Thursday, 29 December 2011


Mad about catnip

Resident cat Tiddles has been getting under everyones feet recently, quite literally! The poor cat always wants to be in places that he's not supposed to go. Which often involves us tripping over him as he dashes through the reception door into the cattery corridor. He also sometimes lives up to his name and 'tiddles' around our cat food bins and staff lockers.

Tiddles has been a resident with us since he was a small kitten. He is now seven years old. He is also mostly blind and has only 20% vision. To try and settle him down we gave him some catnip today which he goes mad for! Tiddles loves to roll around in, cover himself from head to toe in it and chase around reception.

Nepeta cataria (also known as catnip, catswort, or catmint) is a plant in the Lamiaceae family. The common names can also be used to refer to the Nepeta genus as a whole. The plant terpenoid nepetalactone is the main chemical constituent of the essential oil of Nepeta cataria. Nepetalactone can be extracted from catnip by steam distillation.

Nepeta cataria (and catmints) are mostly known for the behavioural effects they have on cats, not only domestic cats but also big cats. Nepeta cataria is used as a recreational substance for pet cats enjoyment, and catnip and laced-catnip products. Not all cats are affected by catnip. The common behaviours when cats sense the bruised leaves or stems of catnip are rubbing on the plant, rolling on the ground, pawing at it, licking it, chewing it consuming much of the plant followed by drooling, sleepiness, anxiety, leaping about and purring. Some will growl, meow, scratch, or bite the hand holding it. Some cats will eat dried catnip. Often, eating too much can cause cats to be overtly aggressive, typically making them hiss.

Nepetalactone acts as a feline attractant. Roughly half to two thirds of cats will be affected by the plant. This chemical enters the felines nose. Cats detect it through their olfactory epithelium, not through their vomeronasal organ. At the olfactory epithelium, the nepetalactone binds to one or more olfactory receptors. Some have speculated that it may mimic a cat pheromone, such as the hypothetical feline facial pheromone.  However, this has not been tested. Approximately two hours after an exposure, the feline will be sensitive to another dose.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Captain and Poppy

Settling in well

Captain and Poppy have now been residents with us for a few weeks. Captain has really settled in well and is loving all of the freedom and attention. Poppy is getting there, she is becoming more confident every day.

Here are a few photos that were taken of them on Christmas Day.  They enjoyed a big Christmas cuddle with Cat Carer Holly. Both of them sat on her lap and purred and purred! 

They have been spoilt rotten over Christmas and have had lots of tasty treats including chicken, pilchards and posh cat food pouches!

We are hoping that they will start to venture outside of the comfort of the office when they feel ready. It has been so cold recently, they have been wise to stay indoors and keep warm. 

We will let you know how their first trip outside goes, fingers crossed it will go well. We have no doubt that they will have a very happy retirement here.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Day

A purr-fect Christmas! 

Merry Christmas to all of our staff, volunteers, supporters and our feline friends. The cats have enjoyed a morning of overindulgence and presents much like all of us! 

All of our cats had their very own Christmas stocking and presents that the staff opened up for them this morning. The presents they enjoyed were cat-nip mice, cat toys, scratching posts and lots of treats.  

Some of the cats were very excited with their gifts and went about destroying their clean houses immediately! Among the most excited were Queenie's kittens who were given a cat tent! Playful pair Harry and Ziggy went mad for their cat-nip toys. The boys were bounding around their house. Shy girl Fluffy was rolling around in her cat-nip, having a wonderful time. 

Our residents cats Tiddles, Purdy, Captain and Poppy were given their treats too. Tiddles loves his cat-nip and he was rolling around in reception covering himself in it. Captain and Poppy enjoyed a cuddle with Cat Carer Holly. 
Later the cats are being treated to a dinner of fresh chicken. They really are being spoilt and so they should be! Tomorrow they will be treated to pilchards. 

Thank you to all of our volunteers and supporters. A massive thank you to everyone who kindly donated toys, treats and scratching posts for the cats. It really has made their day. Your continued support of the centre is invaluable to us.

We wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. Love and purrs from all the Cats at the centre. We hope your day will be as purr-fect as theirs has been.  

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Older cats

When to let go

The average life expectancy of a cat is around 14 years. However many cats will live well beyond this. As a responsible cat owner it is important to access your cats quality of life to prevent suffering and illness due to old age. 

You know your cat better than anyone and you may notice changes in behaviour or health of your cat. Often the first signs of illness can be a change in appetite, thirst, your cats body, coat condition, behaviour, demeanour and toileting habits. Take your cat to the vet if you become aware of any of the following:
  • lethargy
  • unexplained weight loss
  • lameness
  • swelling, growths or wounds
  • sneezing, coughing or laboured breathing
  • difficulty/pain passing urine, blood in urine or faeces
  • vomiting or diarrhoea that lasts more than 24 hours
  • self neglect, poor coat condition 
  • no interest in food or drink, excessive drinking or ravenous appetite
  • signs of pain when touched
  • no desire to move
  • general discomfort
Your vet will examine your cat and advice any further tests and treatments. If your cat has an incurable illness you will have to carefully consider the quality of your cats life. The bond between pet and owner is very special. If your cats quality of life begins to deteriorate it is very hard to let go. However if there comes a time when your cats is in continual pain, discomfort or stress the most loving and courageous thing you can do it to end your cats suffering. 

Your cat may not have an illness that causes suffering but one that effects your cats quality of life. Here are the signs to look out for:
  • can not longer eat or drink properly
  • unable to stand or more normally
  • has difficulty breathing
  • badly injured in an accident
  • is incontinent
  • has a condition that causes uncontrollable pain
To choose to have your pet euthanased is a heart wrenching decision. When there is no other alternative, allowing your pet to die in peace and dignity is the kindest decision. 

Discuss in advance with your vet if you wish to be there when your cat is put to sleep. Being there for your cat can be less stressful and comforting to hear a familiar voice. You must choose what is right for you. 

You can choose to have your pet cremated or buried. Some people choose to bury their cat in their garden. On the Isle of Wight, Pets at Rest offer a burial and cremation service. Call Sue on 01983 525335. Sue is a wonderful lady and will take great care of your pet. 

Losing your pet can be a very traumatic experience. Do not be afraid to show your emotions, you will feel sadness, you might feel lonely or even feel anger. This is all very normal and will help you to come to terms with your loss. You should not feel guilty or blame yourself for your cats death. Instead you should treasure the memories, remember the good times and feel comforted by the fact that your pet is now at peace. 

You may feel in time that you want to get another cat. This is a personal decision, you may feel like you want to have a new cat almost immediately after or you may feel that you need to wait a while. If your cat had an infectious disease your vet will probably advice that you wait a while before getting another cat. This will reduce the risk of infection remaining in your house. 

Try to also remember that cats are all individuals. You will not be able to replace the cat you have lost. Instead you will form a new bond with another, this will take time. Your relationship with your new cat will be rewarding but may take some time to get used to.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

More homing success

Brilliant news we have homed quite a few cats over the last few weeks. Amongst them were gorgeous pair Amber and Pearl who had been at the centre for months. Amber and Pearl arrived at the centre in the summer with seven kittens. Amber is on the right of the photo, Pearl is to the left. Both cats were young and we were never 100% sure which one was the mum or is in fact they had both had kittens. Both made brilliant mums and Amber in particular was very attentive.

After a few months we began to wonder whether Amber was Pearls mum, to this say we will never know. Amber and Pearl were separated from their remaining three kittens about a month ago. It became clear that the pair were inseparable. They were happily homed together last week. Sadly one of their kittens who we have now named Tara is still waiting for a new home. She has been here at the centre for almost six months! She is a beautiful black and white girl who loves lots of fuss. She is beginning to shine now that she is on her own. If you feel that you might be interested in meeting Tara please do come up the centre we are open daily from 11am- 3pm. We are closed Christmas day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Tues 27th. We are postponing homing over Christmas but cats can still be reserved.

We have also successfully re-homed Star and Sky. This adorable pair were abandoned at our centre gates last month. We wish them all the happiness in the world, after their traumatic ordeal they are finally in a loving home.

Mia one of our mums has also been reserved. Two of Queenie's kittens have gone to their new home. Puss is off to her new home today. Maddie, Misty, Wally, Jenny and Susie are all reserved as well. What a brilliant few weeks we have had. This means that we can help more cats before Christmas. Thank you to all of our adopters, your continuing support is invaluable to us. Please help us home more cats by spreading the word. For more information about adopting from us please visit our website, thank you.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Captain and Poppy - our new residents

Making themselves at home

You may remember Captain and Poppy from previous blog posts. This gentle pair were abandoned at our centre gates almost two months ago. After lots of deliberation it was decided that it would be lovely to have them as our latest residents.

Captain and Poppy now live within the adoption centre grounds and have lovely cosy beds in our Manager's office. Them really have made themselves at home and are enjoying the home comforts and the warmth of the halogen heater that we keep in there! Poppy is still a little shy but comes out for attention and loves to sit on laps. Captain is loving it and he looks so much better for it. They both seemed to have more of a spring in their step.

We will keep you updated on their progress and some new photos of them will follow shortly. Even though they are now residents here they can both still be reserved for adoption. We would ideally love them to go to a permanent home. They are to be homed together, for now they more comfortable and happier than they would be in one of our pens.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Jack's Story

Forever in our hearts

Yesterday we had to say goodbye to Jack. He was such a gentle, sweet puss and we all loved him dearly. Jack came into the centre with his sister Sally because their previous owners could no longer keep them. From day one Jack just didn't seem right and after a few weeks we noticed that he wasn't growing. Sally on the other hand seemed fine and was acting like a kitten should do. 

Jack had all the symptoms of a cat that had the flu so he was prescribed the necessary medication and after a while he seemed to be on the road to recovery. After several different courses of medication it was decided that Jack should go to the vets for further testing and a second opinion. On Monday we found out that Jack actually had a congenital condition called a portosystemic shunt also known as a liver shunt. 

Portosystemic shunt is caused by an abnormal development of the blood vessels draining the gastrointestinal tract. The blood vessels usually go from the intestines to the liver, but in the case of a portosystemic shunt, the liver is bypassed and is unable to perform many of it's usual metabolic functions.

Due to the lack of normal detoxification performed by the liver, neurologic disturbances are a problem in cats with a portosystemic shunt.

The majority of the clinical signs of this illness matched Jack's symptoms. Common clinical signs include:

  • Poor growth
  • Excessive drooling
  • Lack of appetite
  • Seizures
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Tremors
  • Intermittent blindness
  • Mental & neurological abnormalities such as sudden aggression, mental dullness, pressing head against objects
  • Straining to urinate due to ammonia biurate bladder stone formation
  • Blood in urine due to ammonia biurate bladder stone formation
  • Copper coloured irises
Unfortunately Jack could no longer fight his illness and on Tuesday morning he was in a very bad way. Poor Jack had given up and poor Sally wasn't sure what was going on. We made the decision that it was Jack's time to go to kitty heaven. It was extremely hard for all of us to say goodbye to him. He was such a little character and to see him so poorly was very distressing. Jack is now at peace. 

We do have some good news, Sally has been reserved and her home visit is tomorrow so fingers crossed everyone! Sally has been through so much, looking after Jack when he was poorly. If it wasn't for Sally, Jack probably wouldn't have lived as long as he did. She really kept him going. A very sad story but we wanted to share it with you all so that Jack's memory will be kept alive. Everyone who met Jack fell in love with him. We are so sorry that it had to end this way Jack. You will be in our hearts forever. Goodnight our brave little fighter.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Festive period

Homing over Christmas

From the 18th Dec to 1st of January we will be postponing the homing of our cats over this festive period. 

We however are still urging people to come up and see our cats. Cats can be reserved, but can only be re-homed after 1st January. Homing over this period is down to our manager's discretion.

We are desperate to find homes for our cats and have so many that have been waiting too long. For more information on our cats and our adoption procedure please visit our website, thank you.

Homing Appeal - Jackson

I need an indoor home

Hello there my name is Jackson. I am a big, cuddly boy looking for a loving home. I love lots of attention and I really enjoy sitting on a lovely warm lap. 

Before coming to CP I was a stray. I also wasn't neutered, had a flea allergy and my coat really needed a brush. Since then I have been pampered and now I think I look rather dashing! 

Due to my previous life as a stray I have unfortunately contracted the Feline Aids Virus (FIV). This means that I need an indoor home. 

FIV is a virus similar to the human HIV virus. However, FIV does not infect humans and HIV does not infect cats. The virus is present in blood, saliva and other body fluids of the infected cat. The virus is unstable outside the cat's body and cannot survive for long periods outside of the cat. It is transmitted by cats fighting and can be passed on from an infected female to her kittens. Jackson more than likely contracted the virus through fighting with other cats as he was un-neutered. One of the many very good reasons to get your cat neutered.  For more information about Feline Immunodeficiency Virus please visit our website.

Please give Jackson a  chance, he really is a lovely boy and he would make the purr-fect family pet. He is a real softy!

Friday, 9 December 2011

Dogs welcome

Forever friends

We heartily welcome all dog owners to come up to the centre. We are all dog lovers here as well! Admittedly some of our cats do not like dogs but most of them do. We would love for more dog owners to come up and consider adopting a cat from us.

Dogs and cats can be the best of friends, especially if they grow up together. It is also very helpful for us to know which cats do and do not like dogs. So please if you have a dog and are interested in adopting a cat please do not hesitate to contact us. Before we do a home-visit we ask that dog owners bring their dog up the centre to meet the cat they have chosen. We have a 'meet and greet' room in which to do this. 

We are open daily from 11am - 3pm and our telephone number is 01983 562609 so please get in contact with us. We will be very happy to hear from you.


Ready for homing

At Cats Protection all our cats are micro-chipped before re-homing. Last week we micro-chipped Mia's and Queenie's kittens when they turned 8 weeks old. We micro-chip at this age because the kittens are large enough. It also makes if easier for our vet to vaccinate them at 9 weeks of age, the kittens can be scanned for a micro-chip number.

All of the Cat Carers have been trained to micro-chip by representatives of Indentichip. The photos show Cat Carer Dave micro-chipping Queenie's Kittens. Do not be alarmed Dave isn't hurting them!

Micro-chipping is a quick and easy procedure. A micro-chip the size of a grain of rice is implanted under the cats skin. The correct site of implantation is the subcutaneous mid line of the scruff of the neck, between the shoulder blades. Every micro-chip has a different number assigned to it, once the chip is implanted we scan can the cat and a number will appear on the scanner screen.

The implanter is a plastic, pistol grip handle in which the needle is located. The micro-chip comes in its own sterile needle assembly. The slide on the top of the implanter is drawn back to allow this assembly to be located in the handle and the slide pushed back over the needle to secure. At the time of insertion the micro-chip is ejected from the needle by pushing the thumb button forward in one continuous movement.

All in all it is a very quick and painless procedure, to be honest I think it can be more stressful for us at times! It can be very nerve racking and it does take a lot of practice and confidence.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Homing appeal and success

Cats successfully homed

We are really happy to announce that we have successful re-homed some of the cats that have been featured on this blog. Cupcake who had her tail amputated went to her new home today. Murphy who came from Ferndown was homed this week as well. All of Mia's and Molly's kittens have gone to new homes. We reserved two of Queenie's kittens today, but Queenie, Molly and Mia are still waiting for that special someone to adopt them. 

Sadly the gorgeous mummy cats are often overlooked in favour of the young kittens. Mia, Molly and Queenie are all very friendly, loving and are still only young themselves. Hopefully we can find homes for them before we close for Christmas.

Monday, 5 December 2011


Rest in peace

Today was a very sad day for us at the centre, we had to say goodbye Sam. This morning Sam was seen by our vet and he had a blood test. The test revealed that Sam had Feline Aids and also other underlying health problems. We felt that it was in Sam's best interest to have him put to sleep. He really was in a bad way and it was the right time for him to go to kitty heaven. He went very peacefully.

Even though its hard to say goodbye to a cat, we must think that Sam lived to a good age. He spent just under a week here with us and in that time he was loved and pampered. This morning we actually found out that Sam had once lived with Poppy and Captain. So Sam was abandoned by the same person who left them here in our car park.

Rest in peace Sam, we will miss you.

On a happier note

You may remember Blue our frightened little kitten from Brading. Well let me tell you he is definitely not scared any more! He is such a cheeky, friendly, little chap. So full of life and mischief, he really has come out of his shell over the last few days. So much so that it was a mission trying to take a decent photo of him, he wouldn't stop moving!

Sunday, 4 December 2011


Old boy abandoned in our car park

Last Wednesday Deputy Manager Jo came into work at 8:30am to find a cardboard cat carrier in our car park. At first we thought it must be a young cat because the box weighed next to nothing. To our surprise a frail old cat greeted us when we opened the carrier. Written on the top of the box were the words 'Sam' obviously his name, but other than that no more information. 

It was a good job that Sam hadn't been out too long in the box outside because a soon as we got him in it started raining very hard. The box would have disintegrated and Sam would probably be out in old right now on his own. Sam really isn't in a good way the poor chap, he is very thin, old and wobbly on his feet.

When we took Sam out of the box he was covered in his own faeces. We gave him a bath, some food and made some room for him. We settled him in a pen and gave him a cosy bed and heat pad to keep him warm. Sam is getting lots of extra fuss from the staff and loves his food. He is due to see our vet Fiona tomorrow so we will keep you updated. 

We are so sad that Sam was abandoned here and just wish that we knew some more information about him. We can't believe the amount of cats being 'dumped' here over the last few weeks. We are asking people to be understanding, we are struggling to find homes for our cats and are therefore struggling to find the room for new cats. We have a very long waiting list and are doing our best to help as many cats as we can.

If you have information at all about Sam please can you give the centre a call on 01983 562609. If you are the owner of him we will be happy to hear from you, or even if you just recognise him, thank you.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Blue - found kitten

Has anyone seen my mum and siblings?

Hello my name is Blue, I am a very frightened little boy who has lost my mum, brothers and sisters. I was found in Brading High Street under a shed in a lady's back garden. I am around 6 weeks old.

I am now being looked after by the cat carers here at the centre. I am very scared and often hiss and spit at them. I am feeling very lost and afraid. The people here treated me with some medication to get rid of all the nasty ticks that were on my face. I am feeling much better now that they have gone. I am slowly getting used to it here, I do like all the food! I only hiss because I am worried, but once I am sure that you are not a threat I do like a stroke. I am gentle really and I just wish my mum was here to look after me. 

Blue will stay with us here at the centre and hopefully the other kittens and mum will be found. He will need lots of reassurance from the staff and plenty of socialisation. He is not socialised at the moment and not used to human contact of any kind. 

If anyone spots a mum with kittens of around 6-7 weeks old in Brading please call the centre on 01983 562609, thank you.


Long stay cats

Genie's Christmas wish comes true

Fantastic news for Genie this week she was finally re-homed! We are all so happy for her and we hope that she is happy too. Genie had been at the centre for some time and was what we called a 'behaviour cat.' Genie really disliked being in a pen and got very frustrated with all the other cats. This often resulted in her taking her feelings out on us, the cat carers! 

Some of the time though when she was feeling more mellow she would sit on your lap and enjoy having lots of fuss. Rather like Dr. Jekyll and  Mr. Hyde! We all knew that it would only take the right person and a loving home to make her more of a Dr. Jekyll than a Mr. Hyde in personality. Genie was just feeling very rejected and upset whilst with us. Hopefully now she feels loved and is finally happy. 

Winnie and Molly are desperate for love

We are really hoping to find a loving home for our gorgeous girls Winnie and Molly in time for Christmas. They are two older sisters who are so desperate for love. Cat Carer Holly has made a special bond with them and Winnie in particular loves to sit on her lap. Winnie and Molly both jump out of their beds and come straight to their outside run when Holly sits on the chair outside. They are both such loving, adorable and gentle cats. It is so sad that no one has even shown an interest in them, we can't understand why. They would make ideal companions for someone for the cold winter nights ahead. 


Our plea is to find these girls a home in time for Christmas. Please can you help them? If you are interested in coming to see the girls then please come up to the centre. We are open daily from 11am - 3pm. Please spread the word, thank you.

Christmas time

Successful Christmas fayre

Last Friday we held our annual Christmas Fayre here at the adoption centre. As soon as the clocked ticked to 4pm people started flooding in through the doors. It was completely jam packed in the cattery for the first hour, a very good turn out.

Father Christmas went down a storm with the kids and as usual all of our festive games and our large raffle were popular. We would like to thank everyone who helped to make the evening special. Also thank you to everyone who supported us we raised over £1000! 

The money raised on the night will go to help all of the lovely cats in our care. During Christmas time we put Christmas stockings up on every cat pen. We like to fill these with lots of treats and toys for the cats to enjoy over the festive period. We can use some of the money raised to buy the cats these special Christmas presents. 

Re-homing over the festive period

We would also like to stress an important message that a cat is for life and not just for Christmas. The adoption centre will be closed for re-homing over Christmas from 18th December to 1st January. We hope you sympathise with us as to why we do this. We have so many cats in need of permanent loving homes and we cannot risk them being 'bought' as Christmas gifts and then having to sadly come back into care. 

Having said that we would be delighted if potential adopters would come up to visit the cats before then. We are hoping to get as many cats into homes as possible before Christmas. For more information about this please contact us here at the centre on 01983 562609. Thank you.