Thursday, 26 July 2018

Life in a Multi-Cat Household


Neutering is a big part of what we do at the Cats Protection, ensuring every cat/kitten that leaves our care is neutered. Kittens can reach sexual maturity from 4 months old and they can have up to 9/10 kittens per litter.. This gives an insight into just how many kittens one female could have in her lifetime, and how it can escalate and get out of control. Neutering has many health benefits, as well as helping to reduce the amount of unwanted cats. Un neutered cats are more likely to roam away from home in search of a mate, they are more likely to fight and cause injury to themselves and others, and at a higher risk of contracting infectious diseases. Some examples of these are :- FIV – This affects cats in a similar way as would the human HIV virus, making their immune system weaker and more susceptible to illness, FHV (Feline Herpes Virus), FPV (Feline ParvoVirus) which attacks the digestive sickness making them very unwell and can often be fatal.



Diarrhoea and sickness tend to be rife in a multi cat household due to the sheer number of cats all living within close proximity to each other. In some cases these conditions can be quite unsanitary with the cats defecating and urinating around the house due to there not being enough litter trays, or the trays not being cleaned regularly. Cats are very clean animals and if they do not find their toileting site appropriate they will develop toileting issues and could also develop cystitis due to stress.



Many cats that come from multi cat households tend to be malnourished due to the fact that they have to constantly compete for food with so many other cats around. They also tend to have a poor diet due to owners often struggling with the cost of food. They are at high risk of contracting infectious diseases and illnesses from each other. Cat Flu is very contagious and can be fatal for kittens and adult cats and if left untreated it can also cause blindness. One way to protect against this is by regularly vaccinating your cats. Symptoms of this are : - Sneezing, weepy and crusty eyes, lethargy, lack of appetite and a temperature. Fleas and ear mites are also very common within these living conditions.  
In 2017 we visited a multi cat household and collected 13 cats from a home as the owner was struggling to cope. All of the cats who came into our care suffered with some of the issues as stated above. Here are some of their stories :-
USHI and URSA – These two sisters came to us full with flu and both had clouding of their eyes due to cat flu that had been left untreated. They could barely see and were in a lot of pain. They were very scared arriving to the centre as they had not had a lot of socialisation due to having to compete for attention with so many others around. They both underwent surgery and each had one of their eyes removed. After their surgery and lots of TLC from our cat carers, their health rapidly improved and they became very affectionate and confident. They were both rehomed together and have now found their happily ever after :)




XAVIER – Xavier was terrified and very wary of people, more than likely due to lack of socialisation. He also suffered with fluey symptoms which were then treated with medication. Every time we would approach him he would lash out at us out of fear. We tried our best efforts to socialise him but he was still very afraid and aggressive towards us. The decision was made to rehome Xavier to a small holding where he could have the outdoors to explore but still have that option to go near humans if he wanted. We have had an update on him and he is loving his new found freedom and will even let his new owners stroke him occasionally and has become very friendly.






TINY– Tiny was one of the smallest and most malnourished cats who came from this specific household. This could be due to the fact that he was pushed away for food by more dominant cats, or due to interbreeding which can lead to stunted growth. He also suffered with fluey symptoms, gunky eyes and an upset stomach. He had all the medicine he needed and soon regained full health. One of our cat carers, Ceri, fell in love with him whilst caring for him and adopted him. He has now found his happy ever with his new mum and two step brother cats (Toots and Smudge) who all love him dearly.





Cats Protection runs a scheme where we can help you pay for your cat to be neutered and microchipped for just £5.00 if you are on low income or entitled to benefits. This would dramatically change their quality of life making them a lot happier. Just by neutering one cat, you are stopping them have litter after litter of kittens, and situations such as these would become more infrequent and save a lot of suffering for the cats involved. For more information please contact our neutering hotline on 03000 12 12 12


Friday, 20 July 2018

Surviving Against the Odds

Harriet and Harry

Harriet (1 year old) was admitted to us after a member of the public
contacted us because she was a stray which had just given birth in his shed and two of the kittens had passed away, she had one surviving kitten.  Harriet was vet checked at the centre as she had signs of infection post birth, our vet believed she may have a remaining dead kitten inside her, so she was admitted to the vets for emergency treatment.  



Harriet's X-ray

On further vet examination our vet suspected she may have an injured pelvis and she was put under anaesthetic for an x-ray.  The x-ray revealed something totally unexpected, Harriet had a diaphragmatic hernia, this is a hole in the diaphragm between the chest cavity and the abdomen, as a result of this her abdominal organs were in her chest cavity.  Whilst under GA Harriet started to go into respiratory failure, our vet contacted us for permission to perform lifesaving surgery.  The surgery was risky and the odds weren’t in Harriet’s favour but she proved herself to be a fighter and pulled through but she wasn’t out of the woods yet.  She had to spend 48 hours in an oxygen tent
recovering, before being well enough to be reunited with her kitten Harry who was being bottle fed by the vet nurses to give him the best chance for survival too.  
 
 
Happy Mumma.

After a worrying few days, Harriet was well enough to leave the vets and return to our care. She is now happily settled in her pen with Harry, she still has some way to go to full recovery but she is now over the worse. 

We are currently trying to find Harriet’s owner, if you have any information, please call us on 01656 724396 or email bridgend@cats.org.uk
We are trying to raise funds to cover the cost of Harriet’s operation and recovery which is in excess of £500, if you would like to donate you can do so by clicking on https://bit.ly/2Nxeyo6 or texting HHJA72, followed by £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070


 Thank you for your support.


Monday, 25 June 2018

Daisy and Her Kittens - 16 weeks Update.


It has now been almost 8 weeks since Daisy and her kittens left us at Bridgend Adoption Centre for their forever homes and as promised we have a little update on how they are settling in:


From the new owners of Emma and Eira:

"They are just the most delightful little kittens ever. They settled in so well from day one and they have grown so much and full of character and mischief. Emma was much smaller than Eira but she now weighs more as they were at the vets recently for their jabs. I don’t know how, as Eira does not like Emma getting anything and tries to steal her food, and love/attention ha ha. They are both very vocal, in particular Emma as she likes a good old meow when she needs/wants something and I call them our little tractors as they purr so much, in particular, Eira. They follow me around the house and play together so beautifully. Thank you so much for these two beautiful little girls, you guys and Daisy did so well. Myself and my children who are aged 8 and 9 are just so in love with them and they get treated like royalty so they are very happy....as are we. I will try and post some photos of them on your Facebook page, my kiddies have now named them as Lilly and Lollipop 😜

Take good care and thank you for all the wonderful work you all do over at the Cats Protection, you truly are gems."

 
An update on the only boy in the litter Dewi:


"Dewi was renamed Ozzy and he is a fantastic kitten. He is very playful and happy and enjoys sitting in the garden with us. He has started to become more confident and welcomes us when coming home and he always takes a interest at dinner times."

And the star of the blog herself - Daisy!


"Daisy is settling in very slowly, loving the attention and is very affectionate but her nervousness was apparent on bringing her home. Needs a lot of reassurance when we are standing up and she is on the floor, clearly doesn’t trust feet.
But on the whole she is a delight and very clean but will take a long time to undo any traumas she has had."

We are so happy everyone has settled into their new homes and that Daisy can finally relax in peace without having any more kittens!

Daisy was one of the lucky cats who has found her way into our care, sadly every year many cats give birth out doors with no proper shelter and care. Although we all love seeing mums with kittens at the centre, we would always advocate getting cats neutered as this is the only effective way to reduce unwanted cats in the UK. A fact which surprises everyone is that one female cat can be responsible for a staggering 20,000 descendants in just five years! For help with neutering your cat, please click here
 

Monday, 7 May 2018

Kitten Watch Update: Saying Goodbye!

The 4 kittens are now 8-9 weeks old and have all been reserved, microchipped, had their first vaccination, are flea'd and wormed up to date and have been neutered! They have all headed off to their new homes and our duty of looking after them is now passed on to their new families for their bright futures, full of fun! It is always sad for staff to say goodbye to the kittens they have watched and worked with for the vital first 8 weeks of their lives and seeing their individual personalities shine through but it is also a very happy time as we know they will be loved and enjoy their lovely new homes.



Daisy has also now headed off to her forever home, she too has been neutered, ending the cycle of her having multiple litters of kittens, she is also microchipped and fully vaccinated now. Daisy has been such a wonderful mum and now we are so thrilled she gets her happy ending of a forever home to spend her days playing and relaxing.


Daisy going home with her new family.

Our homing process is very simple, we invite the public to look at our opening hours and pop along to the centre between those times. We ask for potential adopters to fill out a short questionnaire in order for us to point them in the right direction of suitable cats to fit in with their lifestyle and home. We urge the public to read all of the stories above the cats pens in order to find out a little more about each cats individual needs and from there one of our knowledgeable cat carers will allow them to meet the cat.




If the potential adopter wishes to take home the cat they have met then we pop a 'reserved' sign above their pen and go through the cats medical history, flea and worm treatments, vaccination records and any relevant previous history (such as if the cat likes to sit on laps, what kind of toys and scratch post they prefer) and explain to the adopter everything they need to know and get ready before taking the cat home.

The adoption fee is £50 and all of our cats in care will be upto date with their flea and worm treatment, neutered (if old enough - if not a full cost neutering voucher will be provided), microchipped to the adopters address and would of had at least their first vaccination.

We want to say a HUGE thankyou to everyone who sponsored Daisy and her kittens during their stay with us. Every penny helps cats and kittens just like them in our care.



Daisy is one of the lucky cats who has found her way into our care, sadly every year many cats give birth out doors with no proper shelter and care. Although we all love seeing mums with kittens at the centre, we would always advocate getting cats neutered as this is the only effective way to reduce unwanted cats in the UK. A fact which surprises everyone is that one female cat can be responsible for a staggering 20,000 descendants in just five years! For help with neutering your cat, please click here

Friday, 27 April 2018

Kitten Watch Part 8: Countdown to 8 weeks!


Daisy’s kittens fast approaching 8 weeks old and are almost ready to begin the next chapter of their lives. Soon the kittens will be ready for their first vaccinations and final health checks. Vaccinations are very important as they will help protect the kittens against cat flu, enteritis and feline leukaemia. They will need a second vaccination three weeks after the first to ensure that they are fully protected.
Today is also a big day for Daisy as she is currently at the vets being spayed. Daisy can now enjoy her future without having to worry about raising anymore kittens!  Now she is neutered she will be at a much lower risk of contracting the feline aids virus and the risk of some cancers will also be reduced.

Daisy has been neutered and is recovering well from her operation

Daisy and her kittens are now split permanently and spend all day and night apart. Daisy does not mind and seems to be enjoying the peace and quiet. Her kittens are getting along great too. They are all fully litter trained and eating meat and biscuits independently. They are really enjoying playing in their outside pen together, spending the majority of the day playing with balls, boxes and furry toy mice! The kittens will zoom around and then fall asleep exhausted in a moment. As tempting as it is to pick up or cuddle a sleeping kitten it is important to leave them when they are asleep as sleep is highly important for growth and development. Just like a baby a kitten will need lots of sleep!

Emma and Dewi relaxing after breakfast
A common reason for play aggression in cats towards people is due to learning at a young age that hands or feet are toys! We encourage everybody who adopts a kitten to never use fingers or toes to play with kittens. Instead we would recommend toys on strings or feathers to discourage your kitten from attacking your hands in play. These toys also help develop a kitten’s balance and eye-paw co-ordination and are lots of fun!
Play Time!
We cannot believe how quickly the last 8 weeks have flown by!  We wish Daisy and her kittens the best of luck for the future and hope they will all be very happy in their new homes.
Daisy and her kittens are likely to be available for adoption next week, if you are interested in adopting Daisy or one of her kittens, please call the centre on 01656 724396 or email bridgend@cats.org.uk the week beginning 30 April. If you would like more information about our adoption process, please visit our website www.bridgend.cats.org.uk Unfortunately cats cannot be reserved over the phone and anyone interested must come to meet the cat in person, and only when the cat / kittens have been declared fit to home by our vets.
Daisy's kittens 8 weeks old

Daisy's kittens - new born

Daisy is currently our sponsor cat and you can help contribute towards the cost of caring for Daisy, her kittens and other unwanted cats by becoming a Cats Protection sponsor, to get started, please visit here 
Alternatively you can make a one off donation to our kitten appeal at 
http://bit.ly/2GDxM7P or by texting BRKW48 followed by £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070.

Daisy is one of the lucky cats who has found her way into our care, sadly every year many cats give birth out doors with no proper shelter and care. Although we all love seeing mums with kittens at the centre, we would always advocate getting cats neutered as this is the only effective way to reduce unwanted cats in the UK. A fact which surprises everyone is that one female cat can be responsible for a staggering 20,000 descendants in just five years! For help with neutering your cat, please click 
here

Friday, 13 April 2018

Kitten Watch Part 7: Socialisation

Our sponsor cat Daisy and her kittens are now weaned to be split for the whole day now! That means the kittens are eating mashed up kitten meat and biscuits independently and are only with Daisy over night now.

Here at CP Bridgend we have a socialisation chart which we start when the kittens are from 2 weeks old. It starts off with just handling the kittens and week by week progresses to more advanced steps such as playing with specific toys, feeling different textures underfoot and using different types of litter. All of this is to get them ready for the big wide world that is ahead of them once they leave the centre.



This week Daisy's kittens have been exploring their outside pen, we have provided them with lots of different toys and textures to get them interested in their surroundings. The floor in the back run of the pen is concrete and a little bit of a shock to the kittens when they first touch the cool floor (a big difference from their cosy under floor heated pen!) so they don't like to spend too much time out there to begin with however, as with most litters of kittens, once they start going out to play they cannot get enough of it!

We put down several disposable carpet samples to get the kittens used to the feel of carpet, we also use small cardboard boxes with shapes cut into them for some fun enrichment - we often put a Ping-Pong ball inside and the kittens love it!




We also continue handling the kittens individually. We hold them away from their litter mates so they get some one on one human contact and we do little tasks such as checking in their ears, smoothing their heads and touching their paws and tail. This sets them up for being handled in their new homes and also helps with vet checks.




We also have a CD that we play into the corridor which contains household noises such as the hoover, the television and laughter. This gets the kittens used to the sounds that go on around everyday homes.

Another task is getting the kittens to use their cat flap! As you can see below these 4 are having no trouble popping in and out as they please now :)



Daisy is currently our sponsor cat and you can help contribute towards the cost of caring for Daisy, her kittens and other unwanted cats by becoming a Cats Protection sponsor, to get started, please visit here

Alternatively you can make a one off donation to our kitten appeal at http://bit.ly/2GDxM7P or by texting BRKW48 followed by £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070.

Daisy is one of the lucky cats who has found her way into our care, sadly every year many cats give birth out doors with no proper shelter and care. Although we all love seeing mums with kittens at the centre, we would always advocate getting cats neutered as this is the only effective way to reduce unwanted cats in the UK. A fact which surprises everyone is that one female cat can be responsible for a staggering 20,000 descendants in just five years! For help with neutering your cat, please click here







Friday, 6 April 2018

Kitten Watch Part 6, Daisy and kittens have a busy week!


Daisy’s kittens are 5 weeks now!  They have turned into little bundles of energy and fun, Daisy is glad to be having regular breaks away from them to rest and have some quality time alone. She particularly enjoys have some fuss and attention during these times and loves having behind her ears scratched.

The kittens are walking around freely and  playing with their siblings and toys. They are continuing to develop their independence although they don’t wander far from their mum or litter mates.  They spend a lot of time play fighting and pouncing on each other, this allows them to learn boundaries and to develop their hunting skills.  


The kittens are now eating well, they particularly enjoy eating kitten meat but have started crunching on biscuits too.  They are grooming themselves and each other and have started to use their litter tray.

The kittens are all eating well

Daisy having her second vaccination.



This week mum Daisy had her second vaccination and is now covered for cat flu, enteritis and feline leukaemia for a year.  She was given a quick check by our vet at the same time and is fit and healthy.  She is maintaining her body condition extremely well considering she has 4 hungry mouths to feed.






 The kitten has also had their 5 week old vet check, they have had their eyes, ears, nose, mouth, heart, and general body condition checked and have been given the all clear by our vet.  They have also had their first worming treatment, this is an important part of kitten care and will need to be carried out regularly through their life.  We always use worming and flea treatment products prescribed by our vets and advise everyone to do the same as it is safer to use prescribed products and they are much more effective.


Dewi having his 5 week vet check.
It is amazing how much the kittens have grown and developed in just 5 weeks, they have grown from helpless little bundles to independent bundles of fund and energy.

Daisy's kittens - new born

Daisy' kittens - 5 weeks old
The kitten’s personalities continue to develop and it’s amazing how different they are from each other, Daffodil and Dewi are super confident, they are always up to mischief and are particularly playful, Daffodil’s favourite toy at the moment is Daisy’s tail!  Emma & Eira are quieter and more reserved, but they are growing in confidence every day and learning at trick or two from their siblings. 

 

Being a mum is exhausting and even kittens have to stop some time to rest, and sleep.  The kittens spend between 16 – 20 hours a day sleeping, even though they are peacefully nodding, their bodies are hard at work!  Their brain and nervous system develops whilst they are catnapping, their bones and muscles strengthen and tone allowing them to move with grace and athleticism.  Sleep also keeps the kitten’s immune system in good shape allowing them to fight off disease and infections.

Daisy and kittens having a well earned rest
Daisy is currently our sponsor cat and you can help contribute towards the cost of caring for Daisy, her kittens and other unwanted cats by becoming a Cats Protection sponsor, to get started, please visit here

Alternatively you can make a one off donation to our kitten appeal at http://bit.ly/2GDxM7P or by texting BRKW48 followed by £1, £2, £3, £4, £5 or £10 to 70070. 
 Daisy is one of the lucky cats who has found her way into our care, sadly every year many cats give birth out doors with no proper shelter and care.  Although we all love seeing mums with kittens at the centre, we would always advocate getting cats neutered as this is the only effective way to reduce unwanted cats in the UK.  A fact which surprises everyone is that one female cat can be responsible for a staggering 20,000 descendants in just five years!   For help with neutering your cat, please click here