The joys of fostering

kittyContrary 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

Time to slim down

jumping cats

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.

Continue reading