Saturday, 31 March 2012

Staff Training

Feral colonies

Feral cats are domesticated cats that have not been socialised to people and the domestic environment, they live in the wild. They are often confused with stray cats, they are different because stray cats are domesticated cats that have been socialised, but have since become lost or abandoned. 

Feral cats can live in colonies if there are sufficient resources for them - food, water, toileting and sleeping areas. Colonies of feral cats are generally born into a group scent and live in harmony with one another. Usually there are groups of related females, with males living towards the edge of the colony. 

There will be social interactions such as mutual grooming and rubbing. This maintains the sharing of the group scent. They will however continue to hunt, eat and toilet alone and see off any intruder cats in the territory. The resources available will dictate to size of the colony.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Outdoor cats

The Isle of Wight Adoption Centre has out of work mousers, looking for local employment. They need shelter, food, water and a large outdoor space. Do you have the facilities to  provide them with this type of home? If so please contact the centre on 01983 562609 for more details, thank you. 

Kitten update

Growing up fast

All of our kittens in our maternity unit are growing so quickly, especially Carmen's gang. These photos were taken a few days ago and we thought we would share them with you.


Totally adorable aren't they? Who doesn't love a cute kitten?! 

It's important to remember when choosing a new cat that kittens grow into adults very rapidly! Adult cats are just as cute and lovely too. 

Monday, 26 March 2012

Home-made cat toys

Be creative

Here are a few ideas on how to make simple, fun toys for cats. So why not get your kids involved in making some fun puzzle feeders and toys for the cats in our care. The cats will benefit hugely from this and it will help to make their time at the centre less stressful.

How to make a toilet roll pyramid

Step 1: Collect empty toilet rolls
Step 2: Stack them and bind them all together with sellotape to make a pyramid.

This makes an excellent puzzle feeder. How high can you make yours?

Why not have some fun with feathers, cardboard boxes and cat treats. Use anything cat friendly that you can find in your home. Adding cat-nip or cat mint to the toys can make them more interesting too.

Disclaimer: All toys are used and made at your own risk. So make them cat friendly!


Fighting fit

Susan who had her right hind leg amputated a few weeks ago is doing remarkably well. She is building up strength in her remaining back leg and walking around well. Her fur has started to grow back now too.

We are hoping that Susan will be able to move into the homing block this week. There is no reason why she cannot find a new home. So fingers crossed for her, she is such an affectionate cat.

Friday, 23 March 2012

Feline Origins

This week the staff had training on understanding feline origins and behaviour. The training was very interesting so we have decided to share what we learned with our regular blog followers. The First topic we covered was all about the African Wildcat.

The African Wildcat


Today's domestic cat descend from the African Wildcat, this species is still found today. The African Wildcat lives in the Savannah in the Middle East. They are solitary hunters who prey on small rodents. They like to maintain a territory to ensure others cats are kept away from their resources.


Hunting attempts are frequent but not always successful, this hunting behaviour is exhibited before hunger to ensure sufficient food is caught. They catch approximately 10-12 small rodents each day and an average a mouse contains 30 calories. They are crepuscular meaning that they are most active during dawn and dusk, this is when their prey is most active. The African Wildcat is also a obligate carnivore which means they must eat meat. 


As they are solitary animals there was no evolutionary pressure for them to develop facial expressions for communication within a social group. They rely on scent profiles for distant communication over prolonged periods, such as rubbing, spraying and scratching. This means they can leave communication signals without having to come into contact with other cats.

Avoiding stress and conflict

They lack social signals to avoid conflict so they rely on the use of scent profiles. They are a small predator so they prefer to run, climb or hide, rather than fight. 


They favour high locations in their core territory. They need a lot of sleep due to the amount of energy they expend during hunting.They also like to rotate sleeping areas for parasite control and they often stretch and scratch when they wake up to maintain their claws.


They use a safe area at the edge of their core territory as this is a vulnerable activity. They prefer a sandy, soft substrate that they can dig and this preference is developed as a kitten. They will also toilet away from sites of eating and drinking to avoid contamination.


They prefer a moving water source to a stagnant pool. As they are desert animals they evolved efficient kidneys so they don't need to drink a large amount of water. Their prey also contains a large amount of water.   


Breeding season is correlated when the prey is most abundant during the wet season. A female will call when she is in season and a male will travel a long distance to find her. The kittens need to learn quickly so the socialisation period is between 2-8 week of age. The kittens will learn what is normal in their environment. They will eventually find their own territory and resources once they are old enough. 


They have little contact with other cats so so the opportunity for infectious diseases to spread is reduced. Infectious organisms have evolved to create a carrier status in cats instead. This makes the transmission to another cat more likely over time. The African Wildcat also has lack of shelter, no guaranteed food source, no veterinary treatment and predation increase their risk of mortality. It really is survival of the fittest.


The earliest evidence of cats cohabiting with man comes from a 9,500 year old grave in Cyprus. A man and a cat were found buried together. Previously in Egyptian culture just before 2,000 B.C. cats were idolised in artwork and also mummified. This is the earliest clear evidence of cats in human culture.

Domestication probably began with farmers in the Middle East. Farming and storing grain attracted a large number of rodents. African Wildcats altered their hunting habits to take advantage of this abundance of prey. This meant that they had to build up a greater tolerance living in close proximity to man. Along side this the cats also had to develop and increased tolerance of one another as they were now living at a higher density. This resulted in there being two Wildcat populations. Those that were tolerant of living near humans and those more fearful continued to live out on the sparse savannah. This was the start of the domestic cat population we now have around the world today.

Monday, 19 March 2012

Kitten update

Jodie's tiny kittens

Jodie was brought into the centre on Friday with six tiny kittens. We noticed that the kittens were fighting to get mum's milk, this led us to believe that only a few of Jodie's nipples were producing milk. Three of the kittens are quite small, we have been keeping a special eye on them to make sure that they are feeding.

This image was taken earlier today. It's always hard to photograph black kittens, especially when mum is the same colour too!

Carmen's kittens

Carmen's babies are growing up so fast. They are becoming more mobile and more inquisitive by the day. Soon they will be running around and playing.

They are really starting to look like little cats now, its so lovely to see them develop. Mum has been doing a fantastic job and all the babies are a healthy weight.

They didn't no quite what to make of the camera and one of them starting hissing at it! Bless them, they are so adorable at this age.

Hope's kittens

Blimey how these four have grown in the last few days, its incredible. Mum Hope has been doing a grand job. She does seem very happy with herself and so she should be. What a lovely family photo, Hope is such a poser! 

We will keep you updated on how all three mum's and kitties are getting on over the next few weeks. Don't you just love kitten season?! 

Saturday, 17 March 2012



Over the last few weeks we noticed that something just wasn't quite right with Hugo. As well as his limp her also always seemed lethargic. Hugo also has always had a ravenous appetite but had lost weight which was odd. So last Thursday we sent Hugo down to the vets for some testing. Our suspicions were correct and poor old Hugo has been diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism.

What is Hyperthyroidism?

The thyroid gland secretes hormones to regulate many metabolic processes, including growth, development and energy expenditure. Hyperthyroidism (also known as thyrotoxicosis) is caused by the over activity of the thyroid gland, which produces more than the normal level of thyroid hormones T4 & T3, which are released into the bloodstream. Most often, hyperthyroidism is the result of a benign tumour (called an adenoma) involving one or both of the thyroid lobes. Feline hyperthyroidism is the most common disease of the endocrine system.

What is the endocrine system?

The endocrine system is composed of glands which secrete hormones into the bloodstream. Hormones regulate many body processes.

What does the thyroid do?

Consisting of two lobes, the thyroid is located in the neck on either side of the windpipe. It produces two hormones T3 triiodothyronine and T4 thyroxine. Both hormones help control metabolism.

What are the symptoms?
  • Weight loss despite an increased appetite
  • Increased thirst and urination
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Behavioural changes (nervous/jittery behaviour, aggression, over grooming and or bald patches, hyperactive, increased vocalisation)
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Poor coat
  • Weakness (occasionally)
  • Decreased appetite (occasionally)
  • Hypertension (high blood pressure)


Hugo is now on a course of Vidalta tablets. Vidalta is a once daily treatment which brings the elevated level of thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in hyperthyroid cats back to normal. By doing so, Vidalta quickly and safely resolves the visible signs of hyperthyroidism and restores your cat to its normal self.

Friday, 16 March 2012


The big day arrives

Yesterday our little Penny went to the vets to be neutered. Penny is now 5 months old and is still small for her age. The vets decided that they wanted to do a mid-line spay and some exploratory surgery to look at Penny's insides. 

When Penny was opened up they found that her intestines and other organs looked normal, only her liver looked a little small. They were very happy with what they saw and it looks like Penny is through the worst. Penny is still going to continue with her medication but will gradually be weaned off them. 

This image shows where the vets shaved Penny ready for her surgery. Apologies for the blurry image Penny wanted lots of fuss! 

We are hoping that Penny will be able to go to her new home very soon. We will let you know what happens next.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Homing Success

Captain & Poppy

Hooray they have finally found a home after all this time! How over the moon we were when they were reserved last Sunday. They are off to their lovely new home tomorrow. After such a turbulent time here they really deserve happiness. 

They were abandoned in the car park last year, we made them residents but it sadly didn't work out for them, we did an appeal on IOW radio and that drummed up little interest. We were beginning to wonder who would adopt them, but it all worked out well in the end.

Miffy & Penny

Over the weekend Miffy went to her new home. After arriving at the centre as a nervous stray, after much encouragement she turned into a confident kitty. Good luck Miffy we will miss you.

Brilliant news as well our little Penny has been reserved. She will not be going home for a few weeks yet, she needs the all clear from the vet. We are so happy for her, she is such a special puss.


Coping well

Last week we received a call to say that a cat had a injury to one of it's back legs. Dave rushed out in the van and the cat was immediately taken to the vets.

We have tried to find an owner but we have had no luck. The cat's right hind leg had to be amputated due to the severe nature of the injury. She has been named Susan and is now recovering well here at the centre. She has been walking fine, even jumping onto chairs. It really is remarkable how well she is coping.

Next week she will see the vet again for another check up and for the time being she is on antibiotics. We will keep you updated on how Susan gets on over the next few weeks.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Hope's kittens

So cute!

As promised we captured some images of Hope's tiny kittens today. They really are so cute and the babies are really really tiny. She has three stunning ginger babies and a gorgeous black baby. 

We haven't yet determined their sex as we are trying not to handle the kittens too much at this stage. They are being well cared for by Hope. 

What an adorable little family they are. We are so proud of you Hope, you are proving to be a wonderful mum. We are sure that Hope will find a loving home just as easily as her kittens do once they are all grown up. Hope is such a friendly, young girl. She is barely an adult herself and she has had motherhood thrust upon her. This is going to be a demanding few weeks for her. 

We will keep you updated on how Hope and her kittens are getting on over the coming weeks.

Friday, 9 March 2012


One of Cats Protection’s key aims is to educate people about cats and their care. We believe that helping people to learn will ultimately contribute to achieving our vision of a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.

At the Isle of Wight adoption centre we offering classroom and assembly talks to all schools on the Island as well as Youth Groups (Beavers/Brownies). We are also welcoming Island schools and youth groups to come up to the centre for guided tours.

To arrange a talk or guided tour please call Holly at the centre on 01983 562 609. We will be very happy to hear from you.

Classroom/Youth group talks
- tailored to specific age group, can include:

  • Cats Protection's core aims - homing, neutering, information
  • Cat Care
  • DVD
  • Interactive cat toy
  • Story time
  • Activities - cat masks, lost cat posters
  • Questions and answers
  • Goody bags
  • Cats Protection's core aims - homing, neutering, information
  • Cat Care
  • DVD
  • Interactive cat toy
  • Questions and answers

Guided Tours

  • Meet the cats
  • Behind the scenes tour
  • Ask cat questions
  • CP Merchandise on sale


  • Assembly - 15/20mins
  • Classroom/Youth Group - 30mins -1hr
  • Guided tours - 20-30mins

Kitten update

Tia's gang

Tia's kittens are now almost nine weeks old, where has the time gone?! The little monkeys are now independent from mum. They have all been reserved, home visits completed and soon they will be packing their bags! Next week they are having their health checks, vaccinations and are being neutered as well. 

This image of the trio playing with their toys was captured yesterday. We wish all three of them a very happy life. The tortie kitten and black are going together and the grey kitten on it's own. 

Carmen's tiny tots! 

Carmen's kittens are now two weeks old. Carmen is an excellent mum and all five of her little ones are growing so fast. We have started their socialisation program of gentle handling and introducing them to new experiences. 

How adorable they are. These precious moments will fly by in a instant, the kittens will soon be old enough to leave mum before we know it!  

Expectant mum

Gorgeous Mum to be Hope was feeling so restless yesterday. So much so that it was nearly impossible to get a photograph of her that wasn't blurry! All she wanted to do was move around and have some tummy tickles. The poor girl was quite literally ready to pop. For the last few days we wondered whether we would come in to find new babies in the morning.

Last night she went into labour and produced four gorgeous kitties. Photos will follow shortly! Well done Hope, we are happy to say mum and babies are happy and well.  

So kitten season begins! This time of year is manic at the centre. So this is why we are so desperate for people to come up and adopt. In the summer we have in excess of over 100 cats and kittens needing homes. To put this in perspective we have only 5 maternity pens, 23 homing pens and 9 admissions pens. We are have an isolation unit holding 3 pens, this is only used for sick cats. So in total we have 40 pens.


There's still life in the old gal yet! 

Beauty came into the centre covered in fleas and a lot of her fur was missing. Since then she has been pampered and her coat looks so much better and all her fleas have gone. For an old girl of 19 years she is surprisingly active and agile still. What an amazing little cat she is.

So please see past her age, she deserves to be happy and live out her last years in a loving home. She would make an ideal companion, she loves attention. She loves her food, she leaps out of bed when its dinner time! She sleeps most of the time so would suit a quiet household. She would love someone to cuddle up too and purr the nights away with. 

Please come along to the centre to meet her, we are open everyday from 11am - 3pm. 


Back to his old self

Resident cat Tiddles was recently diagnosed with a mega-colon. Since then he has been having lots of TLC and having shots of lactulose three times a day to keep him regular!

This image was captured yesterday morning of Tiddles relaxing on Dave's lap, soaking up the sun. It really is lovely to see him looking so bright. 

He is now back to his old ways and has become obsessed with getting under peoples feet! He always was a cheeky monkey and we all love him for it.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Homing update

Delboy makes himself at home

Handsome Delboy went to his new home last Sunday after his appearance on Youtube. His new owners saw the video and it was love at first sight. 

We have already had an update to say that he has settled in well. He is being a cheeky monkey and keeps demanding food. Maybe he still thinks he needs to beg for food, he was a stray after all. He really is such a big softie and his new family have told us that he still makes the cute chirping noises when he's hungry! 

Third time lucky for Doreen

It was third time lucky for Doreen after being reserved three times! Unfortunately the first two times the people were unable to get a tenancy letter. So Doreen went off to her new home with the third people who chose her. Doreen really was one of the lucky ones. Her silky long haired coat and friendly nature won everyone over. 

It is so lovely that Doreen found a home so quickly. Ad you may remember from previous bog post when she first arrived here at the centre she had a prolapsed rectum, ouch!  All the best Doreen.

Forgotten feline pensioners left on the shelf

Pensioner crisis

Cats Protection is being gripped by a pensioner crisis – no-one wants to adopt its feline senior citizens.

Cats Protection says that its unwanted older cats aged 12 years and above - 65 years and over in human terms - now wait, on average, 96 days before being adopted – 32 per cent longer than in 2010 and well above the charity’s average adoption rate of 40 days.

This has led the organisation to issue an appeal for people to adopt a feline senior citizen or make a donation towards the cost of their care.

“We’ve seen the situation for unwanted older cats get gradually worse over the past few years but we’ve hit an all-time low in the last 12 months,” explained Peter Hepburn, Cats Protection’s Chief Executive. “Sadly, it’s now not uncommon for a fit and healthy older cat to spend as much as six months or more with us because no-one wants to adopt them. Feedback from our volunteers and staff reveals that people seem reluctant to take on an older cat because they fear an older cat will be too expensive to look after, particularly if the cat develops a condition that will require veterinary treatment, and this fear appears to be down to the current economic climate.

“It is a great shame because they make wonderful pets and companions, and improvements in cat care have greatly raised the life expectancy and quality of life for many cats, meaning that many now live to their late teens and early 20s in remarkably good health. However, it’s always worth considering taking out pet insurance for your older cat, checking that it will cover the cat in case of any illness that may arise in the future.”

As older cats take up pen spaces for many months, it costs Cats Protection more to care for them and prevents other needy cats from being helped. However, older cats have a lot to offer owners because of their settled and laid-back natures and liking for human company so a new home or a donation would really help – just £6 could feed an older cat for a month.

Older cats currently waiting for new homes at our centre are - Captain and Poppy two cuddly cats who were abandoned in our car park. Rupert a loving lad with regal good looks. Molly a friendly tortie girl of 10yrs who has plenty of love still to give. Of course we have many, many more so please come along to the centre to meet them. You can view the cats on our website too.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Kipping kitties

Flaked-out felines

Cats Protection has released its top 10 pictures of conked-out kitties adopting entertaining sleep positions to mark National Sleep Awareness Week (5 to 11 March).
Few people realise that cats can sleep for 16 hours a day, about twice as much as humans, so the charity ran the online contest to try to raise awareness of the importance of sleep and educate cat owners on sleep behaviour.
The funniest flaked-out felines were selected to appear on Cats Protection’s website and in first place was a small ginger kitten asleep in a slipper.
“Cats are known to sleep almost anywhere and need plenty of sleep to allow their energy reserves to be replenished,” said Maggie Roberts, Cats Protection’s Director of Veterinary Services. “This allows them to hunt whenever they detect prey and not wait until they are hungry. However, they are light sleepers and tend to wake at the slightest touch or sound – hence the expression cat nap. This is an important survival mechanism as the ability to wake and become alert quickly helps them escape daytime predators.”Sleep is vital for the wellbeing of both humans and cats so the charity recommends the following tips for cat owners:
  • Give cats a variety of places to sleep as they like to rotate their sleeping area, traditionally as a means of parasite control 
  • Ensure they have access to somewhere elevated where they can feel safe 
  • Provide a scratching post near their sleeping area as they often scratch to maintain their claws when they wake up

The top 10 photos of kipping kitties can be viewed at


Chilling out!

Hugo came into the centre a few weeks ago with an old leg injury. After an x-ray we found out that previously he had an operation to remove to femoral head on his back left leg. Hugo has since been on medication and has been having regular exercise. He has been seen by the vet a few times and we are happy to say that Hugo is ready to find a lovely new home.

Hugo can often to found chilling out in his pen, he loves to stretch out and fall asleep in funny positions.

This image was captured today, Hugo is letting his dinner go down! He has such a healthy appetite too. He really is a soppy boy who loves nothing more than a good fuss. So if it's a friendly older cat your after Hugo is the cat for you!


Back to normal

When Tosca first arrived at the centre she had a dreadful flea allergy. She also looked a lot older than she was because her coat condition was so bad. 

After a few months of pampering and medication she is now looking so much better. Her fur is now glossy and has grown back. All of the scabs on her head and back have gone too. For a while she was put on a special hypo-allergenic diet food called Z/D. We have now started to wean her back onto Felix and Pro Plan the food we give all of our cats.

Tosca is now waiting to find her forever home so please come along to the centre to meet this gorgeous girl. She will be so happy to see you.

Saturday, 3 March 2012


Full of beans

These photos of Penny were taken a few weeks ago by one of our volunteers. We are happy to say that Penny is doing very well and is full of beans. She loves exploring and has endless energy! Her friend Miffy who is in the pen next to her is also doing brilliantly. 

Miffy has gone from being a timid kitty to a one that loves attention. All thanks to little Penny. We think it has really helped Miffy to see Penny enjoying fuss from us and now Miffy realises that we are the good guys.

We were really hoping to be able to pair Miffy and Penny together. Sadly this is now not likely to happen due to regulations at head quarters. At least we will have a much better chance of homing Miffy now that she is sociable. 

We will keep you updated on how Miffy and Penny are doing. They are two very special girlies.