Mature moggies make marvellous companions

Mature moggies make marvellous companions

Cats Protection is holding a ‘Mature Moggies Week’ from 13-17 November, to coincide with a new survey that reveals common misunderstandings potential owners have surrounding cats and age.

Figures from the charity, which show that older cats can take over twice as long to find a home as their younger counterparts, prompted the survey to understand why many ‘senior kitizens’ are being overlooked in favour of fresher-faced felines.

“Interestingly, there appears to be a misconception about what constitutes an ‘older’ cat, with 23% of respondents saying they would consider any cat aged over five years as ‘older’,” said Mark Beazley, Cats Protection’s Director of Operations.

“Actually a five-year-old cat is only 36 in human years and a cat generally isn’t classed as a senior until it reaches 11 years of age.”

Some other key findings from the survey included:

  • Character and medical history were the most important considerations for people when choosing a new cat (with 87% and 83% classing them as important respectively), followed by age (68%).
  • Just 24% of respondents said they would be likely to consider an older cat, compared to 68% of respondents who would be likely to consider getting a kitten.
  • Less than 4% of people knew that the equivalent human age for a one-year-old cat is 15 years old. The majority (69%) thought that it was five years old.
  • Only 16% of people knew that the equivalent human age for a five-year-old cat is 36 years old. The most popular answer (38%) was 25 years old.
  • The top reasons given for not considering an older cat were that it might not live long (72%), it would more likely to get ill (56%) and if it is unwell it will cost money (40%).
  • Almost a fifth (19 %) of people who were unlikely to consider an older cat said that one of the reasons was that older cats are not very playful.
  • Owners of older cats cited the top three: they are calmer (58%), they don’t want to leave the house as much (54%) and it feels like they are more of a family member (52%).

Cats Protection says improvements in cat care have greatly raised the life expectancy and quality of life for household moggies, with many now living into their late teens and early 20s in remarkably good health.

However, figures from the charity’s centres show that cats aged 11 and over spend an average of 33 days waiting to be adopted – twice as long as the overall average time of 15 days and over four times longer than kittens, who wait an average of just eight days.

“It’s a shame that older cats stay with us longer as they have a lot to offer,” added Mark. “They tend to stay closer to home, so they are less likely to be involved in road traffic accidents and more likely to enjoy curling up on a warm lap, making them great companions.

“Their characters are fully formed so you know what sort of cat you’re getting and they’re less likely to scale the curtains or knock your ornaments off the shelf! That said, older cats can often still be quite playful when they choose to be and many enjoy a few short games each day.

“Life in a pen is no substitute for a permanent home so we would urge people to consider adopting an older cat.

“All cats adopted from Cats Protection have been fully health-checked and come with a full medical history and four weeks’ free pet insurance which will cover any new conditions that arise after adoption.”

During Mature Moggies Week, Cats Protection will be asking people to share stories about their own cats as well as providing educational messages and advice to those who either own or are thinking about adopting an older cat.

To get involved visit Cats Protection’s social media channels from 13-17 November atwww.facebook.com/catsprotection  or www.twitter.com/catsprotection

For more information about mature moggies visit: www.cats.org.uk/maturemoggies

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We regularly write about all things relating to cats on our Blog Katzenworld!

My partner and I are owned by three cheeky cats that get up to all kind of mischief that of course you’ll also be able to find out more about on our Blog

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Paws for thought over cat crisis

The RSPCA has taken nearly 12,000 cats into its care this summer as the cat crisis reached its peak.

Every summer, centres and branches end up bursting with cats and kittens as a result of unplanned litters born at this time of year and unwanted older animals.

This can lead to cats and kittens being abandoned in their droves, ending up in rescue centres.

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Across England and Wales from May 1 to September 24, there were 11,313 cat abandonment complaints reported to the RSPCA.

The RSPCA is urging responsible pet owners to get their cat neutered from four months old to avoid unwanted pregnancies.

Alice Potter, RSPCA cat welfare expert, said: “They may look cute but having a litter of kittens to look after is hard work and costs money. Sometimes the reality of looking after them does not live up to the expectation and it is times like this when we see so many kittens abandoned.

“From being tied up in plastic bags, dumped in boxes, left on a bus, or thrown out with the rubbish, the RSPCA has sadly seen too many kittens abandoned this summer.

“There is a cat overpopulation crisis facing the UK and our centres struggle with the demand especially during the summer months. There are an estimated 10.3 million pet cats in the UK and although it is estimated that around 90% of owners have their cats neutered about 13% of owners of female cats say that their cat has had at least one litter. Of these owners, 70% said their cats pregnancy was unplanned which inevitably results in a lot of kittens*.

“Some people may think cats need to have a first litter to be healthy but this is an old wives tale. Neutering your cat allows them to go outside and do all the things they enjoy, such as climbing and playing.”

From May to September the RSPCA has neutered more than 4,000 cats.

The numbers of cats in RSPCA centres and branches in May reached a whopping 3,652 and June saw even more with 3,848. In July there were 2,492 and August there were 1,950 cats and kittens needing care.

Alice Potter added: “However, not all cats and kittens abandoned by their owners will have been lucky enough to make it into RSPCA care. Unfortunately there are kittens who have been dumped and will not make it, there is likely to be others who weren’t found in time, or never found at all.

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“If your cat has had an unwanted litter please do not throw them out like rubbish. There are options and animal welfare charities like the RSPCA who can help.

“If your cat has reached about four months old or more there are voucher schemes which can help with the cost of neutering such as the Cat Smart scheme in Sheffield and the Cat Care and Control Consortium in London. Check with your local RSPCA branch to see what services are available.”

To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give

Guest blog posts on all things cat-related from the RSPCA

Tiny Kitten Found Abandoned in a Recycling Bin

Tiny Kitten Found Abandoned in a Recycling Bin

A tiny kitten discovered abandoned in a recycling bin is now on his way to finding happiness thanks to Mayhew.

The six-week-old tabby and white male kitten, named Ronald by Mayhew staff, was found in a bin near Neasden by a member of public after they heard his cries.

Our Animal Welfare Officers were first alerted to the gorgeous kitten when he was later brought in to Mayhew.

Mayhew’s Animal Welfare Officer, Tania Mazzoni, said: “Poor Ronald looked extremely underweight for his age when he was first brought in.”

“We don’t know how long he had been in the recycling bin for, but he was very dehydrated, filthy and smelt of oil, so we immediately took him to our Vet Clinic to be thoroughly checked over.”

Mayhew’s Deputy Head Nurse, Charlotte Whalley, said: “When Ronald first arrived he was underweight, but had a pot belly, suggesting he had worms. He was also covered in a substance that smelt like diesel.”

“We immediately gave poor Ronald a medicated bath, treated him for fleas and worms and he was also given some fluids to help to rehydrate him. We started him on little and often meals to help him put on some weight without upsetting his tummy.”

“After a couple of weeks, Ronald was soon back on his paws and doing so much better.”

Animal Welfare Officer, Tania, added: “At Mayhew we are dedicated to helping hundreds of people in crisis situations every year. We wish whoever had abandoned Ronald had contacted us first, so we could help. We are here to assist and advice on the best course of action for the animal, no matter what the problem is.”

Now he’s a bit older and has been neutered and vaccinated, Ronald is on the lookout for his purrfect palace. Soon Ronald will be the king of his castle in no time.

We also urgently need more kitten food to feed the influx of furry felines that have recently arrived. Our Animal Welfare Officers are bringing in more and more kittens every day, so please help by either buying some wet kitten food from our Amazon Wishlist – https://www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/HM48FAT7VDW2 – or donate and drop off any that you have spare. Anything that you could donate will help us continue to care for and feed the overflow of kittens throughout kitten season.

If you are interested in adopting any of our cats, please visit our adoption page at www.themayhew.org/adopt or call 020 8962 8009.

You can find out more about our Animal Welfare Officers work on our website and please consider a donation to help them help more cats and kittens like Ronald. Alternatively, you can make an instant donation by texting “CATS27 £5” or your chosen amount up to £10 to 70070.

We regularly write about all things relating to cats on our Blog Katzenworld!

My partner and I are owned by three cheeky cats that get up to all kind of mischief that of course you’ll also be able to find out more about on our Blog

If you are interested in joining us by becoming a regular contributor / guest author do drop me a message.