Category Archives: Cat Welfare

Cat & Hearts Tote Bags – Purrfect Gifts for Mothers Day!

cat and hearts tote bag from cool for cats uk

Looking for a gift for your cat-loving mum?  Or maybe you fancy treating yourself to a splash of cat-themed colour that will liven up these dog days of winter?  Well, look no further….

These colourful, hand screen printed totes feature Maud, a little cat who is demonstrating the classic I’m-keeping-an-eye-on-you pose, familiar to all us cat lovers.  Maud is curled up on a graphic hearts print, which is available in four cheery colours: deep rose, forget-me-not blue, violet and a zingy, spring green.

Measurements: bag 43cm x 38cm; handles 64cm (over-the-shoulder length).

Available from the Cool for Cats UK Etsy shop for £9.00 (UK delivery £1.00; rest of the world £3.50).

All profits from the sale of these bags will be donated to the Celia Hammond Animal Trust, a small, UK charity based in London and the South East who rescue and re-home thousands of cats each year, and also offer affordable neutering and veterinary care to pet owners on low incomes.

PS,  If you’re reading this post before 08/03/15, you can head over to the Cool for Cats UK Facebook page and enter the giveaway to win a pink Cats & Hearts tote – entries must be in before midnight on Saturday 7th March.

Meet Foster Cats No’s 27 – 34!

family

It’s been a bit hectic on the fostering front over the last few weeks….  First of all there was Olive and her five kittens: Alice, George, Ivor, Jack and Nancy.

Above: Jack, Alice, Ivor and Nancy

Olive:

olive1

Olive had given birth to her kittens in someone’s garden.  Fortunately the Celia Hammond Animal Trust (CHAT) were called in and came to the rescue.  I took them on when the kittens were six weeks old, as their previous fosterers had a family emergency and were not longer able to care for them.

Alice and Ivor:

alice-ivor-yawn

All the kittens had been very well socialised by the previous fosterers, and were what’s known in the cat rescue world as ‘Bomb-proof’, i.e. super-friendly, super-confident and suitable for any kind of home.  Olive was nervous initially, but soon grew in confidence once she came to the conclusion that I was OK because: a) I wasn’t going to hurt her and was actually quite nice; and b) I was going to provide her with lots of food.  Actually it was mainly b) – Olive loves her food!

Nancy and George

nancy-george

Olive and her kittens were with me for around a month before they went to the CHAT Lewisham rescue centre for rehoming.  As you can imagine it didn’t take long to find homes for this bunch of cuties, and they were all adopted (in pairs) within a couple of weeks.

Ivor’s magic wand tail!

ivor-tail

After Olive and co. departed I decided to take a break from fostering.  I’ve fostered almost continuously for around five years now and was feeling a bit burnt out.  I planned to stop fostering all together for a few months and then act as an emergency-only fosterer for Cats Protection.  Just in case you’re wondering why I’ve changed charity: I’ve been volunteering in the Cats Pro Greenwich charity shop for nearly four years now (18 Old Dover Rd, SE3 7BT – always good for a bargain if you’re in the area!).  Earlier this year I was asked to join the branch committee, and since then have become a lot more involved in the cats side of things.  I’m now the branch’s Homing Officer, and it doesn’t really sit comfortably with me to be fostering for one charity while rehoming cats for another, so hence the switch from CHAT to Cats Pro.

Anyway, the not fostering thing lasted for less than two weeks after a woman came into the Cats Pro charity shop and told me that she’d found a male kitten wandering up and down a very busy road.  She’d already been caring for the kitten for nearly three weeks – while she’d tried unsuccessfully to locate an owner – but was unable to do so any longer as her dog was becoming jealous and she was worried he may lash out.  I went to scan for a microchip (there wasn’t one), and discovered that the kitten was in fact female, around six months old and hadn’t been spayed.  There was nowhere else for the kitten to go other than back out on the street, so that evening, on my way home from the shop, I called round to collect Susie – as she’d already been named – and took her home with me.

Susie:

susie-fb

I wasn’t too concerned at having my fostering break interrupted as Susie is an incredibly friendly, affectionate and generally bomb-proof kinda girl, who I knew would be easy to re-home.  I’d made a couple of home visits to prospective adopters earlier the same day, and thought that Susie would be ideal for one of the couples I’d been to see.  I rang them, they were very keen, and we made arrangements for them to come and meet Susie after she’d been spayed, microchipped and had her first vaccinations.  They came round this afternoon, it was love at first sight, they adopted her, and off she went to her new home.  I’ve since had a text to let me know that she settled in straight away.  Hooray!

susie

But I still don’t get to take my fostering break.  On Monday I received a call from our Welfare Officer, who’s a veterinary nurse at a rescue-minded practice which carries out a lot of procedures for our branch.  They’d taken in a young female for a neuter-and-return – she was one of a small group of cats who live in the underground car park of a housing estate and are fed and cared for by one of the residents.  However, when they examined her they discovered an old infected *collar wound under her right leg.  The wound needed surgery, which in turn required external stitches and then a buster collar (aka Cone of Shame) to prevent the cat from worrying at the stitches.  Obviously she couldn’t be returned to the car park in that condition, so now Holly (as I’ve imaginatively named her, given the time of year) is Foster Cat no. 34.

Holly

holly

The good news is that Holly is a charming, people-friendly, affectionate adolescent kitten (she’s around 9 – 10 months old), and I’m pretty sure I’ve already found her a home.  So once the stitches are out hopefully she’ll be off to pastures new, and I’ll restart my fostering break.  Wonder how long it will last this time?!

holly-1

*Collar wounds are inflicted by cat collars with an elastic insert which allows the collar to stretch if it becomes snagged on anything, so that the cat can escape.  The trouble with these collars is that they will also stretch if a cat paws at them, allowing the cat to pass one of its front legs through the collar, which then rapidly cuts into the ‘armpit’ area of the leg causing a nasty and very painful injury.  These elasticated collars are sold as ‘safety’ collars which really pisses me off as they’re not – strays with collar wounds are all too common.  A genuine safety collar will have a break-away buckle, which allows the collar to snap open when snagged, therefore making it impossible for a cat to step through the collar and rip its ‘armpit’ open.

Cat Charity Christmas Cards 2014

cats protection - cat charity christmas card

Yes, it’s that time of year again; the time of year when you can utter the C word out loud in public without causing offence.  So, in keeping with the seasonal themes of peace and goodwill to all men and cats, why not take the opportunity to send some much-needed cash in the direction of your favourite animal charity by availing yourself of some lovely cat Christmas cards?

Here’s a selection of some of the cards available from various cat and other animal charities – if you don’t like the cards I’ve showcased, bear in mind that the charities featured offer a selection of cards for a range of tastes.

So….  To start with, here are my two favourites (top and below) from the impressively large range of Cats Protection Christmas Cards.  Priced from £2.45 for ten.

cats protection - cat charity christmas card

PDSA  Priced from £3.99 for pack of ten.

pdsa - cat charity christmas card

Yorkshire Cat Rescue  Priced at £5.25 per pack of ten.

yorkshire cat rescue - cat charity christmas card

Catchat  Priced at £3.95 for pack of ten.

cat-chat - cat charity christmas card

Blue Cross Priced from £3.99 for pack of ten.

blue cross - cat charity christmas card

Battersea Dogs and Cats Home Priced from £3.60 for pack of ten.

battersea cats and dogs home - cat charity christmas card

 National Animal Welfare Trust Price from £3.50 per pack of ten.  (This card features the Evil Twins of Christmas who are plotting to assassinate Rudolf.)

naitonal animal welfare trust - cat charity christmas card

Wood Green Animal Charity Priced from £3.00 for pack of ten.

wood green - cat charity christmas card

For those with a foot in both camps – sold by the Cat Gallery in aid of the Cinnamon Trust and priced at £4.00 for pack of ten.

cinnamon trust - cat charity christmas card

Hounslow Animal Welfare Society £5.00 for pack of ten.

hounslow animal welfare society - cat charity christmas card

And finally, some kitten-tastic wrapping paper from the Mayhew Animal Home.  6 sheets plus matching tags for £4.00.

mayhew animal home- cat charity christmas wrapping paper

Black Cat Jewellery in Celebration of National Black Cat Day!

black-cat-bangle

Today is National Black Cat Day, as declared by Cats Protection, the UK’s largest cat charity.  The purpose of National Black Cat Day is to raise awareness of the plight of black (and black-and-white) cats, who generally wait much longer for adoption in the UK’s rescue centres, as they are often overlooked in favour of their more colourful cousins.

So in honour of National Black Cats Day, here’s some lovely black cat jewellery from a selection of UK Etsy sellers.

(Top) Black Cat Aluminium Bangle – hypoallergenic, so suitable for sensitive skin, £19.50 from De Cumi Designs

Midnight Light Cat Earrings – resin cats with sterling silver wires, £37.95 from Jolyon Yates.

black-cat-resin-earrings

Black Cat Pendant, £7.37 from Shimmer Creek.

black-cat-pendant

Black Cat Ticket Brooch, £7.00 from Lauras Jewellery

black-cat-ticket-brooch

Grumpy Tabby Cat Tote Bag to Raise Funds for Cats in Need!

grumpy tabby tote bag - unexpected item in bagging area

Barney, the grumpy tabby, fell asleep inside a nice, cosy bag and then woke to find himself at a supermarket checkout.  No wonder he looks a bit peeved.

The Tabby Cat Tote Bag – screen printed by my own fair hands – is available for £8.00 from the newly re-opened Cool for Cats UK Etsy shop.

Measurements: bag – 43cm x 35cm; handles – 64cm

All profits from the shop will be donated to the Celia Hammond Animal Trust (CHAT), a UK charity who carry out invaluable cat rescue and re-homing work in London and the South East and also run two clinics in London which offer affordable neutering and veterinary care to animal owners on low incomes.

CHAT is a charity very close to my heart.  All my cats are CHAT rescues, and in fact three would not be alive today if they hadn’t come into CHAT’s care…

Severely injured Martha had been ‘rescued’ by another charity who were intending to euthanase her – they regarded her as feral and therefore difficult to re-home, and so not worth saving.  Thankfully she was passed over to CHAT, who amputated her injured leg and fought to save her life.  It was touch and go for a few days, but she’s a tough little soldier and pulled through.  I originally took her on as a foster cat before deciding to adopt her, and it was immediately apparent that she wasn’t feral – just very nervous of people, probably due to previous mistreatment.  She’s now a very affectionate lap cat who loves the great outdoors, and is a champion tree-climber – despite the missing leg!

martha1

Alflie and his sister Ethel were members of a feral colony living in underground garages on a South London housing estate.  The cats were under constant threat from dogs and human residents of the estate – several dead cats were found at the scene – and so CHAT trapped and rescued the whole colony.  Alfie and Ethel came to me as feral foster kittens, but I decided to keep them when they were returned after a failed adoption.  It took them a while to get the hang of the whole being-friends-with-humans thing, but these days they’re both very affectionate, and could almost be described as civilised!

alfie - rescued by the celia hammond animal trust

ethel - rescued by the celia hammond animal trust

So, everything you purchase from the Cool for Cats UK shop will help fund a charity who are really committed to cat rescue and animal welfare.  I’ll be adding new products to the shop over the next few weeks – watch this space!

*Please* Help Cats in Need by Voting for Britain’s Cleverest Cat! (Or enter your own video & do what you like with the prize money!)

felix britains's cleverest cat 2014

Do you have a video of your cat doing a REALLY clever thing?  And maybe your friends have grown tired of you making them watch the video of your cat doing the REALLY clever thing and you yearn for a wider audience?  Well, yearn no more: popular cat food brand, Felix, are running a competition in partnership with ITV’s Saturday night behemoth, Britains Got Talent, to discover Britain’s Cleverest Cat 2014.  To enter your cat’s video you need to’ like’ the Cats Like Felix Facebook page, click on the Britain’s Cleverest Cat link at the top of the page and then follow the instructions given.  (Be patient when uploading your video – it may take a while!)

The winner of Britain’s Cleverest Cat 2014 will receive £5,000, and the two runners up will each receive £1,000.  Judging takes place in 3 stages, the first and third of which are decided by public vote (via Facebook) – so you’ll have to start pestering your beleaguered friends again.  Votes for the first stage of the competition must be in by 23:59 on 11th May 2014.

And now, my beleaguered friends, I’m afraid I’m going to pester you, for I have entered a video of a former foster cat of mine doing a REALLY clever thing.  Exceedingly loveable feline genius, Stuart, has an incredible knack for opening cupboard doors and then making off with any edible items he can get his little paws on.  Fortunately I captured the little monkey on camera (it was used as his adoption video), and now I would very much appreciate you taking a moment to vote for Stuart in the Britain’s Cleverest Cat competition.  Remember votes must be in by 23:59 on 11th May 2014!

Here’s Stuart’s video, should you wish to check it out prior to voting (if you’re reading this via email or RSS subscription you’ll probably need to click on the title link of this post in order to view the video):

Any prize money received for Stuart’s entry will be donated to the Celia Hammond Animal Trust (CHAT), who rescue and rehome over 2,000 cats a year in London and the South East, in addition to providing affordable neutering and veterinary care in their two London clinics.  CHAT are a relatively small charity who aim to channel as much money as possible directly into animal care – the £1,000 runner up prize would really help out, and the £5,000 top prize would make a significant difference to the number of cats they are able to rescue and rehome.

Here’s how to vote for young Stuart – it’s a bit of a faff, so please bear with me!  First of all make sure you’re logged into your Facebook account, and then follow these steps:

Step 1CLICK ON THIS LINK,which will take you to the Britain’s Cleverest Cat Facebook page.

Step 2: Click on the ‘View the Gallery’ button.

Step 3: Enter ‘Stuart’ into the gallery search box.

Step 4: If more than one entry appears (currently my Stuart is the only Stuart!), make sure it’s the Stuart who mentions the Celia Hammond Animal Trust.

Step 5: Vote for Stuart.

Step 6: Give yourself a pat on the back for doing a good deed and feel slightly smug for the rest of the day.

If you made it through to Step 6 thank you very, very much for your time – you are now officially a Very Nice Person!

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