Catnip Wars – Day 14 Where do the cats get all this stuff from?

Day 14

When I got home from work today there was a Fedex truck in the driveway. The driver was standing in front of the barn, looking at his clipboard and scratching his head. I asked him if he needed help. He said he was supposed to make a delivery to this address, a barn. He was very confused. So was I. I asked him who it was for and he said it was for a Tiggy Roberts. Hmmmm.

Well, I signed for it. After the Fedex guy left I broke the law! I opened Tiggy‘s mail from Amazon! A Galaxy S8! WTF? Where is he getting all this money? When he and Casey decorated the barn with lava lights I wondered a bit, but figured that maybe they had picked them up at a lawn sale or thrift store.

When they started ordering out to have pizza delivered every day I was curious where they got the money. When I noticed the big screen TV yesterday I was alarmed, but the dancing rats drove the question from my mind. But,

now that I’m thinking about it, how are they paying for NetFlix? Where is all this money coming from? I know they didn’t get it from me. Even if they pilfered all my money, they couldn’t afford more than one lava light. Are my cats engaged in criminal activity? I’m afraid to find out….

Image Source: Pixabay for illustration purposes

Nine out of 10 cats are not microchipped

Thousands of cats are still not being microchipped, says RSPCA

Pet owners are being urged to microchip their cats as the RSPCA figures reveal almost nine out of ten moggies coming into its care are not chipped.

By law dogs have to be microchipped however cats do not which makes it much more difficult to discover if they have an owner and then reunite them.

The RSPCA is urging loving owners to make sure they microchip their cats as  87% of cats brought into the RSPCA national centres in 2017 did not have a microchip.

Caroline Allen, the director of the RSPCA’s London Hospitals, said: “We see heartfelt stories where cats have been reunited with their owners after a few weeks, a few months or even a few years because we were able to trace them with the microchip details.

“However, there are thousands of cats coming into our care with no microchip at all, or details which are not kept up-to-date, meaning there are lots of cats who are unlikely to ever see their owner again. It’s absolutely heartbreaking.”

New figures show that 5,647 cats came into the 17 national centres* in England and Wales between January and December 2017, there were 4,896 cats who were not chipped.

This means only 13% of cats were microchipped and many of these did not have up-to-date details recorded.

Caroline Allen added: “Not only are a lot of cats still not being chipped but during one week last summer, our London veterinary hospitals had nine cats with out-of-date microchip details making it extremely difficult to track down their owners.

“Microchipping your pet is vitally important in ensuring that if anything happens to them, if they are lost or stolen, or hit by a car, then they can be returned to you.

“Despite our best efforts to find an owner, the most reliable way to identify a cat is to have him or her microchipped. If the contact details are out of date the chip is completely useless so it is vitally important to tell the chip company yourself if any contact details change.

“We see cases where we would love to reunite microchipped cats with their owner but can’t because the details have not been updated.

“We also find that many people don’t realise that the chip is just a number that cross references to a database. If the information on that database is old and out-of-date then the chip is useless. Telling your vet does not automatically update the details on the database but this is something you can do yourself online.

“Out of date chips can often be worse than no chips at all as the cats spend weeks in the cattery while we are desperately trying to chase details and send letters before we can rehome them.”PC111462

Gizmo, [pictured above] a ginger cat with a microchip which showed an address and number in Poland was found straying and poorly with diarrhoea, dehydration and a distended abdomen. As the microchip was registered to a Polish database, the staff believe the owners of the cat did not update their details when they moved to the UK. RSPCA Putney Animal Hospital where the ginger moggy is currently being treated is still trying to trace an owner but have had no luck.

These cats [pictured right] were brought into RSPCA Harmsworth Animal Hospital at the end of last year.

HC89267 Harley

Ginger cat Harley had no microchip or collar and was found with a fractured toe. Efforts to find an owner have not been successful and seven-year-old Harley is still at the hospital currently receiving treatment.

HC89102 Elvis

Four-year-old Elvis came in with a fractured pelvis and had no microchip but was wearing a collar. He went to RSPCA Southall Cattery in December (2017) and as an owner was never found he is now looking for a new home.

HC88327 Casper

Casper [above] was suffering from a burst abscess. He was microchipped but there was no response to letters posted to the registered address and the telephone numbers provided were incorrect. The four-year-old cat was transferred to the RSPCA Finchley Branch in September last year and later rehomed.

Bruce, four-years-old, was brought in to Harmsworth hospital with lameness in December (2017) and due to a severe injury sadly needed to have the leg amputated. There was a microchip but this was registered to a previous owner and the current owner could not be traced. Once he had recovered he was transferred to RSPCA Southall Cattery before finding his forever home.

HC89103 Bruce

Eleven-year-old Misty arrived at the hospital with a rotten tail which was covered in maggots and needed to be amputated. She did have a microchip and was brought in by a member of the public who was not her owner but lives at the address the cat was registered to. It would appear as though the owners had moved and not updated their details. Misty was also transferred to Southall where she was rehomed.

HC88251 Misty

The RSPCA microchips every cat we rehomes strongly recommends that every owner gets their cat microchipped and keeps the details updated. To find out more about microchipping your pet visit our website.

If you recognise Gizmo please contact the RSPCA Putney Animal Hospital on 0300 123 0716 and for Harley call the RSPCA Harmsworth Animal Hospital on 0300 123 0712.

*These figures are only for the national centres and do not include the number of cats coming into RSPCA branches across England and Wales so the numbers could be higher.

Blazing the trail for cats – International Cat Care turns 60

Blazing the trail for cats – International Cat Care turns 60

2018 marks the 60-year anniversary of International Cat Care, previously known as the Feline Advisory Bureau, a charity working towards a vision that all cats, owned and unowned, are treated with care, compassion and understanding.

International Cat Care now is also known for its veterinary division, the International Society of Feline Medicine, its Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, its conferences in Europe and Asia, its Cat Friendly Clinic Programme and free nurse membership and Feline Focus magazine. It has veterinary and nurse members in 71 countries around the world and is seeing a rapid growth in interest in feline medicine. But it wasn’t always thus…!

Sixty years ago almost nothing was known about cat diseases, and feline medicine was greatly neglected. Charles Povey, the charity’s first Research fellow has said in an article written for International Cat Care’s 60th birthday, ‘It is impossible for a veterinary graduate of today to image the ignorance of feline medicine in the veterinary graduate of the early 1960s. Many viral conditions had not even been recognised (eg, feline infectious peritonitis), feline viral rhinotracheitis virus had just been discovered and it would be another decade before the role of caliciviruses in respiratory virus became clearer. The association of virus with feline lymphosarcoma and the understanding of the viral basis of feline leukaemia complex were yet to come. Vaccination for prevention of upper respiratory infection in cats would have been regarded as science fiction, not to mention the prospect of a vaccine for leukaemia.’

Things changed because, in 1958, one woman decided that the suffering of cats due to lack of knowledge could no longer be tolerated. Joan Judd, a cat lover and breeder, believed that an organisation should be set up to fund research into feline health, and form a platform for exchange of information and veterinary medical studies. Thus, she founded the Feline Advisory Bureau (FAB), the forerunner of International Cat Care.

FAB at first consisted only of one or two dedicated volunteers. They were faced with a list of unknowns about cat health that was infinitely long, and an empty money pot, making the task ahead of them dizzyingly vast. And yet they persevered (just how difficult it was is outlined in the longer version of the charity’s history on its website at https://icatcare.org/60/history). Today, the charity’s name reflects its role in feline medicine and feline welfare all over the world, and consists of a professional staff of 22.

International Cat Care’s work has helped to create a different world for cats, where knowledge of health issues has led to vaccines, treatments and a desire to improve the care of cats in ways unrecognisable all those years ago. By providing advice and training on cat health and welfare to vets, nurses, breeders, cat professionals and owners, it is estimated that the charity touches the lives of over 25 million cats worldwide annually. Hopefully Joan Judd would be pleased!

Now, the charity wishes to turn additional efforts towards unowned cats, the welfare of which has not really changed a great deal in those 60 years. International Cat Care has the expertise to help unowned cats, looking at the underlying causes and collaborating to develop sustainable solutions to overpopulation and abandonment, and has several 60th anniversary projects with this aim.

The first project is the charity’s new ‘International Declaration of Responsibilities to Cats’. This is an important document defining best practice for governments, local authorities, vets, charities, breeders, cat owners and other individuals working with cats, emphasising the need for all these groups to work together to improve the welfare of unowned cats as well as owned. Anyone who cares for cats is asked to sign it online. For more information, see: https://icatcare.org/declaration.

In February the charity will be launching its new ‘Cat Cocktail Party Packs’ – free packs designed to help cat lovers throw a fun cat-themed cocktail party to raise vital funds for the charity’s 60thprojects. International Cat Care is grateful for every donation, and the more it receives, the more it can continue to help make the world a better place for cats, owned and unowned alike.