May marks the 90th anniversary of Cats Protection, a charity established in 1927 by a group of cat lovers, led by Miss Jesse Wade. The purpose of the then-named Cats Protection League was to “exclusively” promote the interests of cats, at a time when cats were generally regarded as pests. The name was changed to Cats Protection in 1998. By 2012, CP had rehomed its 1,000,000th cat.
Today, there are an estimated 11 million pet cats in the UK, which represents around one quarter of all households owning a cat. CP is undertaking research to establish numbers of stray cats (estimates are 2 million). More than 150,000 stray and abandoned cats enter shelter care in the UK every year. Continue reading
Brighton and Hove Cats Protection now has its first outdoor pen, enabling cats from the local area to be taken in and fostered. The pen, at the home of Brighton & Hove branch coordinator Teresa Dee in the Surrenden area of Brighton, was launched with a party on May Day.
Measuring 13×14 feet in total, the pen was erected in just one and a half days. “There was no disruption at all,” says Teresa. “The material arrived in flatpack form and was put together and wired by CP approved builders and electricians.”
The result is a “very sturdy” outdoor pen with plenty of room for up to three cats (for example, a cat and her kittens) to be housed. The outdoor pens are important, enabling local cats to be fully health checked and transferred to indoor fosterers if necessary before rehoming. Continue reading
The new CP shop in Beaconsfield Rd, Brighton
Residents in Brighton and Hove now have two opportunities to combine a love of cats with shopping. Following on from last year’s launch of the Cats Protection shop in Blatchington Road Hove, Brighton now also boasts a shop on Beaconsfield Road near the corner of Springfield Road.
Brighton residents Chris Steed and Stephen Webb, who appear on the Gogglebox TV show, opened the Brighton store. A friend of Chris is a CP volunteer and the pair are big cat fans. Continue reading
We all know we love our cats but how do we know our cats love us? Below are a few signs that the feeling is mutual. But even if you suspect it isn’t, that’s part of the attraction of cats – they are not needy!
If your cat greets you as you come through your front door with its tail up, it is happy to see you! Acknowledging that greeting with a pat on the head will be very much appreciated by your cat.
The same applies if your cat rubs around your legs, although that’s mainly because it is trying to scent mark you so you no longer smell of the outside. But give kitty a pat on the head anyway.
If your cat collapses on the ground in front of you and shows his or her tummy, that’s another greeting and a sign that they are happy and relaxed to see you. Contrary to what most of us do, it isn’t considered top cat etiquette to rub their tummy. They’d prefer you gave them a gentle rub around the head instead.
Contrary to what many people assume, saying goodbye to a foster cat is a rewarding experience, says Brighton-based Cats Protection volunteer, Olivia. In only one year of being a fosterer, Olivia has helped five cats to find their forever homes.
“I can recommend that someone considers fostering cats,” says Olivia. “Many people have said to me they think they wouldn’t be able to give a cat away, but it is much more rewarding than people think. It is a great feeling to know that a cat is going to a really good home and it is also the nicest circumstance to say goodbye to a cat.”
Olivia decided to become a fosterer for several reasons. She doesn’t have access to any outside space, so felt having a cat on a long-term basis would not be fair on the cat. Also, she is unsure for how many years she will live in Brighton so didn’t think she could commit to having a cat for a long time. “I did have a cat that lived for 18 years, so while it is lovely to have a cat, at this stage I can’t really have a cat for that many years.” Continue reading
One of the most common new year’s resolutions is to lose weight – but how often do we consider whether our cats are a healthy weight? Recent figures from a US-based pet insurance company suggest that pet obesity in that country has risen steadily for the past six years. In the UK, the picture is similar with pet obesity a growing problem (if you’ll pardon the pun).
Like we humans, excessive body fat increases the risk of preventable health issues and may shorten the life expectancy of cats. Complications from obesity in cats include bladder and urinary tract disease, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, asthma, liver disease, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart failure, gall bladder problems and spinal immobility.
A cat’s weight can be controlled most effectively through a combination of exercise and diet. Doing one without the other most often results in failure (as it does with us!)
It is important to remember that a ‘crash’ diet is not for cats – nor humans! If you think your cat is overweight, it is best to first visit a vet to have it checked over and get some advice about diet and portions. Overweight cats should never be starved or put on a ‘crash diet’ as any period of no food can very quickly be harmful. A gradual, steady decrease in bodyweight is ideal – it may take up to a year for a severely overweight cat to reach its ideal body condition.
The Christmas shopping season is under way and there are plenty of options for cat lovers and their cats in Brighton and Hove. The following is just a selection of the gifts available throughout the city.