking at me?


Exploring the tunnel

Queenie spent most of her life as an indoor cat before coming into the centre many months ago. She needs to find an owner who will give her time and patience to help her settle in to her new home. She is very affectionate but like most cats, also enjoys her independence and a quiet space to sleep in.
Settling down for a cat nap
To see a video of Queenie in her foster home, please click on the link below..

If you like a challenge and have a patient heart, please consider Queenie to be your loyal companion. If you would like to meet her, call 01823 667945. or pop in to our new centre at Blackdown Garden Centre, West Buckland, Wellington, Nr Taunton, Somerset, TA21 9HY.

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Cats Protection Taunton Rehoming and Information Centre

Exciting news cat-lovers of Somerset, we are opening a brand new rehoming centre!!!!

From Wednesday 10th August – the Taunton Rehoming and Information Centre will be open to the public! We will be open every day from 10am until 4pm. Our new centre is based at the Blackdown Garden Centre, Wellington. Our shiny new centre has five purpose built pens – where you can walk in and meet and greet the cats! Our friendly staff can offer any help or cat-related advice too. Take a look at our fabulous photos taken today of our lovely new centre....

Entrance to our new centre
Reception area

Cat pens

One of our new cat pens

The first of our new cats to arrive at Taunton yesterday were Gypsy and Dusty. They are settling in well already and they can’t wait to find new families to join! Here are some photos below of them both in our new cat pens, snoozing, playing and enjoying some cuddles on CCA Ros' lap yesterday.

Dusty in his new pen
Gypsy playing with her new toys


Gypsy - 2 year old female  

Dusty - 5 year old male 

Our grand opening of our new centre will be on Friday 26th August, if you are in the area why not pop in and say hello to us!
If you live in the Taunton/Wellington area and are thinking of adopting a cat or kitten - our dedicated team at Taunton Rehoming centre are ready to assist you every step of the way! Each of our cats available for adoption is neutered, fully vaccinated, microchipped and treated for fleas and worms. Our cats also come with one month's FREE petplan insurance. We do ask for an adoption fee of £60 per cat or kitten - this fee helps cover some of the costs - as on average it costs £200 to care for a cat in our centre. Any donations are gratefully received.   

You can find our new centre at Blackdown Garden Centre, West Buckland, Wellington, Nr Taunton, Somerset, TA21 9HY. Telephone - 01823 667945.Our Taunton cats will feature on our Exeter Axhayes Website at

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Pets at Home VIP Scheme

A big THANK YOU to everyone who has signed up to the Pets at Home VIP scheme and have been collecting Lifelines for us. Thanks to you we managed to purchase lots of food, several scratch posts, cat litter and some lovely new toys for the cats & kittens at the centre.

Two trollies full of goodies

Our van loaded with scratch posts

Lots of new toys for the cats & kittens

By registering for the VIP Club you can help to make a difference to Cats Protection Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre every time your VIP card is swiped at a Pets at Home store. The VIP club means you can enjoy money-saving offers on food, toys and accessories for yours pets – and support us at the same time!

When you register you’ll receive a VIP card, a 10% off voucher and you can look forward to regular offers, tips advice and a free magazine. Each time you swipe your VIP card you can support our work by collecting Lifelines. Every three months our Lifelines will be exchanged for Pets at Home vouchers which we’ll spend to help the cats and kittens in our care.
Jiminy Cricket with a Dreamies mouse

Stagecoach Smudge with a new owl feather toy


Honey with a new owl rope toy

Join the VIP club today at your local Pets at Home store or at
When you log into your online account and remember to select a home store – Pets at Home Rydon Lane or Marsh Barton.
We are very grateful for your support and generosity

Thursday, 30 June 2016

Pets at Home VIP Club

We would say THANK YOU to everyone who has signed up to the VIP scheme and have been collecting Lifelines for our centre at Pets at Home. Thanks to your support we managed to purchase lots of food, toys, cat litter and grooming supplies for our cats and kittens. This keeps our cats well fed, clean, active and looking their best!  
Coby (Adopted December 2015) with his new toys

New toys for our cats and kittens

Shopping spree - tasty meals for our cats and kittens

By registering for the VIP Club you can help to make a difference to Cats Protection Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre every time your VIP card is swiped at a Pets at Home store.

The VIP club means you can enjoy money-saving offers on food, toys and accessories for yours pets – and support us at the same time!

When you register you’ll receive a VIP card, a 10% off voucher and you can look forward to regular offers, tips advice and a free magazine. Each time you swipe your VIP card you can support our work by collecting Lifelines. Every three months our Lifelines will be exchanged for Pets at Home vouchers which we’ll spend to help the cats and kittens in our care.

Join the VIP club today at your local Pets at Home store or at

When you log into your online account and remember to select a home store – Pets at Home Rydon Lane or Marsh Barton. From all of us here at the centre thank you for your support and generosity!

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Feral home success story - Arnold and Clancy

Here at Exeter Axhayes Adoption centre, it’s not only friendly socialised cats we take in each year, we also take in Feral/Semi Feral cats. The term “feral” describes members of a domesticated species that have reverted to living as wild animals. True feral cats are the offspring of stray or abandoned domestic cats. Feral cats have had little or no contact with humans which make them fearful of humans and will avoid them.

Feral cats live alone or in groups called colonies – and are found in towns, cities and rural areas. The best solution for feral cats is for them to be neutered and returned to their familiar environment. On occasions this isn’t always possible to return them back where they came from, so we find them an outdoor home. Farmers, stable owners and smallholders often value them as working mousers. A healthy feral colony is far more likely to keep vermin levels to a minimum.

Despite their wild nature, to remain healthy they do need a certain level of care including:
Regular feeding: regularly fed ferals make better hunters than hungry ones!
Shelter: they need somewhere warm and safe to rest.
Neutering:  this has major health benefits and controls the colony population.

We are always looking for owners to help recruit some mousers. Once you’ve had a home visit – chosen how many cats you would like. We come and set up a feral pen, then after six weeks the pen is opened so the cats can come and go.  Then we come and remove the pen, and the cats get on with their new lives. 

One of our feral pens

This is very successful, and we have many people who are delighted with their mousers, or just enjoy giving cats like this a home. We have recently been contacted by Arnold and Clancy’s owners, which were two of our feral cats – although Arnold is more semi-feral. Whilst Arnold was in the feral garden, he liked to follow the CCAs around hissing. Arnold was very different to our usual feral cats, he isn’t afraid of people at all. During our assessments prior to his arrival he wasn’t suitable to go into a domestic home.

Arnold and Clancy in their new home

Their new owners have said “Arnold and Clancy are settling in really well. They never stray too far and Arnold in particularly likes to be close to people. He is still hissing but we are making good progress, feeding him by hand and starting to stroke him. The photo is of them both in one of our polytunnels where they love to sleep during the day.” We would like to thank Arnold and Clancy’s owners for getting in touch with us and we’re so pleased they’re settling in well. If you would like to recruit any mousers for your farm, stables, small holding etc. Please get in contact with us, or telephone 01392 232377 (please note - you need to live near Exeter, Devon, United Kingdom). Thank you.

Thursday, 31 March 2016

Oldie Success Story - Molly and Marmite

Back in October 2015, a gorgeous little cat called Molly came into our care. Her previous owner had gone into hospital and unfortunately there wasn’t anyone able to care for her. At 14 years old, she was one of the oldest cats in our care at the time; she was just as active and playful as a cat half her age. She loved to play with her toy mice and enjoyed sitting on our CCAs laps.

Molly in her new home

She spent a few months in our care which included spending Christmas and New Year with us, and then finally in the middle of January she found her perfect home. We have heard from her new owners via email. They’ve said “Molly is enjoying life to the full in her forever home. She likes to chill out quite a lot, but she really enjoys cuddles and she is happy to be cuddled. She gets to sleep on the bed at night. Molly's new feline friend isn't too keen on her being her new housemate - but Molly isn't too worried." We're very pleased at Molly's age she has managed to find a loving home and has settled in really well.

Marmite looking relaxed in her new home

In January of this year a sweet cat called Marmite came into our care. Like many of our cats we get in the centre had to move out due to the landlord not allowing pets. Marmite was a very affectionate girl who loved a fuss and being groomed by our CCAs. She only spent a couple of months in our care before finding a new loving home in March. Her owners have also been in contact via email too, they said “Marmite has been with us now for less than a fortnight and we just wanted to let you know that she has settled in really well. She is a sweetheart and has made herself quite at home as you can see from the attached photos”

We would like to say a special thank you to Molly and Marmite’s new owners for getting in contact with us and sharing your lovely photos with us. We’re hoping these success stories will help promote adopting an older cat, Marmite is 10 years old and Molly is 14 years old.

Here’s some of the benefits of adopting an older cat….
What you see is what you get!
Older cats have already developed their personality so there will be no surprise personality traits in the future to deal with.

Older cats are much less destructive!
Kittens and younger cats are more likely to run round your house, knocking things over, chewing things up and scratching your furniture; they are also more likely to have toilet mishaps for you to clean up! Older cats have got over the excitement of youth and are much happier to sit and enjoy your company and a good fuss.

Older cats have more common sense!
Kittens are much more likely to get into trouble, ingest toxic substances, to fall from window ledges and to wander off and get lost. Older cats have learned the lessons of youth and are a better choice for busy families who don’t want the hassle of supervising a young cat for long hours. Older cats are also likely to be much more used to younger children and will be less likely to get injured by them as they will know when it’s time to run and get out of the way!

Cats are living longer!
With advances in veterinary care and more protective and informed owners cats can expect to live way into their teens quite happily, so taking on an older cat doesn’t mean you will have to say your goodbyes too soon; you could have many, many happy years of love and fuss ahead for both of you!
If you are interested in adopting one of our adorable oldies, please visit our website Thank you.

Sunday, 20 March 2016

FIV cats looking for their purrrfect indoor homes.

We currently have two loveable boys Sooty and Edgar who have been diagnosed with FIV. They are both looking for loving indoors homes. We thought we'd share some info about FIV and some advice to keep them happy and healthy in an indoor environment.....

Meet Sooty - He is 5 years old, he came into our centre after his owner could no longer keep him.


Meet Edgar....he is 5 years old, he's travelled all the way down from Wales to find a loving home in the Westcountry. 


What is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)?

FIV is a virus in cats that is similar to the human virus, HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus. However, FIV does not infect humans, and HIV does not infect cats.

How do cats catch FIV?

The virus is present in the blood, saliva and other body fluids of infected cats. It is very delicate and is unable to survive for long periods outside of the cat – so it cannot be transferred to other cats from your hands or clothes. Cats primarily pick up the virus through fighting – via bite wounds – or through mating behaviour, but it can also be passed from an infected female cat to her kittens.

Do all cats that get the virus become permanently infected?

Yes. A cat will produce antibodies, but these are ineffective and once a cat has FIV, they will be FIV positive for the rest of their life.

What are the signs of FIV?

There is an incubation period of months or even years when your cat may be perfectly healthy before signs of infection show. Many infected cats have years of normal life and may die from something else entirely before their FIV infection causes any problems.

Signs of FIV are varied but usually result from a weakened immune system and therefore a vulnerability to other infections. Once disease develops, infected cats may:

·         become repeatedly ill e.g with cat flu, sore gums, skin disease or digestive upsets

·         simply seem ‘off-colour’ or have a high temperature

·         take a long time to recover from infections

·         lose weight

·         develop tumours

How do I have my cat tested for FIV?

Vets can quickly perform a test that detects the antibodies to the virus in blood. It is recommended that positive results – particularly those from otherwise healthy cats – are sent for confirmation using a different test at an external laboratory, as false positive results can occur.

Kittens less than five to six months old may have had antibodies passed on to them by their infected mothers, but not the virus itself. On average, only a third of kittens born to FIV-positive mothers actually have FIV themselves. A special test to detect the virus should be performed on such kittens and antibody tests can be repeated when the kittens are five to six months old. Results can give a false negative if a cat has only recently been exposed to the virus.

Is there any treatment for FIV?

There is currently no reliable treatment for FIV and it is not possible to predict if and when signs may develop. Vets will treat each FIV-positive cat individually, depending on the signs they develop, but treatment may involve:

·         antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatory drugs as appropriate for secondary recurrent infections

·         drugs that may help through direct anti-viral activity

·         keeping infected cats indoors, with a good diet and ensuring they are fully vaccinated and regularly treated against fleas and worms. This will help to protect them from secondary infections, as well as help to prevent the spread of FIV to other cats.

Cats Protection recommends that FIV-positive cats are kept indoors and only allowed outside in an impenetrable garden or safe run. They should not be allowed direct contact with FIV-negative cats.

Indoor life....

Ideally all cats would be allowed access to the outdoors to express their natural behaviour. However, cats can adapt to living indoors, particularly if they are used to it from a young age. Some cats need to be confined indoors due to medical conditions and others prefer an indoor life. If they become bored they may develop behaviour problems so there are a number of ways to keep your cat happy:

Keep them occupied…

Domestic cats that have free access to the outdoors will still often engage in hunting activity even if there is no access to prey – e.g. playing with fallen leaves, or grass blowing in the wind. It is important to allow cats opportunities to exhibit hunting behaviour, as it keeps them mentally stimulated and releases feel-good hormones called endorphins. Indoor cats aren’t able to play outside, so it is important to provide them with toys and activities to keep them occupied.

If you are out of the house all day, you might consider getting two cats. They may keep each other company and stop each other from becoming bored. However, while this set up can work well if the two cats have been brought up together, this is not a guarantee. Even some siblings may prefer not to remain together once they reach adulthood.

If you do introduce a new cat to your home, it is critical to do this slowly and carefully to avoid lifelong tension which may lead to behavioural issues and conflict. If the two cats do not get along, it can be even more stressful for them if they are confined indoors and can never escape each other.

Indoor benefits

Your cat will be protected from loss or outdoor hazards, such as road accidents, physical attacks from other animals and outdoor poisons, if they are kept solely indoors

Your cat may be less likely to contract parasites or infectious disease through not having direct contact with other cats or the environment used by cats or other animals

Your cat won’t hunt if kept solely indoors – assuming your house is rodent-proof – however, opportunities to play and express hunting behaviour must still be given

Keep your cat safe indoors….

·         Indoor hazards – It’s important to remember to keep cupboards, washing machines and tumble driers closed. Toilet lids should be kept down to avoid any risk of drowning. Balconies and windows should be safely fenced over with strong wire mesh or screens, making sure there are no gaps that your cat could fall through

·         Houseplants – some plants and flowers – particularly lilies – can be toxic to cats. It’s probably best to ensure you don’t have plants that are dangerous to cats in your home, or certainly not within your cats’ reach

·         Household products – cats are very susceptible to poisoning. A number of everyday household items can pose a danger to cats and should be kept safely away

·         inactivity and obesity – indoor cats need to be provided with opportunities to exercise to avoid them getting fat or inactive which can lead to other health issues

·         over-dependence – a solitary indoor cat will rely on its owner to provide stimulation, companionship and exercise and can become over-dependent

·         escape – keeping windows and doors shut to prevent an indoor cat escaping can be difficult in busy households. If the cat does get out, they’ll be highly stressed and disorientated as they’ll have no experience of the outdoor environment. It is recommended that you microchip your cat, even if they live indoors to increase the chance of them being reunited with you if they go missing

Cats in the wild spend a lot of their time on short, frequent hunting expeditions. In comparison, domestic cats are given food bowls, so it doesn’t take long for them to eat their daily ration or allow them to make use of their great senses. Try using feeding puzzle balls to give part, or all, of your cat’s daily ration. It is best to let cats get used to this gradually, to ensure they have enough to eat and don’t become frustrated.

Enhancing and maximising the indoor environment for all cats

Cats should be provided with a stimulating and safe indoor environment, whether they go outside or not. If your cat is solely kept indoors, then this is particularly essential. If you have more than one cat, offer enough resources in different locations where your cats can eat, drink, toilet, rest and hide.

Play and exercise

Keep your cat amused with toys, climbing towers or activity centres. These can be bought or made – a cardboard box with holes cut into it or a ball of tin foil can be perfectly adequate. Play is more fun if you get involved too – you can use fishing rod toys with feathers on a string to mimic their prey! Opportunities to exhibit hunting behaviour are often triggered by toys which move and attract the cat’s attention. Older cats will love playing three or four times a day, but the type of play may need to be adapted to suit their needs and level of mobility.

Alfie FIV cat homed 2015 - with a puzzle feeder

Younger cats will be happy to play 10 times a day or more. Very short games of one to two minutes are fine – cats use their energy in short bursts when hunting, so try to mimic this. Create interest at meal times by hiding biscuits around the house for your cat to find. Make a pyramid out of cardboard toilet roll tubes and hide food in the tubes, or use a puzzle ball. Swap toys around regularly to keep them interesting.

Somewhere to hide
It is important to always provide your cat with an easily accessible place to hide which will help to make them feel safe and secure. A hiding place can be something as simple as a cardboard box on its side, or upside down with large holes for access. Alternatively, you could purchase an igloo style cat bed, or offer space under the bed or in a wardrobe with the door left ajar. The cat shouldn’t be disturbed while they are hiding.

Somewhere to get up high
Cats feel safer if they can view their surroundings from a height and this also increases their territory by providing extra vertical space that they can use. This is a common coping mechanism for cats that feel anxious or fearful. You could place a cosy blanket on top of a wardrobe and provide access by placing a stool or similar item next to it. Cats also love to sit on window sills and shelves. Extra consideration should be given to elderly cats.

On average, cats spend about 16 hours a day sleeping. Cats generally rest or sleep intermittently throughout the day and will prefer a warm, comfortable and safe place. There is a large range of cat beds available, including igloo beds, or hammocks for the radiator. A simple cardboard box with a blanket inside will also do the trick.

Scratching and climbing

A scratching post will provide exercise, claw maintenance and a focal point for your cat to express this natural behaviour

– it will help protect your furniture too. Cats like to stretch and scratch after they wake up, so try placing the scratching post near where they sleep. A good scratching post has the following features:

a strong sturdy base so the cat can lean against the post without it wobbling

tall enough that the cat can stretch fully

a vertical thread that allows the cat to scratch downwards

Eating grass

A type of grass that cats particularly like is Cocksfoot – it has long broad leaves so it is easy for them to bite. It is believed that eating grass helps cats to cough up hairballs. If your cat can’t go outside, Cocksfoot grass can be grown indoors. Seeds are readily available from garden centres and pet shops. If no grass is provided, your cat may try to eat other household plants which can pose a risk.

Lennie FIV cat homed 2012 - eating cat grass in his pen


It is a good idea to have one litter tray per cat, plus one extra – especially if your cats are kept indoors. Place the litter trays in different quiet areas of the house, away from the food and water bowls. Cats don’t like using dirty or soiled trays so make sure the litter tray is cleaned at least once a day. This helps to prevent accidents as well as being more hygienic. Cats generally prefer at least 3cm depth of litter and a litter of a sandy texture. Make any changes to the tray, the litter or its location very slowly to avoid accidents.

Indoor cats can make extremely rewarding pets and giving a home to an FIV positive cat may give you both many years of happiness together. For more information please visit our website Thank you.