Showing posts with label Cats Protection. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cats Protection. Show all posts

Saturday 6 January 2024

27-year-old woman adopted a rescue cat of the same age and becomes a record holder

The Guardian reports on an interesting story for me. I think that this story is actually unique in the world of cat adoption from a rescue centre. Vicki Green adopted Flossie from the well-known UK cat rescue charity Cats Protection in the summer of 2023. She adopted Flossie on the passing of her childhood cat, Honeybun, with whom she was very closely connected.

Vicki wanted to adopt another cat and had the opportunity when she finally purchased her own flat in London last summer. She wanted to adopt an older cat and a rescue cat. She achieved her objectives.

She was told by Cats Protection that Flossie was a 27-year-old tortoiseshell. She thought that the charity was mistaken and meant 17, but no, they meant 27 which is an extraordinary age for a domestic cat and particularly a rescue cat at a charity.

Flossie. Screenshot

At the time Vicki Green was 27 herself and so the cat world had that highly unusual situation where the adopter, a 27-year-old young woman, was the same age as the rescue cat that she was adopting.

Vicki thought that Flossie wouldn't live more than a few months but she wanted to give Flossie a good end-of-life experience which I think is very commendable. Some people like to do that and they play a valuable role in the cat rescue scene. It is altruistic. It is a very nice thing to do and there are in fact benefits for both the cat and the adopter although you have to deal with end-of-life issues which are tricky and distressing.

Flossie and Vicki. Screenshot.

Anyway, Flossie is still living and alert and very much alive. She likes to play and has her little routines like all domestic cats do. She's obviously a full-time indoor cat living in an apartment which probably suits her down to the ground at her age. She likes to go out onto the balcony which Vicki describes as Flossie's sanctuary.

She likes to jump onto Vicki's chest in the evening when she goes to bed and then she moves down to her lap and then finally settles down at her feet for the night. She wakes up at 6 o'clock looking for her breakfast with a loud and confident meow.

This is so typical of a domestic cat and one that is much younger than Flossie. Vicki bought her some stairs to get up onto the sofa but Flossie doesn't need them. And she says that "She doesn't look old at all."

"She never turns her nose up at the chance of a good meal," Vicki says.
She might make 30 and that would be very, very exceptional. It's nice to report on this unique story. Vicki believes that she owns the world's oldest living cat. She is absolutely correct because Flossie is recognised by Guinness World Records which has confirmed that she is the world's oldest living cat at the moment.

Details: The oldest cat living is Flossie (UK, b. 29 December 1995) who is 26 years and 316 days old, as verified in Orpington, UK, on 10 November 2022.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Thursday 26 October 2023

Cat breeder dumps FeLV positive tortie cats in a field to die

A Cats Protection volunteer was angered by what very much appears to be an informal cat breeder dumping FeLV positive cats in a field to die. FeLV positive cats are those that are suffering from the feline leukaemia virus which can't be cured in which usually is fatal within four years.

Fearful, dark tortie cats with FeLV dumped in a field in the UK to die. Two have been euthanised.
Fearful, dark tortie cats with FeLV dumped in a field in the UK to die. Two have been euthanised. Image: Breckland Cats Protection.

It's a killer and a lingering death and what happened is that the Cat Protection charity euthanised two of the cats because the disease was too advanced, they say, and a third is too ill to be blood tested at the moment. 

Feline leukaemia virus is transmitted through saliva, blood and other body fluids. The allegation is that there is an informal cat breeder out there (there are too many) near Didlington, near Mountford, in the UK, who bred what appears to be dark tortoiseshell cat informally and because of bad management the cats contracted this viral disease and then he or she decided to simply throw them away which they did by putting them in sealed crates secured with zip ties and placing those crates in a field in Dinnington.

Fortunately, the farmer found them on October 17th and they were taken into the care of Breckland Cats Protection.

The volunteer, Ms Lardner, who I refer to is urging anyone who has recently bought kittens from this breeder to take their cats to veterinarian for a checkup because it seems very plausible that other cats from this person have also contracted this fatal disease.

Lardner said: "I'm just so angry, I can't get over it. This is the result of breeding and the market being so saturated."

Yes, the last thing that British society needs is a person informally breeding cats to make a few quid and doing it in such a bad way that they cats are unadoptable and have to be put down. And even if the cats were healthy, it's wrong. There are too many cats in shelters needing homes for an irresponsible, unscrupulous person to create more.

Final point: I have referred to "an informal breeder" because there are non-purebred cats i.e. moggies. If there were purebred cats this would have been a formal breeder, normally registered with a cat association and they would then be complying with much higher standards. It is the ad hoc cat breeders trying to make a few quid who really are a problem. It is not illegal to do this but it should be.

The report comes from the Eastern Daily Press.

Location: Didlington, Thetford IP26 5AT, UK


P.S. please forgive any typos. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Monday 13 February 2023

Like cats? But don't want to be an owner? Cats Protection are looking for foster carers

Date: Feb 13th 2023: Cats Protection, a very large and high-profile cat rescue organisation in the UK, need more volunteers to foster their cats after an increased demand due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Cat fostering is very rewarding if you want to help in animal welfare and if you enjoy the company of cats but are not really in a position to 'own' a cat.

Certainly, if you been thinking about being a cat foster carer but are yet to take the plunge, this could be an ideal moment.

The Dorset Echo, a local newspaper, tells us that in Weymouth, UK, for example, there is an increased demand. The cost-of-living crisis as it is called is biting in the UK causing people to give up their domestic cats which is a very unhappy state of affairs.

On that topic by the way when a person adopts a cat it should be for the lifetime of their cat and they really should be in a position financially to be able to take setbacks to their finances in order to allow them to retain their cat under difficult circumstances. I know I am being idealistic but that is a fundamental philosophy I feel.

Also, in a cost-of-living crisis with high inflation and increased mortgage rates, a cat owner should cut back on expenses in all areas of their life before they give up their cat. Giving up their cat should not be the first thing they do. That sounds obvious but it might not be obvious to some people.

People won't give up their car which they might hardly use and which is expensive to run but they might give up their cat. That's the kind of discussion I would like to raise. It's about making the hard decisions but the right ones.

Cats Protection have a video about volunteering as a foster carer. The entire organisation is based upon foster caring by the way. It's highly successful.

How can I become a volunteer fosterer? You must be over 18 years of age and you must own your home or have permission from your landlord to keep a cat at the property. Foster cats require one room in the home which can be shut off from the rest of the home to keep the cats safe and settled. All the essential requirements of that foster cat are in that room.

You don't require essential skills or experience although of course a knowledge of cats would certainly help but if you don't have it Cats Protection staff are on hand to provide training and advice.

Also, as I understand it, Cats Protection provide all the equipment and costs of caring for their cats so this is volunteering to give up one's time to temporarily care for a vulnerable animal before they are rehomed.

If you are interested you can call them on (020) 7272 6048.

Friday 21 January 2022

Chief Executive of Cat Protection quits over 18 cats at colleague's home

NEWS AND COMMENT: Charles Darley was the chief executive of Cat Protection for 3 months. This is Britain's largest cat charity. It is based around cat fostering. The Times reports that he has quit his role because he does not think that Linda Upson, chairwoman of the trustees of the charity, can defend having so many cats in her home on welfare grounds.

Upson and one of her cats
Linda Upson and one of her cats. Photo: Daily Mail.

Upson has 18 cats in her three-bedroom home; 6 are foster cats. The story prompted me to immediately check on the rules that Cats Protection impose upon their fosterers. I know that they have quite strict rules. One of them is to separate the foster cat from any other cats in the home. This is a permanent state of affairs. And on their website, they refer to one cat being fostered. I guess they allow you to have more than one cat especially when there is a litter of kittens to take care of.

That said, Upson was apparently complying with the rules. It's reported that she had undergone regular training and was aware of the requirements for cats in her care. A spokesperson for the charity said that all the cats were happy and healthy and that, "We found the six foster cats in her care were kept in a separate, clean and well-kept area of her house away from her pet cats."

UPDATE Jan 25, 2022 (4 days after I posted): Upson has resigned. This is part of her statement:

"I have today stepped down from my role as Cats Protection’s Chair of Trustees and my role as a Trustee on the Board because I passionately support Cats Protection and do not wish recent news coverage to detract from the charity’s vital work helping cats in need. For the past 20 years I have dedicated my time to cat welfare through my un-paid, voluntary role, leading a volunteer-run branch and serving on the charity’s Advisory Council before joining the Board of Trustees in 2012 and becoming Chair in 2017...."

She said the following about her own cats:

"My cats are aged between nine and 19 years old. I believe they are happy and healthy as each has their own feeding bowl, litter tray and other resources. They are all fully vaccinated and regularly taken for veterinary consultations. I also have no foster cats at this time."

However, Darley, who was three months into a 12-month contract as interim chief executive told The Guardian newspaper: "To have a chair that apparently isn't adhering to best practice is very damaging to the charity, and disastrous for staff morale.
Charles Darley
Charles Darley and young black cat. Photo: Mail Online.

I'm a little confused because on the one hand the charity is saying that she complied with the rules and on the other hand the former chief executive stated that she was not complying with best practice. Perhaps this is a grey area. It's about the quantity of cats in her care.

Upson clearly had six foster cats and therefore 12 of her own cats. To have 18 cats in a three-bedroom home is pretty close to cat hoarding. Obviously, they were kept in good conditions so we're not talking about a typical cat hoarding environment, far from it. But it must be a handful to properly care for 18 cats in a three-bedroom home. It's very hard to keep the home completely free of cat odours for example.

Jackson Galaxy, the well-known American cat behaviourist, television presenter and author, is adamant that cat caregivers should have one cat litter tray for each cat in your care; plus, one more. On this basis Upson should have 19 cat litter trays in her home. That was seen to be impractical.

My personal feeling is that the former chief executive is correct. Even if she was complying technically with the rules and regulations of Cat Protection, she was not following best practice as there are too many cats in her home. You have to think about other things than keeping the place clean. What about the territorial demands of domestic cats?

RELATED: Domestic cat territory – home ranges vary widely.

Cats are very sensitive to the amount of territory they have. They are adaptable. However, with 18 cats in a three-bedroom home you are compressing their home range to a tiny fraction of what they naturally desire. Each cat within her home will have a home range of perhaps 5 yd². Given free-reign a domestic cat will roam over 4 acres to 50 acres or more. Male cats need more home range territory than female cats.

Compressing a large number of cats into a relatively small space is going to, at least potentially, cause stresses which can lead to health problems such as cystitis. Most of us realise that now. And of course, it is harder to keep the cats healthy because the potential for a contagious disease to spread is much higher under these circumstances than if there is one or two cats in the home. This is what he means by failing to follow best practice.

RELATED: 14 links between stress in domestic cats and health implications.

I have quite strong feelings about people keeping large numbers of cat in the home. It doesn't have to be that way. It is, at the end of the day, self-indulgent. I'm sure that people do it for themselves. They might have a hoarding mentality. They satisfy themselves because they like the large number. 

The point I'm trying to get at is that they don't do this in the interests of cat welfare generally but to satisfy a need within themselves. If Upson was generally concerned about cat welfare, she would have one or two cats of her own and then the six foster cats in a separate part of a home. But she has 12 cats of her own as well.

Apparently, according to the Daily Mail website online, staff at the charity were concerned about the number of cats but she was cleared to stay in the job. And also, the charity had previously done research on the subject of cats in cramped housing.

Mail Online reports that Linda Upson "left other staff despairing". They were concerned about how the charity might be seen by others and they were nervous about her being the spokesperson. Upson did not think that it was a problem when she was confronted by others about it.

Cats Protection agree with me that the kind of arrangements at Upson's home can cause animals considerable stress.

The charity's guidelines advise that cats must have "enough space so that they can get away from one another if they want to". Staff at the charity cannot defend Upson's behaviour.

Update: Sponsors of the charity may seek to activate clauses in their contracts allowing them to terminate their sponsorship due to “public embarrassment”. They've been urged to stick with the contract and not walk away from assisting the charity.

Here is a Cats Protection video on cat fostering:

: This is a video from another website which is embedded here. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

Monday 6 September 2021

Many volunteer opportunities available at Cats Protection

There are many work opportunities available at Cats Protection, the large UK cat rescue. I was surprised at the number. It is a huge organisation run by volunteers. They helped 126,000 kittens and cats in 2020 - 345 per day according to a tweet. They also say that they help around 200,000 cats and kittens per year. They are reliant on their more than 10,000 volunteers.

Volunteer at Cats Protection
Volunteer at Cats Protection. Photo: Cats Protection

There must be a continual demand for volunteers and my research indicates that this is true. They have a useful 'search for opportunities' page and using three different addresses and a 10-mile radius there were around 10 posts available each time.

Here's a video which may help:

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

Monday 3 September 2018

Should cat rescue centre staff wear plastic gloves, aprons, foot covers and arm protectors?

Should cat rescue centre staff wear plastic gloves, aprons, foot covers and arm protectors and throw them away each time they leave one of the cat's pens?

The intention must be to reduce the transmission of contagious diseases from cat to cat via humans but the downside is (a) expense and (b) more plastic to be thrown away and is it recycled?

Evesham Cats Protection
Cats Protection in Wickhamford near Evesham have introduced this new anti-contagion regime and the staff are up in arms against it. They say the cat charity has 'lost sight of its main purpose' and is wasting donated money.

I'd imagine that is is very expensive to throw away these plastic items every time a staff member moves from one pen to another and it must slow down the work at hand too.

Cats Protection defend the method by saying that they adhere to strict disease control measures. They say that the prevention of disease is a way of reducing environmental hazards. They said this because they realise that producing piles of plastic waste achieves the opposite.

Source: Worcester News.

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