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Cat World — Issue 479 — February 2018

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Catworld
DON?T MISS ALL THE TOP CAT COLUMNISTS ... & LEADING FELINE EXPERTS
www.catworld.co.uk
UK?S FAVOURITE CAT MAGAZINE FOR OVER 36 YEARS
Valentine
SPECIAL
�99 FEBRUARY 2018 ISSUE 479
Affairs of
the heart
WHY LOVE FOR
YOUR FELINE
RUNS SO DEEP
SENSITIVE SOULS
A celebration
of some special
feline talents
FORGOTTEN HERO
How one cat helped
the space race
FAT CATS
ARE WE TO
BLAME?
1
TEDDY BEAR TIMES
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28
February 2018 ? Issue 479
To reach us: Call +44 (0)1903 884988.
Or write to: The Editor, Cat World,
PO Box 2258, PULBOROUGH RH20 9BA
Great Britain
email: support@ashdown.co.uk
Website: www.catworld.co.uk
US office: Ashdown Inc., 68132 250th
Avenue, Kasson, MN 55944, USA.
Tel: 507 634 3143
email: usoffice@ashdown.co.uk
Editor: Jill Mundy
email: jill@ashdown.co.uk
Advertisement sales:
UK office: Maria Fitzgerald
Email: maria@ashdown.co.uk
US office: Sara Vix
Email: sara@ashdown.co.uk
Design: Richard Jennings &
Wendy Crosthwaite
Subscriptions:
UK: support@ashdown.co.uk
US: usoffice@ashdown.co.uk
Published by ashdown.co.uk. ISSN 0961 - 0944
Distributed to the newstrade by Comag.
Subscription prices:
One year: (12 issues) UK �.99.
European and worldwide prices will be
adjusted to local currencies. See online for
details at www.catworld.co.uk or please
call +44 (0)1903 884988. All of our subscriptions are handled by us at CW.
theinsidetrack
4 MEWS ROUND
The latest press roundup
44 MEWS ROUND EXTRA
6 VETERINARY
Regular checks are a must
45 KITTY COVERS
8 BIG CATS
The remarkable Snow Leopard
46 BEREAVEMENT
10 SENIOR CATS
48 BOARDING HOUSE DIARY
12 CATALIST
50 SHOW TIME
14 KATY EDGE
52 FELINE BEREAVEMENT
16 FELINE LOVE AFFAIR
54 CONFESSIONS OF A CAT LOVER
20 DENTAL CARE
56 REMEMBRANCE
24 SENSITIVE SOULS
57 RESCUE NEWS
28 MEET THE BREED
58 GORDY & ME
32 MY SHOW TIME
60 EXPERTS
34 ARE WE TO BLAME?
62 NATURAL HEALTH
36 BIG CATS
64 NURSE?S NOTES
38 RESCUE CATS
65 PHOTO CAMPAIGN
41 BIG CATS
66 REMEMBRANCE
42 POSTER PUSS
68 CATS ON THE COUCH
Focus on CKD
Gifts to show you care
Purr and simple
Encouraging the human-feline bond
Top tips for teeth
Special feline talents
Celebrating the Sphynx
One owner?s show experience
www.catworld.co.uk
Postmaster: Send address corrections to Ashdown Inc, 68132
250th Avenue, Kasson, MN 55944, USA. Canada Post International Publications Mail - Sales Agreement No. 546038.
All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without the
written permission of the publisher is prohibited. All editorial
contributions are welcomed by Cat World but material is
accepted solely on the basis that the author accepts the assessment of the Publisher as to its commercial value.
All material submitted to the magazine for publication in
whatever form is accepted solely on the basis that copyright
in the work will be vested in the publisher who assumes all
rights worldwide, in all forms and in all media.
� copyright ashdown.co.uk
Are we responsible for feline obesity?
Help is needed for lion rescue
Two blind kittens ready to rehome
Shared enrichment
A Valentine gift for you
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More feline news and gossip
Two new books for your shelf
A story of loss straight from the heart
Two cats that are chalk and cheese
Beautiful show cats from Scotland
Cats need to grieve too
Rules apply to all visitors
Memories are good for the soul
Fun ways to raise funds
The benefits of alternative therapy
Don?t worry, ask us
Nature and medicine working together
How many teeth?
Share your special cats with NOAH
Loss is painful but mementoes can help
Make vet visits easier for all
C AT W O R L D
18/12/2017 12:50
afurrywarmwelcome
I always start a new year with
mixed emotions. It?s not that I?m
missing the year just finished
(sometimes I?ve been glad to get
rid of it!) but I feel I should try
to make promises to improve or
achieve things but know that they
won?t all happen. In fact will any of
them happen? I hate the term ?New Year Resolutions? as it makes you feel obliged to make huge
announcements and there always seems to be a
bit of ?one-upmanship? in them. Most have already
gone by the wayside by now anyway!
However, making changes for the better, to improve our own life or that of our pets, should definitely be encouraged. Just making a small promise,
like playing with your cat for an extra few minutes
each day or making sure the washing up is done
and toys put away at night can have a huge impact.
Of course making sure our pets are well cared
for and healthy should always be top of our priority list so if you only make one promise as 2018
starts, make that to take your pet for her annual
vet check. Knowing she is happy and healthy will
make the rest of the year even better.
As February approaches, I hope you have a lot
of lovely times ahead with your feline in 2018.
Till next time
Jill & the team
8
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70 FORGOTTEN FELINE HERO
How one cat helped the space race
72 BEDROOM BEHAVIOUR
42
Are your cats allowed or banned?
74 SHOW DATES
Forthcoming dates for your diary
75 PASHA & TANNI
More antics from the Siamese boys
76 FUN PAGE
Time to relax a little
77 SIGNS OF AFFECTION
Cats show they love us too
78 SHOWING THE LOVE
Back to basics
82 TAIL END
Want to write or report
for CW? We?d love to
hear from you. Email
jill@ashdown.co.uk
Long drive but he was worth every mile
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18/12/2017 12:50
THE
MEWS
ROUND
OUR ROVING REPORTERS BRING YOU ALL THE CAT NEWS, GOSSIP, HEALTH AND MORE. EMAIL JILL@ASHDOWN.CO.UK
Award for leading
animal campaigner
Jan Creamer, president of Animal
Defenders International (ADI) has
been honoured in recognition of
ADI?s life-saving work under her
leadership.
Jan was presented with the
Otilia Animal Advocacy award, on
10th December 2017 in Los Angeles. She said: ?It is an honour to
be chosen for this special award.
As a species, we are having a
devastating effect on the lives of
animals and our shared environment, they need our help. Humanity can be a force for good, protecting our planet and the other
species who call it home.?
Jan co-founded ADI in 1990
with her husband and Vice
President Tim Philips, and leads
campaigns from the front.
Moggy motors
A semi-feral kitten had to be rescued
from a car engine when she refused to
give up her warm hiding place. Possibly trying to avoid the cold, the little
black and white kitten jumped into
the car when the driver opened the
door and then managed to crawl her
way behind the glove compartment, in
amongst all the wiring and where she
couldn?t be reached.
Despite several attempts to coax her
out, the vehicle?s owner realised she
was not going to budge and called the
RSPCA By this time the kitty had been
inside the car for four hours.
The RSPCA called on the Fire
Brigade for assistance and the car
was taken to Moss Side Fire Station in
Greater Manchester where they had
Top award for feline-only vet
The purpose-built London Cat Clinic has
won the category for ?best conversion? in the
British Veterinary Hospitals Association 2015-2017 Practice
Design Awards and was also named as Overall Winner. Previously an unused
commercial property, it took three years hard work before the practice opened
in May 2017.
The judges gave particular praise to the clinic?s ?Cat Cubbies? in the consult
rooms. These cat-sized cut-outs in the wall are ideal for
nervous cats to jump or walk up into using three large steps
that they can step or perch on as they choose at any point
along their journey. They have been created specifically to
reduce anxiety during consultations and were hailed by
the judges as an exceptional design feature of the clinic.
The brainchild of leading feline veterinarian, Dr. Jeremy
Campbell, he said: ?To be recognised as the national
winner for the innovative and cat-centric creativity in our
design is a tremendous honour.?
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04-05_CW 479.indd 4
the right cutting tools to release the
kitten safely.
Animal Collection Officer (ACO)
Heather Cook said: ?She wasn?t microchipped and has no known owner,
so possibly she is a stray. She was a
little dehydrated and had some flu-like
symptoms but hopefully with some
treatment and a little TLC she will be
fine.?
New Chief Vet has
work cut out
Christine Middlemiss has been
appointed as the UK?s next Chief
Veterinary Officer (CVO). She
will take over from Nigel Gibbens
who is stepping down at the end
of February 2018.
Christine returns to the UK, following 16 months as CVO in New
South Wales, Australia. She will
take up her role amidst EU Exit
negotiations when the vital role
veterinary surgeons play in so
many areas of political and public
life must be championed and
considered more than ever.
?The work of all vets in government is indispensable in protecting and promoting animal health
and welfare and public health.?
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14/12/2017 13:14
Jewellery launch to
benefit Born Free
New webinars from Feline Friends
Meet Bobby (aka Bobby
Bonkers!), beloved pet of
one of the team at Feline
Friends, a registered
charity dedicated to
helping cat owners better understand the welfare needs of their feline
companions. ?We believe
that we all still have a
great deal to learn about
our cats and their care
and we therefore frequently finance scientific
research in our quest for
more knowledge.? Feline
Friends is financed
solely by its Trustees.
Their latest venture is
a series of free monthly
webinars (presentations
delivered over the inter-
net) through the Feline
Friends Academy. The
first one will take place
on Wednesday 24th
January 2018.
For full details about
the webinars and registering to view them,
please visit http://www.
feline-friends-academy.
com
Searching for the Cat of the Year
Photo: Meet the Masons Photography.
Leading feline welfare charity Cats Protection is urging
cat owners to nominate their pets for their prestigious
National Cat Awards, celebrating stories of devotion,
care and courage.
?Has your cat saved lives? Turned your life around?
If so Cats Protection wants to hear about it,? said Holby
City and Strictly star Chizzy Akudolu. ?As a cat owner
myself, and having attended last year?s awards, I?ve
seen first-hand what a tremendous difference they can
make to people?s lives. So get nominating as this is their
time to shine.?
Entries open on Tuesday 9 January
and owners have until noon on Friday
9 March to nominate their cat for one
of five categories.
See the Cats Protection website
for full details or call 03000 12 12 12.
PAWS FOR
THOUGHT
?The purity of a
person?s heart
can be quickly
measured
by how they
regard cats? Anonymous
A glittering occasion to celebrate
the opening of a Mayfair jewellery boutique has also helped
raise funds to save endangered
big cats and other animals.
Nick Knowles, Tony Mortimer
and a host of other famous celebrities attended the star studded
launch of a new jewellery boutique in London?s Mayfair on 6th
December, standing alongside
representatives from the wildlife charity founded by actress
Virginia McKenna OBE, her late
husband Bill Travers MBE and
their son, Will Travers OBE.
Guests had the opportunity
to be sketched wearing items
of Catherine Best jewellery by
leading artist Scott W Mason, who
was drawing live during the event
and artist Lucy Pratt donated an
original painting to be auctioned
at the event to raise funds for the
charity.
Catherine Best has been a
longstanding supporter of Born
Free?s work and readers may
remember the exquisite Shere
Khan necklace she designed in
2011, based on Rudyard Kipling?s
famous Jungle Book tiger. Inspired by Born Free?s work to
protect endangered tigers in the
wild, the necklace raised a staggering �0,000 for the charity?s
tiger projects when it sold at
auction.
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14/12/2017 13:14
GOOD HEALTH
Don?t let pets miss out on
a regular health check
Cats can be very good at hiding the fact that they are under
the weather until it becomes a serious issue so regular vet
checks are a sensible precaution
A
BY CORINNE MANSFIELD
ll vets offer cats an annual check
up to make sure they are in tip
top condition and to prevent
serious illness. If any problems
are detected, they can hopefully be
treated before they become a major
concern yet many people don?t take
advantage of this. Surely it is better to
prevent any potential pain and suffering for your feline than to watch his
health deteriorate and him become a
shadow of the cat he once was.
What to expect
Firstly, it is important for your cat?s
health and for any others it may come
into contact with to keep vaccinations
up to date. Kittens are immunised at
nine weeks against, feline parvovirus,
feline calicivirus and feline herpes
virus-1 (cat ?flu). A second vaccination
for the same is then given at 12 weeks.
A booster is required 12 months
after this and it is recommended that
cats continue to have a booster vaccine every three years. As they age,
their immunity gradually diminishes so
it is wise to take whatever precautions
you can.
Also, if there is a chance your cat
may need to stay at a boarding cattery for any length of time, he must be
covered by up to date vaccinations or
he will be refused accommodation.
Apart from routine vaccinations if
they are due, you can expect your cat
to have his temperature and respiration rate checked. His ears will be
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examined to make sure there are no
obstructions or ear mites present;
eyes will be checked for discharge or
other abnormalities. Teeth and gums
will also be checked for plaque, tartar
build up or broken edges.
Cats are notoriously fastidious at
keeping their coats groomed but
when it comes to their teeth, things
are a little more difficult. A wild cat will
eat prey that it has hunted and caught,
generally bones and all. The bones
help to keep the teeth clean which in
turn keeps their gums as free from
disease as possible. Our pets eat a
wet diet or a dry diet, neither of which
really look after the teeth adequately
enough to avoid needing a dental
check. Dry food does help as the cat is
forced to chew it more.
Fleas and parasites
Regular preventative treatment
against fleas and worms is a must if
you are to reduce the possible misery
for your cat. The vet can perform a
simple blood test to see if worms are
present and recommend treatment
specifically for felines if the results are
positive.
Similarly, flea treatment should
always be specifically for cats - never
use dog treatment on cats as they
contain a chemical that is very harmful
for felines.
Weight
Your vet will also feel along your
cat?s body to check the glands and
look for the presence of abnormal
lumps while assessing his general
physique.
One of the most important things
your vet will assess is your cat?s
weight. Yes obesity is one of the prevalent problems for pets and humans
at the moment so he could well ask
about your cat?s diet and feeding
routine. However, excess weight gain
or loss of weight can be an underlying
symptom of several diseases and conditions that he will want to test for and
eliminate before advising the appropriate treatment or course of action.
This is also a good time to chat
through any concerns about your cat
with your vet, either medical or behavioural. If your cat?s behaviour has
changed or is causing you concern,
C AT W O R L D
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FEATURE
you could be referred to an animal
behaviourist for more specialist help.
Many will not see you or your cat without veterinary referral.
While some of these things may
sound a little scary, it is much better
to have any medical concerns detected early and treated simply. If left
undiagnosed, your cat could become
very poorly indeed. Add to that the
cost, especially if ongoing treatment
or permanent medication is required,
and not taking your pet for a check
up each year can make life become
rather expensive when it could have
been prevented.
If you are at all concerned about the
checks, ask to have a chat to your vet
or veterinary nurse first as they can
explain the procedures at your surgery
and hopefully put your mind at rest.
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BIG CATS
Snow leopard: the nationa
The terrain and weather conditions may be difficult for humans and certain other
animals but the Himalayas are home to these beautiful and elegant felines
S
now leopards have evolved
to live in the harshest conditions on earth, the Himalayas.
They are the state animal of Himachal
Pradesh, a north Indian state in the
western Himalayas and the national
predator of Pakistan. These cats play a
key role as predator and an indicator
of the health of its high-altitude habitat.
They range across twelve countries including China, Bhutan, Nepal,
India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia
and Mongolia. If they can thrive in the
rocky, steep mountains, so will countless other species and humans who
depend on the rivers flowing down
from the mountains. Snow leopards are
generally found at altitudes between
9000 and 17000 feet and are perfectly
adapted to steep cliff areas, rocky
outcrops and ravines.
A snow leopard lives within a welldefined home range and does not
defend its territory aggressively. They
mark their territories by spraying and
BY YOLANDA WESSELS
depositing urine and are most active
at dawn and dusk.
Appearance
These solitary and highly elusive
felines are perfectly adapted and
camouflaged in this snowy landscape
to ambush unsuspecting prey. Their
thick white, yellowish or soft grey coats
are patterned with dark rosettes and
spots, unique to each individual. The
coats have a dense, woolly undercoat
to protect them against the cold. Even
the wide paws, preventing them from
sinking into the snow, are covered with
fur to keep them warm and to increase
grip. Snow leopards have longer
tails than other big cats that can be
up to one metre in length to help the
leopard balance on steep slopes. It is
thickly covered with fur and used like
a blanket to protect their faces when
they sleep.
Even though they are slightly
smaller than the other big cats, snow
leopards have a powerful build and
strong hind legs, giving them the ability to leap six times the length of their
body. They have small, rounded ears
that help minimise heat loss. Unlike
the other felines, their eyes are usually pale green or grey. They cannot
roar but vocalise by hissing, chuffing,
meowing, growling and wailing.
Hunting
Snow leopards primarily hunt wild
sheep, ibex, argali but also eat smaller
animals like rodents, hares and game
birds. The main prey species, wild
sheep and goat, are threatened by
illegal or unsustainable hunting. They
prefer to ambush their prey from
above and usually spring from a distance of 20 - 50 feet. Prey is killed by a
bite to the neck and dragged to a safe
location for feeding and they are able
to kill animals two to four times their
own weight. They also eat a significant
amount of vegetation, including grass
and twigs.
Reproduction
Snow leopards become sexually
mature at two to three years. Mating season is between January and
March and females give birth to two or
three cubs after a gestation period of
between 90 to 100 days. The cubs will
begin to follow their mother at around
three months and will remain with her
until 18-24 months when they become
independent. Thereafter they will seek
out new hunting grounds. Life expectancy is 15-18 years.
Threats and conservation
As of 2017, the snow leopard is no
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BIG CATS
onal predator of Pakistan
longer considered an endangered
species but it is listed as ?vulnerable?,
with an estimate of 4000 mature adults
in the wild. The species does still remain at risk from a reduction in numbers of its prey and illegal poaching for
its fur and bones.
Other threats include habitat loss,
fragmentation, climate change, hunting
and human wildlife conflict. Snow leopards need vast areas to thrive but with
the expansion of human and livestock
populations and new roads and mines,
their habitat is shrinking.
Climate change poses the greatest
long-term threat as it could result in a
loss of up to 30% of the snow leopard
habitat in the Himalayas alone. Temperatures are on the rise across the
leopard conflict, rural development,
education for sustainable development, stopping mining in fragile snow
leopard habitat and the control of the
illegal wildlife trade. They work with
the goat herders in Mongolia to build
awareness about the plight of the snow
leopard and reduce the killing as retaliation for killing livestock.
As with all big cats, continued monitoring of their habitats and behaviours
will provide necessary information to
help conserve them and protect their
future.
They cannot roar but
vocalise by hissing,
chuffing, meowing,
growling and wailing.
?
?
mountains of Central Asia. The Tibetan
plateau, which is home to more than
half of the remaining leopards, has already become three degrees warmer
in the last two decades.
Snow leopards have long been
killed for their beautiful fur but their
bones and other body parts are used
in Traditional Asian Medicine. Humans
often kill snow leopards in retaliation
for attacking their livestock.
Numerous agencies are working
to conserve the snow leopard and
its threatened mountain ecosystems.
The WWF focus on reducing human-
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SENIOR FOCUS
Felines & chronic
kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease affects about a third of cats over the
age of 10. Discover how the disease is diagnosed and treated,
with ideas on how you can make your cat?s life easier
A
DR SARAH CANEY
cat with undiagnosed Chronic
Kidney Disease (CKD) may be
feeling and acting unwell, a little
bit sick and not the cat they were
previously. This is due to a build-up
of toxins in the blood. The kidneys
are important organs in the body with
their primary role to excrete waste
products via the urine.
In cats diagnosed with CKD, the kidneys lose their ability to concentrate
urine so it becomes more watery and
dilute and they need to drink more to
remain hydrated.
CKD is a common disease and is
thought to affect about a third of cats
over the age of 10. The most obvious
signs that something is amiss are:
? Increased thirst/increased frequency/volume of urination
? Reduced appetite
? Weight loss
? Nausea/vomiting
? Lethargy/depression and generally
?out of sorts?
If any of these signs are spotted, it
is a good idea to ask your vet to check
your cat. Unfortunately, many cats with
early stages of CKD can appear to
be completely healthy. Regular health
checks (every three to six months in
cats over the age of 11 years), blood
and urine checks can help to make an
early diagnosis of CKD in these cats.
The good news is that if they are
diagnosed with CKD, there is a lot that
can be done to help the cat have a
fulfilling life.
10
Diagnosis
To confirm if a cat has CKD, a blood
and urine sample will need to be
taken. The urine sample can be collected at home or the vet can collect a
sample directly from the cat?s bladder.
The sample is then tested for concentration (urine specific gravity).
The blood levels of urea, creatinine
and SDMA are checked ? these are all
normally excreted by the kidney so
the presence of them in high levels in
the blood indicates the kidneys may
not be functioning as they should. In
cats with confirmed CKD, more detailed blood and urine tests are helpful
to identify complications of the CKD,
such as anaemia and high phosphate
levels.
Regular health checks are a good
way of catching kidney disease early,
with an annual blood and urine test
recommended for cats over the age
of 11.
Treatment
There are a few strategies that are
applied to all cats with CKD; the most
proven treatment is to feed the cat a
specialised kidney diet which contains
a lower level of phosphate. Cats with
CKD are vulnerable to accumulating
phosphate since this is excreted by
the kidneys. Phosphate accumulation
is very damaging to the body and hastens progression of kidney disease. If it
is not possible to feed a special kidney
diet, then phosphate binders can be
added to the cat?s food to help reduce
phosphate levels.
A senior diet is better than a standard adult cat diet since it has lower
phosphate levels and avoiding dairy
and cheese treats, which are high in
phosphate, is also important. Feeding
a specialised renal (kidney) diet has
been proven to prolong lifespan sigAbove left: Refractometer: A refractometer
measures urine concentration and is vital in
the diagnosis of CKD. Cats with CKD have
more dilute and watery urine.
Left: Dipstick: A urine dipstick test is helpful
to check for other illnesses such as diabetes
mellitus.
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SENIOR FOCUS
nificantly for cats suffering from CKD
and is, therefore, the ideal diet if at all
possible.
Your vet may prescribe treatments
aimed at slowing the progression of
CKD, such as benazepril and telmisartan. There are also treatments that can
help improve the appetite of your cat,
reduce nausea and vomiting and treat
other known complications of CKD,
such as high blood pressure and anaemia. Your vet will be able to help you
decide which are the most appropriate
for your cat. Most treatments are often
successful and the condition can be
managed well.
Hand feeding may
encourage appetite
It is important to ensure that your cat
remains well hydrated, so try mixing
water into wet food, having multiple
drinking sources available to your cat
or having a water fountain to encourage drinking.
Download a free guide on encour-
aging your cat to drink more at www.
vetprofessionals.com
Initially it may be a bit frustrating
while you are working with your vet
to find a treatment option that works
for your cat; however, there are many
and varied things to try so don?t be
discouraged. Many cats with CKD do
very well and can live for many years
after diagnosis.
More information about managing
your cat with CKD, how to transition
to a renal diet and how to encourage
appetite can be found by registering
and watching the webinar hosted by
Dr Sarah Caney. This can be found
by following this link: http://ow.ly/cLa030grSYk
There is also a book available to
purchase from www.vetprofessionals.com titled, ?Caring for a Cat with
Chronic Kidney Disease?.
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theCAT
WANT IT.. NEED IT.. LOVE IT.. WE SHOWCASE THE PURRFECT
Why not treat yourself or your feline to something
special to celebrate Valentine?s Day then snuggle
up on the sofa together for the purrrrfect date night
Cat Head key ring
Kitty?s a-head of the rest when it comes
to organising your keys! This brassplated kitty shaped metal keyring not
only looks great but its twistable barrel
lock and large design ensures attaching
keys is easy and finding them in your
bag - even easier! A super cute ode
to kitties everywhere and a practical
addition to your handbag. 8.5cm wide.
Price: �75 (approx.); Yellow Octopus
Felt cat storage bag
Who couldn?t resist these sweet little cat storage bags!
Handmade in Nepal from soft wool felt with the cutest ears,
the bags are perfect for storing small toys, hair accessories or jewellery, whilst looking adorable in your room.
17cm diameter x 13cm high. Price: �.00; Bobby Rabbit
Cat Walk
Purrfect Ladies 6 Odd Sock Gift Set
A set of 6 socks, each with a different cat-tastic
pattern, so every sock is a pair with every other! You?ll never have to hunt for a pair of socks
in the morning ever again. More time to concentrate on loving cats, methinks. This sock set
comes beautifully gift boxed, ready to impress
the crazy cat lady in your life. 79% Cotton, 20%
Polyamide, 1% Elastane. UK size 4-8. Machine
wash. Price: �.50 (approx.); Yellow Octopus
Allergy to cats? Enjoy
this Cats blanket by
Pad and keep warm
as well. Price: �.50
(approx.); Einrichten
Design
Cairo Cats silk scarf
This beautiful mustard coloured scarf with printed burgundy borders is made of pure oyster
silk with hand rolled hems. Comes in gift box.
62cm x 62cm. Price: �.00; Jessica Russell Flint
12
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TAL ST
RRFECT PRODUCTS FOR YOU & YOUR LOVED ONE
O Cat pendant
Eco friendly, wooden cat necklace by Bird &
Blossom. Handcrafted in Australia. Length 50cm. Antique brass embellishment. Price:
�.50 (approx.); Hattie and the Wolf
Ring with cat?s nose
Leo is a sly, lively ginger cat. His strong
personality and his fluffy red coat make
him really look like a lion (hence his
name: Leo). He?s definitely a leader.
Rose gold over brass. 25mm x 25mm
approx. with cats? ears and engraved
nose. Price: �.00 (approx.); Kiki Jewellery Designs
Two cute cats
Children?s vinyl of two cute cats, one pink and the
other green, with the text ?love? on top of them.
Decorate your children?s play area with an original sticker of your favourite animal. Self-adhesive
high-quality vinyl, easy to apply on any smooth
surface, whether a wall, cabinet or door. Printed
on matt material to avoid reflections and glare
problems. Price: ?2.50; Tenvinilo S.L.
THE CAT wall clock
in aluminium
THE CAT is a wall clock with an elegant but also fun
design, precious in its materials and playful in its shapes.
Curated in every detail, it is equipped with a quartz
mechanism and is packaged in and elegant box. Made in
Italy. Price: �.00 (approx.); Round Animals Design
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ON THE EDGE
THE ADVENTURES OF TWENTY-SOMETHING CAT LOVER KATY EDGE
Purr and simple?the ability to purr and the reasons why cats do it vary widely from
cat to cat - take my three for example, who couldn?t be more different
I
think you can tell a lot
about a cat by their
purr. Some cats purr
very rarely, for instance,
and you feel truly privileged when you hit that
exact spot behind the ear
and they start to rumble.
Some, like my tuxedo puss
Happee, purr delicately
when it is socially acceptable to do so (?This fuss
is mediocre at best but
convention dictates that I
should respond, so? *eye
roll* ? prrrrrrrrr??).
Others, like Charlie and
Widget, are ? if you?ll
pardon the expression ?
man-whores who purr as
soon as someone talks abstractly about the concept
of food.
When my boyfriend and
I started fostering kittens,
we first had the experience of entering a room
and being purr-mobbed
by five tiny kitties at once.
As flattering as this is, it?s
a bit like meeting a young
child who, having laid
eyes on you two minutes
previously, declares you
are their FAVOURITE
EVER PERSON
because you
have cool hair
and Pringles.
My three resident cats have
their own purring
habits. Happee, as I said,
is a follower of etiquette.
She?s big on subtlety;
she says her pleases and
thank yous (in cat language, obvs), but if looks
could kill, there would be
a trail of dogs, spiders,
foster kittens
and innocent
postmen in her
wake. Many a
visitor has been
scorned by
Happee, without
even realising it, when she
allows them to fuss her
but remains silent. I can
practically hear her saying
?I will tolerate your prodding, human but it will be a
snowy day in hell before I
will vibrate my diaphragm
in acknowledgement.?
Everyone who?s met my
ginger cat, Widget, knows
that any sound he emits
is an aural assault. Prison
overcrowding would be
quickly reduced if offenders were subjected to
looped recordings of his
meows instead. Entire civilisations have collapsed
after hearing
him yowl*. Now,
it isn?t easy for a
purr to be offensive but somehow Widget
manages it: his
nasal whine
sounds uncomfortable at
best and like a souped-up
motorbike engine at worst.
Unfortunately, Widget
is a strong advocate of
the ?solicitation purr?. Few
things are more offputting,
when you?re
munching your
way through a
tasty lasagne,
than an uninvited motorbike engine
revving at your feet. (That?s
another thing ? lasagne.
He loves it. We think he
was Garfield in another
life.) Yet rev he will, as if
purring is a self-fulfilling
prophecy that will result in
food being given. Spoiler:
it doesn?t.
Charlie, though. Oh,
Charlie. Charlie doesn?t
understand much in life.
He?s a happy-go-lucky
sort of soul who is pleasantly surprised when good
things happen to him. If
Charlie thinks you should
know about something, he
will yell about it; if Charlie
is glad about something,
he will purr about it. That
?thing? might be the fact
that it is sunny. (The other
day, I watched him start to
purr when Happee started
cleaning her foot.)
We think Charlie lacks
the part of the brain that
creates negative associations. Positive associations,
no problem. He?s currently
on medication for suspected asthma and instead of
remembering that medicine cupboard = pill being
poked down his throat,
he remembers medicine
cupboard = treat. So if you
walk past the medicine
cupboard, he purrs. My
vet didn?t believe that he
would let her do anything
? yes, anything ? if she
gave him treats; 10 seconds later, he?s chowing
down on some Dreamies,
quite oblivious to the
thermometer lodged in his
rectum. Purring throughout, of course.
I?ve known a lot of
cats and a lot of purring styles over the years.
I?ve met loud purrers and
quiet purrers, enthusiastic
purrers and shy purrers.
I?ve met barely-there
purrers and purrers who
could raze buildings to
the ground. I think it was
Samuel Johnson who said:
?When a cat is tired of
purring, he is tired of life?.
Or something like that.
Anyway, what I?m trying
to say is, if a cat is purring ? however grudging,
or whiny, or random ?
all?s right with the world.
Things are going to be OK.
*Nearly.
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Get quote
Feline Health Issues
you need to be aware of
?Caring for Senior Cats?
Go to www.feline-friends-academy.com
for our free webinars
Registered Charity No. 1125729
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HUMAN-FELINE BOND
A love affair that
lasts a lifetime
Love works both ways and for every ounce of love we
give our cats, they repay us tenfold - just as long as
we remember they?re in charge, of course!
A
BY MANDY WILLETT
nyone who owns a cat, whatever
their age, will show their pet
unashamed love and will enjoy
unconditional love in return. It?s
all about that special human-feline
bond.
It is common for those of us who
own cats to say that we love them ?
at least you?d hope so. While some
people will talk about pets in terms of
them being an animal ? ?they?re fine,
they?re a cat? ? others consider them
just as important as the humans in the
family. Enthusiastic cat owners can often be heard referring to their cats as,
?my children,? or ?my boy?. We should
recognise that these are just terms of
endearment and affection and not a
sign of ill-placed worship.
We know that cats are not our children or human in any way but we do
consider them to be part of our family;
we worry about their health, happiness, and well-being just as we worry
about our human children. There?s not
so much wrong with this if it means an
animal plays such an important part in
a family?s life that it gets attention and
caring.
Taking responsibility for adopting
a cat is a serious matter - after all you
could have that little life with you for
approximately 18 years. Therefore it
is a responsibility and commitment
almost as serious as adopting a child.
There was a time when cats lived in
the barn, ate rodents and drank milk
but in recent decades the whole pet
16
industry has made it their mission
to encourage us to buy toys, beds,
blankets and accessories for our feline
family members. It has worked.
Let common sense prevail
Considering your cat to be semihuman by buying it Christmas presents and referring to it as ?your baby?
or ?child? is mainly, but not solely, a
girl thing. It can be a win-win situation when woman and cat live alone.
The cat thrives on the constant attention and pampering and the ?mum?
gets a warm glow from looking after a
creature that gives her unconditional
love and companionship. Sounds like
the ideal lifestyle. These are not ?mad,
loner, cat ladies? that we are talking
about, they are professional, sociable,
funny, intelligent women who simply
choose to have cats in their life.
Very often, of course, they are not
single women but are either married
or cohabiting. Cat ?mums and dads?
gather regularly on forums to share
stories, ask questions and post photos
of the ?furry children?. It has been well
reported that cat videos are amongst
the most popular on the internet. Owners comfort each other over illness
and loss and celebrate new arrivals.
They are, quite rightly, devoted to the
cats and happy to tell everyone about
them.
Behaviourists, through experience,
will cringe at cat owners ?humanising?
their pets. It is through this mentality
that humans will put unrealistic expectation upon their cats and force them
to live in a way that is not natural for a
loner feline. However the cat owners
we are talking about here are aware
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HUMAN-FELINE BOND
of that trap. Not for them the dressing
in kitty clothes or expecting kitty to
be waiting by the front door with their
slippers when they come home; these
cat devotees will have read so many
articles and books on cat behaviour
and chatted to so many other cat lovers
online that they are aware of the pitfalls.
What we are celebrating ? and
should continue to celebrate ? is the
human-pet bond. How does the bond
with a cat actually form? The bond can
be formed in weeks, months or years.
It evolves and changes over time.
Sometimes a connection is made in
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HUMAN-FELINE BOND
?Playing with your cat and his toys helps
to establish an enjoyable connection.?
just days. Other times it is a long, slow
but rewarding journey. You and other
family members have become emotionally involved with your cat. Maybe
you spent time and energy picking out
food, toys and litter. You do everything
to make the cat comfortable in your
home and garden. You look forward to
coming home to see the cat. You may
have chosen the cat?s name and you
certainly have given him a nickname
or two. You have spent time together
and even fallen asleep together ? you
have a bond.
Your health
It has become fairly common
knowledge that cats are great therapy
for nursing home residents and it is
a joy to see eyes light up when a cat
is brought in by a visitor. Even more
fortunate are those patients of health
care facilities who have a cat in residence. Try petting your kitty when you
18
are stressed from the activities of an
unusually busy day. You?ll find those
tense shoulder and neck muscles
relaxing, your heart rate slowing and
an intense feeling of pleasure flowing
through your entire body, as all those
stresses flow out and relaxation flows
in. Those are the benefits of therapy
cats to nursing home residents and
health care facilities, and they can be
equally applied to the rest of us.
Cats are good for children too. A
well brought up child who has been
taught how to respect and look after
a pet learns value, responsibility and
reward as a result. They share secrets,
success and failures and are armed
with the skills to learn about bonds and
ultimately, loss early on in life. Truthfully, most humans who believe in some
form of life after death cannot imagine
such a life without the joy of reuniting
with all our loved ones, including our
feline companions.
Encouraging a bond
Fun time - playing with your cat and
his toys helps to establish an enjoyable
connection.
Quiet time - after the fun comes
the rest! Both of you can curl up in a
favourite spot and trust each other
enough to down your guard and relax.
Affection - a tickle under the chin,
a firm but gentle stroke or a soft kiss
from you could be rewarded by a contented purr or kitty head-butt to signify
mutual appreciation.
Routine - felines love an established routine, whether it?s being fed,
groomed, cuddled or played with and
the consistency provides stability and
confidence.
Concern - you can grow even closer
when your cat is hurt or sick. Although
cats don?t like trips to the vet, they
might realise that their pain or discomfort lessens or goes away as a result of
it and that you are trying to help.
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Cats Have Sta?
The Sa� & Misa Diaries
By Ingrid Hooper
Out now in paperback
and for Kindle.
www.CatsHaveSta? .co.uk
8167_Johnsons_Your Cat ad_July 2010_Layout 1 27/07/2010 15:24 Page 1
Follow Pasha & Tanni?s kitten adventures on their blog
?eyes and ears and nose and mouth
available from your local pet shop or garden centre
Johnson?s Veterinary Products Ltd, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B75 7DF
visit: www.jvp.co.uk or call: 0121 378 1684
Help us to prevent
animal suffering
A great many animals suffer needlessly due to our lack of
knowledge and understanding of their needs and how best
to meet them. UFAW is unique, promoting research and
education, developing practical solutions to welfare problems
and disseminating the results worldwide through publications,
workshops and international conferences. Please help us with
a donation ? you can make a real and lasting difference for
millions of animals now and in the future.
Universities Federation for Animal Welfare
The Old School, Brewhouse Hill,
Wheathampstead, Herts AL4 8AN
t: 01582 831818 ? e: ufaw@ufaw.org.uk
www.ufaw.org.uk
Registered charity no: 207996
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DENTAL CARE
Care for feline teeth early
for better protection
Dental disease is one of the most common feline problems
and can occur in cats of any age. Early protection could
save pain and expensive veterinary treatments later on
d
BY SONJA K STEINER
ental hygiene is a very important aspect of maintaining your
cat?s health and wellbeing and
wherever possible should be
introduced at an early age so they can
get used to a routine but of course this
takes time and practice. Dental problems can develop from a young age
and the severity can vary; although a
cat can develop dental disease at any
stage of their lives, it is more likely to
20
happen as a cat gets older. Cats are
very good at hiding signs of discomfort, so an owner may not realise there
is a problem until their cat starts to
show symptoms.
This is why it is so important to take
your cat for an annual check-up. At the
time of their vaccination the vet should
examine their mouth and if there are
any concerns they may ask to see your
cat sooner than their next annual visit.
If, for whatever reason,
the vet simply vaccinates,
do ask them if they can check
their teeth; admittedly some cats are
more co-operative than others!
It is important to recognise that
problems with the teeth and gums can
have an impact on the cat?s body other
than the obvious symptoms of bad
breath, pain and infection. Gums have
a rich blood supply and bacteria can
be readily transported to other organs
potentially causing damage, so it is
important for your cat to have regular
check-ups and treatment if necessary.
If your cat is showing any of the
signs listed, please do take them to
see their vet for a check-up.
Here is a guide of what to look for
and why you should be concerned,
plus advice on how you can help to
keep your cat?s teeth in the best possible condition.
Some of the symptoms of dental
problems may include:
? Bad breath
? Bleeding gums
? Discomfort when eating
? Drooling
? Red/inflamed gums
? Reduction in appetite leading to
weight loss
? Your cat not grooming as often
The most common dental problems are:
? Plaque, tartar, gingivitis, feline
resorptive lesion (neck lesion) and
periodontitis/peridontal disease
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Plaque
Plaque is bacteria that develops
on the surface of the teeth and whilst
initially it can?t be seen (unless of
course you use a staining solution) it is
the first stage and the most common
underlying cause of dental disease.
As the plaque layer grows it looks like
there is a white or grey film over the
teeth. If the plaque is not removed,
then it will inflame the gums, causing
gingivitis which is a reddening of the
gums around the tooth. Plaque can be
removed by brushing.
Tartar
If the plaque is not removed it becomes hardened due to the deposits
of substances such as calcium. Tartar
appears as a yellow or brown layer on
the surface of the tooth and because
it is so hard it cannot be removed by
simply brushing the teeth and a dental
scaling performed by your vet under a general anaesthetic would be
required.
Gingivitis
Inflammation of the gums, if left
untreated, can become very painful
and progress to periodontal disease,
leading to tooth loss. Gingivitis is generally classified in three stages: mild,
moderate and severe. Mild gingivitis
is relatively common but it should be
monitored closely. It is caused by bacterial plaque in the mouth and looks
red along the gum line. Depending on
the severity of the condition, treatment
may be required.
Feline Resorptive Lesion
(Neck Lesion)
This is an erosion in the tooth and
is caused when the tooth enamel and
dentine dissolve, leaving a hole around
the gum line but in some cats, it can
also be found below the gum line.
This can be very painful for the cat.
When the tooth is examined it can look
like there is a small pink/red piece of
gum growing out of the tooth but it is
actually the gum that is inflamed due
to having a cavity. These lesions are
usually seen on the molars and premolars and can affect cats of any age. It is
important that it is treated and your vet
will have to anaesthetise the cat in order to extract the whole tooth and root
as the hole cannot be filled. Your vet
should then see your cat on a regular
basis so they can monitor for any signs
of other teeth being affected.
Periodontitis/Peridontal Disease
Is where there is an accumulation
of plaque and tartar which affects the
teeth and the structures around the
teeth that support and keep them
healthy. There are other factors that can
affect the development of the disease
such as:
? Diabetes
? Diet
? Genetics
? Infectious diseases/Viral infections
such as Feline Immune Deficiency
Virus (FIV), Feline Leukaemia (FeLV)
and Feline Calicivirus (FCV)
? Kidney disease
? Lack of dental care
? Liver disease
? Trauma
? Tooth Alignment
Periodontal disease is an advanced
form of gum disease and is generally
found in older cats. The cat?s gums
are inflamed and often recessed, the
tissues that surround and support the
gum are weakened and eventually the
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DENTAL CARE
disease dissolves the bone that is holding them. The teeth then become unstable and the roots become exposed.
There are usually large amounts of
calculus present on the teeth. Bacterial
infection is common and sometimes
pus can be seen surrounding the tooth.
This is a very painful condition for your
cat and unfortunately, extraction of the
affected teeth under anaesthetic is the
only treatment.
Whilst plaque is always present in
a cat?s mouth, the amount produced
can vary from a normal amount to an
excessive amount.
Diet
We know from watching wildlife
programmes that cats in the wild are
ferocious hunters, tearing at meat and
22
crunching on bones, thus keeping
the teeth and gums clean and healthy
(whilst fracturing them at times). Domestic cats are fed either a wet diet,
dry food diet or a mixture of both.
There are special diets available that
help reduce the formation of dental
plaque and tartar build up. This is due
to the shape and size of the kibble as
it has been specifically designed to
encourage chewing.
Cleaning teeth and gums
What you need:
? Toothpaste specifically formulated
for cats (Never use human toothpaste!)
? A finger toothbrush
? A toothbrush especially for cats
The most important thing is to gain
your cat?s confidence; patience as
they say is a virtue. Some owners may
prefer to use a disposable glove when
touching their cat?s mouth, others are
happy not to (make sure your hands
are washed before you begin). Start
by gently rubbing your cat?s teeth and
gums with your finger. Try doing this
for a few seconds at a time so they can
see this will not hurt them and they can
get used to feeling a different sensation then slowly increase the time each
day. Don?t be tempted to rush as it may
stress your cat out and they may try
and resist the next time. Talk to your
cat as you are doing this and praise
them when you have finished.
The next stage is to introduce the
toothpaste, please do not use human
toothpaste - use one which is specifically formulated for cats. Some are
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DENTAL CARE
fish or poultry flavoured and can be
purchased either from your veterinary
practice or on-line veterinary retailers.
Put a small amount of toothpaste on
your finger and gently rub around the
tooth and gum area. If your cat is tolerating this ok, then try using a finger
toothbrush. Again only do this for a few
seconds at a time, in order for them
to get used to it. If your cat is tolerating the finger brush you can always
upgrade to a cat toothbrush. Every cat
is different in what they will tolerate
but if you find that your cat is getting
stressed, then even if you can just get
a small amount of toothpaste into their
mouth it is better than nothing. Try
placing it either on their tongue or
onto their paw so they lick it off.
Ideally, we should aim to brush our
cat?s teeth daily with a toothpaste suitable for cats that helps remove plaque
from the teeth and gum line. By doing
this it reduces the chances of your
cat requiring a dental procedure at
the vets. Unfortunately, adult cats who
have not been introduced to their teeth
being brushed are less likely to be
persuaded to have them done but it is
worth persevering to see if they will
tolerate it.
A mouthwash is also available, this
is placed in your cat?s water bowl once
every 24 hours and works in a similar
way to the toothpaste. This product
contains chlorhexidine which is an
antibacterial agent and helps prevent
the build up of plaque and tartar.
There is a nutritional food supplement that can be added to your cat?s
food. You simply start with a small
amount before using the recommended amount of one scoop daily, added
to either wet or dry food. This product
says it can help to reduce bad breath,
plaque and tartar. I have started Willow
on this, so we will see how he gets on.
Ask your vet for advice.
There are many contributing factors that can lead to dental disease
and many preventative treatments
available that can reduce the risk of
it developing. If you can establish a
regular dental routine early then your
cat is less likely to suffer problems in
the future. Prevention they say is better
than cure.
?
Dental scaling & general anaesthetic
This is a procedure that is
undertaken at the veterinary practice and requires
a full general anaesthetic so
that the teeth can be manually cleaned with an ultrasonic scaling device and
then polish paste applied
afterwards to clean the
teeth. It is important that this
procedure is carried out so
that the dental disease does
not progress further.
Whilst there is no such
thing as a risk-free anaesthesia, measures can be
taken to reduce the risk.
Owners may be asked if
they wish for their cats to
have a pre-anaesthetic
blood test also known as
?pre GA? and whilst this
blood screening is not
mandatory it is especially
recommended for cats in
their senior years. This is
to check the kidney and
liver function and to alert
the vet as to any potential
problems; of course this is
not a guarantee as it does
not show up everything,
such as cardiomyopathy. In
an ideal world, fluids would
be given routinely during
operations to support the
kidneys and liver and are
especially recommended
for cats who have these
problems, as most anaesthetic agents are metabolised by the kidneys and
liver. There will be cases
whereby an owner, for
whatever reason, decides
against fluid therapy so the
veterinary team work hard
to ensure the cat remains
stable throughout the procedure.
Willow had a dental two
weeks ago - he had previously had a routine blood
test so I knew everything
was fine. I asked his vet to
give him fluids to support his kidneys and liver;
thankfully all he needed
was a scale and polish.
Why is fluid therapy
recommended?
During an anaesthetic,
a cat?s blood pressure
can fall which can lead
to a reduced blood supply to certain organs, like
the kidneys. The kidneys
metabolise the anaesthetic
agents and so their function would also reduce if
their blood supply was
compromised. This is the
reason why fluid therapy is
always recommended for
patients undergoing an anaesthetic as it helps to raise
the blood pressure back to
within normal levels and,
in turn their blood supply,
which means the kidneys
continue to function at an
optimum level. If the cat
has a heart condition, then
the amount of fluids administered has to be reduced
to avoid overloading the
patient and causing potential respiratory problems.
The amount of fluids given
therefore must be decided
by the veterinary surgeon.
www.naturesmenu.co.uk
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A sensitive soul
There is no doubt that felines have an air of mystery about them no
matter how well we think we know them; Pat Clements was about to
discover a moggy with hidden talents
D
o you find some stories in life
are very tongue in cheek and, if
pressed, you would probably own
up to doubts as to their authenticity?
But, if we are honest, we prefer to
harbour these happy little stories for the
pleasure they give. I love the thought of a
guardian angel in my pocket, the idea that
all departed animals go to the rainbow
bridge to await our arrival at a later date
and the possibility that loved ones might
just be reincarnated into much-loved pets.
Before you send for the yellow van, I stress
the tongue-in-cheek factor.
Having said this, I was interested to chat
to a lady who professed to be a medium.
She seemed genuine, was very popular
locally and there was no doubting her
homoeopathic medicinal skills. I had gone
into her shop for something that might help
crippling migraine and we fell into conversation. I soon brought animals into our
discussion but was not prepared for her
comments on ginger cats. She explained
at length that ginger felines have a special
empathy with humans. Now, before you
dismiss this as rubbish, read why I was
dumbfounded by this revelation.
Some years back I suddenly found
myself living alone and decided it was
time to surround myself with the animals
I love and which, until that time, had been
denied me. I could have insisted but that
would not have made for a happy and safe
environment for the four-leggeds. Now, I
could please myself. However, I had no
idea how this plan would escalate to the
24
situation today. One moggie became dozens, followed by a pot bellied pig, several
dogs and many assorted others. One day
a man drove a white van into my drive,
opened the back doors and handed me a
rope. I was staggered to find there was a
dilapidated pony on the other end and, at
that moment, decided it was time for me to
move from my eighth of an acre to a smallholding in Wales where the animals could
enjoy life to its fullest.
But I have galloped on ? not on the pony
as he was ex-circus and had not forgotten
a few tricks. The cats began with Holly and
Ivy ? yes, right on Christmas ? two tortie
sisters. Soon afterwards I saw a card in my
local post office advertising grey kittens.
Piper joined the ever-growing band. Three
cats was a nice number!
Offering my secretary, Nicky, a lift home
was not the best idea I ever had as she
mentioned her cat had just had a litter of
kittens. I knew I should not accept her invitation to see them but there you go ? I am
weak! One was a magnificent champagne
colour and I fell instantly in love. I was devastated to discover he was already booked
but made her promise to let me know if the
home fell through. I was certain it wouldn?t
as this was one gorgeous kitten. Wrong! A
phone call informed me the prospective
male owner had been roundly castigated
by his wife, obviously no cat lover, and the
kitten now needed an urgent home. Well,
you can?t take just one, can you? I chose
a second one who was champagne and
white and arranged to collect Champagne
C AT W O R L D
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13/12/2017 12:16
Charlie and Fizzy in a couple of days.
?That just leaves that one.? Nicky pointed
to a tiny ginger chap standing in the garden,
all alone and definitely forlorn. He stared
up at me with huge eyes, clearly begging
to be kept with his two brothers. Well, what
would you have done? And six is a nice
round figure. Mr Jones ? Tom Jones, ginger
tom ? joined the other two in the basket and
off we went.
As he grew up, Mr Jones would join the
others on my lap whenever I found time to
sink into a chair. They were all very affectionate but I soon noticed something quite
different about my ginger friend. Migraines
still plagued me and I would seek some
kind of relief from a cold flannel on my head
- or anything cold for that matter. Whenever
this happened, Mr J would appear miraculously, purr loudly and draw my hair gently
through his teeth. It was very therapeutic
and relaxing. The amazing thing was he
only ever did this when I had migraine. This
was the story I related to the medium and
which prompted her to explain her theory
about ginger cats. Fantasy ? maybe. Fanciful ? perhaps but how else to explain I could
be in any room and the house empty but Mr
Jones would appear from nowhere and get
to work. Sadly he succumbed to leukaemia
just after we moved to Wales and there was
no immediate ginger successor.
No animal can ever be replaced and
there will never be another Mr Jones but I?m
sure another ginger chap will be looking for
a home sooner or later and I will study him
with interest.
C AT W O R L D
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25
13/12/2017 12:16
RESCUED KITTEN
Please take care when buying
and selling cats & kittens
Cute kittens are all over social media but when it comes to
purchasing or selling one, the danger is that sadly, some
cute kittens end up in rescue centres
W
hen purchasing
any item, it really is
in everyone?s best
interests to follow
procedures and buy from
a recognised seller. This is
even more important when
it comes to the buying and
selling of animals.
Concerns over purchasing cats and kittens (or any
animal for that matter) via
the internet are not new but
still people are perhaps going for the ?cheaper? option.
A recent story from Mayhew
illustrates how things can go
wrong.
A one-year-old kitten
was purchased online
from a ?boot sale? app on
an impulse by two young
women. In this case, they
had not done their research
and were unaware of how
much preparation, time and
patience is required to look
after a young animal.
Sadly, little Mo was abandoned but, luckily for him,
he ended up with Mayhew.
?Mo is just one of many
animals that have been
bought online as a whim
without owners considering
whether they have the time,
money and space to look
after them properly?, said
26
26_CW 479.indd 26
BY JILL MUNDY
a spokesperson for Mayhew. ?For our Christmas
campaign in 2017, ?I am
NOT an Impulse Buy?, the
animal charity was raising
awareness of the worrying
trend of many pets ending
up in rescue shelters due to
impulse buys.?
But of course this
doesn?t only happen at Christmas
time. ?Mayhew
is urging potential owners to be
responsible and consider
adopting an animal from a
rescue centre instead.?
The two women had
only been in possession of
Mo for a week when they
decided they no longer
wanted him and took him
to Mayhew. Animal Wel-
fare Officer, AJ Ford, said:
?At first they were going
to dump Mo with us and
run away but we had to
find out the kitten?s history
to establish where he had
come from. That?s when we
discovered that
poor Mo had
been bought
on an app.
Apart from
obviously
being scared,
thankfully Mo
was in good health.?
Mayhew?s Head of Animal
Welfare, Zoe Edwards, said:
?There are already so many
unwanted animals in rescue
centres like ours that have
come from people who buy
pets on a whim, without
taking into consideration the
responsibilities and needs
of the pet.
?Mayhew is a member of
the Pet Advertising Advisory Group (PAAG) which
aims to ensure that pets
advertised for sale are done
so legally and ethically. It
also aims to raise public
awareness of the need to
act responsibly when buying pets from websites and
the need to do research before making any purchase.
We ask that owners think responsibly about about their
campaign or adoption.?
Thankfully Mo has now
found a loving new home.
His new owner Nicola said:
?Mo is great fun to have
around; he can be very
playful, but loves to have a
snooze on our laps too. I?m
so glad he has become a
part of our family.?
Lack of research before
getting a pet means many
owners have an incomplete
understanding of what a pet
needs for a healthy, happy
life. They should be aware
of the five animal welfare
needs that must be met,
which include the need for
a suitable diet and environment and to be protected
from pain, injury, disease,
and suffering.
See Mayhew?s website
for more information about
the I am NOT an Impulse
Buy campaign or to find out
more about adopting a pet
from them. Sadly Mayhew
is just one of many animal
rescue centres all over the
UK that are always full of
pets desperately looking for
a new home. Why not take
a look at those in your local
area.
C AT W O R L D
18/12/2017 17:25
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Other gauges and size of mesh can be quoted
for. We are always pleased to quote for any
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Carriage �.00
The above has been treated with red cedar wood preservative - this is an additional cost.
THE SEVERN SUITE CAT HOME
Overall Size: 9?3? long x 4?0? wide x 6?1� high
House Size: 4?0? wide x 3?0? deep x 3?0? high
Framework: 38mm x 38mm planed timber.
House area: is clad with 12mm x 100mm
tongued and grooved boarding.
There are two access doors and a two way magnetic pet
door. The roof is covered with bitumen felt.
A glass window is at the front of the house.
Run area: The run is covered with
1/2? x 1? x 19 gauge galvanised Twilweld.
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YOU WILL BE AMAZED AT THE CAT HOMES, RUNS, PENS,
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PLEASE SEND �STAMP FOR YOUR COPY
HAMWICK HIDEAWAY C60
�1.00
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THE HAMWICK IS AN INEXPENSIVE RUN AND
SHELTER PROVIDING A SECURE AREA
The above has been treated with red cedar wood preservative - this is an additional cost.
CHALLONER PET COMFORTERS
?Pet Comforters? are supplied with chew resistant cable
covering. To be used aluminium side up and covered
with a single thickness of blanket or similar. It may
be left on day and night, economical to run. Singly
wrapped with instructions.
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ARUN CHALET
Superb value at only
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Overall size: 9?0? long x 4?9? wide x 6?0? high
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The above has been treated with red cedar wood
preservative - this is an additional cost.
Snugglesafe? (a 210mm round disc) is a microwave
heatpad for your pet?s bed. Simply heat Snuggle
Safe? in your microwave, then slip it under your
pet?s bedding for all night warmth. Contains non-toxic,
environmentally friendly, Thermapol?. New advanced
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Normally �.99
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Visit us online at www.grangepetcentre.co.uk
SLIMLINE ECOHEATERS
A major innovation in low-cost, energy efficient heating, the
slimline ecoheater has a patented built in thermostat that
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Heater guards are available, please see our website or
phone for further information.
500mm Ecoheater
1000mm Ecoheater
1500mm Ecoheater
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BUILD YOUR OWN CAT HOME OR RUN
We have an enviable selection of panels that are all
manufactured in our own factory. The benefit of these
panels is that it is possible to design your own cattery,
run, pen etc. If the panel you require is not shown please
contact us, as the diverse number of panels we produce
run into hundreds.
All planed timber
Panel 6? x 3? - � x 1? 19G
galvanised wire �.45 each
Door Panel 6? x 3? - � x 1? 19G
galvanised wire �.85 each
Carriage �.00 on any quantity
Carriage terms on accessories - orders over �.00 free delivery. Orders under �.00 add �50 Excludes Scottish
Highlands & Lowlands & Offshore Islands, Northern Ireland, Channel Islands, Isles of Scilly & Isle of Man
MASTER CARD AND VISA WELCOME. ALL CARD HOLDERS CAN PURCHASE
BY MAIL OR TELEPHONE BY QUOTING CARD NUMBER - OPEN 9.00am - 5.00pm DAILY
C AT W O R L D
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27
15/12/2017 12:11
MEET THE BREED
beauty is skin deep for the
LIVELY AND LOVEABLE SPHYNX
It is over fifty years since the Sphynx appeared as a breed
yet many people are still bemused by their appearance but
once you meet one, their personality shines through
28
C AT W O R L D
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13/12/2017 11:59
MEET THE BREED
ence. Their most distinctive feature and
unique attribute is their apparent lack
of fur but if you stroke one, you soon
realise that they are not, in fact, hairless. They have a fine downy covering
of hair that offers resistance when you
stroke them, rather like velvet or a
damp chamois leather.
Origins
BY JILL MUNDY
T
he Sphynx has many fans these
days but that hasn?t always been
the case and it has been the topic
of much discussion. Some people
love their ?bald? appearance and wrinkly skin while others find them ugly
and dislike their lack of a thick furry
coat. Each to their own! These people
have probably not come face to face
with this remarkable breed.
Meeting a Sphynx for the first time
is often a pleasantly surprising experi-
It was in Canada, in 1966, that a domestic shorthair called Elizabeth gave
birth to a litter of kittens that included
one with no hair (as they thought at the
time). As he was so wrinkly, his owner
called him Prune and when ready,
mated him back with is mother in a bid
to create more ?hairless? kittens.
The results were successful and
eventually became known as the
Sphynx, due to the resemblance to the
Ancient Egyptian sculpture.
The first country in Europe to import
the Sphynx from Canada was the Netherlands where two young cats, Punkie
and Paloma, were used to create an
original European line of Sphynx that
has evolved into the breed we know
today. Having first seen a picture of
a Sphynx in Cat World, two English
breeders, Jan Plumb and Angela
Rushbrook visited a Paris cat show and
were completely bowled over by the
breed. So much so that they imported
their own Sphynx, four year old Tulip,
from a Dutch breeder. They proudly
exhibited Tulip at three GCCF shows
but although she attracted a lot of
interest, she didn?t appeal to enough
members for the breed to be recognised by the organisation. This would
take several years.
In the meantime, the Cat Association
of Britain were more accommodating
and, when FIFe awarded them championship status, the breeders were able
to show their Sphynx cats to the public.
Some years later, the breed was also
recognised by the GCCF and has really grown in popularity over the last
few decades. The cats are affectionate,
loving and very entertaining. They are
happy to drape themselves around
your shoulders while you work and
can be very entertaining but they are
a lively breed so may not be suited to
everyone?s home or lifestyle.
General care
You might think that the lack of
fur means a Sphynx doesn?t need to
be groomed but that is not the case.
No, you won?t need to use a brush
or comb but you will need to keep
an eye on their skin condition. The
Sphynx secretes oils into their downy
coat so regular bathing or sponging
with a shampoo specifically for cats is
recommended. Rub them dry with a
towel and keep them in a warm room
to prevent a chill.
C AT W O R L D
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29
13/12/2017 11:59
They have large ears and these
need to be gently cleaned with a
special cleaner and cotton bud on a
regular basis. The cats? skin must be
protected against the sun if you allow
them outside, in a run for example.
The Sphynx is generally an indoor
cat as they aren?t keen on cold and
damp conditions so if you do provide
an outdoor run or housing, line it with
plenty of cosy bedding and carpets.
General
Sociable and intelligent, your
Sphynx will chat to you quite happily
as they are very vocal cats who thrive
on company and don?t really enjoy being alone. They are inquisitive, playful
and affectionate which makes them
perfect as a family pet as long as they
are not ignored. They love to be part
of the family, will greet you at the door
30
and will often follow you around the
house.
They are not as light as you might
imagine as both males and females
are solid, muscular cats. Males are
usually heavier than females. Their
downy coat is not patterned but their
skin has various patches of differing
colour, making them quite unique.
Despite what some people think,
Sphynx are not hypoallergenic but
the breed can be tolerated better by
people with allergies because they do
not shed hair. However, they do still
leave dander, the cause of most allergic reactions in humans, and if you are
allergic to a cat?s saliva, you will still be
affected by a Sphynx.
Breed standard (GCCF)
Head - Slightly longer than it is
wide, the chin should be rounded, of
reasonable depth and have a level
bite. The skull is also slightly rounded,
with a flat plane in front of the ears and
prominent cheekbones. The nose is
of medium length, straight and with a
slight ?stop? at the bridge.
Ears - should be set at a slight
angle to the head with the outer base
level with the outer corner of the eye
but not flaring. Large, wide and open
at the base and tapering to a slightly
rounded tip. No natural inner ear furnishing.
Eyes - must be large and ?lemonshaped?, slanting towards the outer
edge of the ear. Any colour eyes are
permitted.
Body - should be of medium length,
strong, with a broad rounded chest
and abdomen. They should not be
?cobby?. Neck should be medium long and well muscled.
C AT W O R L D
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13/12/2017 11:59
MEET THE BREED
Legs and feet - legs should be of
medium length, in proportion to the
body, sturdy and well muscled. Hind
legs are slightly longer than the front
legs; paws are oval with thick pads,
long and slender toes.
Tail - long and slender, broad
at the base, tapering at the tip and
length in proportion with the body.
Coat - The fine downy covering
to the skin gives a slight resistance
when the cat is stroked. Distinctive
wrinkles are unique and desirable
particularly around the muzzle, between the ears and on the shoulders.
Any whiskers and eyebrows should
be short and sparse.
Colour - Although there are no
points for colour, there are visible
markings on the skin and because of
the lack of fur, pale colours can take
on a pinkish tinge.
?
?
They are a lively breed
so may not be suited
to everyone?s home
or lifestyle.
Scale of points
Head:
shape & size
muzzle & chin
profile
cheekbones
Eyes
Ears
Body
Legs & feet
Tail
Neck
Skin & down
TOTAL
5
5
5
5
5
10
15
10
5
5
30
100
C AT W O R L D
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31
13/12/2017 11:59
MEET THE BREED
SHOW TIME FOR MEGAN & ELSA
Entering your cat into a local cat show is an exciting opportunity to see how well
they do against the other cats and, if you?re lucky, celebrate an award or two
d
id you ever wonder what goes
on before and during a cat
show? Well meet Megan. She is
a Spyhnx (Megan Denaked Cats
*PL). She is one year old and she has
a sister called Elsa (Charlotte Canadian Dream *PL) who is also one year
old. They are both from Poland. For
the past year, they have been entering cat shows after Katarzyna (their
owner) went to the Dundee show
back in May 2017. After seeing how a
show was run, she wanted to see how
Megan and Elsa would do.
The Spyhnx are a very lively, intelligent breed and very good natured
cats. When I visited them to take photos, Megan was purring and giving
me lots of cuddles. I had never seen a
Spyhnx before. At that time they were
kittens and a lot smaller. Now, both are
grown up and looking gorgeous.
On the 2nd December 2017, they
were entered to the West of Scotland
Cat Club and Scottish Cat Club at the
Ravenscraig sport centre. The night
before a show, Katarzyna spends a
few hours getting Megan and Elsa
ready. She firstly bathes the cats, using
an anti-microbial/anti fungal shampoo,
32
32_CW 479.indd 32
BY LAIRD RICHARD KING
carefully wiping in the creases. They
are then wrapped up warm until they
are dry. Next, Katarzyna cleans their
ears and feet with cotton buds while
making sure she doesn?t go into the
ear canal. Nails have to be clipped as
well.
While the cats are sleeping and
wrapped up, Katarzyna makes sure
she has all the paper work for the vet
check before entering the show hall.
She also packs her show kit which includes a white litter tray, white blanket,
litter and a few other bits for the show.
Then at this point it?s time for bed, as
they have to be up early.
?The following morning everyone is
up bright and early as it?s a long drive
to Motherwell?, says Katarzyna. ?Sadly
Elsa couldn?t come this time due to
her starting to call so Megan was on
her own.
?We arrive at the venue and see
everyone else with their cats, waiting
to see the vets to ensure the cats are
healthy for the show. Once Megan
is through, we check the paperwork
for her pen number. The show kit
goes into the pen, while Megan waits
patiently and calm in her cat box.
Once the pen is all set up, Megan
goes in the pen and she curls up on
her blanket. At this point we catch up
with everyone and see the other cats
in the pens before we leave the hall
for judging to commence and meet
up with my sister and her partner for
breakfast.
?At 12.30, we return to the sports
centre, wondering with excitement
how Megan has done. Once inside,
we approach the results board. What
a surprise we see! Megan got two
Firsts in her open classes, two Best
of Breeds and was also placed in her
side classes. You can imagine, we are
still grinning from ear to ear as this
was only her first show as an adult.?
The public are allowed into the hall
at this point and once they see Megan,
they fall in love with her. Some people
can?t believe that when they stroke
her, she feels like velvet. Megan
enjoyed the people adoring her and
stole a lot of hearts on the day.
Sadly Megan was not chosen as
Best in Show but there are plenty
more shows for that. Megan now has
a new army of fans and hopes to see
you at a show soon!
C AT W O R L D
14/12/2017 12:40
helps you create a high quality establishment your
custSupplying
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traditional wood and our new, very popular, 100% synthetic
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requires no annual maintenance.
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groups and private individuals for over 40 years.
FOSTERING: WHAT?S INVOLVED?
Ever thought of running your own Cattery?
Thousands of cats each year rely on the help of animal charities and fostering is
just one way you can be part of the happy ending for cats in your community.
Whether it?s an intimate four pen cattery or a commercial fifty pen
As a Fosterer, you take a cat into your care and provide the TLC it needs until a new
outfit,home
running
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own
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cattery
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forever
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Once
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cat pen a
in home
your garden,
food
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fulfilling
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of alife
and having
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any vet treatment
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as ongoingthe
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support. and
convenient
and easy.
Lindee
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Lindee Lu is proud to be the major supplier of foster pens to Cats Protection. We
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chat with you about the size of pen you will be having and discuss access and
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Why not consider becoming a part of this very worthwhile and rewarding service by
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www.cats.org.uk
For more information on starting a cattery please visit our website where all
your questions can be answered. Contact us today email sales@lindee-lu.co.uk
or call 01275 853800
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your questions can be answered. Contact us today email sales@lindee-luAvailable
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from all
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or call 01275 853800
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C AT W O R L D
33_CW 479.indd 33
33
15/12/2017 12:13
HEALTH
Time to put a stop
to feline obesity
A cat that is overweight can suffer with numerous health
problems, especially in later life but, says Alison Logan, it
is often us that are to blame, not the cat
i
t is early January as I write, so New
Year resolutions are at the forefront
of our minds. Obesity has hit the
headlines once more, with stories
of the health problems our children
are storing up. The increasing level of
childhood obesity has given rise to
the phenomenon of juvenile Type 2
diabetes mellitus, the type of diabetes historically occurring in the older
person.
What is still being missed is that
obesity in the human population is
mirrored in our pet population. There
has definitely been a rise in the occurrence of overweight cats, with the
frankly obese no longer a rarity.
My first encounter with an obese
cat was in the spring of 1981, when we
were travelling to the Gower Peninsula
for the annual Lower 6th biology field
course ? which for you with mathematical brains has blown the cover on my
age!
34
We had to wait to catch a train from
Paddington station and took the opportunity of a visit to the ladies loos.
There, lying under the basins, was a
fluffy foot-stool. I thought no more of it
until I came out of the cubicle to see
the foot-stool moving. It was then that
I saw the tail, trailing behind what was
indeed a cat. The legs were barely
visible, stuck one at each corner. On
the wall were letters from other travellers and a biography of Tiddles, who
weighed in at 29 pounds at that time, I
seem to remember. I was aghast! The
poor cat! Its quality of life must have
been nonexistent.
Tiddles was an extreme case, lying
at one end of the spectrum. A graph
drawn up showing bodyweight against
number of cats weighing in at each
bodyweight typically shows a rise to
a peak and then drop-off. One may
well find an initial peak where those
elderly cats with hyperthyroidism and/
or renal failure occur, for example, but
the main peak shows average bodyweight and then decreasing numbers
at higher bodyweights. Our concern
must be that I suspect the graph has
skewed to the right with the peak at
a higher bodyweight and then falling
away less steeply, indicating that more
cats are weighing in very overweight if
not obese.
My impression from working in
small animal practice is of more cats
carrying excess weight. ?But my cat
is heavy-boned or of a bigger stature
than the norm!? A common explanation given by owners and, I suspect,
often cited to medical practitioners by
humans. Vets? eyes are not blinkered,
though; it is not just the actual weight
in pounds or kilogrammes which concerns us. We do note it down because
it does provide an easy means for
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HEALTH
comparison from one visit to the next,
especially if the individual in question
is only weighed on an annual basis at
vaccination, for example. An appreciable loss in weight may indicate the
development of a significant problem
meriting further attention but which
may have otherwise been inapparent.
How the individual cat, or whatever
species it may be, carries the weight
is of note. The body condition score
seeks to take into account the build
and distribution of body fat for that
individual. Coupled with the bodyweight, one can then assess whether
a particular bodyweight for a specific
individual is optimal, needs to be monitored or needs further investigation
and/or management. For the owner,
there are features you automatically
note from close contact with your cat
such as: prominence of ribs, presence
of waistline, prominence of tail-base
and inguinal fat pads.
Inguinal fat pads
What on earth are these? I have had
clients bring in their cats to have swell-
ings in the groin checked. You can see
that they are imagining all manner of
dire causes, so it is great to be able to
put their minds at rest.
Fat is laid down in the groin in a
gradual fashion, so that the resultant
fat pads are not noticed until they are
of quite a size, at which point the cat
needs to lose weight. The skin has of
necessity stretched to accommodate
the fat being laid down beneath it. It
is not unusual for it to fail to firm up,
so that following weight-loss there
are two flabby skin folds between the
hindlimbs. It can be quite striking and
another source of unnecessary worry
to the owner.
How and why?
How has an increasingly overweight
feline population arisen? A straightforward question but no simple answer.
As with the situation in the human
population, I think there are several
factors at play, involving changes in: a)
exercise b) feeding patterns c) type
of food fed d) attitude to cats e) health
care. Essentially, though, it comes
down to the hand which feeds the cat!
In the wild, the ideal bodyweight allows for the level of activity necessary
for survival.
Few cats in the domestic environment have to rely on food hunted out
by themselves; they may well hunt or
scavenge to supplement their diet but
in the main it is us who provide the staple diet. I am not looking to apportion
blame. Having said that, I do feel that,
in the main, the rise in feline obesity
is down to us. This applies also to our
other pets. An increasingly overweight
canine population predates the feline
population, reflecting the earlier integration of the dog into our family life.
We are also seeing overweight budgies, rabbits, guinea pigs, chinchillas,
rats and so on.
The role of food in our lives has to
be shifted to a healthier stand-point,
where it provides and maintains our
health through both a better diet and
also controlled times for eating, rather
than being a displacement activity. We
have acknowledged the problem - now
it is time to work hard to eradicate it.
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BIG CAT RESCUE
Help needed to relocate
ve ille all i re lio s
Kept in shocking conditions and bred illegally, a leading
international animal welfare charity has stepped in to help
secure a safer and brighter future for these big cats
BY JILL MUNDY
i
nternational animal welfare organisation FOUR PAWS has launched
an urgent rescue mission to save
five lions kept in an illegal zoo
in the city of Razgrad, Bulgaria. The
big cats, who are a result of illegal
inbreeding practices, have been
severely neglected over recent years,
resulting in poor health and welfare.
FOUR PAWS provided urgent
veterinary care to the lions and the
veterinarians of the rescue team also
sterilised two male lions to stop further
breeding of the siblings. The longterm goal of the animal welfare organisation is to move most of the former
zoo lions ? including two rescued cubs
? to its own sanctuaries.
The lions of the Razgrad zoo are
aged between three months and 12
years and have been inbred over three
generations. They have vegetated
for years in small cages without any
veterinary care. Now FOUR PAWS
has saved the animals from dreadful
conditions in an urgent rescue mission
which took place over two days. FOUR
PAWS big cat expert, Barbara van
Genne, said: ?To see the animals like
that was shocking. Never in their lifetime have these lions been examined
by a vet. This is very serious, especially in light of the systematic inbreeding
of the big cats. Here, the descendants
of siblings have procreated uncontrolled due to lack of care.?
Previously the bred lions were sold
to other zoos, circuses and private
36
individuals. The introduction of stricter
legislation in Bulgaria in 2008, however, led to a reduced demand so the
big cats remained in the Razgrad Zoo
which is owned by the city. Located in
north-eastern Bulgaria and opened
in 1960, the zoo?s license expired in
2014; however the zoo remained open
to visitors for free and the unprofessional breeding and sale of lions was
used to finance the enterprise. Currently, over 25 mammals ? including
lions, deer, reindeer, lamas, foxes and
hogs ? plus a similar number of birds live in the illegal zoo.
FOUR PAWS persisted and convinced the mayor of Razgrad to
intervene. Due to the lack of physical
exercise, the older lions suffer from
severe issues with their spines. It is
likely that the younger ones will face
the same health problems soon. A
three-year-old lion whose condition
was particularly critical has already
been taken to Sofia for comprehensive examinations - sand was found in
his bladder and the vets diagnosed
fibrosis in the kidneys. The upcoming
results of a CT scan will provide more
details about his health. As soon as he
is fit enough, FOUR PAWS will transfer
the lion to one of its own sanctuaries.
Search for a new home
The two oldest lions of the Razgrad
zoo will be transported to a new
home, as will the two lion cubs, also
from the inbred line. The youngest
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BIG CAT RESCUE
family members, who were born in
September this year, were rescued
from the zoo a few weeks earlier and
will be brought to a FOUR PAWS sanctuary as soon as possible.
It is currently undecided whether or
not the zoo will be shut down and until
that is clear, FOUR PAWS will closely
monitor the wellbeing of the only lion
couple to remain at the zoo for the time
being, six-year-old siblings, as well as
that of the other zoo residents.
? The
appalling conditions which some
captive big cats are forced to endure
led FOUR PAWS to open the LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa. Rescued big cats are given a safe
and natural environment where they
can spend the rest of their lives.
Find out more at www.four-paws.org.
uk
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RESCUE CATS
Blind sibling kittens ok
to
forever home
Two very young but plucky kittens, rescued last year, have
amazed staff, volunteers and vets by taking on the challenges
life has thrown at them and thriving against all odds
A
few months ago, we reported the sad case of
30 cats that had to be
rescued from a single
home in Bradford and were
taken into care by Yorkshire
Cat Rescue.
Two of the rescued kittens, Erin and Harth, were
in poor health and desperate need of attention. Just
four weeks old, one was
blind and the other partially
sighted. The siblings were
placed in foster care with
Sheila Pepper in Skipton
and it soon became apparent that both were lacking
in socialisation skills. Sheila
said: ?They didn?t know
how to do anything; play
with toys, climb the cat tree,
interact with each other. So
we decided to introduce
another kitten to the group
who could teach them some
valuable life skills.?
Fawkes had arrived at the
rehoming centre at seven
weeks old and was as bold
and brave as anything, so
Sheila asked if she could
foster him too. The impact
on the siblings was remarkable. ?Within a week, all
three were playing beautifully together and my two
little siblings were behaving
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BY CORINNE MANSFIELD
like normal, happy kittens,?
said Sheila.
Sam Davies, centre
manager, said: ?Kittens really need the company of
other cats during the first
few months of their lives to
learn all the basic social and
life skills that they need to
enjoy their lives alongside
humans.
?Erin and Harth had
missed out initially, mainly
because they were so poorly,
but their young age was on
their side and they clearly
had the right attitude to get
on with life. It is extraordinary to see how far they
have come - not least due to
the amazing care provided
by Sheila.?
Sadly, despite everyone?s
best efforts to treat the infections, vets were unable to
save Erin?s eyes. The eyes
were disintegrating and at
constant risk of infections,
so the tough decision was
made to remove her eyes
and sew her eyelids together. Her brother and constant
companion, Harth, waited
anxiously during surgery.
Sam said: ?We have kept
a close eye on both of these
kittens and regularly consulted with our vet about
their treatment and whether
we?d be able to offer them a
good quality of life. Finally,
after Erin?s surgery, she
gave the all-clear and said
that Erin definitely deserved
the chance to grow up.
?It was a huge relief to
hear that she really was happy in herself and not in any
pain or discomfort, aside
from the surgery which
we are confident she will
recover fully from. Anyone
seeing Erin?s determination
to get on with life can?t help
but be struck by how much
she doesn?t let her disability
get in the way of being a
kitten.?
Both kittens are now back
with foster mum Sheila
while the charity searches
for their perfect indoor-only
home together. Sheila was
worried about leaving Erin
free to roam the house on
her own initially but within a
few weeks, she was navigating the whole house. ?She
is a real character and so
determined to get on. Going
downstairs was perhaps the
hardest for her to learn but
then her brother would hear
her cry and come running
to guide her down. Harth
doesn?t see too well either
but together, they are a truly
remarkable little pair.
?We don?t pander to Erin
just because she can?t see,?
said Sheila. ?She is strong
and more capable every
day, so it?s important that we
let her learn by doing. I will
really miss them when they
go and they will always have
a very special place in my
heart.?
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HiLifeCatHiLifepets
HiLifeCat
HiLifeCatHiLifeCat
HiLifepets
Town
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& Country.indd
& Country.indd
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12:14
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RESCUE NEWS
Bad weather can lead
to mischievous kitties
When the weather is cold and wet, our cats tend to spend
more time indoors and when bored, they may get up to
mischief, like jumping on kitchen work surfaces
BY MANDY WILLETT
C
ats and curiosity go together and
hours spent indoors frustrated
by the weather can lead to them
ending up in places you don?t
want them to be. The reason why we
don?t like to see them on kitchen worktops is because it is unhygienic for a
food preparation area and there may
be hot or sharp objects up there that
you don?t want your cat to touch.
If the cat is getting on the counter
(or other inappropriate surface), consider why she is doing that. Is it to see
out a window? Is there something on
the counter which the cat is attracted
to, like food or a plant?
You can?t stop a cat?s instincts, so
provide some type of perch for the cat
to climb on away from the worktop.
It is a matter of educating the cat to
understand the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.
Unlike dogs, cats rarely seem to enjoy
learning simply to please their owners;
they want to please themselves. Cats
are highly intelligent animals and most
relish learning anything new.
Firm but fair
Physical punishment such as slapping or hitting with hands or objects
has no place in training cats or any
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40_CW 479.indd 40
other animal.
Such discipline won?t even work on
the cat and you will damage your relationship bond permanently. Shouting
isn?t particularly effective either. Cats
that are punished in this way may learn
to hide the inappropriate behaviour
while continuing to jump up in private.
Shy cats may become traumatised
introverts, while dominant cats turn
into attack animals. Plus, the cat learns
to associate hands with pain rather
than petting.
Negative reinforcement, which means
correcting (not punishing!) inappropriate behaviour, does have its place in
cat training but it must be used judiciously. Negative reinforcement at its
best either interrupts or distracts the
poor behaviour or makes it unpleasant
enough that the cat stops on its own.
Squirting water at the cat from a
distance, clapping your hands, shaking a tin can with coins or tossing a toy
toward the cat all work as corrections.
Say ?no? with a firm voice during such
corrections and eventually the cat
should learn to stop the behaviour on
the word alone.
Some cats respond better to the
owner hissing ?sssssst? at them, as
another cat might do to show displeas-
ure. Be aware, though, that dwelling too
much on the negative may teach the
cat that misbehaviour is a great way to
get your attention.
Just rewards
The best way to train a cat is through
the use of positive reinforcement. That
simply means rewarding the desired
behaviour with a tasty treat or a special toy or game.
Both positive and negative reinforcements work only when you catch your
cat in the act. Cats live in the here and
now and to get your message across,
your reaction must be immediate.
Don?t give treats indiscriminately if
that?s what you?re using for training
rewards. Using negative reinforcement
to interrupt the behaviour, followed
by positive reinforcement, often works
wonders.
Consistency is the key. You can?t be
lenient one day and expect the cat to
toe the line the next. That?s confusing
to the cat and it?s not fair to change the
rules.
With time and patience you can
help your cat to understand that they
are not allowed to jump on particular
surfaces. And Spring is just around the
corner?
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BIG CATS
o leo ar s e e t
from i e e ri hme t
The resident pair of snow leopards at RZSS Highland
Wildlife Park are given a change of scene once a month
with a teasing twist that keeps them on their toes
O
PHOTOS: SIAN ADDISON/RZSS
nce every month, or thereabouts, keepers at RZSS Highland
Wildlife Park provide their snow
leopards, Chan and Animesh,
with some special enrichment.
The beautiful big cats are temporarily moved out of their usual enclosure
and placed in their upper holding
pens. Then Turkmenian markhor goats
are moved into the enclosure to graze.
As the markhor move around and explore, nibbling on the green vegetation
growing in the snow leopard enclosure,
they naturally leave scent trails. Both
species benefit from a change of scene
and the trails provide the snow leop-
ards with lots of enrichment and scents
to follow once the markhor are safely
returned to their regular enclosure.
Stimulating natural behaviours such
as foraging and scent marking with
such enrichment is good for the animals? physical and mental well-being.
RZSS Highland Wildlife Park is one of
a very few zoological facilities, that
temporarily swaps animals into other
enclosures, exposing them to new
sites and smells. They believe there
is no other park in the UK practicing
enclosure rotation on this sort of scale.
Douglas Richardson, Head of Living
Collections at RZSS Highland Wildlife
Park said: ?The dynamic nature of our
snow leopard enclosure, coupled with
a novel approach to the husbandry of
these mountain cats, allows our leopards to display an unusually broad
range of their behavioural repertoire.
Given our climatic specialisation, snow
leopards were always going to be an
ideal fit for the RZSS Highland Wildlife
Park and we believe we have gone
further than any zoo in the UK to give
them a home that meets so many of
their needs.?
The snow leopards? enclosure is
purpose-built to replicate their natural
environment, with a steep cliff face and
rugged terrain echoing their natural
hunting grounds high in the rugged
mountains of central Asia. The enclosure provides the pair with plenty
of natural enrichment and room to
explore.
? In
2015, RZSS, a registered charity,
signed a three-year agreement with
the Snow Leopard Trust and Nordens
Ark in Sweden, to work collectively
on conservation issues within snow
leopard range states. This agreement
involves field research being carried
out to both aid conservation efforts
and provide an educational tool.
Today snow leopards are protected
throughout much of their range and
international trade is banned by their
listing on Appendix I of the Convention
on International Trade in Endangered
Species (CITES).
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?Never love anybody who
treats you like you?re
ordinary?- Oscar Wilde
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15/12/2017 09:56
MEWS ROUND EXTRA
Cat rescued
through ceiling
A cat stuck above the
kitchen ceiling from
Sunday to Tuesday
eventually had to be
rescued by the fire brigade. The
home owner often left her door open
so her cat could come and go freely
but this also meant that other cats
in the area could gain entry to the
house.
When she saw a cat dash underneath the shower tray in her
bathroom, she became increasingly
worried that she couldn?t get him out.
Even food would not entice him so
she called the RSPCA for advice.
Inspector Stephanie Daly said:
?Presumably this cat must have come
in when (the owner) wasn?t looking
and went upstairs for a sleep on some
laundry. When she went upstairs herself, the cat must have been spooked
and she saw him dash under the
shower tray but then he didn?t come
out.?
The local fire service were called in
and they saw no other remedy but to
cut a hole in the kitchen ceiling. ?With
the homeowner?s blessing they were
able to cut a small hole and reached
up to get the cat. He seemed a bit
shellshocked, which isn?t surprising, but other than a broken claw he
was in good health.?
The lucky kitty was
soon reunited with
his owner after the
story was spotted on
social media.
Getting tough on animal cruelty
In a visit to Battersea
Dogs & Cats Home
just before Christmas,
Environment Secretary Michael Gove
launched a new draft
Bill to increase maximum sentences for
extreme animal cruelty
in England from just six
months to five years.
The new legislation
would enable courts
to hand out tougher
sentences and so help
to protect the lives of
thousands of innocent
animals who are in
danger from cruelty
and suffering. Battersea?s Chief Executive,
Claire Horton, said:
?Battersea is greatly
encouraged by the
Government?s willingness to see sentences
for the most shocking
cases of animal cru-
elty increase from six
months to five years
and today?s DEFRA
announcement takes a
significant step in that
direction.
?Battersea is very
much at the front line
of animal welfare and
it?s deeply distressing
to see truly shocking
cases of animal cruelty and neglect come
through our doors.?
Let it snow!
?The Amur tigers at RZSS Highland Wildlife Park were happy
to play in the snow as it fell in bucket loads before Christmas.
To keep the pair entertained, keepers gave them beautifully
wrapped enrichment parcels and fir trees to help them get
into the Christmas spirit.
Douglas Richardson, Head of Living Collections at RZSS
Highland Wildlife Park, said: ?The tigers definitely gave the
impression of being just large domestic cats in how they
interacted with the keeper-provided distractions.?
As you can see, the tigers wasted no time in sniffing out
the parcels and getting stuck in, tearing into the wrapping
paper to reach the tasty treats hidden inside.?
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KITTY COVERS
THE BOOKS WE?RE ALL READING AND ROLLING OVER THIS MONTH
C s
u
Snowshoe
Bambino
York Chocolate
Selkirk Rex
Toyger
Minuet
Pixie-bob
Nebelung
Ragamuffin
American
Shorthair
Tonkinese
Oriental
Bicolor
Oriental
Shorthair
Ocicat
Serengeti
Sphynx
7
Ragdoll
Cubs
6
Asiatic Lion
Tiger
Snow Leopard
African Lion
Jaguar
Amur Leopard
Asiatic Cheetah
African
Cheetah
22
Sunda Clouded
Leopard
Clouded
Leopard
Cougar
23
By Gabriella Thomas
ISBN: 9781912 083022
http://gabriellathomas.simplesite.
com/437680773
TWITTER: @GabbyTCats
#ButterwickCats
In a small, rundown seaside
resort, a cat called Percy finds
adventures amidst the peeling
paint of the caravan site and
the rusting, silent funfair rides.
Butterwick Sands has definitely
seen better days but with a
lick of paint and some fresh enthusiasm it could become the
lively place it used to be.
A clever and dignified cat,
Percy decides to do something
about the town he calls home.
He gets together with a variety
of other cats and animals and
they set out to restore life
back into this typically British
seaside town. Many adventures
are had along the way and
are captured in the pages of
Gabriella?s wonderful book
which evokes the nostalgia of a
certain era.
A mother and grandmother,
Gabriella lives in London and
?
currently works as a full-time
Clinical Nurse Specialist,
working with children and
families. She is also a qualified Psychiatric Nurse and
has gained diplomas in Family
Therapy and in Psychotherapy.
She said: ?I decided to write
the book in response, partly, as
an antidote to all the dreadful
things in the news that we are
all exposed to today, particularly our children.
?The book speaks out of
kinder, gentler, more innocent
times in complete contrast to
the violence and horrors of
today?s society. Its ?nostalgia?
echoes a seaside Britain that
sadly we seem to have lost.
?I also wrote it about my
favourite animals....cats, who
are amazing.?
The Cats of Butterwick
Sands is Gabriella?s debut
children?s novel and has been
beautifully illustrated with
black and white line drawings by Ena Hod?ic. Children
will enjoy reading about the
adventures of Percy and his
friends themselves or having the book read to them?
maybe by Grandma.
?
The Cats of Butterwick
Sands
Its ?nostalgia? echoes a
seaside Britain that sadly
we seem to have lost.
Big Cats Little Cats
A Visual Guide to the World?s
Cats
Hardback with 32 pages and 300
colour illustrations. Price �.99
Available from www.8books.co.uk
Email: info@8books.co.uk Tel: + 44 (0)
208 968 1866
Or through Amazon: www.amazon.co.uk/
dp/0957471793
Big Cats, Little Cats is a simple
title that betrays what is a
beautifully illustrated, educational and fun book aimed at
children aged 3-7 years; however I defy any adult or parent
not to enjoy looking through
the pages or find fun with the
hand-drawn illustrations by
Jim Medway, who is a leading
comic artist and illustrator.
It is a large-format book,
divided into double page
spreads that highlight every
domestic cat breed in the
world, together with rare wild
cats and well-known big cats.
These include different breeds that come from
specific areas of the world.
For example, there is a double
page spread of Asian cats that
include the Bombay, Burmese
and Bengal or British cats that
include the Scottish Rex, the
Manx and the British Shorthair.
There are also sections for rare
wild cats that include the Sand
Cat, the Caracal and the Kodkod, together with a section for
our loved and respected big
cats that include the African
Lion, the Tiger and the Cougar.
Then there are wonderful
sections that link kittens to the
parent breed and cubs to their
wild parents.
The book then ends with
a detailed cat index, giving
interesting facts about every
breed and species that has
been featured.
This book is a visual delight
and each animal has an expression or pose that adds to
the fun but more importantly
makes it memorable and I
would think, a very important
learning tool for any child with
a love of animals.
About the author
Award-winning artist and
illustrator Jim Medway was
born in Wakefield, studied in
Manchester, and now lives
in Furness Vale, High Peak,
Derybshire. He has illustrated
fiction ? Shorty Loves Wing
Wong (Faber & Faber) ? comic
books ? Playing Out (Blank
Slate Books) ? and children?s
books ? The Land of the Frontiebacks: A Curious Alphabet
of Confused Creatures (winner
of the Children?s Book of the
Year, 2014, Junior Magazine)
and Turvytops: A Really Wild
Island (8 Books). His previous
book was Big Dogs, Little Dogs
(8 Books).
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BEREAVEMENT
The pain of losing
a beloved friend
We form such strong bonds with our pets and they
mean so much to us that when they are no longer
with us, distress is inevitable, grief necessary
L
BY SONJA K STEINER
osing a much-loved furry family member causes tremendous
heartache. The house no longer
feels like a home, it feels empty.
Long gone are the head nudges, the
gentle paw on the face, the meowing
for feed and the presents of mice left
on the doorstep.
Everyone deals with bereavement
in different ways, there is no right or
wrong way and what works for one
may not work for another. Some may
feel that they want to go and either
adopt or buy another feline friend to
help with the void whilst others feel
their emotions are simply too raw to
do this. Owners have to do what is
right for them.
I speak from experience as I have
just had to make the heart-breaking
decision to have my furry friend Sam
put to sleep; his symptoms were acute
and despite combining conventional
treatment with alternative treatment to
give him the best possible chance, his
prognosis was not good and the odds
were clearly stacked against him. As
his Mum, I wanted to give him every
possible chance to stabilise but when
it was clear this would not happen,
I made the most difficult decision to
have him put to sleep. The last thing I
wanted to do was prolong the inevitable. So my family and friends made
sure his last morning on earth was
filled with happiness, his favourite
foods and treats. He was still eating and
drinking and he had that glint in his
46
eye before we let him cross Rainbow
Bridge peacefully and with dignity.
So many people have sent me
cards, messages and flowers since
Sam passed, saying what a wonderful
life he had and what a special bond
we shared which makes the tears flow
even more.
We often underestimate the void
that an animal leaves when they die.
Sam (like Willow) was my best friend
and companion and he was the best
therapy. When loved ones leave us, I
do believe a little part of us goes with
them. The feeling of loss is overwhelming; you try to keep busy and
hold on to the precious memories that
you have built up over the years, look
at photographs that have captured
a look which says ?that was a typical
pose? and so life-like?and then reality
kicks in and you get that sinking feeling in your stomach when you realise
that they are not coming back.
Does the pain you feel when it so
raw ever ease? I have cried rivers until
I got to the point where I felt so exhausted but I know I must allow myself
to grieve. I know I gave him the best
life I could, his life was filled with happiness and he knew how much he was
loved and cared for and when the time
came I did the right thing by him. They
do say that time is a great healer and
whilst the time does not make the pain
fade, I do think that you get better at
coping with it eventually.
Animals bring so much joy to their
owners; when you are on your own they
provide much needed company and if
you are ill, they bring comfort and their
loss can never be underestimated.
When an animal becomes ill,
whether it is an acute illness or a
chronic one, the stress is there. Will
they pull through? What else can I do?
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BEREAVEMENT
We literally try anything to try and give
them every possible chance but not
at the expense of the animal suffering.
As owners we have the unique ability
to know when our feline friend or any
other furry friend is trying to tell us
that now is the time to let go and we
love them enough to do this.
When you think about it, we are in
the privileged position to be custodians of our much loved animals when
they are in our care; they are cherished members of the family and it
hurts beyond belief when they leave
us. When I remember the little things
about Sam it is almost like a wound
?
?
We often underestimate
the void that an animal
leaves when they die.
that always stays slightly open but I
hope in time that I will learn to live with
the loss though I will never forget the
wonderful boy he was.
Dedicated to the memory of Sam,
Jazz and Rolly who have all crossed
Rainbow Bridge and left a huge void in
our lives and hearts.
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BOARDING
HOUSE DIARY
THE
The latest entry in the diary finds a scaredy cat finding his feet and getting bolder
plus a chocolate Burmese with a tendency to be a bit of a livewire
BY DOMINIQUE URQUHART
A
t nine months old,
Humphrey the Tuxedo Cat with a white
moustache dotted
above his mouth and a
perfect triangle of white
on his nose, is convinced
there is an enemy living
behind the computer and
possibly under the quilt.
Scrambling over the sofa
he crouches at the slightest noise, ears back, listening intently, waiting for any
sign of movement then
springs. Humphrey lands
with all four paws spread
and disappears behind
the computer, accidentally
turning it on and grabbing
my attention.
It wasn?t always like this.
When Humphrey arrived a
few days earlier, although
48
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initially curious, as soon as
his owner left he disappeared into the litter cupboard and hid. The door
was slightly ajar and when
Humphrey spotted me
peeping around to have
a look, he ducked into
the litter tray. For the next
couple of hours Humphrey
was so quiet I almost forgot he was there.
?Humphrey? I called a
little while later. The tips of
his ears emerged slowly
from the top of the litter
tray, followed by his huge
round eyes, his nose, his
moustache and eventually
his whole face. I put out
my hand for him to sniff
and his head darted out of
view again.
When darkness fell,
suddenly Humphrey
appeared by my side,
hopping up on my lap and
stretching his neck out
so he could see over the
top of my desk. Gradually he started to explore,
venturing further afield
and playing with the toys
he encountered along the
way.
Later he lay on my
outstretched legs and we
watched television before
Humphrey followed me to
bed, curling up to sleep
by my side. I awoke in the
night to find him sleeping
in a ball on my pillow.
A rambunctious, sociable kitty, Humphrey loves a
good cuddle, often pulling
my hand to his head for
a good rub. He drapes
himself over the furniture,
his head hanging off of
the bed or sofa with his
striking white whiskers
standing out against his
black fur.
It?s 4am and Humphrey
is full of energy. He sets
off around the flat running
through rooms, hunting
imaginary enemies and
flying straight up the cat
steps to the platform bed.
He eventually comes to a
standstill and, collapsing
exhausted on the pillow
next to me, he falls immediately into a deep sleep.
Mr Chow
Mr Chow is an exquisite
chocolate Burmese with
pale green eyes, the swagger of a gangster and a
sweet, gentle nature.
From the moment Mr
Chow arrives he is perfectly comfortable. He
darts around the front
room, occasionally pausing to stop and sniff at
something new. When he
arrives at the floor length
window he props his feet
on the ledge and stares.
Before long he is pulling
his body up the cat steps
to the platform bed that
overlooks the window.
Mr Chow stares down at
me, satisfied, from the
top. Not sure if he?ll be
able to manage the tricky
descent, I stand below the
steps and bribe him with
treats. He puts two paws
on the ladder and attempts
to slide down but tumbles
straight into my arms.
This doesn?t stop him
climbing up to the platform at every opportunity.
JUNE 2016
13/12/2017 12:20
His step climbing technique improves significantly but unfortunately, he
never masters the descent.
When Mr Chow needs
to come down he sits on
the top step and yells his
raspy meow in my direction. By way of a thank you
he rubs his face against
mine before stepping into
my arms to be lifted down
to the floor.
As mischievous as he
is affectionate, when Mr
Chow?s not putting his two
front paws on my shoulders and licking my nose
with his tiny sandpaper
tongue he is knocking the
heavy cat treat tin off of
the kitchen counter to the
floor. It lands with a bang
and much to his delight,
the lid pops off. There are
treats everywhere and he
dives in to devour as many
as possible before I can
stop him.
At night, he snuggles up
underneath the quilt next
to me and sleeps soundly.
One morning when I
wake I find Mr Chow fast
asleep, trilling like a bird
as he snoozes, his head
popped out from beneath
the quilt and his paw resting on the pillow beside
me.
How sweet, I think,
before noticing the frayed
cable that is connected
to my iPad. I give it a tug
and it pops out easily
from behind the cabinet,
Mr Chow having gnawed
right through it!
The cable next to it
has also been chewed
through. I was warned Mr
Chow likes to chew thin
cables and I kick myself
for forgetting to protect
these two. As I curse
myself under my breath, a
little trilling sound comes
from the mischievous
cat sleeping beside me.
I smile to myself and lay
down next to him to catch
another 40 winks.
THE CAT FACTS:
The Notting Hill Cat Company
Pampering Your Pets While You Are Away
email: nottinghillcatcompany@gmail.com
web: www.nottinghillcatcompany.com
call: 0781 354 7461
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SHOW TIME
SHOW PHOTO GAL
The Caledonian Long Haired Cat Club and the Edinburgh and East of Scotland
Cat Club recently joined forces to hold a show at a shared venue for which
there were individual Best In Show awards. Here is a selection of some of
the handsome winners and participants
PHOTOS: LAIRD RICHARD KING
Above left: Chocolate Buttons; British
Shorthair; owned by
Mrs G Rae.
Above right: Cataibh Rionnag Earbaill;
Bengal; owned by
Iona Johnson.
Left: Chesham
Santino-Rossi; Ragamuffin Red Bicolour;
owned by Mrs Linda
McDowell
BIS Edinburgh &
East of Scotland).
Right: Blu; Ragdoll;
owned by Helen
Scott.
50
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SHOW TIME
ALLERY
Top left: Megan Denaked
Cats; Sphynx; owned by Katarzyna Kokolus.
Top right: Suileangorm
City Girl; Lilac Point Birman;
owned by Yvonne Glen & Sam
Bamford.
Above left: Zendique Zut
Alors; Persian; owned by Candice Higgins.
Above right: Zsazsa; Devon
Rex; owned by Mrs Jane Cox.
Above far right: Kassaro
Gscokio; Maine Coon; owned
by Mr & Mrs Burgess
(BIS Caledonian Long Haired).
Right: itrus of Golden Happiness; Maine Coon; owned by
Mrs Audrey Green.
Far right: Palmira Heelan
Piper; Chocolate Point Tabby
Siamese; owned by Miss M
Reid.
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BEREAVEMENT
Companion cats and how
rief affe ts them too
Losing a loved one, human or feline, is traumatic for
us but other pets will also be affected and may need
extra care at this sad time
BY MISS DAWN PRIME ANA; AWARD WINNING SQP
i
n everyday life, we humans will all,
at one stage or another, experience grief.
In this instance, it can be grief
over the cats in our life, who over the
years have become an integral part of
the family. But is this grief any different for the cats themselves, when they
lose someone special?
Grief is the result of the sudden or
unexpected severing of attachment.
Cats can be aware that a familiar
person or companion cat is absent and
so may search for that person or cat.
The death or absence may change an
established feline or human hierarchy,
on top of the absence of a familiar
companion, but ultimately the sudden
removal of a feline or human will result
in distress and cause sadness.
Like us, we must not forget that
our pets need time to grieve too; the
surviving cats may search, cry out and
even pine for the missing feline. Other
changes can include sleep pattern
changes, loss of interest in a favourite activity, withdrawal from activities,
separation anxiety, depression and
their eating pattern can change.
During this difficult time, stress hormones are secreted which can cause
physical effects like an upset digestive
system, hair loss and inappropriate
toileting.
We must also remember that our
remaining feline friends still need
individual attention and reassurance.
If the cats in the household were not
52
sociable they may just simply arrange
themselves into a new hierarchy. It
is possible that surviving cat(s) may
flourish if they were bottom of the
pecking order ? having experienced a
?sibling like rivalry?.
The healing process for a cat can
vary, as it does for humans, but on average it can take between two weeks
and six months. During the grieving
process the feline will need constant
reassurance and attention but it is
important not to force this attention on
your cat if it is withdrawn.
Little ways in which you can offer reassurance and attention to the
grieving feline are to offer food treats,
something like catnip or a new toy.
Food treats will help a depressed cat
in the short term, as it?s important not
to let the cat become too attached this could lead to separation anxiety if
you have to leave the family home for
any reason.
Finally, during this time of bereavement, it is also important for you not
to change your cat?s routine too much,
causing further stress, whilst remembering that each cat will grieve in a
different way.
Your cat may spend many days
looking for their missing friend. If
the feline is missing a human then
the cat may approach the door when
someone is about to enter the home.
Likewise if your cat is an outside cat,
it may search outside, perhaps in the
garden or shed.
Upon accepting this permanent
absence, the cat may gradually get
depressed but don?t worry, like us
humans, in time the periods of depression will reduce and normal behaviour
will return. If you feel that your feline is
not coping with the grief then advice
from a veterinary surgeon should be
sought. Losing a feline is upsetting and
hard and your cat will respond to your
feelings; this could make the cat become anxious, depressed and unwell.
In general
The five stages of grief are denial,
anger, bargaining, depression and
finally, acceptance. It is important to
help you and your cat get through
these stages - this can be achieved by:
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FEATURE
Keeping to routine; cats like routine;
any changes to the normal routine can
be disturbing. The stress can be eased
by keeping to regular feeding times
for them and keeping your routine as
normal as possible.
It is important to let the cat grieve in
their own way; your cat may become
more affectionate or clingy, or they
may not be quite their normal self.
Talking to your grieving feline may
help them; they will find your voice
soothing and a comfort. Remember
too that talking to your cat may also be
a comfort to you as your feline friend
will listen without any judgement.
Monitoring your cat?s overall wellbeing; a grieving cat may have a
reduced appetite and stop eating. This
could lead to the cat becoming ill. If
your cat stops eating or drinking then
consult a veterinary surgeon.
It is advisable not to get another cat
straight away; you and your cat need
time to work through your grief before
another feline is added to the household.
Grief can be a lonely experience,
as for many of us cat lovers we have
lost our feline friend and that special
bond we shared with our cat is gone
forever (this is also the same for the
companion cat). It is important that you
talk about your grief as it is personal
to you - everyone grieves in a different
way (humans and cats alike) but bottling too many emotions up can cause
further problems, so talking about feel-
ings and what has happened will help.
The grieving process can take time
but in my experience as an SQP and
ANA, completing it can be done by
scattering ashes, planting a shrub as a
memorial or creating a memory box.
If you feel you are not coping then
The Blue Cross offers a pet bereavement service which is confidential and
offers emotional support and information to anyone experiencing the loss of
a pet. All the volunteers have been fully
trained and have experienced the loss
of a pet. The support line is open every
day 8.30am until 8.30pm on 0800 096
6606. They also offer an email support
for people who prefer to write about
their feelings pbssmail@bluecross.org.
uk.
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CONFESSIONS
of a CAT LOVER
WHEN IT COMES TO VISITORS THERE ARE CERTAIN RULES THAT MUST BE OBEYED,
SAYS TIM RELF, WITH NUMBER ONE, ?BE NICE TO THE CATS?
N
utmeg and Parsley adore it when
we have visitors.
It means they get extra fuss,
people often come bearing gifts (for them, not us)
and the presence of anyone
new in the house affords
them the ideal opportunity
to ignore me and Isabel in
a bid to make us jealous.
They like visitors most if
they come in small groups
(ones and two are best);
they prefer them to be
quiet (as a rule, the under12s are too boisterous) and
don?t stay too long (one
night is great, a weekend
is tolerable but beyond
54
that they get bored, even of
newcomers).
Their favourite choice
of present seems to be
food-related which, since
we?re trying to regulate
their intake, means we?ve
ended up with a cupboard
full of as-yet-uneaten treats.
They have also learnt that
visitors are inclined to give
them scraps, so will happily spend hours wasping
around their feet, looking
up hopefully and expectantly, wearing their best
?They don?t feed us properly here? expressions.
My cats learnt quickly
that it?s in their best interest
to be nice to visitors. For
Nutmeg, a naturally gregarious and flirtatious little
creature, this is no hardship.
It was a lesson Parsley took
a while to learn and one
she still struggles with. It?s
a constant internal battle
for her between her natural
shyness and the knowledge
that it usually pays to curry
favour.
Visitors, likewise, soon
realise that it?s a house rule
that they have to be nice to
the cats. In much the same
way that you don?t go into
a friend?s house and walk
mud on their new carpets
or criticise their taste in
home furnishings, you simply don?t speak badly of the
cats in residence.
Indeed, certain remarks
are virtually obligatory. The
cats look well. Aren?t they
pretty. What lovely personalities they have.
Occasional visitors can
be just about forgiven for
muddling their names,
although for regulars this
is a big No No. ?Come on,
come on,? I?ll say impatiently, when faced by a
flagrant display of such
forgetfulness. ?We?ve been
through this before. It?s not
difficult.? Sometimes I?ll end
up giving them clues in a
bid to jog their memories.
?Nutmeg is smaller, got
more white. Parsley?s larger,
more stripey.? A right answer can solidify a visitor?s
place in my hierarchy of
friends; a wrong answer
? especially from a close
friend or regular visitor ? is
a sin analogous to turning
up a day late or forgetting
to bring wine. Serious, in
other words.
People usually comment
on Parsley?s strong markings. ?the sort of cat you?d
see on a birthday card,?
someone said, which I
liked. Another hit the nail
on the head when he tried
to summarise her personal-
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?Like people, their
personalities haven?t
changed since they
were small.?
ity: ?Bemused,? he said.
What Isabel and I expressly do not want to hear
from guests are any of the
following comments: Parsley?s put on weight; They?re
very demanding cats; Is it
OK if we shut them out of
the lounge? Other things
guests have learnt include
never to leave a suitcase
open as they immediately
become a cat nest; to accept any item of clothing is
likely to become covered
with a thick matting of fur;
and to avoid leaving the
front door open at all costs.
Nutmeg and Parsley,
meanwhile, deploy their
sixth sense to good use by
sniffing out cat lovers. Nutmeg can spot a soft touch a
mile off. They seem particularly adept at identifying those who are inclined
to give them scraps - a
practise we never indulge
in, I hasten to add.
They also seem adept
at honing in on people
who don?t like cats (yes,
such creatures do exist,
believe it or not!). One
of my friends is allergic
to cats and they seem
particularly fond of him.
Maybe they feel sorry for
him. ?Poor soul?, they?re
probably thinking; can you
imagine going through life
and never be able to own
cats. Or perhaps, and this
is more likely, their motives are more malevolent.
?How dare you come in this
house ? our house ? and
be allergic to us.? Either
way, they seem to take a
great pleasure in following him around the house,
pushing their way into his
bedroom and clambering
over the bed in a manner
that prompts maximum
sneezing.
I don?t expect guests to
remember their age ? but
bonus points are available
for those who do. Within
a year is good enough.
Frankly, even I don?t know
when their birthday is. The
nearest we can get to it is
early April and as a result
we?ve never bought them
birthday presents. They?re
more than spoilt enough
for the rest of the year and
get enough presents from
guests.
Like people, their personalities haven?t changed
since they were small.
Nutmeg has kept the upper hand in the pecking
order, although I?ve come
to realise Parsley usually
gets her own way, albeit in
less obvious ways. Parsley
still likes to be ? needs to
be ? in the same room as
you but not on your lap;
Nutmeg can?t be in the
same room as you without
clambering all over you.
Like me, they seem to
like routine. They wake
early, seemingly before
4am and are sparko again
by 10am, at which point
they?ll sleep through to
later afternoon. They then
have a few hours of light to
moderate activity before
spending the evening
sleeping. Thankfully there
is as yet no sign of a midlife crisis (in them or me).
They don?t wander as far
as they used to ? which to
be honest was never that
far. A foray into next-doorbut-one?s garden was a bit
of an expedition.
To the best of my knowledge they haven?t started
hanging round with a bad
crowd. The truth is that as
far as far as the neighbourhoods cats are concerned,
I think they are the bad
crowd?
Of course, they never
show this side to visitors.
As far as visitors are concerned, they?re perfectly
behaved. Once the visitors
have left, it?s a rather different story.
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IN REMEMBRANCE
Holding on to good
memories forever
Sometimes animals only touch our lives for a short period of
time but make a huge impact, says Andy Sanson. Keeping
their memory alive is good for the soul
S
ome time towards the end of
2007 the kids had been for a
walk and came back from the
farm down the lane with a tiny
cardboard box and a sheepish look.
Inside the box was a bundle of grey
and white fluff about the size of an
overweight hamster. It was Dusty and
our lives were never quite the same
again.
First thing she did was leap out of
the box and disappear into the hedge.
She was full of flu and had weepy eyes
and we could hear her sneezing her
little head off. All attempts to catch her
or lure her out came to nothing so we
put food and water down for her and
went to bed, convinced she wouldn?t
last the night.
Next morning there was a plaintive
meowing from the hedge. We coaxed
her into the open with a dish of kitten food and took her into the house
where it became apparent that what
we were looking at was a very weak
and poorly kitten and took her to the
vet where they set about trying to save
her.
The vet tried to listen to her chest
but couldn?t hear anything
because she was purring so
loud. It was touch and go but
the flu and infections cleared
up and, although she was
never going to be 100%, we
began to believe she was going to make it.
Dusty liked nothing bet-
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ter than to leap onto a shoulder and
let herself be carried about the room
observing things from her vantage
point. Sometimes she would sit in a
dressing gown pocket or crawl under
the bed covers and sleep by our feet
but wherever she chose to go, she was
always close by.
She never grew very big and didn?t
seem bothered about going outside
so she became our house cat. The
other cats loved her to bits, especially
Casper who was her special friend.
He used to let her clean his ears for
him. Even when he pushed her out of
the way and nicked her food she?d sit
there giving him a bath until he?d finished and then clear up what he?d left.
Then we noticed Dusty wasn?t using
her litter tray. She seemed out of sorts
and was off her food. We weren?t too
concerned because we had come to
expect this and got her to the vet for
another course of antibiotics and jabs.
A few days later, I heard a strange
flapping noise from the hallway and
thought it must be one of the dogs.
But it was Dusty, staggering around as
though she was drunk. This was something new and definitely not
right. Back to the vet again.
They didn?t know what it
was and had to do considerable research.
Dusty made some
improvements and started
eating again so it was
decided she would come
home for the weekend.
We were going to pick her up
Saturday morning and had the whole
weekend planned around her. She
would spend the day in the living room
on her rug and sleep in a dog cage
at night. Then she was going to come
in the garden with us on Sunday and
join in with our barbecue before going
back to the vet on Monday.
Dusty never got her weekend at
home. She died overnight on Friday,
peacefully in her sleep. We never really knew what it was. We do know that
she had a seizure but without a post
mortem, we would never know for
sure.
She was special beyond her size,
with a huge personality that filled the
house with good things and we miss
her so very much.
At least she didn?t die at the age
of four or five weeks, lost and frightened and, in all probability, soaking
wet and frozen in a dark corner of
a damp barn or dirty field, which is
what would have happened if the kids
hadn?t gone for their walk that evening.
She had a short but happy life, surrounded by people who thought the
world of her.
Dusty has a little plot in the garden,
not far from the house because she
would be frightened if she was too far
away. She?s buried with a couple of her
favourite toys and despite everything,
she?s still with us, never to be forgotten.
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RESCUE NEWS
SUPPORTING YOUR LOCAL CAT RESCUE
E
ach year Feline Care Cat
Rescue hold three open afternoons; one during the Easter
break, another in the summer and
again just before Christmas. It is a
great way to encourage new people
to come and see the sanctuary, meet
the team and to say hello to some of
the cats who are more than happy to
oblige with an ear rub or will simply
allow you to admire them from afar.
Many visitors also take the opportunity to register their interest in
adopting a cat or kitten or perhaps
even more than one during the course
of the event. Another reason to visit is
to see if the rescue is somewhere you
may like to become a volunteer and to
find out what that entails.
These special afternoon events,
which take huge preparation and
dedication for everyone involved, are
also a fantastic chance for the charity
to raise much needed funds and accept donations of cat food, which can
BY TINA READ
make a huge difference in supporting
the 160 or so feline residents. It is also
an opportunity to get together with
fellow feline worshippers, win a great
prize or two on the raffle, visit the
chocolate tombola where, by the way,
a prize is guaranteed every time you
play! There is even an assortment of
delicious cakes, tea and other edible
delights on offer.
Many of the regular volunteers run
stalls sporting cat ears to ensure visitors can easily identify them and there
are always beautiful cards to purchase
and other unique, special gifts, cat
accessories and themed gifts, not to
mention other seasonal stalls offering
a plethora of goodies. It is a chance to
meet friends and perhaps make some
new ones with something very important in common, yes, cats!
At the last event I was lucky enough
to meet a young supporter who was
in her teenage years and was keen
to volunteer during the holidays. This
would-be cat rescuer of the future was
able to speak to the team at the sanctuary and complete a volunteer form
there and then.
Attending these events is a great
way to show support and appreciation
for your local cat rescue and all that
they do, pick up some bargains, a cat
nip-filled mouse or two for your own
cats and also share a lovely afternoon
with friends and family. FCCR advertise their open afternoons on facebook
but if you are not sure if your local
rescue has a similar event, then why
not drop them an email.
? To
find your local rescue please
have a look at the Cat Chat website as
it has a comprehensive list of rescue
organisations listed by county
www.catchat.org or for more information on any of the cats at Feline Care
Cat Rescue, please phone:
01953 718529 or email
info@felinecare.org.uk.
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&me
&
GORDY ME
ELAINE MEAD SHARES HER EXPERINCES OF LIVING WITH A CHALLENGING SPECIAL NEEDS CAT
Alternative therapy has been tried and successfully tested in our house before
and currently - time to see just how much animal magnetism Gordy has
S
ER
I
wear one, Jim wears one, Izabel
our 11 year old Golden Retriever wears one and before
her, our lovely old GSD Ricky
wore one and we even put one on
my Jeep Grand Cherokee which we
sadly forgot to remove before selling
the car. This week I bought one for
Gordy. So what am I talking about?
Magnetic therapy or, to give the
company name, a Bioflow.
I have cartilage degeneration in
my left thumb and the beginnings
of arthritis in both my hands?and
knees?and back? I am feeling my
age and despite being a little young
(in my mid-forties) for my hands to
start suffering, I suppose I use them
a lot in my day job as a glass artist
and illustrator so it is to be expected.
Jim, the husband, is older than me
? and won?t thank me for that admission ? and he too suffers with the
aches and pains we all get in our
older years.
Ricky, my old dog, lived to be
fifteen and for an ex-show German
Shepherd dog (he came to live with
us at nine months but he had already
been trained to stand in that really
low-slung way that Shepherds do),
he did suffer with really stiff joints in
his hips and legs very early in his
life and a Bioflow collar changed
him from a crippled old dog at five
to a bouncing hound that never
needed more than a little Metacam
in the last six months of his fifteen
years. It was for that reason when
our Izabel started to slow down this
year I bought her a collar to help
ease her stiff legs in the evenings. If
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it wasn?t for Ricky showing signs of
great improvement without knowing what I was doing, other than he
wore a collar constantly, I would have
been a bit sceptical for I tried a Bioflow in my twenties and it did nothing for me, but back then I wasn?t
really old enough to suffer with stiff
joints. Watching Ricky, all those years
ago, showed me the power of magnetic therapy?not to mention that
my Jeep did MUCH better mileage
on it?s four litre petrol engine!
Izabel has been wearing hers
for a couple of months and we have
noticed the small changes that
make her more comfortable. She is
still a bit stiffer than she was in her
younger years in the evening but
we all are: during the day, however,
she is as robust and energetic as
she always has been?inbetween
short naps, of course. I have never
been one for collars on any of my
pets, especially cats ? my dogs have
worn them in the past when out on
walks, although these days we use
a harness as it is much nicer to their
necks.
As for my cats, I have never
bothered with collars, even before
microchipping. We did use flea collars years ago but I didn?t really rate
them and one of the cats back then,
Thomas, an enormous black and
white tom cat that lived with us and
was a great big cuddly monster of
a cat, went through flea collars like
water. He would leave home in the
morning, after breakfast, with a nice
shiny new collar on and inevitably
return home a few hours later without it. I worried that he would hang
himself one day and because of that,
and the expense over time, I abandoned cat collars on the grounds
that they were dangerous to outside
cats.
Teeko used to wear a collar
before he came to live with us. His
collar was his ?latch key? as he had
a remote controlled cat flap. He has
such lovely long, silky, fluffy fur but
the collar wore away his hair and
he has been left with a bald stripe
around his neck. Another reason to
not want them. But Iz wears hers and,
watching Gordy wobble on his back
legs, I decided that, being an indoor
cat that wears bibs occassionally
? we have been very dribble free
over the last few months ? a Bioflow
collar was preferable to a vet visit
that would stress him out too much.
So I ordered one and a nice black
leather collar with magnet and tinkly
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bell arrived and was fitted. My worries about the collar being too tight
? I do worry! - were unfounded as
even on the tightest hole fastening,
Gordy?s Bioflow is loose, due to him
having a tiny neck, but the collar
is close enough to the skin for the
magnet to work its magic.
I did research how these magnets
work when I started to feel a benefit from my bangle which has two
magnets. Humans wear wrist ?collars? as opposed to them round our
necks but then I imagine Gordy and
Iz would look a bit daft with theirs
around their wrists! My bangle is
copper and I decided on that due
to the arthritis and the old fashioned
remedy of copper for easing aches
and pains. Jim wears a nice fabric
one which is elasticated and suits his
?manly persona? ? you won?t catch
my husband in jewellery and that
includes a wedding ring! So they
come in many designs and ways to
wear them. Izabel?s collar is fabric
and Gordy?s is leather, there was no
choice on this that I remember but I
suspect cats are more particular to
how they look!
So how do the magnets work?
According to my research, when the
world was first created it had a higher magnetic field which, over time,
has diminished in places with how
we have lived within it. For some
people and animals, we respond to a
higher magnetic force so by wearing a ?strong, multidirectional force
of magnetism? (quoted from Bioflow)
we ?work? efficiently.
Wearing a magnet for health
benefits is not invasive but, for some,
the results can be amazing. I know
I have benefitted from mine. Gordy
seems to have felt the benefits too,
despite going into an amazing ?cat
strop? the day we put it on. Jim held
him for me as he was wriggling
so much to get back to the open
fire that was blazing brightly in the
hearth and he, Gordy, was really not
amused with the tinkly bell that rattled in his ears (amazing how often
he shakes dribble from his tongue
despite me thinking we are relatively
dribble free at the moment) so he
sulked for an entire afternoon. This
included refusing his chicken dinner
at 5 o?clock. I have experience with
sulky beings - I am a parent! So this
was ignored and he went to bed
without his supper. He was starving
hungry in the morning (even though
there is dried food down all the
time) and gobbled up his and everyone else?s chicken breakfast from
those that didn?t stop him pushing
them away from their bowl.
The benefits of the Bioflow are instant, especially in animals that have
no reason to not just be themselves.
We have all noticed that Gordy is
walking with less of a wobble and
the stiff gait, which is his natural
walk, is definitely smoother but the
biggest change, and one we hadn?t
really noticed before, was that he
started to ?sit? properly. Usually he
is quite hunched over and he often
looks uncomfortable but he is and
has always been a unique character, so we just assumed this was his
?normal? way. He still hogs the fire
in the evening and spends his days
staring wistfully at the empty grate
until I strike a match and the flames
dance for his enjoyment but overall
we do feel that he is benefitting from
maybe less stiff joints, which must
mean he is more comfortable in his
own skin and that can only be better
for him.
I just wish that the whole teeth
cleaning episode that I have embarked on with him would go as
smoothly?turns out he is more of a
?real cat? than I gave him credit for.
He might not scratch and hiss but
boy oh boy, can he wriggle!
NB ? there are many other magnets which have the same claims to
health benefits on the market but
we have always used Bioflow so I
can?t comment on the other ?brands?.
Bioflow is the only company, from
what I understand, that makes the
claim that their technology of ?central reverse polarity? in their magnet
module is the best multidirectional
force of magnetism.
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ASK
EXPERTS
the
LET THE CATWORLD TEAM OF EXPERTS HELP WITH YOUR PROBLEMS
Winter chills
Q: Our three year old cat seems
to suffer from a cold whenever the
temperature drops considerably. She
starts with sniffles and sneezes and
then eventually develops a temperature. At this point we take her to the
vet who usually prescribes antibiotics. This, of course, is not ideal.
Her temperature soon returns to
normal but it can be several weeks
before she stops sneezing. We are
wondering if she will grow out of
it or if this is something we will all
have to learn to live with.
A: The most likely explanation is
that your cat is suffering from something called chronic rhinitis. It is usually caused by a viral infection which
leads to the nasal cavity becoming
inflamed and a build up of thick mucus which makes the cat sneeze. Being rather ?bunged up? like this, the
cat can also have difficulty breathing,
lose his appetite and become rather
lethargic.
You are doing the correct thing by
taking your cat to the vet when the
symptoms worsen as he can give
her a thorough check over and give
the correct diagnosis. If there is an
infection present, it will need the appropriate treatment.
However, there are a few things
you can do to make things a little
easier for your cat:
To help her breathing, try using a
humidifier (or a bowl of hot, steaming water) placed in a room with your
cat. Leave her there with the door
closed for about half an hour, twice a
day, until her symptoms have eased.
If you are happy to allow your cat
into your bathroom while you take
a bath or shower, this is also a good
way of exposing your cat to a steamy
atmosphere.
The steam will help to open the
nasal passages, break up the mucus
and reduce swelling.
If you have more than one cat,
give them both a separate place to
rest and be alone as your poorly cat
will probably be feeling under the
weather. Try to keep stress at a minimum by stroking her and playing
soothing music. Also, keep visitors
and changes in the house to a minimum until she is feeling better.
Sibling rivalry?
Q: My two cats, Tilly and Ted, are
brother and sister. We adopted them
as kittens from our local rescue centre two years ago and they were kept
indoors. They were really happy and
played, slept and fed together?they
even groomed each other.
We have recently moved to a
house with a large garden and have
gradually allowed them to get used
to being outside. All seemed ok
at first but after a few weeks, Tilly
started to hiss at Ted and show her
claws whenever he came near her.
Now she does this if he tries to get
on the bed with her. After I have
talked to Tilly sternly and tapped her
nose, she stops making a fuss but
Ted is terrified. He often looks sad
and depressed now and we are finding it quite upsetting. What can we
do to help the situation?
A: This is almost certainly due to
the change in your cats? circumstances. Before you moved, Tilly and
Ted were living within an enclosed
space and were very happy with that
arrangement. Now their territory is
no longer contained by the house
walls and there may be other cats on
the scene.
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It is possible that Tilly feels threatened and needs to exert her dominance over her brother.
If they are using a cat flap, this
could be adding to the problem as
not only can they come and go as
they please but so can other cats in
the neighbourhood, unless you are
using a microchipped flap.
You could try using a pheromone
diffuser to ease the tension between
them. These have proved incredibly
successful for lots of people, especially if you also try to contain the
cats to certain parts of the house for example, if Tilly and Ted are only
allowed in the kitchen and hall.
If you are really concerned, you
could speak to your vet who may be
able to refer you to a trained animal
behaviourist for further advice.
The main thing is for your family
to remain calm (don?t be tempted
to shout at or punish Tilly) and to
persevere. Behavioural problems do
take time to resolve but you should
eventually all be able to live much
more happily together.
He said that this is usually a sign of
illness and tested her heart, lungs
etc and temperature but could find
nothing wrong. He recommended
that I keep an eye on her to see if
anything else develops but I?m so
worried that she might go blind - do
you think I?m right to be concerned?
Vision worries
Q: I have two beautiful cats who are
A: Of course you are right to be
twenty-one months old, full of life,
always into mischief, eat and drink
well and are house cats with a run in
my garden. I have noticed recently
that one of Freda?s inner eyelids was
staying halfway over her eyes and
not going back quickly. I?m worried that she might have cataracts
or something like that on both eyes.
Her sister?s eyes are fine.
I have used the same vet ever
since they came to live with me
and asked him to check Freda over.
concerned about something you
haven?t seen before with your cats
but I suspect that by now, Freda?s
eyes have returned to normal. The
description you have given sounds
very much like ?third eyelid syndrome? which is just a collection of
clinical signs that involve the third
eyelid.
A cat with this syndrome will peer
out of his bed looking half-asleep
due to the third eyelid not retracting
fully to expose the globe of the eye.
One less thing to think about:
we pay your vet bill direct.
01730 268 592
www.healthy-pets.co.uk
Although this can occur with various
neurological disorders, third eyelid
syndrome would still be favourite.
Both of Freda?s eyes are affected and
this is more common with this eyelid
syndrome. Another common feature
is diarrhoea and my usual treatment
would be a bland and easily digested diet.
The third eyelid is usually noticeable for a few weeks. It is possible for
other cats in contact with the sufferer
to display the same signs, which indicates that it could be infectious but
nothing has been proved or identified conclusively.
In the circumstances, your vet has
given you the best advice which is to
just wait a while and see what happens. By now the third eyelid should
no longer be visible but if this is not
the case, definitely go back to your
vet for further advice.
The Pet Insurance Specialists
on-going vet fees covered
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NATUR
NATURAL
ATURA
ATUR
TURAL
AL
HEALTH
L
LTH
When your vet prescribes treatment for your cat, don?t be frightened to ask questions,
says Richard Allport, to understand what is being given and why
I
t is possible to find some
natural therapies in the
NHS ? physiotherapy,
acupuncture, homoeopathy are
all available - but availability is
still very patchy. The same is true of
animal treatment. All these therapies
and more are available but there are
very few vets providing them and
many clients have to travel long distances to find a vet offering anything
other than conventional treatments.
It is interesting that we call
modern Western ?drug? treatments
conventional, as though they are
the norm. Acupuncture has been
around for thousands of years.
Herbs have been used since mankind first existed. Homoeopathy has
a couple of hundred years behind it
already. In reality modern Western
medicine is the ?alternative?, the
newcomer ? and I do believe that it
has a part to play in treating illness
and disease. I tend to look at conventional medicine as being like a
bright teenager ? full of new ideas,
energy and enthusiasm but thinking it knows it all, disrespectful of its
elders and believing that everything
that happened before it was born is
outdated and useless. Whereas what
you might call traditional medicine
is (or should be) ready to accept
new ideas but a little more mature
62-63_CW 479.indd 62
and wise and willing to integrate new treatments with the
old.
In general terms conventional
drugs, surgery and other treatments are pretty quick to work, get
good short term results but need a
specific diagnosis. Unfortunately the
treatments are often traumatic for
the patients, as can be the investigations needed to make a diagnosis.
In addition, many treatments can
cause side effects, which can be
serious and even life threatening.
Treatments tend to be suppressive,
relieving symptoms but leaving an
underlying problem remaining, so
that the condition recurs ? needing
more and more suppressive treatment. On the other hand traditional
medicine can be slower to work, but
gives better long-term results. Treatment does not necessarily depend
on a diagnosis and invasive tests
and investigations are not required.
Treatments are not suppressive
and most therapies are free of the
danger of side effects. Therapy is
more likely to be curative but, if long
treatment is required, this can be
given more safely.
referring veterinary practice had
carried out the following investigations to attempt to diagnose the
condition: blood tests, ultrasound,
x-rays, intestinal biopsy. Because the
cat concerned was, shall we say, a
little fractious, each of those procedures had required sedation or
general anaesthetic. A diagnosis of
?Eosinophilic enteritis? was eventually arrived at; the only treatment that
would be effective was long-term
steroids. The use of these drugs
would be likely to cause numerous
side effects, ranging from weight
A particular example
A cat was referred to me with
chronic persistent diarrhoea. The
13/12/2017 12:48
gain and lethargy to diabetes. I saw
the cat and took a full holistic history. The trauma here involved one
journey to Potters Bar and back, one
examination by me and one period
of boredom while I talked at length
to the cat?s carer. I prescribed a
course of homoeopathic remedies,
some Slippery Elm (a herbal antidiarrhoeal treatment) and a couple
of flower essences. There was also a
pleasant little session with our wonderful healer, Helen. Not only was
the cat soon fine in the sense that
the diarrhoea had not recurred but
she felt much better in herself, had
more energy, was more playful and
became quite mischievous again.
Working together
What I?ve described above is
obviously the worst of conventional
medicine and the best of natural
medicines. I?m not implying that this
is the scenario in all patients at all
times but it is the end result of the
?reductionist? approach of Western
medicine and the holistic approach
of traditional medicine. If I see a cat
with a life threatening infection, I will
suggest antibiotics. If I see a cat with
a broken leg I will suggest surgery
to mend it. If I?m asked about vaccinating a young kitten I will say
?go ahead? ? although with some
caution and caveats. But if I see a cat
with a short-term diarrhoea, I will
probably suggest Slippery Elm, a
five day course of Lacto B (a natural
probiotic for pets) and a few days on
something like homoeopathic Merc.
sol. I would be very unhappy to
hear of a vet dispensing antibiotics
for such a case, unless that vet had
taken a faecal sample that proved an
infection was the cause.
In my view, Western medicine
is good at dealing with the acute
problems in life ? the accidents and
injuries, the malignant tumour that
needs removing PDQ, the serious
infection, the hyperacute inflammation. But the enthusiastic teenager I
mentioned before has been guilty
of over-using these treatments in
inappropriate cases: long courses
of antibiotics for persistent skin
disease, short courses of antibiotics
for minor illnesses. And the result?
Massive problems with antibioticresistant bacteria ? MRSA, E-coli and
the like. Conventional medicines are
so good and so easy to use that in
the past they have been doled out
like sweets to our unsuspecting pets.
To be fair, vets are now realising the
severity of the problem and are usually more circumspect these days in
the drugs they dispense.
An ideal world
In my veterinary utopia, all vets
would be trained in all therapies,
traditional and conventional, ancient
and modern. The normal approach
to any patient would then be to assess the presenting problem holistically, carry out any tests and investigations that were essential but to
keep them to an absolute minimum.
Where possible, natural, traditional
medicine would be used to treat the
condition, with the backup of conventional drugs, surgery and other
treatments if necessary. I?m certain
this approach would cut down on
veterinary costs, would be effective
for the patient and would reduce
62-63_CW 479.indd 63
the chances of adverse reactions to
treatment. It would also be better for
the environment ? the production of
conventional drugs often involves
using substances that cause pollution. It would leave pets healthier
and happier. Unfortunately, it would
reduce the profits of large pharmaceutical companies enormously
? these companies have enormous
power and influence and would obviously not back such an idea.
Veterinary training is paid for,
in part, by sponsorship from drug
companies. So my idea may be a
pipe dream for the moment but the
number of vets becoming involved
in traditional medicine is increasing
slowly and the interest in and demand for natural medicines for pets
is also increasing. Which brings me
on to the point ? what natural treatments are available, what can they
treat, and how effective are they?
Common treatments
The therapies that are most commonly available for cats are acupuncture, flower essences, healing,
herbal medicine, homoeopathy
and manipulative therapies (such
as physiotherapy, chiropractic and
osteopathy). There are a few other
therapies you might come across,
such as colour therapy, radionics
and the like but these are much less
easy to find.
Next time you have to take your
cat to your vets, do ask what drugs
are being given and why. And if
antibiotics are being prescribed,
enquire the rationale for their use:
Is an infection definitely present?
If not, why is the antibiotic being
given? You might feel that your vet
won?t like you asking but any vet
worth his or her salt should be quite
open to being asked for information
about treatment and be prepared to
justify it. The long-term health of us
and our pets depends partly on the
reduction of unnecessary and inappropriate drug therapy ? so go on,
ask the question!
13/12/2017 12:48
A
NURSE?S NOTES
JANET PENNINGTON REPORTS FROM THE FRONTLINE OF A BUSY VETERINARY PRACTICE
Dental procedures are often handed over by the vet to give
the senior nurses something to get their teeth into
C
ats have lethargy
down to a fine
art. But when
Sting came into the consultation room I thought
it was something sinister.
His owner wondered if it
was simply a case of him
being too hot to be bothered eating or grooming.
I know from my own
cats that they sometimes
eat less when it?s hot. But
feline dignity would never
stop them grooming. No,
Sting must have been ill.
He had lost weight, too his pelvis protruded from
an obvious hollow. When
the vet opened Sting?s
mouth a stale smell of rotting crabs flowed out. He
was very ill, I thought.
My first reaction was
kidney disease, the
symptoms were characteristic. As the vet peered
studiously into Sting?s
mouth he said: ?Ah yes,
that?s the problem. Tartar.?
I did feel relieved. We
could sort out this problem quickly and with a
complete recovery for
the patient.
Sting was booked in
for a dental the following
day. Unlike people, cats
need a general anaesthetic but otherwise, a
scale and polish is just
the same. This procedure,
being non-invasive, is
often performed by senior nurses in the practice
I worked in. It?s a very
messy job with water
spraying all over the
dentist?s face and sharp
tartar flying everywhere.
The nurse is masked,
gloved, aproned, hair in a
net. No wonder it?s a job
vets are willing to hand
over! While the senior
nurse worked through
her lunch cleaning Sting?s
teeth, I prepared the
consultation rooms for the
afternoon appointments.
That meant a thorough
wash-down of all surfaces
including window ledges
and walls as well as the
floor and examination
table. The vaccinations
that had been used during the morning were to
be replaced and drugs,
needles, syringes, cotton
wool, paper towels and
soap were all topped up.
Finally I checked on
the afternoon appointments to make sure
there were no strange or
unusual cases expected
so that I could inform the
vet or have extra equipment ready. There were
plenty of boosters due
in that day so I put extra
needles and syringes in
the drawer in preparation.
When the first appointment is a booster, I draw
it up ready for the vet and
stand ready with a pen so
I can fill in all the details
and then just hand it over
for him to sign.
When all the consultation rooms were ready
I went for my lunch. But
the senior nurse sent a
message up asking the
vet for some help. There
was a complication with
Sting. I finished my lunch
quickly so I could find out
what was happening. The
nurse thought that decay
had set in under the tartar
on some of the cat?s teeth.
The vet agreed and said:
?Yes, they?ll have to come
out.? He took over from
the senior nurse and gave
her a chance to stretch
away the cramp that being hunched over gives.
Sting was placed in
his kennel a bit later. I
expected to see a more
comfortable, happy cat
but I didn?t. Instead was
a bloodied, dribbly cat.
Alarmed, I read his kennel
card. Thirteen extractions!
Only his canines survived.
I cleaned him up as best I
could - the seepage continued for a while - and
gave him plenty of TLC. I
couldn?t imagine what that
many extractions felt like.
It was recommended that
he stayed in overnight for
observation and I left him
in the hands of the duty
vet.
Next morning, however, Sting was as bright as
a button and all clean. He
had cleaned himself up a
treat, better than I could
have done with hydrogen
peroxide and cotton wool
swabs. His good looks
hadn?t been lost, either.
The loss of thirteen teeth
didn?t seem to leave him
hollow-cheeked as it
would have done with me
or you. The vet now said
that I should try him with
something tasty like tuna
but very well mashed. I
rummaged around the
veterinary shop and
found some salmon and
prawns in jelly, the kind
of cat food that looks like
fish and not just ?cat food?.
This always tempts. Sting
was starving. He hadn?t
eaten for days. The type
of food wasn?t important.
He just wanted something
to sink his teeth into.
?A stale smell of rotting crabs flowed out?
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CATS AND US
NOAH unveils Industry
in Focus photo campaign
A
Photo: Ben Lister PA Wire
Highlighting the benefits of cat ownership with photographs
and inspirational stories to create a vision of animal health
today with the National Office for Animal Health
BY JILL MUNDY
nimal health and medicines
organisation NOAH took advantage of the London Vet show in
November to unveil its Industry
in Focus campaign ? showcasing images and stories from across the animal health industry and beyond. The
campaign offers an amazing insight
into how animal health looks today.
From indoor rabbits, to medical
detection dogs; from cats who share a
special bond with their owner, through
to healthy animals that produce our
food, the campaign celebrates and
champions good animal health from
many viewpoints and helps explain
what good health means and what is
needed to make it happen.
Two of the photos submitted for the
2017 campaign are show here, with
details that explain why they are so
special.
Chair BVA Animal Welfare Foundation and Canine and Feline Sector
Group, Chris Laurence with Anna,
Libby and Prudence:
?I chose to take this photo because
it shows how the relationship between
dogs and cats can work so well when
they have been brought up together.
The dogs (Anna and Libby) are
mother and daughter and the cat (Prudence) was a rescue cat, dumped in
a cardboard box at about eight weeks
old. Sadly they are no longer with us
anymore but we have lovely memories
of our three wonderful pets who enhanced the lives of three generations
of the family.?
Cats Protection, Catherine Jarvis
with Lunar: (Photo: Ben Lister PA Wire)
Everyday life for Ali Coles, 29, can
bring many potential hazards. Ali
has postural orthostatic tachycardia
syndrome, which causes frequent and
unexpected fainting episodes while
another medical condition - EhlersDalos syndrome - can lead to her
sustaining serious injuries.
Help is at hand from her twelveyear-old cat Lunar who she adopted
from Cats Protection. Lunar will stubbornly sit on Ali just prior to a fainting
episode, regardless of what she is
doing.
Ali said: ?Even if I?m standing up,
Lunar will sit on my feet and it?s the
warning I need to prepare myself for
what?s about to happen. Our vet thinks
that Lunar is able to sense the subtle
chemical change which happens prior
to a blackout.?
Lunar?s achievement led to her winning a Special Recognition Award at
Cats Protection?s National Cat Awards
in 2017.
NOAH created the Industry in Focus
campaign to highlight how much animals mean to many different people
and the different issues that are affecting animal health today. The campaign
has the support of around 20 hand
picked supporters and will continue
to gather individual experiences
throughout 2018. So far it has brought
together images and stories from vets,
animal charities, pet owners, farmers
and more. Over time, the aim of the
campaign is to build the ultimate picture of animal health in the UK through
an inspiring, participative campaign.
Dawn Howard, NOAH chief executive, said: ?We?re delighted to see that
so many people are keen to show
what animal health means to them.
With such breadth of images, it?s fascinating to see so many different perspectives so far and we look forward
to many more.
?Animal health means something
very different to each and every one
of us. It might be our family pet that
brings us daily joy or the work of a
support or assistance animal. It could
be healthy animals helping provide
healthy food or a drive for innovation
and adoption of new technologies to
improve the health and welfare of our
animals even more?The passion that
we have for animals and their health
and wellbeing shines through and it?s
wonderful to see.?
To get involved in the campaign,
visit www.noah.co.uk for more info or
tweet us at @UKNOAH.
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REMEMBRANCE
Create a special tribute
to your departed pet
Our cats mean so much to us so when they cross over
Rainbow Bridge we are understandably sad but having a
special memento really can help the healing process
M
BY MANDY WILLETT
any human lives today are
remembered with a special
service that celebrates their
life which is so much better
than the rather morose and serious
funeral services of a few decades
ago. In a time of such sadness these
services can often be quite an uplifting
experience.
It seems sensible then that having a
way to celebrate the life of a deceased
pet could also help us in the longterm
to come to terms with the loss of a
beloved friend.
Some people use one of the pet
crematoria around the country that
can offer services to recover the pet
from the vet and bury him with dignity.
Other people are happy to bury the
pet in their own garden but of course,
this isn?t always possible for many pet
owners. It is also possible to be given
your pet?s ashes rather than have a
burial.
It is certainly a sad time so don?t
rush the decision - try to decide what
you would want for yourself, your pet
and what best suits your budget. There
are several ways to keep the memory
of your pet close to your heart?here
are a few suggestions.
Commemorative plaques
Whether you are using a pet crematorium or having your pet at home,
there are a range of small headstones,
plaques and stone figures that can be
inscribed with your cat?s name, a short
message or a few tender words.
It is also possible to purchase a
small casket or urn to contain your
pet?s ashes and that can be inscribed
with their name and a date if you wish.
If you don?t have a lot of room, a
search online will provide other ideas,
such as a pebble inscribed with the
name of your cat which can be kept
in a box, displayed in your home or
perhaps added to the top of a favourite plant pot.
Jewellery
There are quite a few jewellers who
will be happy to engrave your pet?s
name onto a piece of jewellery for
you although this will often have to be
purchased from them too. Some specialist companies will incorporate your
pet?s ashes into piece of jewellery if
66
this is something that would appeal
to you. There are standard designs or
you may prefer to ask them to design
something just for you though this will
usually be more expensive.
Flowers and foliage
If you have a garden, planting a new
flower or shrub is a lovely way of remembering your cat, especially if you
can place it at a spot where they used
to enjoy napping or keeping an eye on
their surroundings. If you can afford it,
a group of plants in a pot is also a nice
idea and can be easily taken with you
if you happen to move house.
If you don?t have a garden, an
indoor planter is just as cheerful. You
could plant it with a miniature rose
bush in a bright colour or choose one
that has a beautiful smell.
Journal or photo album
Sometimes these can seem like a
good idea in hindsight, particularly if
your cat dies suddenly and unexpectedly. However, many of us have items
around the house that will always
remind us of that special feline and
perhaps a photo or two as well. A cat
blanket from their basket or cat carrier; a favourite toy; a collar; a medical record card; photos of them as a
kitten?
Gather a few items together when
you feel up to it and if they are too big
to keep, take a photo that you can print
off (or get someone to do this for you)
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REMEMBRANCE
Helping science
help animals
and put in a special album. You might
like to have a sturdy box and keep the
items inside. Write a letter to your cat if
that helps and keep that with them.
A journal is really an expansion of
the photo album. You can have a photo
on some pages and then write about
your pet on other pages, either in connection with the photo or just how you
are feeling about losing them, what
they meant to you and how beautiful they were. Some people find the
thought of doing this too upsetting but
if they do decide to give it a go, they
are amazed at how therapeutic it actually is.
It is a nice idea to keep a journal
while your cat is alive to record special
moments, mischievous actions, their
likes and dislikes, etc. When they have
passed away, you can read through it
and remember all the good times you
had when they were alive.
Every one of us will differ in how
we would like to celebrate the life of
a beloved feline and also in the time
it takes for this to become possible to
do without it being too painful. However, most pet owners will agree that in
the end, remembering a loved one in
some kind of physical way can be so
worthwhile.
The Universities Federation for
Animal Welfare (UFAW) is an
animal welfare charity ? but one
with a difference. It is unique in
harnessing the power of science
to benefit animal welfare.
From the mouse to the elephant, UFAW?s work has made a
tremendous difference to millions
of animals all around the world
since the charity was founded
over 90 years ago. Finding ways
to protect the welfare of the many
species of animals with which we
interact is a huge challenge and
we need your help. By supporting our work, you will help us to
continue to use science to better understand animals and their
needs.
Because UFAW?s work changes
attitudes and legislation regarding how animals are cared for and
treated, your support of UFAW
can help make real, practical and
lasting advances to animal welfare throughout the world ? a truly
wonderful legacy.
Please consider supporting
UFAW with a donation. Thank you.
www.ufaw.org.uk
?
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CATS ON
COUCH
THE
WITH LEADING BEHAVIOURIST INGA MACKELLAR
Visiting the vet is often a traumatic experience for a cat
but there are a few things you can do to make it easier
for you, your cat, and your vet
A
lthough we obviously hope
not to see our veterinary surgeon often, most cat owners
will need to take their pet to the surgery at least once a year for booster
vaccinations. Because of the infrequency of visits and the nature of cats,
being very territorial, these visits can
be very stressful for cats.
Cats are not accustomed to being
shut up in carriers, travelling in cars
or being away from their territory
and, therefore, a veterinary surgery
visit can be a difficult time for both
the owner and the cat. However, with
some forethought, there are things
that cat owners can do to ensure that
the experience is as smooth as possible.
Carrier concerns
Most cat owners tend to keep the
cat carrier in the garage or hidden
away in a cupboard. Therefore, the
only time that a cat sees the carrier
is when it is due for a vet visit. As
well as the carrier smelling unfamiliar, some cats may already have an
unpleasant past association of being
picked up and forcibly placed in the
carrier.
More often than not, as soon as
a cat sees the carrier, it runs off!
An ideal long term solution to this
problem is to make the carrier part
of the cat?s daily life. Depending on
the size and style of your carrier,
this can be permanently placed in
a room and perhaps draped with a
blanket. If some comfortable bedding
is provided, most cats enjoy having a
?cosy? carrier to sleep in. Particularly
during the winter months, placing
a heated pad in the carrier will be
appreciated. By having the carrier
permanently available for the cat this
not only gets the cat used to going in
and out of it, the carrier obtains the
cat?s scent.
Gentle touch
Interaction between cat and owner
varies from person to person and cat
to cat. Most cats enjoy being stroked
but not all are happy to be lifted or
carried. These issues will also have
an impact on a planned veterinary
visit. Some owners prefer their cats to
stay on the floor and will discourage
or tell their cats off for jumping onto
surfaces or tables.
But consider what happens at the
veterinary surgery. The cat is removed from the carrier and placed
on a table to be examined. Therefore,
it makes sense to get your cat accus-
tomed to being handled when placed
on a table at home. Getting into the
habit of picking up your cat and placing it on a particular table, a couple of
times a week, will make future examinations far easier. As your cat is on
the table, stroke it and feed it pieces
of tasty treats, such as chicken.
This will help your cat make
positive associations with being on
a table. After a few stroking sessions, owners can try to gently rub
and pretend to look at a cat?s ears or
gently pick up a paw etc. Regular and
systematic handling of this type will
make a real veterinary examination
potentially much easier.
Undercover journey
The whole process of travelling,
be it in a car or on public transport,
can be very distressing for cats.
Whilst some cats are confident and
inquisitive and are happy to see what
is going on around them, many become frightened by the experience.
I always recommend, unless you are
absolutely sure that your cat is not
anxious about the journey, that you
cover the carrier.
Cats feel safer in dark places
where they are ?hidden?. Ideally cover
the carrier with a blanket that your
Cats feel safer in dark places
68
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cat uses at home as this will have
its scent on it. Also ensure that any
bedding you place in the carrier is
not freshly laundered but has already
been used by your cat. Scent is
incredibly important to cats and surrounding a cat with its own scent can
help to alleviate anxiety.
At the surgery
Because scent is incredibly important to cats, arriving at a surgery
waiting room, full of other cats and
possibly dogs and other pets, as well
as unknown people, ?strange? smells
and lots of noise, can make the cat
anxious and fearful even before it is
seen by the vet.
If you have a nervous cat, then,
if you have arrived by car, let the
receptionist know and wait in the car
with your cat. You can then take your
cat straight into the consulting room
without having to wait in the waiting
room. If this is not possible, a blanket is, again, an absolute necessity.
Drape the whole carrier so that the
cat cannot see out and other animals
cannot see in. When I am at the vet
myself I am always surprised by
the number of cat owners who allow
their obviously frightened cat to be
approached and sniffed at by dogs?
or stared at by strangers. The calmer
your cat is, the less stressful the veterinary examination will be.
On returning home
If you cat as been examined by
the vet and more so, if it has been
admitted for a procedure, when your
cat comes home it will smell very
different because of the handling that
it has received. If you have a one cat
household, then this does not pose
a problem. However, if you have two
or more cats, a cat returning from the
vet could be a potential problem.
Cats living together normally
form a colony scent. They deposit
pheromones on each other through
grooming, sharing sleeping areas
and rubbing up against each other.
The returning cat will no longer smell
like part of the colony and this can
sometimes result in the other cats not
recognising it. In severe cases, the
returning cat may be attacked as an
intruder.
Therefore, when coming home
from the veterinary surgery, it is wise
to initially place the cat in a room on
its own and ?stroke? it with the blankets that the other cats have been using, to deposit the colony scent back
onto it. Alternatively use a soft cloth to
stroke the cheeks of the other cats to
pick up their pheromones and then
stroke the retuning cat with that cloth.
With these few simple procedures,
future vet visits should be less stressful for your cat, easier for you and
safer for your vet.
Tip of the month
There are many types of cat
carriers available. Top opening
carriers are easier to use and
also enable the vet to conduct
part of the examination without
having to lift the cat out of its
basket, which helps to reduce
stress in nervous or frightened
cats. If you would like help for
your cat, to find your nearest
APBC (Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors) Member visit
www.apbc.org.uk
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CATS & SCIENCE
eli ette the rst
at se t i to s a e
Regardless of how appalling the thought of sending a
cat into space, it happened - yet she has not been
remembered in the same way as other space animals
W
hen it comes to animals
heroically blasting off into
space, names like Laika
the dog or Ham the Chimpanzee would probably spring to
mind. Few people are aware that a
black and white cat was among the
involuntary participants in the early
stages of space exploration. Felicette was rocketed into space on
October 18th 1963, becoming the
first and only feline astronaut, yet her
story has been forgotten over the
years. Now, as mentioned in Mews
Round recently, a Kickstarter project
is crowdfunding for a public statue to
honour Felicette?s memory.
A brief history
Before humans ventured into
space, scientists all over the world
wanted to understand the potential
dangers of the lack of gravity on the
human body. So, from the 1950s,
animal astronauts were used to
test how living organisms coped in
space. One of the best-known spaceexploring animals was Laika, a mongrel dog that was launched on board
Sputnik 2 in 1957 by the Soviet Union. At the time, the Russians claimed
Laika had suffered no ill-effects while
in orbit; however it
was later revealed
that she died from
overheating and
stress just a few
70
BY CARLA GREENWOOD
hours into her mission. A number
of other canines followed in her
pawprints up until the mid-1960s and
while many of them returned to Earth
safely, some did not.
Other animals, mice and various
monkeys, had been used in previous
space experiments by the USA, from
as early as 1949. The first primate to
enter space was Ham the Chimpanzee. After acing his pre-flight training
tests he was ready to board suborbital flight MR-2 as part of NASA?s
project Mercury on 31st January
1961. However, it wasn?t until November of that year that a chimp was
able to successfully achieve Earth
orbit. Enos was scheduled to complete three orbits but the mission was
aborted early due to a number of
technical malfunctions and Enos was
returned safely to Earth. The success
of his mission paved the way for John
Glenn to become the first human to
orbit in space in 1962.
Felicette - a forgotten story
In 1963, the French government
had 14 cats undergo intensive spaceflight training, using the same kind of
centrifuge that human astronauts sit
in during their preflight training. The cats
also had electrodes
implanted into their
brains, so scientists
could monitor their
neurological activity. The cat selected
to undertake the first mission was a
black and white cat named Felicette,
a former Paris street cat, although
it was suggested that she had been
bought by the French government
from a dealer.
Whatever her origins, Felicette was
blasted into space in a special capsule atop a Veronique AG1 rocket on
October 1963. She flew nearly 100
miles above the earth and soared
up to six times the speed of sound,
exposing her to 9.5g?s of force. After
fifteen minutes she returned to earth
safely by parachuting down in her
space capsule. After her return, she
was kept at the CERMA laboratories
for 2-3 months while checks were
carried out. Unfortunately, she was
then put to sleep so scientists could
study the electrodes that had been
implanted in her brain. However,
Felicettes? mission was a success and
she made a valuable contribution to
scientific research.
Some space animals were celebrated for their achievements; Laika
the dog is remembered on a memorial at Star City, outside Moscow, and
Ham the chimpanzee was buried
at the international Space Hall of
Fame. Yet, Felicette was confined to
obscurity.
The non-existent Felix
?In October 1963, a male cat
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CATS & SCIENCE
called Felix was chosen to undertake
the first mission but on the day of the
launch he managed to escape! His
replacement was a female cat?.?
At least that is the story that
emerged years after Felicette safely
returned from her space trip. The
Felix myth became sufficiently wellestablished enough for him to be
commemorated, and named, on three
postage stamps from former French
colonies, over 30 years after the successful feline space flight! One of the
stamps, issued in 1992, is part of a set
showing various rockets and the animals Laika and Ham. Even if the captions on these stamps were corrected
to read ?Felicette? they would still be
inaccurate as the pictures all depicted a long-haired cat and Felicette was short-haired. However
in 2014, new information communicated directly from Dr Gerard
Chatelier, a skilled surgeon who
worked on the space programme
at CERMA at the time of her flight,
confirmed that there never was a
cat called Felix.
A statue in her honour
It seems that at long last, Felicette
will get the memorial she deserves
thanks to Matthew Serge Guy, a creative director at Anomaly London. He
decided to set up a Kickstarter
campaign for the feline astronaut
after discovering a tea towel commemorating the 50th anniversary of
the cat who went to space, in their
staff kitchen. Yet there was no name
mentioned, nor did the cat resemble Felicette. After googling it, Guy
became fascinated by her story
and how it had been forgotten over
the years. Guy says: ?F閘icette was
ultimately an unwilling participant in
this mission and had her life taken
from her, so in that regard it felt like
a statue would be an appropriate
memorial. Not only to her but widely
acknowledging the sacrifices made
by many animal astronauts worldwide
in order to lead the way for human
spaceflight.?
Depending on how much you are
willing to donate, rewards include
?autographed? postcards featuring Felicette?s actual pawprint, tote
bags and enamel pin badges. The
most generous donors will have
their names printed on a plaque by
the statue and will be given a small
replica of the statue. As of December
last year, the Kickstarter campaign
received over 1140 pledges, raising
�,000! Guy said: ?There?s been a
really positive response from people,
mostly because they, like me and my
friends, were completely unaware that
a cat has been to space. It?s such an
interesting story and F閘icette
deserves to be remembered.?
The proposed statue will
be designed by sculptor Gill
Parker, known for her bronze
animal statues, and will be
placed in Felicette?s home
town; Paris. A preliminary
sketch of the statue depicts
a cat atop a rocket, with a
plaque featuring the names of
her supporters.
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BEHAVIOUR
Do you allow your cats
in the bedroom?
Is sharing your sleeping accommodation a recipe for a
good night?s sleep or do your fractious felines keep you
awake? I have succumbed to a happy medium
i
BY LORRAINE SCHOFIELD
admit it. I am an indulgent cat
owner whose three doted-upon
felines are pandered to in so many
ways, whether it means endless
tasty treats or putting up with their
unhelpful habits such as turning a
blind eye to how Toby has recently
plucked and snagged my front room
curtains, not to mention my sofa. I
see it as the inevitable consequence
of being both a cat devotee but also
having an accommodating attitude
so that both myself and the cats are
happy and accepting of each other.
This is also the case when it comes to
my sleeping habits because although
friends and family have advised me
against it, I have always let my felines
have access the the bedrooms and
I have no qualms about sharing my
bed with them at night should they
wish to snuggle up with me on my
bed or, as is most often the case,
snooze contentedly at the foot of my
bed.
However, I am aware that many
animal behavioural experts advise
that letting your cat sleep on the bed,
whether in the daytime or at night
time, should be discouraged as it is
both unhygienic (think fleas and dirty
paws) and as also it can often result
in a poor night?s sleep. Cats are more
active at night and so will frequently
wake you up should they decide to
have what to them is an opportune
pouncing session even though it may
72
be actually 3am!
Certainly, I have heard friends
and family complain about their cats
disturbing their sleep and for some it
has meant banishing their cats from
the bedroom. My father for instance,
cannot stand pets on the bed, especially because of how they moult so
that the duvet cover is soon liberally
coated with cat hairs. For his cat,
Benny, the bedroom is strictly off limits, as is the front room when my dad
is out of the house. However, despite
this imposition of boundaries, Benny
has a regular habit of scratching at
my dad?s bedroom door each morning at 6am for his breakfast, which
was fine when my dad was working
but now that he is retired and has
actually been so for seven years, he
finds it most annoying to say the least.
Benny?s early wake up call is certainly not conducive to my dad ever
having a lie in.
Thus, it seems that whether we allow our cats into the bedroom or not
they will still have the upper hand, or
should I say paw, because if locked
out, what better way to gain access
and grab your attention than by meowing or scratching at the door and
should that fail, then plucking at or
digging up the carpet works equally
well, as many of my cat owning
friends have testified.
Nevertheless, according to a survey, two thirds of cats owners sleep
with their pets, meaning that either
they do not object to it or perhaps
they have given up trying to banish
kitty from the bedroom.
Certainly, as behavioural experts
have stressed, once a cat is allowed
to sleep in the bedroom it is very
difficult to deter them unless you are
prepared to put up with their meowing and scratching at the door. From
my own experience, my son does
not really like the cats in his bedroom
when he is not there so I always keep
the door shut and for the most part
that works. However, now and again,
Toby likes to seek sanctuary from
Mia in my son?s room and so I have,
on occasions, relented in order to
prevent my carpet from being dug
up which is another of Toby?s annoying little habits. Tibbles and Mia
meanwhile, prefer to sleep in my
bedroom and usually settle down
for the night in their favourite spots
which for Mia is on top of my chest of
drawers where I leave an old blanket.
Tibbles loves to sleep next to the
radiator on one of his fluffy scarves,
a new one of which he is treated to
every Christmas. Therefore, personally I am quite content as I turn in for
the night to know that my cats are
safe and secure and happy to be
sleeping near to me, even if they are
not actually on the bed.
Fortunately I am a very deep
sleeper so that even if the cats move
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BEHAVIOUR
about in the night it rarely disturbs
me. Furthermore, if I want to lie in,
Tibbles, Toby and Mia never disturb
me and will either stay asleep in my
bedroom or else will go downstairs
and eat some of the dry cat food
rather than wake me up. In fact, the
only time recently that I have been
disturbed from my sleep by the cats
was when when Toby?s arch enemy
Archie,who lives further up the street,
began to sneak through the cat flap in
order to steal food. I do recall being
annoyingly woken up at around 6am
one morning as Toby and Archie had
a frenzied fight in my kitchen so that
not only was my sleep disturbed but
also I was left with great tufts of ginger fur littering my kitchen floor. Still
when it comes to a choice between a
clean and tidy kitchen floor or more
sleep, I am afraid the latter won and I
went straight back to bed, reasoning
that I would attend to sweeping up
the cat fur later!
Fortunately, Archie?s unexpected
visits have now come to an end,
meaning that there have been no
more morning spats disturbing my
sleep and for this I have Mia to thank
as she took it upon herself to protect
her territory by remaining on cat flap
alert to prevent Archie gaining entry. I
witnessed this one morning when just
as Archie was about to enter the cat
flap, he was met by a swift swipe from
Mia?s right paw and a resounding hiss
so thankfully he now sees my house
as off limits.
Nonetheless, although I allow my
cats to sleep on my bed and within
the bedroom, it does have its downside. Despite having a fleecy throw
on the bed to protect the duvet cover
from cat hairs, Tibbles for instance,
will often sneak onto one of the pillows. Toby is a good little boy and
usually snoozes on the throw whereas
Mia, when not sleeping on the chest
of drawers, is partial to my ironing
pile or my rug so that they too both
need regular de-fluffing which in the
case of my clothes usually means
washing them all over again! Furthermore, when it comes to eliminating
fur balls it seems that my bedroom
rug is a favoured spot so that I have
often awoken to an unwelcome deposit there. More recently, Tibbles has
discovered a new morning game of
batting all the contents of my bedside
table onto the floor which is most annoying and this week resulted in him
smashing a glass in the process!
Certainly, letting cats sleep in the
bedroom can present challenges but
then that is probably true of any room
in the house, especially when they
are given a free rein as they are in my
house. Yet, for the most part, my cats
are relatively well behaved and our
sleeping arrangements work well.
Tibbles for instance, has a regular
ritual of jumping upon my pillow at
the sound of the alarm clock, following which we have our morning cuddle as he purrs resoundingly in my
ear. I always look forward to this little
routine each and every morning and
not only does it serve to strengthen
the bond between us but it also is a
very pleasurable start to my day.
Having cats sleeping on the bed
and within the bedroom may not
be ideal for every cat owner but for
myself it presents no real problems
and so I see no compelling reason
as to why I should change the routine. More importantly, considering
that they undoubtedly rule the roost,
I am sure that if Tibbles, Toby and
Mia could speak for themselves they
would all heartily agree that they are
very content and that our current
sleeping arrangements suit them just
fine.
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SHOW DATES
CLUB EVENTS FOR YOU DIARY
GCCF
JANUARY
January 14
Cameo Pewter & Smoke Society
Gnosall Village Hall, Lowfield Lane,
Gnosall, Stafford ST20 0ET
January 20
Abyssinian Cat Association
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
Asian Group Cat Society
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
Burmese Cat Club
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
Colour pointed British
Shorthair Cat Club
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
Cornish Rex Cat Society
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
74
74_CW 479.indd 74
Singapura Cat Club
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
Snowshoe Cat Society
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
Colourpoint Cat Club
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
Rex Cat Club
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
Egyptian Mau Society
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
January 27th
Celtic Longhair & Semi
Longhair Cat Society
Chepstow Leisure Centre, Welsh
Street, Chepstow, Monmouthshire
NP16 5LR
Shropshire Cat Club
Fenton Manor Sports Complex, City
Road, Fenton, Stoke on Trent ST4 2RR
Croydon Cat Club
Rivermead Leisure Complex,
Richfield Avenue, Reading,
West Berkshire RG1 8EQ
Southern Counties Cat Club
Rivermead Leisure Complex,
Richfield Avenue, Reading,
West Berkshire RG1 8EQ
February 11th
Midland Cat Club of Ireland
Presentation Sports Complex,
Thurles, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
February 17th
Norwegian Forest Cat Club
The Greig Leisure Centre,
Kinwarton Road, Ancestor,
Warwickshire B49 6AD
Siamese Cat Society of the British
Empire
Bugbrooke Community Centre,
Camp Close, Bugbrooke,
Northampton NN7 3RW
TICA
La Perm Cat Club
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
United Chinchilla Association
Milton Malsor Village Hall, High
Street, Milton Malsor, Northampton
NN7 3AS
FEBRUARY 10-11
NaturallyTICA,
Doncaster,
South Yorkshire
FEBRUARY
Short Haired Cat Society
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
February 3rd
North of Britain Longhair &
Semi Longhair Cat Club
Doncaster School for the Deaf,
Leger Way, Doncaster DN2 6AY
MARCH 9-11
Fantastica All
Breed Cat Club,
Swindon, Wiltshire
C AT W O R L D
13/12/2017 12:55
PASHA & TANNI
Into the New Year with
Pasha and Tanni
With the festive season over for another year and decorations
finally put away, it?s time to find new sources of entertainment
and the Siamese duo are never bored for long
t
he New Year has arrived and with
it the opportunity to make new
resolutions. Siamese boys Pasha
and Tanni were born under the
Zodiac sign of Cancer and I tell them
their resolution should be to watch the
waistline and don?t go pinching food
from another cat. Tanni gazes back at
me with his deep blue eyes the colour
of corn flowers, wearing his most innocent look ?What me? Pinch Pasha?s
food? Is that what you think? I tell him
I don?t just think, I know what he has
been up to and Pasha is daft enough
to let him get away with it! But far from
being chubby, Tanni is lynx-like and
lean, with muscles most human guys
would be envious of!
The last of the Christmas decorations have been put away for another
year and the Siamese duo were in
their element trying to unwrap things
as soon as I had wrapped them. And
then of course there was the jumping
in and out of the boxes, crash landing on delicate festive bits and bobs.
In the end I had to distract them with
treats to let me get on with wrapping
up Christmas.
With Pasha and Tanni spending so
much time indoors in the warm, I am
eager to give them the best in home
comforts. On each wooden window sill
I have placed soft blankets for them to
sit and bird watch in comfort. Well that
was the theory! In practice, as soon as
my back is turned they knock these
down and drag them across the floor,
BY INGRID HOOPER
upstairs, downstairs and, on occasions,
through the cat flap.
When they get bored I know it?s
time to be inventive and devise a new
game to capture their interest. Though
so far greedy Tanni?s favourite game
is to play treasure hunts with a find the
clues to lead to treats treasure.
Pasha?s favourite game is to climb
anything and everything. The higher
and the more difficult the better! But
he is also partial to patting the back
of my legs or my backside as I go
upstairs. He is very gentle, with claws
sheathed but he clearly finds this
amusing!
Tanni watches Pasha do his party
piece and then, not to be outdone,
he goes through his own party piece
which is to roll over in front of you as
you walk and invite you to stroke his
tummy. This he gets from the boys?
Grandma, Layla!
When the wind howls down the
chimney Pasha, being a brave sort of
cat, rushes over to investigate, convinced there is an animal to fend off.
Meanwhile Tanni?s instinct is more
flight than fight as he rushes for high
ground.
But then Tanni is ?Head of Spooks?
as he frequently stares at ?nothing we
can see! Initially I thought perhaps this
might be an animal or owl outside. But
often he gazes at something which to
him appears to be moving around the
room which blows out the animal or
owl outside theory. Sometimes whatev-
er he is watching makes its way back
across the room and out of the door.
An insect perhaps? Who knows - and
Tanni certainly isn?t telling!
Sometimes, to amuse themselves
the Siamese duo seek out unexpected
places to hide away and snooze. Their
pleasure when they can take me by
surprise has to be seen to be believed. Pasha and Tanni clearly have a
good sense of humour.
But for all the indoor pleasures
I can?t help feeling they miss their
companions: the other cats, the guinea
pigs and assorted wildlife. With the
exception of the chickens.
I caught Pasha up on the fence not
long ago spying on something in a
neighbour?s garden. He was clearly
fascinated but he had no intention of
jumping down to investigate further.
He did the classic cat thing of leaning
forward but at the same time pulling back. When I went to investigate
I found a couple of the neighbour?s
chickens were out. Having tangled
with the chickens a few times before,
Pasha wasn?t taking any chances.
Happy New Year from Pasha &
Tanni!
? Follow
Pasha & Tanni?s kitten
adventures on their blog at
www.CatsHaveStaff.co.uk
? Cats Have Staff ? The Saffi & Misa
Diaries by Ingrid Hooper is available
from the above website or from Amazon. Out now in paperback and Kindle.
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FELINE FUN
Spot the difference
Wordsearch
Can you find 6 things in the picture that are missing?
February is all about love and romance so we?ve got a few
words along that theme hidden in the grid below. We?ve
provided a list of them all to help but one word in the list is
missing from the grid - it?s up to you to find which word it is.
R
B
C
U
D
D
L
E
S
O
U
O
S
Y
T
T A
E S
O R
E U
J N
T R
Z H
X P
D Y
I G
V H
L E
H I
V E
DM
D
E
B
I
Q
I
L
N
T
I
O
I
V
E
V
N
S
V
J
M
U
M
W
A
E
K
O
M
O
C
VALENTINE
BOUQUET
CHOCOLATES
KISSES
CUDDLES
Answers from last month
Across: 1. Resolutions, 4. Norwegian Forest, 8. Subscription,
9. February. Down: 2. Obesity,
3. Trafalgar Square, 5. Fleas, 6.
Pusheen, 7. Hogmanay.
Spot the difference, left.
76
76_CW 479.indd 76
C
S
F
P
D
D
E
E
Q
O
T
O
U
S
J
N
I
F
I
K
S
A
T
B
I
P
O
E
D
T
B
K
I
F
M
U
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O
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Y
R
M
K
V
S
T
R
P
K
R
V
N
E
E
D
D
L
K
R
A
F
X
W
H
P
Z
Z
V
R
U
W
M
S
G
J
H
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V
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R
U
O
B
I
C
W
J
T
R
B
Q
A
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P
I
L
T
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U
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N
T
P
L
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W
V
P
S
N
F
W
Z
B
B
S
Z
F
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S
Y
Y
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V
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M
Y
G
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N
I
T
N
E
L
A
V
P
Z
L
L
W
B
DEVOTION
SECRET ADMIRER
SURPRISE
LOVE YOU
BE MINE
DID YOU KNOW?
A CAT CAN HEAR HIGHFREQUENCY SOUNDS UP
TO TWO OCTAVES HIGHER
THAN A HUMAN.
C AT W O R L D
15/12/2017 09:49
Do you love me??
Cats are private and aloof creatures at times so check out these signs
that your cat gives you to let you know how much he loves you
Gifts
rub?this exposes
the cat?s most vulnerable area - his tum - and he
will only do this if you have his
trust.
As much as we
loathe finding a bird or
mouse on our doorstep of
a morning, these gifts actually
show that your cat is hunting so that
he can care for you and make sure
you?re ok. Don?t get cross - praise him
and then dispose of the gift sensitively
please.
Eye contact
If your cat looks at you with half
closed eyes, he is showing you his appreciation. Be wary of staring back at
him with open eyes though as cats see
this as a threat. Look at his tail or paws
instead and give him a stroke to say
thank you.
Kneady puss
If your cat is happy to get onto your
Rude?
lap (sadly not all cats are), and he
begins ?treading on the spot? this is
called kneading and is a real sign of
affection. Kittens knead their mothers,
possibly to generate milk, but also to
show love.
Trust
One of the key parts of a loving
relationship is trust and cats show this
by rolling over onto their side or back
so you can give them a quick tummy
Noticed your cat standing in front
of you with his bottom facing you and
his tail raised? Don?t be alarmed or
offended - this is actually an invitation
reserved for the privileged (for cats,
anyway!). He is inviting you to sniff the
glands beside his anus which is an
honour indeed if you are another cat.
Be mine
When your cat rubs his face or
body on you, he is not only pleased to
see you, he is transferring his scent to
you and claiming you as his property.
What bigger sign of love do you need?
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CAT CARE
Showing the love for yo
Even if you have owned cats before, bringing a new cat into your home means
starting with the basics and settling him in with lots of love and care
BY AMY POTTER
Food and water
There?s nothing worse than getting
home and realising you don?t have
anything for kitty to eat. Keep stocks
in and try and buy good quality food,
rather than just what?s the cheapest
and balance the treats so you don?t
under or over feed your cat. Variety is
welcome sometimes in terms of the
same brand?s flavours; jelly, gravy or
sauce and so on. If you feed your cats
a raw diet then hats off to you. It takes
a lot of effort and you have to get the
balance of essential nutrients right but
it is natural. Make sure you provide
several sources of water, indoors and
out. You can?t beat a water fountain
78
to encourage a cat to drink but do
remember to change the water and
change the filters when needed.
Grooming
Buy a brush with which to groom
your cat. This helps the two of you
bond. But more than that, this also
helps control shedding. You?ll appreciate the fact that less of his fur is on
your clothes and furniture. And he?ll
appreciate that there?s less fur for him
to groom himself and get hairballs in
his tummy.
Play
Don?t let your new friend get bored.
Sometimes cats are like kids. With children, you buy them a toy and they end
up playing with the box. Don?t be surprised if your cat finds an empty box
and starts playing. Entertainment is
the key here ? bought or home made
? just make sure you get involved to
create a great bond.
A good vet
Your cat may not appreciate this
right now but if you find a good vet,
there won?t be any interruption or
problems with your pet receiving
good medical care. There is an increasing number of feline-only vets
appearing all over the country so if
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CAT CARE
r your feline friend
you have a particularly anxious cat,
finding one close to you could be of
great advantage to you both. Always
keep an eye on ailments and illness.
Patience
New cat? Don?t forget to be patient
with your new friend. You?ll be bringing him into unknown terrain when
he comes home with you. Give him a
chance to investigate his environment
as well as to ?sniff out? strange new
smells ? that?s how he learns about his
world. Be patient with him as he tries
to learn the rules. As long as you have
enough love and patience, then everything else about cat ownership will
work itself out.
Time
This one is right up there with play
and patience but think about time in
terms of staying in and being with your
cat, reading about them and learning
about their likes, dislikes and routines.
We need attention and bonding time
with our pets. Owners should always
ensure they have time to play with,
feed, groom and cuddle their kitty.
Love
The most essential of all ingredients
to make you the ultimate cat owner.
Love to a cat is buying the right kind of
food, reacting quickly and taking them
to the vet if they seem poorly, keeping them safe and warm and allowing
them to be cats and act out their natural behaviours ? indoors and out.
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DIRECTORY
THE UK?S LEADING BREED-BY-BREED GUIDE TO CATS AND KITTENS FOR SALE
AUSTRALIAN MIST
ROSE VALLEY. Australian Mist
kittens. New breed to the UK.
Claimed to be the perfect family
cat. Reg/Vac/Ins and microchipped. Spotted or marbelled in
six colours. Tel 0118 9811109.
Also Burmese kittens.
www.katsacute.co.uk
katsacute@gmail.com
BENGALS
OAKMERE HALL AMIGAMIA
BENGALS AND RAGDOLLS.
Alison Newman. Family reared
indoors, well socialised, affectionate from multi champion
lines. GCCF/TICA ref TBRCC/
PBRCC VACC/INS.
www.amigamia.co.uk
Mid-Cheshire 01606-883528.
BIRMAN
JANDOUGLEN. Mrs Ann V
C Mott Bury St Edmunds.
*Birmans - Seals, Blues,
Chocolates, Lilacs, Reds. Also
Tabbies in these colours.
01359 221200
ann.mott@freeuk.com
www.ann.mott.freeuk.com
BRITISH SHORTHAIR
CARASSACAT British
Shorthairs, GCCF Registered
Breeder. PKD Tested. All my
kittens are fully vaccinated,
microchipped & insured before
they leave me. They are reared
in my house so are used to dogs
& everyday comings & goings.
Specialising in Colour Points,
Self?s & Bi colours.
Email carassacat@outlook.com
phone 01527 273942 website
www.carassacat.co.uk
CROWVALLEY. Mrs Betty
Williams Pontypool F.A.B.
Listed cattery breeder of British
Shorthair Silver Tabby/Spotted
80
ous colours, home reared, well
socialised and used to dogs.
This unusual breed makes fun
loving, affectionate family pets.
GCCF Reg/Vacc/Insurance/
Flea & Wormed/Microchipped.
Enquiries welcome, contact:
0208 641 5695 or email:
cthompson1@blueyonder.co.uk
You have seen the rest,
now ask the 'BEST'
We are a group of dedicated,
experienced and well
respected breeders of the
British Shorthair Cat. If you
need help, information or advice
in choosing the ?purrfect? companion for
you, whether you would like a kitten or
an older cat, please contact us.
www.bestofbritishshorthairs.co.uk
and Black Smoke. All kittens are
home reared with Ped/Reg/Vac/
Ins.flea & worm treated.
Parents can be seen.
01495 785546
Williams0ja@btinternet.com
Crowvalleycattery.co.uk
KERNMERE BRITISH BLUES,
Creams, Silvers, Colourpoints,
Lilacs, Torties.
Tel: 02476 681335
Mobile: 07519972046
Email: jeanette.Knapp@
btinternet.com
Web: www.kernmere-cats.com
LARNIKAT. British Shorthairs
kittens, Colourpoints in all
colours, + Tabby Colourpoints,
selfs in Blues and Lilacs,
sometimes Spotties and
Tabbies. Reg/Vacc/Ins. Homereared. PKD-negative tested.
01922-620505.W.Midlands.
linda299ward@btinternet.com
www.larnikat.com
LEAHS BLUES British
Shorthairs. Available now: Lilac
boys, Lilac girls and Lilac Point
boys. Sometimes available:
Blues, Blue points & Chocolates.
Reg/Vacc/Ins. 01442 236860 /
07866266477.
john.baxter093@gmail.com
web: www.leahsblues.com
Hertfordshire
WWW.CATWORLD.CO.UK
Telephone:
Valerie: 01652 654574
Sharon: 02476 684350
BURMESE
KATSACUTE BURMESE, most
colours. Bred for temperament,
substance and quality. House
reared with children and dogs.
Fully Vacc/Ins/Reg and microchipped. Responsible homes
only. Tel 0118-9811109.
www.katsacute.co.uk
Hants/Berks.border.
BURMILLA
GAZZELLA. Burmillas & Asian
Smokes - Experienced breeder.
Cats tested PKD negative Home
reared, vaccinated and microchipped kittens sometimes available. See website for current
details. Gloucester
07507 649294 / 01594 564071.
barbara@gazzellacats.co.uk
www.gazzellacats.co.uk
COLOURPOINT
AMORAMIST COLOURPOINTS, chocolate torties and
red points available. PKD negative. Micro chipped.
01326 240907
mareenritchie@yahoo.co.uk
www.amoramist.com
CORNISH REX
Curly coated Pedigree
Cornish Rex kittens, vari-
FOREIGN
MS MARJORIE DAVIDSONSMITH, Hatfield. Ootha.
*Siamese, Foreign White &
Oriental SH. Kittens sometimes
available. 01707 264450
pentirah5@ntlworld.com
KORATS
KOORAHK KORATS often
have kittens available. Home
reared with love. Registered,
Vaccinated, Insured,
Microchipped. Own stud.
Tel 0161 281 6482.
Email: koorahkliliwen@gmail.com
Web: www.koorahkkorats
direct.co.uk
MAINE COONS
AMORAMIST MAINE COONS
Maureen Holden Ritchie.
Breeding solid whites, tabbies
with and without white, and
solids. Champion lines. Persians
and colourpoints. (winner of
Supreme). All PKD negative and
reared underfoot.
01326 240907
mareenholdenritchie@yahoo.
co.uk www.amoramist.com
LEAHSBLUES. Maine Coons
- Silvers, Blues, Torties & Reds.
British Shorthair - Blues, Blue
Points, Chocolates, Reg/Vacc/
Ins. 01442 236860/07866
266477.
johnbaxter@leahsblues.fsnet.
co.uk web: www.leahsblues.com
C AT W O R L D
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Y OF BREEDS
TO BOOK YOUR ADVERT IN THE DIRECTORY OF BREEDERS CALL US ON 01903 884988
THE MAINE COON
CAT CLUB
GCCF AFFILIATED, ESTABLISHED 1985
For general information about
the breed or the club,
contact Linda Swinburn on
0161 7662674
For details of kittens available
countrywide, contact
Sarah Holden on 07720 773718
after 7pm please
Or visit the club?s web site at
www.maine-coon-cat-club.com
LUNARIS. Mrs Jean Brown
Aldwincle Maine Coons - Quality
home reared kittens sometimes
available to approved homes.
01832 720359
ronbrown10@supanet.com
www.lunaris.uk.com
NORWEGIAN FOREST
ELFENTANZ. Mrs Elinor M B
Herbert Kirkcaldy. Norwegian
Forest Cats - Brown Tabby,
White and Black kittens
01592 267002
elfentanz@btinternet.com
www.elfentanznfc.co.uk
ORIENTALS
MS MARJORIE DAVIDSONSMITH, Hatfield. Ootha.
*Siamese, Foreign White &
Oriental SH. Kittens sometimes
available. 01707 264450
pentirah5@ntlworld.com
RAGAMUFFIN
UK RagaMuffin
Cat Society
For Authentic
RagaMuffin kittens
Phone 01730 300692
www.ukrmcs.co.uk
RAGDOLL
EMERISLE CATS. Mrs Jeanette
Fitzpatrick. Ragdolls - all patterns
& colours. *Seal Colourpoint,
*Seal Tabby Colourpoint,
*Blue Bi-Colour, *Cream, *Seal
Mitted, *Blue Mitted. *Tiffanies.
*Scottish Fold. *British Shorthair.
Reasonably priced. TBRCC or
PRBCC Breeder of the year
1999- 2011. TBRCC breeder of
the top Ragdoll 1993, 1995/96.
Best Opposite Sex 1995/96.
Breeder of Supreme Show 1999
Top Ragdoll & sire of the first
Ragdoll to win the UK Grand
Title 2003. Breeder of the Best
kitten, adult & neuter 1999-2003.
Established 27 years - our beautiful cats feature on ?Its a Cats
Life? video, appeared on Granada
Live TV and photographs regularly feature in all cat magazines.
01943 461852 07774 650217
fitzpatrick.jeanette@googlemail.
com www.emerisle-cats.co.uk
OAKMERE HALL AMIGAMIA
BENGALS AND RAGDOLLS.
Alison Newman. Family reared
indoors, well socialised, affectionate from multi champion
lines. GCCF/TICA ref TBRCC/
PBRCC VACC/INS.
www.amigamia.co.uk
Mid-Cheshire 01606-883528.
SIAMESE
Ms Marjorie Davidson-Smith,
Hatfield. Ootha. *Siamese,
Foreign White & Oriental SH.
Kittens sometimes available.
01707 264450
pentirah5@ntlworld.com
USEFUL ADDRESSES
THE GOVERNING COUNCIL OF
THE CAT FANCY,
5 King?s Castle Business Park, The Drove,
Bridgwater, Somerset TA6 4AG.
Tel: 01278 427 575
www.gccfcats.org/contact.html
BLUE CROSS
The Animal Hospital, Sheppard House,
High Street, Victoria, London SW1V 1QQ.
Tel: 020 7834 1128
FELISBRITANNICA
Office of the General Secretary, 63 Fingal
Street, Greenwich, London SE10 0JL
Tel: 0208 858 5318
Email: felisbritannicasecretary@gmail.com
www.felisbritannica.co.uk
FELINE ADVISORY BUREAU
Taeselbury High Street, Tisbury,
Wiltshire SP3 6LD
Tel: 0870 742 2278 Fax: 01747 871873
Email: catteries@fabcats.org
www.fabcats.org
ALNAKEED SPHYNX world
Champion babies to loving
indoor homes. Kittens often
available. All colours including
Lilac. Tel: 01383-721311/07939
116861. alnakeed@aol.com.
Find me on Facebook under
Carole Langham.
THE INTERNATIONAL CAT ASSOCIATION
Phil Cornwell, Regional Director, 31 Louthe
Way, Sawtry, Cambridgeshire PE28 5TR
Tel: 01487 800014
www.tica-uk.org.uk
ASSOCIATION OF PET BEHAVIOUR
COUNSELLORS
For details of a behaviour counsellor
in your area, send a SAE to:
PO Box 46, Worcester WR8 9YS.
Tel: 01386 751151
THE BLUE CROSS ANIMAL
WELFARE SOCIETY
Shilton Road, Burford, Oxon OX18 4PF
Tel: 01993 822651
THE PET BEREAVEMENT SERVICE
Run jointly by the Society of Animal Studies
and the Blue Cross.
Freephone: 0800 096 6606,
(between 8.30am and 5.30pm)
VARIOUS
EMERISLE KITTENS. Ragdolls
from breeder of the year 11yrs
running, Tiffanies, Scottish Fold,
British Shorthair. Reasonably
priced.
07774-650217/01943-461852
www.emerisle-cats.co.uk
SHOWCASE
your special cat
Give your cat the recognition he
or she deserves with a spot in Cat
World?s prestigious breed gallery.
maria@ashdown.co.uk
call: 01903 884988 (opt. 2)
SPHYNX
WOOZLES Mrs Sue Bloxham,
Colchester. Sphynx - Happy
outgoing personalities. Indoor
homes. Various colours.
01621 815769
sue@woozlessphynxcats.co.uk
www.woozles.uk.com
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CATTY CHATTER
TAIL END
How far would you go for your cat? This family have travelled hundreds
of miles several times to collect their new feline family member
T
here we were
on a 400 mile
journey to visit
Peterborough with the
kids in the back, bribed
with sweets, a DVD and
a visit to Skegness to
sustain their stomachs
and my spirits. My other
half was driving and so
spent the journey glued
to his sat nav in a world
of his own. Not my idea
of fun, so why were we
doing this to ourselves?
A cat of course - not any
old cat - a precious cat
and a really wanted cat.
I know all cats are
special and I?ve had
quite a few. There was
the tabby that shared
my pram and swung
under the bottom of the
Minor bird?s cage while
he screeched ?Caaaat?.
Then Nikki, my moggie who was rescued
from the chimney as a
kitten, who stole next
door?s lunch from their
kitchen table and the
fish from the pond. The
three Persians who were
all rescued, each with
accumulated bad habits
but all with the dislike
of anything but the best
chicken and pure hatred
of any brush.
Scampi, my foreign
black, I travelled 300
miles by train to collect,
missed the connection
home and had to feed
her scampi on Crewe
station in the middle of a
football crowd. She was
beautiful, loving, sat on
my shoulders to talk to
me and died too young.
The first cat I had
shared with my better
half was a rescued feral
cat, Smudge, who came
from London. He hid
from us for two weeks
and at the age of twelve
he finally let us pick him
up. Our absolute favourite was our Siamese,
Cleo. Elegant, clever,
graceful and very, very
noisy. I had wanted a
Siamese ever since
watching Lady and the
Tramp as a child. We
were not to be disappointed - she was just
as naughty! So, fifteen
years later, we found
ourselves without a cat
for the first time in forty
years. It felt odd, like
we?d lost or forgotten
something. We have a
dog but dogs are different.
Back to the car journey. and why we went on
it just to see a kitten. Not
just a kitten - a Siamese
kitten. The first suitable
kitten in six months of
looking. There are hundreds of Siamese kittens
advertised. We were not
fussy about colour; we
would like to take the
kitten to a show because
its fun but wouldn?t be
upset if it didn?t win
anything. So why did it
prove so hard for us to
find our special kitten? The problem is we
wanted to breed a few
litters, not to become
professional breeders
but just because we love
kittens and Siamese
cats.
Most breeders will
not sell a kitten for
breeding, so how do
you get them? Finally
we found a breeder in
Cambridgeshire who
agreed to meet us and
show us her kindle of
kittens. We arrived and
were very nervous to
meet the breeder and
get her approval. We
needn?t have worried;
she was lovely and her
kittens were gorgeous.
My children spent a
happy half an hour
being their playmates,
while my husband and I
had to restrain ourselves
from joining in. One of
the kittens chose us and
we made arrangements
to buy her. We couldn?t
take her home until she
was older. That was only
a two week wait, which
seemed so long.
Funny; I swear the
journey home that day
was a bit shorter.
?I had wanted a Siamese ever since
watching Lady and the Tramp?
82
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15/12/2017 12:20
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84_CW 479.indd 84
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1
15/12/2017 17:17
12:21
04/12/2017
doled out
like sweets to our unsuspecting pets.
To be fair, vets are now realising the
severity of the problem and are usually more circumspect these days in
the drugs they dispense.
An ideal world
In my veterinary utopia, all vets
would be trained in all therapies,
traditional and conventional, ancient
and modern. The normal approach
to any patient would then be to assess the presenting problem holistically, carry out any tests and investigations that were essential but to
keep them to an absolute minimum.
Where possible, natural, traditional
medicine would be used to treat the
condition, with the backup of conventional drugs, surgery and other
treatments if necessary. I?m certain
this approach would cut down on
veterinary costs, would be effective
for the patient and would reduce
62-63_CW 479.indd 63
the chances of adverse reactions to
treatment. It would also be better for
the environment ? the production of
conventional drugs often involves
using substances that cause pollution. It would leave pets healthier
and happier. Unfortunately, it would
reduce the profits of large pharmaceutical companies enormously
? these companies have enormous
power and influence and would obviously not back such an idea.
Veterinary training is paid for,
in part, by sponsorship from drug
companies. So my idea may be a
pipe dream for the moment but the
number of vets becoming involved
in traditional medicine is increasing
slowly and the interest in and demand for natural medicines for pets
is also increasing. Which brings me
on to the point ? what natural treatments are available, what can they
treat, and how effective are they?
Common treatments
The therapies that are most commonly available for cats are acupuncture, flower essences, healing,
herbal medicine, homoeopathy
and manipulative therapies (such
as physiotherapy, chiropractic and
osteopathy). There are a few other
therapies you might come across,
such as colour therapy, radionics
and the like but these are much less
easy to find.
Next time you have to take your
cat to your vets, do ask what drugs
are being given and why. And if
antibiotics are being prescribed,
enquire the rationale for their use:
Is an infection definitely present?
If not, why is the antibiotic being
given? You might feel that your vet
won?t like you asking but any vet
worth his or her salt should be quite
open to being asked for information
about treatment and be prepared to
justify it. The long-term health of us
and our pets depends partly on the
reduction of unnecessary and inappropriate drug therapy ? so go on,
ask the question!
13/12/2017 12:48
A
NURSE?S NOTES
JANET PENNINGTON REPORTS FROM THE FRONTLINE OF A BUSY VETERINARY PRACTICE
Dental procedures are often handed over by the vet to give
the senior nurses something to get their teeth into
C
ats have lethargy
down to a fine
art. But when
Sting came into the consultation room I thought
it was something sinister.
His owner wondered if it
was simply a case of him
being too hot to be bothered eating or grooming.
I know from my own
cats that they sometimes
eat less when it?s hot. But
feline dignity would never
stop them grooming. No,
Sting must have been ill.
He had lost weight, too his pelvis protruded from
an obvious hollow. When
the vet opened Sting?s
mouth a stale smell of rotting crabs flowed out. He
was very ill, I thought.
My first reaction was
kidney disease, the
symptoms were characteristic. As the vet peered
studiously into Sting?s
mouth he said: ?Ah yes,
that?s the problem. Tartar.?
I did feel relieved. We
could sort out this problem quickly and with a
complete recovery for
the patient.
Sting was booked in
for a dental the following
day. Unlike people, cats
need a general anaesthetic but otherwise, a
scale and polish is just
the same. This procedure,
being non-invasive, is
often performed by senior nurses in the practice
I worked in. It?s a very
messy job with water
spraying all over the
dentist?s face and sharp
tartar flying everywhere.
The nurse is masked,
gloved, aproned, hair in a
net. No wonder it?s a job
vets are willing to hand
over! While the senior
nurse worked through
her lunch cleaning Sting?s
teeth, I prepared the
consultation rooms for the
afternoon appointments.
That meant a thorough
wash-down of all surfaces
including window ledges
and walls as well as the
floor and examination
table. The vaccinations
that had been used during the morning were to
be replaced and drugs,
needles, syringes, cotton
wool, paper towels and
soap were all topped up.
Finally I checked on
the afternoon appointments to make sure
there were no strange or
unusual cases expected
so that I could inform the
vet or have extra equipment ready. There were
plenty of boosters due
in that day so I put extra
needles and syringes in
the drawer in preparation.
When the first appointment is a booster, I draw
it up ready for the vet and
stand ready with a pen so
I can fill in all the details
and then just hand it over
for him to sign.
When all the consultation rooms were ready
I went for my lunch. But
the senior nurse sent a
message up asking the
vet for some help. There
was a complication with
Sting. I finished my lunch
quickly so I could find out
what was happening. The
nurse thought that decay
had set in under the tartar
on some of the cat?s teeth.
The vet agreed and said:
?Yes, they?ll have to come
out.? He took over from
the senior nurse and gave
her a chance to stretch
away the cramp that being hunched over gives.
Sting was placed in
his kennel a bit later. I
expected to see a more
comfortable, happy cat
but I didn?t. Instead was
a bloodied, dribbly cat.
Alarmed, I read his kennel
card. Thirteen extractions!
Only his canines survived.
I cleaned him up as best I
could - the seepage continued for a while - and
gave him plenty of TLC. I
couldn?t imagine what that
many extractions felt like.
It was recommended that
he stayed in overnight for
observation and I left him
in the hands of the duty
vet.
Next morning, however, Sting was as bright as
a button and all clean. He
had cleaned himself up a
treat, better than I could
have done with hydrogen
peroxide and cotton wool
swabs. His good looks
hadn?t been lost, either.
The loss of thirteen teeth
didn?t seem to leave him
hollow-cheeked as it
would have done with me
or you. The vet now said
that I should try him with
something tasty like tuna
but very well mashed. I
rummaged around the
veterinary shop and
found some salmon and
prawns in jelly, the kind
of cat food that looks like
fish and not just ?cat food?.
This always tempts. Sting
was starving. He hadn?t
eaten for days. The type
of food wasn?t important.
He just wanted something
to sink his teeth into.
?A stale smell of rotting crabs flowed out?
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JUNE 2016
13/12/2017 12:48
CATS AND US
NOAH unveils Industry
in Focus photo campaign
A
Photo: Ben Lister PA Wire
Highlighting the benefits of cat ownership with photographs
and inspirational stories to create a vision of animal health
today with the National Office for Animal Health
BY JILL MUNDY
nimal health and medicines
organisation NOAH took advantage of the London Vet show in
November to unveil its Industry
in Focus campaign ? showcasing images and stories from across the animal health industry and beyond. The
campaign offers an amazing insight
into how animal health looks today.
From indoor rabbits, to medical
detection dogs; from cats who share a
special bond with their owner, through
to healthy animals that produce our
food, the campaign celebrates and
champions good animal health from
many viewpoints and helps explain
what good health means and what is
needed to make it happen.
Two of the photos submitted for the
2017 campaign are show here, with
details that explain why they are so
special.
Chair BVA Animal Welfare Foundation and Canine and Feline Sector
Group, Chris Laurence with Anna,
Libby and Prudence:
?I chose to take this photo because
it shows how the relationship between
dogs and cats can work so well when
they have been brought up together.
The dogs (Anna and Libby) are
mother and daughter and the cat (Prudence) was a rescue cat, dumped in
a cardboard box at about eight weeks
old. Sadly they are no longer with us
anymore but we have lovely memories
of our three wonderful pets who enhanced the lives of three generations
of the family.?
Cats Protection, Catherine Jarvis
with Lunar: (Photo: Ben Lister PA Wire)
Everyday life for Ali Coles, 29, can
bring many potential hazards. Ali
has postural orthostatic tachycardia
syndrome, which causes frequent and
unexpected fainting episodes while
another medical condition - EhlersDalos syndrome - can lead to her
sustaining serious injuries.
Help is at hand from her twelveyear-old cat Lunar who she adopted
from Cats Protection. Lunar will stubbornly sit on Ali just prior to a fainting
episode, regardless of what she is
doing.
Ali said: ?Even if I?m standing up,
Lunar will sit on my feet and it?s the
warning I need to prepare myself for
what?s about to happen. Our vet thinks
that Lunar is able to sense the subtle
chemical change which happens prior
to a blackout.?
Lunar?s achievement led to her winning a Special Recognition Award at
Cats Protection?s National Cat Awards
in 2017.
NOAH created the Industry in Focus
campaign to highlight how much animals mean to many different people
and the different issues that are affecting animal health today. The campaign
has the support of around 20 hand
picked supporters and will continue
to gather individual experiences
throughout 2018. So far it has brought
together images and stories from vets,
animal charities, pet owners, farmers
and more. Over time, the aim of the
campaign is to build the ultimate picture of animal health in the UK through
an inspiring, participative campaign.
Dawn Howard, NOAH chief executive, said: ?We?re delighted to see that
so many people are keen to show
what animal health means to them.
With such breadth of images, it?s fascinating to see so many different perspectives so far and we look forward
to many more.
?Animal health means something
very different to each and every one
of us. It might be our family pet that
brings us daily joy or the work of a
support or assistance animal. It could
be healthy animals helping provide
healthy food or a drive for innovation
and adoption of new technologies to
improve the health and welfare of our
animals even more?The passion that
we have for animals and their health
and wellbeing shines through and it?s
wonderful to see.?
To get involved in the campaign,
visit www.noah.co.uk for more info or
tweet us at @UKNOAH.
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14/12/2017 13:22
REMEMBRANCE
Create a special tribute
to your departed pet
Our cats mean so much to us so when they cross over
Rainbow Bridge we are understandably sad but having a
special memento really can help the healing process
M
BY MANDY WILLETT
any human lives today are
remembered with a special
service that celebrates their
life which is so much better
than the rather morose and serious
funeral services of a few decades
ago. In a time of such sadness these
services can often be quite an uplifting
experience.
It seems sensible then that having a
way to celebrate the life of a deceased
pet could also help us in the longterm
to come to terms with the loss of a
beloved friend.
Some people use one of the pet
crematoria around the country that
can offer services to recover the pet
from the vet and bury him with dignity.
Other people are happy to bury the
pet in their own garden but of course,
this isn?t always possible for many pet
owners. It is also possible to be given
your pet?s ashes rather than have a
burial.
It is certainly a sad time so don?t
rush the decision - try to decide what
you would want for yourself, your pet
and what best suits your budget. There
are several ways to keep the memory
of your pet close to your heart?here
are a few suggestions.
Commemorative plaques
Whether you are using a pet crematorium or having your pet at home,
there are a range of small headstones,
plaques and stone figures that can be
inscribed with your cat?s name, a short
message or a few tender words.
It is also possible to purchase a
small casket or urn to contain your
pet?s ashes and that can be inscribed
with their name and a date if you wish.
If you don?t have a lot of room, a
search online will provide other ideas,
such as a pebble inscribed with the
name of your cat which can be kept
in a box, displayed in your home or
perhaps added to the top of a favourite plant pot.
Jewellery
There are quite a few jewellers who
will be happy to engrave your pet?s
name onto a piece of jewellery for
you although this will often have to be
purchased from them too. Some specialist companies will incorporate your
pet?s ashes into piece of jewellery if
66
this is something that would appeal
to you. There are standard designs or
you may prefer to ask them to design
something just for you though this will
usually be more expensive.
Flowers and foliage
If you have a garden, planting a new
flower or shrub is a lovely way of remembering your cat, especially if you
can place it at a spot where they used
to enjoy napping or keeping an eye on
their surroundings. If you can afford it,
a group of plants in a pot is also a nice
idea and can be easily taken with you
if you happen to move house.
If you don?t have a garden, an
indoor planter is just as cheerful. You
could plant it with a miniature rose
bush in a bright colour or choose one
that has a beautiful smell.
Journal or photo album
Sometimes these can seem like a
good idea in hindsight, particularly if
your cat dies suddenly and unexpectedly. However, many of us have items
around the house that will always
remind us of that special feline and
perhaps a photo or two as well. A cat
blanket from their basket or cat carrier; a favourite toy; a collar; a medical record card; photos of them as a
kitten?
Gather a few items together when
you feel up to it and if they are too big
to keep, take a photo that you can print
off (or get someone to do this for you)
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18/12/2017 14:41
REMEMBRANCE
Helping science
help animals
and put in a special album. You might
like to have a sturdy box and keep the
items inside. Write a letter to your cat if
that helps and keep that with them.
A journal is really an expansion of
the photo album. You can have a photo
on some pages and then write about
your pet on other pages, either in connection with the photo or just how you
are feeling about losing them, what
they meant to you and how beautiful they were. Some people find the
thought of doing this too upsetting but
if they do decide to give it a go, they
are amazed at how therapeutic it actually is.
It is a nice idea to keep a journal
while your cat is alive to record special
moments, mischievous actions, their
likes and dislikes, etc. When they have
passed away, you can read through it
and remember all the good times you
had when they were alive.
Every one of us will differ in how
we would like to celebrate the life of
a beloved feline and also in the time
it takes for this to become possible to
do without it being too painful. However, most pet owners will agree that in
the end, remembering a loved one in
some kind of physical way can be so
worthwhile.
The Universities Federation for
Animal Welfare (UFAW) is an
animal welfare charity ? but one
with a difference. It is unique in
harnessing the power of science
to benefit animal welfare.
From the mouse to the elephant, UFAW?s work has made a
tremendous difference to millions
of animals all around the world
since the charity was founded
over 90 years ago. Finding ways
to protect the welfare of the many
species of animals with which we
interact is a huge challenge and
we need your help. By supporting our work, you will help us to
continue to use science to better understand animals and their
needs.
Because UFAW?s work changes
attitudes and legislation regarding how animals are cared for and
treated, your support of UFAW
can help make real, practical and
lasting advances to animal welfare throughout the world ? a truly
wonderful legacy.
Please consider supporting
UFAW with a donation. Thank you.
www.ufaw.org.uk
?
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67
18/12/2017 14:41
CATS ON
COUCH
THE
WITH LEADING BEHAVIOURIST INGA MACKELLAR
Visiting the vet is often a traumatic experience for a cat
but there are a few things you can do to make it easier
for you, your cat, and your vet
A
lthough we obviously hope
not to see our veterinary surgeon often, most cat owners
will need to take their pet to the surgery at least once a year for booster
vaccinations. Because of the infrequency of visits and the nature of cats,
being very territorial, these visits can
be very stressful for cats.
Cats are not accustomed to being
shut up in carriers, travelling in cars
or being away from their territory
and, therefore, a veterinary surgery
visit can be a difficult time for both
the owner and the cat. However, with
some forethought, there are things
that cat owners can do to ensure that
the experience is as smooth as possible.
Carrier concerns
Most cat owners tend to keep the
cat carrier in the garage or hidden
away in a cupboard. Therefore, the
only time that a cat sees the carrier
is when it is due for a vet visit. As
well as the carrier smelling unfamiliar, some cats may already have an
unpleasant past association of being
picked up and forcibly placed in the
carrier.
More often than not, as soon as
a cat sees the carrier, it runs off!
An ideal long term solution to this
problem is to make the carrier part
of the cat?s daily life. Depending on
the size and style of your carrier,
this can be permanently placed in
a room and perhaps draped with a
blanket. If some comfortable bedding
is provided, most cats enjoy having a
?cosy? carrier to sleep in. Particularly
during the winter months, placing
a heated pad in the carrier will be
appreciated. By having the carrier
permanently available for the cat this
not only gets the cat used to going in
and out of it, the carrier obtains the
cat?s scent.
Gentle touch
Interaction between cat and owner
varies from person to person and cat
to cat. Most cats enjoy being stroked
but not all are happy to be lifted or
carried. These issues will also have
an impact on a planned veterinary
visit. Some owners prefer their cats to
stay on the floor and will discourage
or tell their cats off for jumping onto
surfaces or tables.
But consider what happens at the
veterinary surgery. The cat is removed from the carrier and placed
on a table to be examined. Therefore,
it makes sense to get your cat accus-
tomed to being handled when placed
on a table at home. Getting into the
habit of picking up your cat and placing it on a particular table, a couple of
times a week, will make future examinations far easier. As your cat is on
the table, stroke it and feed it pieces
of tasty treats, such as chicken.
This will help your cat make
positive associations with being on
a table. After a few stroking sessions, owners can try to gently rub
and pretend to look at a cat?s ears or
gently pick up a paw etc. Regular and
systematic handling of this type will
make a real veterinary examination
potentially much easier.
Undercover journey
The whole process of travelling,
be it in a car or on public transport,
can be very distressing for cats.
Whilst some cats are confident and
inquisitive and are happy to see what
is going on around them, many become frightened by the experience.
I always recommend, unless you are
absolutely sure that your cat is not
anxious about the journey, that you
cover the carrier.
Cats feel safer in dark places
where they are ?hidden?. Ideally cover
the carrier with a blanket that your
Cats feel safer in dark places
68
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cat uses at home as this will have
its scent on it. Also ensure that any
bedding you place in the carrier is
not freshly laundered but has already
been used by your cat. Scent is
incredibly important to cats and surrounding a cat with its own scent can
help to alleviate anxiety.
At the surgery
Because scent is incredibly important to cats, arriving at a surgery
waiting room, full of other cats and
possibly dogs and other pets, as well
as unknown people, ?strange? smells
and lots of noise, can make the cat
anxious and fearful even before it is
seen by the vet.
If you have a nervous cat, then,
if you have arrived by car, let the
receptionist know and wait in the car
with your cat. You can then take your
cat straight into the consulting room
without having to wait in the waiting
room. If this is not possible, a blanket is, again, an absolute necessity.
Drape the whole carrier so that the
cat cannot see out and other animals
cannot see in. When I am at the vet
myself I am always surprised by
the number of cat owners who allow
their obviously frightened cat to be
approached and sniffed at by dogs?
or stared at by strangers. The calmer
your cat is, the less stressful the veterinary examination will be.
On returning home
If you cat as been examined by
the vet and more so, if it has been
admitted for a procedure, when your
cat comes home it will smell very
different because of the handling that
it has received. If you have a one cat
household, then this does not pose
a problem. However, if you have two
or more cats, a cat returning from the
vet could be a potential problem.
Cats living together normally
form a colony scent. They deposit
pheromones on each other through
grooming, sharing sleeping areas
and rubbing up against each other.
The returning cat will no longer smell
like part of the colony and this can
sometimes result in the other cats not
recognising it. In severe cases, the
returning cat may be attacked as an
intruder.
Therefore, when coming home
from the veterinary surgery, it is wise
to initially place the cat in a room on
its own and ?stroke? it with the blankets that the other cats have been using, to deposit the colony scent back
onto it. Alternatively use a soft cloth to
stroke the cheeks of the other cats to
pick up their pheromones and then
stroke the retuning cat with that cloth.
With these few simple procedures,
future vet visits should be less stressful for your cat, easier for you and
safer for your vet.
Tip of the month
There are many types of cat
carriers available. Top opening
carriers are easier to use and
also enable the vet to conduct
part of the examination without
having to lift the cat out of its
basket, which helps to reduce
stress in nervous or frightened
cats. If you would like help for
your cat, to find your nearest
APBC (Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors) Member visit
www.apbc.org.uk
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CATS & SCIENCE
eli ette the rst
at se t i to s a e
Regardless of how appalling the thought of sending a
cat into space, it happened - yet she has not been
remembered in the same way as other space animals
W
hen it comes to animals
heroically blasting off into
space, names like Laika
the dog or Ham the Chimpanzee would probably spring to
mind. Few people are aware that a
black and white cat was among the
involuntary participants in the early
stages of space exploration. Felicette was rocketed into space on
October 18th 1963, becoming the
first and only feline astronaut, yet her
story has been forgotten over the
years. Now, as mentioned in Mews
Round recently, a Kickstarter project
is crowdfunding for a public statue to
honour Felicette?s memory.
A brief history
Before humans ventured into
space, scientists all over the world
wanted to understand the potential
dangers of the lack of gravity on the
human body. So, from the 1950s,
animal astronauts were used to
test how living organisms coped in
space. One of the best-known spaceexploring animals was Laika, a mongrel dog that was launched on board
Sputnik 2 in 1957 by the Soviet Union. At the time, the Russians claimed
Laika had suffered no ill-effects while
in orbit; however it
was later revealed
that she died from
overheating and
stress just a few
70
BY CARLA GREENWOOD
hours into her mission. A number
of other canines followed in her
pawprints up until the mid-1960s and
while many of them returned to Earth
safely, some did not.
Other animals, mice and various
monkeys, had been used in previous
space experiments by the USA, from
as early as 1949. The first primate to
enter space was Ham the Chimpanzee. After acing his pre-flight training
tests he was ready to board suborbital flight MR-2 as part of NASA?s
project Mercury on 31st January
1961. However, it wasn?t until November of that year that a chimp was
able to successfully achieve Earth
orbit. Enos was scheduled to complete three orbits but the mission was
aborted early due to a number of
technical malfunctions and Enos was
returned safely to Earth. The success
of his mission paved the way for John
Glenn to become the first human to
orbit in space in 1962.
Felicette - a forgotten story
In 1963, the French government
had 14 cats undergo intensive spaceflight training, using the same kind of
centrifuge that human astronauts sit
in during their preflight training. The cats
also had electrodes
implanted into their
brains, so scientists
could monitor their
neurological activity. The cat selected
to undertake the first mission was a
black and white cat named Felicette,
a former Paris street cat, although
it was suggested that she had been
bought by the French government
from a dealer.
Whatever her origins, Felicette was
blasted into space in a special capsule atop a Veronique AG1 rocket on
October 1963. She flew nearly 100
miles above the earth and soared
up to six times the speed of sound,
exposing her to 9.5g?s of force. After
fifteen minutes she returned to earth
safely by parachuting down in her
space capsule. After her return, she
was kept at the CERMA laboratories
for 2-3 months while checks were
carried out. Unfortunately, she was
then put to sleep so scientists could
study the electrodes that had been
implanted in her brain. However,
Felicettes? mission was a success and
she made a valuable contribution to
scientific research.
Some space animals were celebrated for their achievements; Laika
the dog is remembered on a memorial at Star City, outside Moscow, and
Ham the chimpanzee was buried
at the international Space Hall of
Fame. Yet, Felicette was confined to
obscurity.
The non-existent Felix
?In October 1963, a male cat
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CATS & SCIENCE
called Felix was chosen to undertake
the first mission but on the day of the
launch he managed to escape! His
replacement was a female cat?.?
At least that is the story that
emerged years after Felicette safely
returned from her space trip. The
Felix myth became sufficiently wellestablished enough for him to be
commemorated, and named, on three
postage stamps from former French
colonies, over 30 years after the successful feline space flight! One of the
stamps, issued in 1992, is part of a set
showing various rockets and the animals Laika and Ham. Even if the captions on these stamps were corrected
to read ?Felicette? they would still be
inaccurate as the pictures all depicted a long-haired cat and Felicette was short-haired. However
in 2014, new information communicated directly from Dr Gerard
Chatelier, a skilled surgeon who
worked on the space programme
at CERMA at the time of her flight,
confirmed that there never was a
cat called Felix.
A statue in her honour
It seems that at long last, Felicette
will get the memorial she deserves
thanks to Matthew Serge Guy, a creative director at Anomaly London. He
decided to set up a Kickstarter
campaign for the feline astronaut
after discovering a tea towel commemorating the 50th anniversary of
the cat who went to space, in their
staff kitchen. Yet there was no name
mentioned, nor did the cat resemble Felicette. After googling it, Guy
became fascinated by her story
and how it had been forgotten over
the years. Guy says: ?F閘icette was
ultimately an unwilling participant in
this mission and had her life taken
from her, so in that regard it felt like
a statue would be an appropriate
memorial. Not only to her but widely
acknowledging the sacrifices made
by many animal astronauts worldwide
in order to lead the way for human
spaceflight.?
Depending on how much you are
willing to donate, rewards include
?autographed? postcards featuring Felicette?s actual pawprint, tote
bags and enamel pin badges. The
most generous donors will have
their names printed on a plaque by
the statue and will be given a small
replica of the statue. As of December
last year, the Kickstarter campaign
received over 1140 pledges, raising
�,000! Guy said: ?There?s been a
really positive response from people,
mostly because they, like me and my
friends, were completely unaware that
a cat has been to space. It?s such an
interesting story and F閘icette
deserves to be remembered.?
The proposed statue will
be designed by sculptor Gill
Parker, known for her bronze
animal statues, and will be
placed in Felicette?s home
town; Paris. A preliminary
sketch of the statue depicts
a cat atop a rocket, with a
plaque featuring the names of
her supporters.
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BEHAVIOUR
Do you allow your cats
in the bedroom?
Is sharing your sleeping accommodation a recipe for a
good night?s sleep or do your fractious felines keep you
awake? I have succumbed to a happy medium
i
BY LORRAINE SCHOFIELD
admit it. I am an indulgent cat
owner whose three doted-upon
felines are pandered to in so many
ways, whether it means endless
tasty treats or putting up with their
unhelpful habits such as turning a
blind eye to how Toby has recently
plucked and snagged my front room
curtains, not to mention my sofa. I
see it as the inevitable consequence
of being both a cat devotee but also
having an accommodating attitude
so that both myself and the cats are
happy and accepting of each other.
This is also the case when it comes to
my sleeping habits because although
friends and family have advised me
against it, I have always let my felines
have access the the bedrooms and
I have no qualms about sharing my
bed with them at night should they
wish to snuggle up with me on my
bed or, as is most often the case,
snooze contentedly at the foot of my
bed.
However, I am aware that many
animal behavioural experts advise
that letting your cat sleep on the bed,
whether in the daytime or at night
time, should be discouraged as it is
both unhygienic (think fleas and dirty
paws) and as also it can often result
in a poor night?s sleep. Cats are more
active at night and so will frequently
wake you up should they decide to
have what to them is an opportune
pouncing session even though it may
72
be actually 3am!
Certainly, I have heard friends
and family complain about their cats
disturbing their sleep and for some it
has meant banishing their cats from
the bedroom. My father for instance,
cannot stand pets on the bed, especially because of how they moult so
that the duvet cover is soon liberally
coated with cat hairs. For his cat,
Benny, the bedroom is strictly off limits, as is the front room when my dad
is out of the house. However, despite
this imposition of boundaries, Benny
has a regular habit of scratching at
my dad?s bedroom door each morning at 6am for his breakfast, which
was fine when my dad was working
but now that he is retired and has
actually been so for seven years, he
finds it most annoying to say the least.
Benny?s early wake up call is certainly not conducive to my dad ever
having a lie in.
Thus, it seems that whether we allow our cats into the bedroom or not
they will still have the upper hand, or
should I say paw, because if locked
out, what better way to gain access
and grab your attention than by meowing or scratching at the door and
should that fail, then plucking at or
digging up the carpet works equally
well, as many of my cat owning
friends have testified.
Nevertheless, according to a survey, two thirds of cats owners sleep
with their pets, meaning that either
they do not object to it or perhaps
they have given up trying to banish
kitty from the bedroom.
Certainly, as behavioural experts
have stressed, once a cat is allowed
to sleep in the bedroom it is very
difficult to deter them unless you are
prepared to put up with their meowing and scratching at the door. From
my own experience, my son does
not really like the cats in his bedroom
when he is not there so I always keep
the door shut and for the most part
that works. However, now and again,
Toby likes to seek sanctuary from
Mia in my son?s room and so I have,
on occasions, relented in order to
prevent my carpet from being dug
up which is another of Toby?s annoying little habits. Tibbles and Mia
meanwhile, prefer to sleep in my
bedroom and usually settle down
for the night in their favourite spots
which for Mia is on top of my chest of
drawers where I leave an old blanket.
Tibbles loves to sleep next to the
radiator on one of his fluffy scarves,
a new one of which he is treated to
every Christmas. Therefore, personally I am quite content as I turn in for
the night to know that my cats are
safe and secure and happy to be
sleeping near to me, even if they are
not actually on the bed.
Fortunately I am a very deep
sleeper so that even if the cats move
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BEHAVIOUR
about in the night it rarely disturbs
me. Furthermore, if I want to lie in,
Tibbles, Toby and Mia never disturb
me and will either stay asleep in my
bedroom or else will go downstairs
and eat some of the dry cat food
rather than wake me up. In fact, the
only time recently that I have been
disturbed from my sleep by the cats
was when when Toby?s arch enemy
Archie,who lives further up the street,
began to sneak through the cat flap in
order to steal food. I do recall being
annoyingly woken up at around 6am
one morning as Toby and Archie had
a frenzied fight in my kitchen so that
not only was my sleep disturbed but
also I was left with great tufts of ginger fur littering my kitchen floor. Still
when it comes to a choice between a
clean and tidy kitchen floor or more
sleep, I am afraid the latter won and I
went straight back to bed, reasoning
that I would attend to sweeping up
the cat fur later!
Fortunately, Archie?s unexpected
visits have now come to an end,
meaning that there have been no
more morning spats disturbing my
sleep and for this I have Mia to thank
as she took it upon herself to protect
her territory by remaining on cat flap
alert to prevent Archie gaining entry. I
witnessed this one morning when just
as Archie was about to enter the cat
flap, he was met by a swift swipe from
Mia?s right paw and a resounding hiss
so thankfully he now sees my house
as off limits.
Nonetheless, although I allow my
cats to sleep on my bed and within
the bedroom, it does have its downside. Despite having a fleecy throw
on the bed to protect the duvet cover
from cat hairs, Tibbles for instance,
will often sneak onto one of the pillows. Toby is a good little boy and
usually snoozes on the throw whereas
Mia, when not sleeping on the chest
of drawers, is partial to my ironing
pile or my rug so that they too both
need regular de-fluffing which in the
case of my clothes usually means
washing them all over again! Furthermore, when it comes to eliminating
fur balls it seems that my bedroom
rug is a favoured spot so that I have
often awoken to an unwelcome deposit there. More recently, Tibbles has
discovered a new morning game of
batting all the contents of my bedside
table onto the floor which is most annoying and this week resulted in him
smashing a glass in the process!
Certainly, letting cats sleep in the
bedroom can present challenges but
then that is probably true of any room
in the house, especially when they
are given a free rein as they are in my
house. Yet, for the most part, my cats
are relatively well behaved and our
sleeping arrangements work well.
Tibbles for instance, has a regular
ritual of jumping upon my pillow at
the sound of the alarm clock, following which we have our morning cuddle as he purrs resoundingly in my
ear. I always look forward to this little
routine each and every morning and
not only does it serve to strengthen
the bond between us but it also is a
very pleasurable start to my day.
Having cats sleeping on the bed
and within the bedroom may not
be ideal for every cat owner but for
myself it presents no real problems
and so I see no compelling reason
as to why I should change the routine. More importantly, considering
that they undoubtedly rule the roost,
I am sure that if Tibbles, Toby and
Mia could speak for themselves they
would all heartily agree that they are
very content and that our current
sleeping arrangements suit them just
fine.
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SHOW DATES
CLUB EVENTS FOR YOU DIARY
GCCF
JANUARY
January 14
Cameo Pewter & Smoke Society
Gnosall Village Hall, Lowfield Lane,
Gnosall, Stafford ST20 0ET
January 20
Abyssinian Cat Association
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
Asian Group Cat Society
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
Burmese Cat Club
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
Colour pointed British
Shorthair Cat Club
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
Cornish Rex Cat Society
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
74
74_CW 479.indd 74
Singapura Cat Club
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
Snowshoe Cat Society
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
Colourpoint Cat Club
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
Rex Cat Club
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
Egyptian Mau Society
Sports Connexion Leisure Club &
Venue, Leamington Road, Ryton-onDunsmore, Coventry CV8 3FL
January 27th
Celtic Longhair & Semi
Longhair Cat Society
Chepstow Leisure Centre, Welsh
Street, Chepstow, Monmouthshire
NP16 5LR
Shropshire Cat Club
Fenton Manor Sports Complex, City
Road, Fenton, Stoke on Trent ST4 2RR
Croydon Cat Club
Rivermead Leisure Complex,
Richfield Avenue, Reading,
West Berkshire RG1 8EQ
Southern Counties Cat Club
Rivermead Leisure Complex,
Richfield Avenue, Reading,
West Berkshire RG1 8EQ
February 11th
Midland Cat Club of Ireland
Presentation Sports Complex,
Thurles, Co. Tipperary, Ireland
February 17th
Norwegian Forest Cat Club
The Greig Leisure Centre,
Kinwarton Road, Ancestor,
Warwickshire B49 6AD
Siamese Cat Society of
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