Thursday, 15 August 2019

Celebrating 25 years of cat work!


Our adoption centre has helped over 33,000 cats since we opened our doors to the public 25 years ago!  It's an astounding figure and one which we are very proud of.  We have also helped thousands more cats through their neutering and education work.

Donatella gave birth to 13 kittens in our care!

“It’s amazing to think we’ve helped that many cats over the years – you just get on with the job each day, doing the best you can for the cats in your care,” said deputy manager Molly Hughes. “Before you know it, it’s a quarter of a century later and you realise you’ve helped more than 30,000 cats move to great new forever homes!”  Molly has worked at the centre ever since it opened, starting out as a cat carer and now working as deputy manager.

She said: “The way we work has changed a lot since 1994 – when we first opened there were no computers, no reception, just a phone and a notebook!  “We now have 24 members of staff and more than 70 volunteers helping us care for the cats, raise money, run reception and maintain the building.”

Sue Dobbs, Molly Hughes with CP staff and volunteers.

Everyone at the centre agrees that the best thing about their work is making a difference for cats and changing their lives for the better. 
These include seven kittens found dumped in a zipped-up handbag and left for dead outside the adoption centre in 2011. When the abandoned animals were spotted by a passer-by, they were only semi-conscious, suffering from a lack of oxygen and heat exhaustion. Luckily the kittens recovered from their ordeal and were soon found loving new homes.

The hand bag kittens were found semi-conscious in a zipped bag dumped outside the centre.

In 2013 six tiny kittens were found inside Parc Prison, Bridgend. Named Jessica, Sherlock, Christie, Marple, Kojak and Morse, the kittens – and their mum Agatha - got an early release when Cats Protection found them great new owners.  



The prison kittens had be bottle fed until their mum was captured and reunited with them.

The following year, stray cat Donatella won hearts and gave staff and volunteers a Christmas surprise when she gave birth to a huge litter of 11 kittens.
Sue Dobbs, centre manager, has been at the centre for 21 years and says it’s like being part of a big family.

Donatella' 11 kittens

She said: “It’s extremely varied and no two days are the same - it’s definitely never boring!
“We’re lucky to have a lot of support from the public. Lots of us have family and friends who say that – wherever they go in the world - they always meet someone who knows someone else who has adopted a cat from us. Unbelievable!”

Staff and volunteers often find themselves trying to help people as well as cats. “It can be frustrating if you’re trying to help someone but they don’t necessarily want to be helped,” said Sue.  “For example, some time ago we took in some cats from a lady in Cardiff because she had too many and it was all too much for her. But unbeknown to us, she’d hidden a cat upstairs in the house and the situation soon escalated again.  ” Despite incidents like these, most of the time the work is extremely rewarding and support for the centre is constantly growing – in recent years, this is largely thanks to the rise of digital media.

More than 19,000 people follow Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre on Facebook, giving the team the chance to educate people across the UK - and around the world - about its work and messages about good cat welfare.  Sue said: “We have followers from more than 50 countries and people from outside the UK regularly donate to our fundraising appeals.

“Social media allows us to tell the story of what we do and helps a lot with fundraising. It’s our window to the world and a huge audience we didn’t have before. “It’s helping us to help even more cats – so here’s to the next 25 years!”

Cats Protection’s Bridgend Adoption Centre - which opened its doors in 1994 - is holding a special event to celebrate its 25th birthday on Saturday 7 September 2019.  Volunteers and staff will be getting into the party mood by dressing up in 90s fashion and are inviting visitors to do the same!

You’ll be able to view the cats looking for their forever homes and entertainer Loopy Lews will be performing magic shows and balloon modelling between 11am and 2.30pm.  There will also be stalls, a barbecue, refreshments, fresh cakes, bric-a-brac stalls, a bouncy castle, party games and face painting for visitors to enjoy.

Entry to the event will cost £1 for adults and 50p for children.

Hope you can join us on our special day!
Bye for now!

Friday, 12 July 2019

Summer Time!

We are finally having some lovely sunny weather and hopefully it’s here to stay for a while.    The centre continues to be extremely busy with kitten season in full swing, last month 181 cats and kittens left our care, a record breaking June for us.  We also held a successful Pawsome afternoon tea and BBQ event which raised over £750 for the kitty.

Our fund raising volunteers made some yummy cakes for our Pawsome event.
 With kitten season comes the sad problem of unwanted pregnant cats and kittens being born outside.  This year is no exception, during the last few weeks we have had an influx of kittens born outside being admitted into our care.  Sadly they are normally in poor condition and have very little socialisation so need a bit of extra TLC before they can be available for adoption.  One such kitten is the totally adorable Dave, he was very fearful of people when he was first admitted into our care, preferring to hiss and spit rather than have cuddles and fusses.  Fortunately, one of our fosterers, Stevi took Dave home to live with her to socialise him, and soon turned him into a cuddle loving kitten who enjoys having his head tickled. 

Dave was born outside but now loves cuddles thanks to our volunteer fosterer.
Another two kittens born outside are Tom and Tweety, they are five weeks old, sadly not all the litter survived.  They are both very poorly with cat flu and are currently in our isolation unit whilst receiving vet treatment.  They are the sweetest little kittens, and are currently enjoying the comfort of their under floor heated pen. They are just starting to respond to their medication, but it will be a few more weeks before they are fully recovered.  These kittens are the lucky ones as they have made their way into our care, sadly this isn’t always the case which is why neutering is so important.  For help with neutering costs (subject to eligibility), please click here.

Tom and Tweety are lucky to be alive after being born outside.
With so many cats being admitted into our care, we have to be extremely careful with disease control to ensure that we don’t have any outbreaks/spread of disease in the centre.  Any cats / kittens which exhibits symptoms of an infectious disease is housed in our isolation unit.  This is a self-contained unit with its own facilities and equipment.  Our cat carers wear full protective clothing whilst working in this unit changing between pens as needed, working in this area is very demanding as it houses our most sickest cats but it is so rewarding to see them getting better day by day and eventually be well enough to find their forever homes.

Laura, one of our CCA working in Isolation unit.
With so many kittens around, adult cats are getting over looked by potential adopters so we currently have several long stay cats with us.  We have been promoting them on FB and Twitter to encourage people to consider adopting them.  They are a lot less work than kittens, you can see what you are getting as kittens have a lot of growing up to do and their temperament may change as they mature.  Adult cats can live into their 20’s and have a lot of love to give too.  One such overlooked cat is the lovely Xena, she was admitted with seven kittens, they have all been homed but she is still waiting to find her forever home.  You can find out more about her and the other cats looking to find their forever homes here.

Adult cats like Xena are being overlooked in favour of kittens.
We don’t often have pedigree cats admitted into our care so having a Maine Coon cat made a few of us turn our heads.  Matilda is simply stunning and had a sweet personality too!  Fortunately we have found the purrfect home for her and she left our care today to her forever home.

Matilda, a stunning Maine Coon made a few heads turn.
We are busy getting ready for our 25th anniversary event which is taking place on the 7th September, it promises to be good day, please make a note of the date in your diary, we would love for you to join our celebration event!  
 

We hope you enjoyed reading our blog, please look out for the next one.
Bye for now!

Friday, 14 June 2019

Busy times!


There is still no sign of summer here, and with the ever-persistent rain, it is not surprising our cats don’t want to do anything more than to curl up and sleep! 

Scruff- sleeping through the rain!

Despite of or maybe because of the weather we have been extremely busy with 131 cats and kittens leaving us in May and 90 being adopted already in June!  The average length of stay from admission to rehoming is currently only 15 days, a figure that we are very proud of as the less time cats spend in a rescue centre; the better it is for their wellbeing.

These four cuties were reserved as soon as they were available.

We are glad to have been able to help Cats Protection GwentSwansea and Carmarthen branches by admitting some of the cats and kittens from their fosterers and their waiting lists.  The branch volunteers have also been a big help transporting the cats and kittens to our care.  We would like to say thank you to them all and we are glad to say that all cats and kittens from branch transfers have found their forever homes, including Kiwi and Kahlua, the fish net kittens whose story made the news after Gwent branch volunteer rescued them from a small gap in the wall using a fishing net.

Kiwi and Kahlua - transferred to our care from Gwent Branch.

We are continuing our work to re-unite lost and stray cats with their owners and have successfully reunited several cats this year.  We are looking for more volunteers to help with this aspect of our work, you can find out what is involved by watching the video below.  If you would like to out more, please email Bridgend.Volunteering@cats.org.uk



                                                                                                    Re-uniting lost cats with their owners.

One such stray who we believe maybe owned is the lovely Sandor; he is a 1-year-old un-neutered male who is lovely and friendly.  He may have wandered off in search of un-neutered females, sadly this is something we see too often, and is one of the reasons we strongly recommend neutering of all cats.  You can find out more about the Wales £5.00 neuter and chip scheme here

Sandor - a 1 year old stray friendly cat.
You may have read about our lovely cat Friday whose sad story touched a chord with many people.  Sadly her kitten had to be put to sleep as he had a chest deformity and a displaced heart. She is recovering well from her operation, and is much happier out in Ellen’s Lodge; she is due to be vet checked on Tuesday, we are hopeful she will be available for adoption after this.

                                                                                                                 Friday is happier in Ellen's Lodge
                                                                          
Finally, we would like to say thank you to all our volunteers and supports who helped out, baked, donated to and attended our Pawsome afternoon tea event, it was huge success with over £750 being raised to help cats in our care.

Freshly baked cakes were a big hit at our Pawsome afternoon tea event.
That’s all for now, please look out for our next blog :)
Bye for now!

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

May Update


We've had a very busy month here at the centre now that kitten season has arrived!  We have had such a huge season that our maternity corridor  is now full and we have had to convert one of our other corridors to an extra maternity wing.

Our sponsor Queen Ursie and her 4 kittens are doing really well, here they are now at 6 weeks old playing in their outside area:


For more information on how to become a cat sponsor please click here.

There has been a huge demand for kittens, and they are getting adopted very quickly. If you are looking to adopt a kitten, best time to check kitten availability is on Wednesday mornings, you can do this by contacting us on 01656 724396 or emailing bridgend@cats.org.uk
(Please note kittens are only available for viewing from 8 weeks of age, after being vet checked and having their first vaccination.  You and family members living with you must view the kitten in person before reserving.  Kittens are reserved on a first come, first served basis to suitable homes, so we advise potential adopters to arrive ASAP when kittens are available to avoid disappointment).

You may remember Friday our pregnant female who was found tied up in a black bin-bag on the hottest day of the year. Well she gave birth to a little boy who we called Saturday (after all he was born on a Saturday!) and both mum and kitten are doing amazingly. Friday will eventually have to have an operation to her eyelid to stop her lashes rubbing against her eye, so we will keep you updated on how that goes.




We've had some great updates on cats who have been homed by us recently. Here is our one-eyed wonder Willow who was with us for a long time due to flu symptoms and having surgery to remove her eye, her new owners say she is settling in incredibly well, loves the garden and loves to play.


One of our other favourite updates was from our golden oldie Tinker who was left outside the centre in a box. Tinker too had to have his eye removed and made a great recovery. Here he is enjoying his new life with the Davies family:


This week we've had the handsome Cruz bought into our centre, Cruz was a stray who was getting into all sorts of fights with local cats and ended up with a nasty head wound. Cruz's fighting with other cats is mostly down to him not being neutered. Lucky for Cruz we were able to take him in and give him treatment, all our unneutered cats are blood tested for FIV and FeLV as they are in the highest category risk and again lucky ol' Cruz tested negative for both!



We are currently part of a huge neutering campaign across the Wales, we are helping people neuter and chip their cats for only £5 - to see if you are eligible then please click here.

That's all for now, stay tuned for more updates soon :)

Monday, 22 April 2019

Kitten Season is Here!


Spring is here, this heralds the start of kitten season, and a very busy few months for our team at the centre. Kitten season normally starts with a trickle of pregnant cats and mum's with new born kittens but this year it has rolled in like a storm!   In one week alone we had 45 kittens born on site!

With the influx of kittens, the number of cats in our care has doubled to 158, sadly a fair number of the pregnant cats and queens with new born kittens were strays living outside. Others are young females such as Zoe who came into our care because she was heavily pregnant, she is only a kitten herself at 8 months of age. 

This is one of the reasons we are so passionate about neutering, not only does it reduce the number of unwanted kittens, it also helps to stop cats from wandering away from home and reduces the risk of them contracting infectious diseases such as FIV and Feline Infectious Leukaemia.   Cats Protection in partnership with the RSPCA are offering neutering and chipping for £5.00, click here to find out if you are eligible to apply for a voucher.



Zoe - 8 month old heavily pregnant cat in our care.
We have some good news on our current sponsor cat the lovely Rain and her adorable kittens, they have all left us to go to their forever homes, a big thank you to all our cat sponsors, you have made a real difference to them and many other cats in our care.  With Rain having left us this morning, it’s time to choose our new sponsor cat, with National Tabby Day coming up on the 30th April, we decided Ursie is the purrfect choice!  She is a 4 year old female who was admitted into our care because her owner couldn't cope, she has 4 beautiful 2 week old kittens. Please click here to find out more about becoming a cat sponsor.

Ursie is our new sponsor cat.
Do you remember Tinker and Alley, the 14 year old cats abandoned outside the centre? They were both microchipped, unfortunately we were unable to find their owner so we had to keep them for one month to give their owner the opportunity to come forward, unfortunately this didn't happen.  Alley was made available after the month period and was adopted very quickly; we were delighted for her especially as golden oldies are more difficult to home. 

14 year old Alley has left us to her forever home.

Tinker needed an operation to remove his permanently damaged eye, this couldn’t happen until the one month waiting period had passed.  We were all worried when Tinker went in for his operation due to his age but he proved to be a real trooper and rallied through the operation really well making a remarkable recovery.  Looking at him today it’s hard to believe he is the same frightened cat left on our door step over 6 weeks ago, lots of TLC from our cat carers has seen him transform into a real love bug!  He is now available for adoption, we are keeping our, fingers, toes and whiskers crossed it won’t be too long before he finds his forever home.

                                                                                              Tinker has become a little love bug!
                                                        
Some news on our lovely cat Mushka who was admitted with burns from hiding under cars, she is doing amazingly well with the sores on her back and shoulder almost healed.  Unfortunately, her ear didn't heal despite our vet’s best efforts so she underwent surgery to have it removed. She has recovered really well from the operation; we are hoping it won’t be much longer before she is available for adoption. 

Mushka had an operation to remove her burnt ear.

We have homed 401 cats and kittens since the beginning of the year, although this is less than the same period last year, we have homed more elderly and FIV +ve cats which is great news as these cats tend to take a long time to home.

Two kittens who have left us to their forever home and are settling in well are Daff and Dill, the two kittens sold on line for £360, they were advertised as 8 weeks of age but were in fact only 5 weeks old and very poorly.  We sent a press release out about them and their story was picked up and publicised by several news and radio stations including BBC News, BBC Radio, and Heart radio, they also made the front page of the Glamorgan Gazette. We are delighted about this, hopefully their story will encourage people to adopt not shop, our advocacy team is also using their story to urge the government to consider regulating cat breeding, and the sale of kittens through third parties and online.

Daff and Dill settled in their forever home.

Finally, an appeal for our longest staying cat Willow, she is a beautiful 6-year-old neutered female, she was admitted into our care because her owner moved and couldn’t take her with them.  She was very poorly with flu and had an old injury to her eye so needed an operation to remove it.  Willow is a little sweetie, she has been with us for almost 3 months now and is getting a bit fed up being penned up.  She has lived with other cats but will need slow and careful introduction to new cats, she is more suited to a home with no/older children. If you are interested in adopting her, please call us on 01656 724396 or email us at bridgend@cats.org.uk



That’s all for now, hope you have enjoyed this update and please look out for the next one.
Bye for now!

Wednesday, 27 March 2019

Mid-March Update: Spring is here!

We've had a great few weeks  over 70 cats homed so far this month!

Spring has started to show it's face and we've had an influx of calls about stray cats - especially pregnant cats! As it is mating season a lot of unneutered (but owned) cats will wander off in search of a mate so we are inundated with calls about cats going missing and new cats turning up.
With all stray cats we have a policy to make sure they are not owned, this includes us sending out a stray cat pack which has paper collars and posters inside so the cat can be advertised for 2 weeks, taken to a vet to be scanned for a microchip and hopefully reunited with owners.  We have some useful tips available on our website HERE.  We are also recruiting lost and found volunteers, to find out what this role, please watch the video below,  you can find about our volunteering opportunities here.




If an owner isn't found,  the lost/stray cat will be brought into our care when we have a pen available.They will be advertised on our Lost and Found Facebook page and kept with us for 2 weeks before re-homing. However, If the cat is chipped we have to keep it for 1 month in order to track their owner. This includes physically going out to the address on the microchip, sending 2 recorded letters and contacting any emails addresses and telephone numbers attached to the chip.

Sadly for Alun below - his microchip details were out of date and we have been totally unsuccessful in finding his legal owners and he is now available for adoption after a month long stay with us!

Alun

A little update on Rain kittens. They are now being split from mum during feeding times and eating their own food. They are greedy little kittens and absolutely love eating kitten felix all mashed up and soaked kitten biscuits.

Hungry Kittens.
 2 weeks ago we had 2 kittens come into us who were bought through an online advertising website. The person who bought them didn't realise that the kittens were severely malnourished and actually only 6 weeks old. Both kittens were rushed to the vets and eventually to us, they had severe worm burden, diarrhoea and came down with flu symptoms.

We named the kittens Daff and Dill, they are both totally deaf but have come on leaps and bounds since their admittance:

Dill looking after his little sister.

Daff in the bath.

Daff after a couples weeks of treatment and tlc.

(Please note the kittens are not available for adoption yet).

Stay tuned to keep up to date with how Daff and Dill get along.

Bye for now :)

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Spring is on the Horizon!



We have some lovely spring weather during the month of February, the daffodils, and daisies have flowered; the bees are awake from their winter hibernation and we have basked in the sunshine of one of the warmest February on records!  For us this means the start of another busy kitten season and our receptionist receiving calls asking for help with pregnant cats and lactating queens. 

Our receptionists have a very busy job; they deal with over 70 enquiries a day via phone and email inputting data into our systems and passing on messages to other team members.  As well as this, they welcome and help visitors to the centre, book in cats to be admitted, prepare adoption paperwork and complete adoptions with new owners. They also register microchips online, keep our centre shop well stocked and carry out general admin duties.  We brought them a new phone headset this month and they are delighted with this, it makes their phone work much easier!

Nikita, one of our receptionist is delighted with the new phone headset
February was a very busy month for us with 130 cats and kittens coming into our care and 119 adopted, including 10 of the very scared cats from the multi cat household we told you about in our last Journal blog.  We had our 1-year anniversary party for the opening of our Cardiff Homing and Information Centre to which we invited people who adopted cats from the centre to celebrate with us. The centre found forever homes for 147 cats in its first year, which is a great achievement as the centre only has three pens.

Cardiff Homing and Information Centre Anniversary party
In our last journal blog, we let you know that our sponsor cat Charlie had found his forever home!  We are delighted to have this lovely update from his new family about him: “Just wanted to let you know that Charlie has settled in really well!  I took him to the vets and had his nails clipped which has helped him so much, he did sulk for the rest of that day but he soon bounced back 😊  He sleeps all day on my daughters bed and gets plenty of exercise late afternoon/evening. We couldn't be without him ️”

Sponsor cat Charlie settled in his new home
And this brings unto our new sponsor cat Rain!  She is proving to be an amazing mum and both her and all four kittens are thriving, they have all had a vet check today and been given a clean bill of health, and Rain has had her first vaccination.

Rain has been given a clean bill of health 
We asked for weather related name suggestions on our FB page and our followers came up with a huge selection of names to choose from, after much deliberation we decided to call the kittens Boots, Wellington, Mackintosh and Beanie!  We have had  a lot of enquiries from members of the public asking to view/reserve these kittens but as with all kittens this can only be done once they have been weaned, vet checked and vaccinated at the age of 8 weeks, that will be in around 6 weeks’ time.  Click here to find out more about becoming a cat sponsor to help needy cats like Rain.

Wellington, Mackintosh, Beanie and Boots
You may have read on our FB page about the two 14 year old cats abandoned outside our adoption centre, we have named them Tinkerbelle and Alley.  We have managed to trace their owner, he was going through some difficult times, and had tried to get help from another rescue before leaving the cats here.  They are both settling in well, they have had vet checks today; Tinker the male needs a dental and an operation to remove his damaged eye, whilst Alley needs a dental.  Before we can go ahead with their operations, we need to run some tests to  make sure that they are well enough to have a general anaesthetic, this is due to happen in the next few days, we will keep you updated on how they get on.

Alley and Tinker are waiting for vet tests 
On a final note, we have been homing extremely well with most available cats being reserved within a week!  Sometimes this means we don’t have such a large selection of cats to choose from, however this does change on a daily basis with best selection of cats being available for viewing on Wednesdays after our vet run.  Some cats are overlooked because of their age and one such cat is Roger, he is a stunning 9-year-old neutered male with striking blue eyes, he is super friendly and chatty but does need to be the only as he was admitted into our care for not getting on with the other pets in the household.  Click here to find out more about Roger and other cats in our care looking to find their forever homes.

Roger is waiting to find his forever home
Phew, a lot has happened in the last two weeks, please look out for our next Journal blog.
Bye for now!