Thursday, 18 January 2018

The Importance of Neutering Male Cats


As an adoption centre we see over a thousand cats a year, many of which are unneutered. At cats protection we believe early neutering is an essential part of responsible cat ownership. Cats are very effective breeders and the number of kittens born can skyrocket in a matter of months!
 
Many of the unneutered ‘entire’ males we see at the centre have come into us as strays. It is very common for entire males to wander off in search of females; often they lose their way and arrive at the centre battle scarred, dirty and cold.
 
This is Rowland. Rowland arrived at the centre as an unneutered stray and had previously been living in a hedge at the bottom of a garden. Rowland was very dirty, had many cuts on his face (from fighting) and had an ear mite infestation.  Rowland’s coat is cleaning up nicely and he is currently available for adoption.


In most cases once over the age of two and sexually mature, entire males are easily identifiable.

·         They have big ‘cheeks’ from muscles designed to take the impact of a fight.

·         They have their very own ‘eau de tom’. A pungent odour caused by a high level of testosterone and feline proteins in the urine. This is to ward off other males and to let females know that there is an eligible stud in the area.

·         They are often unkempt as they will spend many hours patrolling their territory and very little time grooming.

A male cat should be neutered as soon as possible, before reaching sexual maturity to prevent any unwanted behaviours.

Rudolph had been straying for many months before he came into our care. Rudolph has the typical tom cheeks we see in entire males. He is currently reserved will be leaving us very soon. Now neutered he should enjoy a stress free life in a home!
 
Entire males will roam and often injure themselves leading to expensive vet bills.

·         Entire males are more likely to suffer from a road traffic accident as they will spend a large quantity of their time outside.

·          They are at a higher risk of contracting life threatening diseases such as FIV and FeLV from fighting and mating with other cats.

·         They are at a higher risk of developing tumours and cancers. Particularity testicular cancer.

·         They may experience higher levels of stress due to sexual frustrations which can lead to behavioural issues and stress related cystitis.


Neutering your cat has many health benefits and is also beneficial to your cat’s mental welfare

·         Neutered males are less likely to roam and make for more homely cats.

·         They are less likely to fight which greatly reduces the risk of them contracting serious and life threatening diseases.

·         They are less likely to spray. The smell of their urine should decrease immensely.

This is Garfield. Garfield came into care as a stray and had been living outside for some time. Garfields eyelashes had grown inwards causing him pain. It is not known how long he would have been suffering from prior to arriving at the centre. He has had surgery on his eyes to correct this and he is healing well. He is awaiting a second surgery and is not currently available for adoption.
 
The cost of neutering varies depending on location. The average cost for a male cat is usually around £30 - £60. Cats protection can offer financial assistance to owners on benefits or low income. For more details visit www.cats.org.uk/neutering or telephone 03000 12 12 12.



Friday, 22 December 2017

2017: A Year of Sucess!

 
We have had an extremely busy and successful year here at Cats Protection Bridgend and we have had many memorable cats come and go through the centre. We wanted to share with you some of our highlights of the year of cats who found their forever homes and beat the odds.
 
 
Willow:
 
Willow made the national news in Summer this year when she was tipped out of a wood recycling plant truck delivering woodchip at a site near by. A man noticed her and rushed her over to us. We really didn't think Willow was going to make it even on the car journey to the vets but after an X-ray and a few tests it was found out she had had a small head trauma but suffered no broken bones. We kept a close eye on Willow for the next few weeks and the cat carers spent time each day teaching Willow to learn how to eat, play and purr again! She became incredibly confident and affectionate and got the all clear from the vets ready to find her new start.


 


Willow.


Willow the day she was found.

Willow settled into her new home!

Bear:
 
Bear was a firm favourite here at the centre this year, he came into us in April this year after his owner suffered an allergy to his beautiful fur. We discovered that bear was totally blind but had managed his whole 5 years well so far as an Indoor cat. Bear was incredibly shy at first but after gaining our trust he turned out to be a total love bug who adored attention and being groomed. Bear has now found his happy ending living locally with his new best canine pal. 
 
 
Bear

 

Ushi and Ursa:
 
Ushi and Ursa came into the centre with 10 other cats from the same household. They had such severe flu which caused their eyes to be damaged causing them a lot of pain. This lead them to have one eye each removed. The girls were so shy and scared at first but a few days after their operation they were totally new personalities! They had become loving and trusting and now both live in their new home together. 
 
Ushi and Ursa: Before vs After.

Bruiser:
 
Bruiser was our gentle giant of 2017. He came from a multi-cat household and had a serious eye issue where his eye lashes had grown inwards and were causing him pain. After trying treatment the only thing we could do for Bruiser was to give him two surgeries on his eyes to remove the lashes that were causing him distress. He was so brave and friendly during his whole ordeal and we were so happy that after a long time spent with us at the centre, he finally found his forever home. 
 
Bruiser Before

Bruiser after his operation


Bruiser after.


Sassy:
Sassy came in to us found as a stray, she was found in Port Talbot and bought into us in a very sorry state. We managed to locate her owners however they knew she had gone missing as she ran away after she no longer liked the new baby in the house or the neighbourhood cats. After much discussion they had to make the sad and hard decision let us take care of her from here and find her a new home. Sassy had developed hyperthyroidism in which she had to have one of her thyroid glands removed. Throughout the whole time here Sassy remained fabulous and an incredibly sweet, loving cat. We are happy to say Sassy is well and truly settled into her new home living out her twilight years.


Sassy


Sassy settled in her new loving home.


CP Turns 90:

This year Cats Protection also celebrated it's wonderful 90th Birthday! We here at Bridgend celebrated in style with a 1930's themed bash. Thankyou to everybody who came and supported and helped out - we managed to raise almost £3000 on the day. 



We would like to say a huge thankyou from everyone at the centre to all our supporters, volunteers and adopters this year, we have homed over 1460 cats and kittens and look forward to homing many more in 2018!


Have a great festive period and best wishes for the new year.

X


Friday, 14 July 2017

Obesity and Overfeeding in Cats

As an adoption centre we are seeing increasing numbers of overweight and obese cats being brought in for rehoming. Many owners are unaware of the harm that overfeeding, or feeding an inappropriate diet, can do to their pets. It can be a long process to get them back to a healthy weight, and this is particularly difficult in the centre environment where they have less freedom of movement and get less exercise than they would in the home. We can keep them on a restricted diet, but they often become frustrated in the pen environment, and need lots to do to distract them from thinking about food! So how can owners prevent their cats from becoming overweight in the first place?


Cats are carnivores, and need a balanced diet with the correct amount of nutrients, as well as regular exercise and opportunity to display their natural behaviours in order to maintain a healthy weight. They have a much higher protein requirement than other mammals so meat is an essential part of their diet (cats should not be kept on a ‘vegetarian’ diet). However, this does not mean they should only be fed wet food. The easiest way to ensure they get the right balance of protein, vitamins and minerals; and to keep their teeth in good condition, is to feed them on a ‘complete’ dry food diet, with good quality wet food a few times a week.

Do’s and Don’ts
Do choose a good quality complete pet food
Do provide fresh water and change it daily
Do follow the feeding guidelines on the packaging, and weigh your cat regularly to ensure they are getting the right amount of food for their size
Do ensure your cat gets regular exercise. This can be playing in the garden, playing with toys or other cats, hunting etc. and can be encouraged using puzzle feeder balls so they have to work for their food!
Do Not overfeed – too much food is just as harmful as too many treats and can lead to obesity which can cause many other health problems
Do Not give supplements unless recommended by the vet – these can cause a dietary imbalance and may be harmful
Do Not give cats dog food – the balance of nutrients is not suitable for a cats dietary needs.
Do Not give cats milk – many cats are lactose intolerant and can get a bad belly from it, and it is very high in calories
Do Not give cats ‘people food’ – even a small treat can be a huge amount of calories to a cat!




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This chart demonstrates how much a ‘small treat’ can mean in terms of a cat’s daily calories.
 
Obesity
Obesity in cats is very serious. It stops them being able to carry out natural behaviours such as playing, hunting, and grooming as well as being a risk factor for many other health problems! This can include liver disease, diabetes, skin conditions, joint pain and urinary problems.
Indoor cats are particularly prone to obesity because they tend to get less exercise than those which go exploring and hunting in the great outdoors! It is important to provide indoor cats with lots of stimulation in the form of toys, scratching posts, puzzle feeders, etc. and to be very strict and avoid overfeeding so that they maintain a good weight.
Cats are defined as overweight when they are 15% over the ideal body weight, and obese at 30% over the ideal body weight. Ideally you should be able to feel your cat’s ribs easily when you stroke the body lightly, and should be able to see a clear waistline when you look at them from above.

This chart shows how a cat’s body condition can be measured.
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If you think your cat is overweight, it is always best to consult a vet so they can advise you on the best way to control their calorie intake, and increase their exercise. This will usually involve a special low calorie diet, weighing or measuring food before it is given, and things like puzzle feeders or interactive toys to encourage more exercise. Overweight cats should never be put on a ‘crash diet’ or starved, as this can be very harmful. Instead the best way is a gradual reduction – it can take up to a year for a severely overweight cat to reach its ideal body weight. But the health benefits to your cat will make it all worth it, and they will thank you for it J
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For more information please read the Essential Guide on Feeding and Obesity which can be found here: http://www.cats.org.uk/uploads/documents/cat-care-leaflets-2013/EG04_Feeding_and_obesity.pdf


 
 
And the Understanding Feline Origins Interactive Tool which can be found here: http://learnonline.cats.org.uk/content/ufo