Cat-astrophe strikes for trapped cats

From intrepid moggies and fearless felines the RSPCA is on hand to rescue cats who have got themselves into a tight spot!

It is a well known fact that cats can get themselves stuck… a lot!

Whether scaling a 50ft tree with no escape route, squeezing themselves into tiny gaps, or falling down a hole they can’t get out of, some cats can get themselves into some very tight squeezes. 

They are naturally curious and inquisitive animals but some cats are better than others at navigating the hazards that may pop up along the way.

On average the RSPCA receives a call to its National Control Centre about a cat every three minutes and receives more calls about cats than any other animal.

New figures reveal that since the start of this year the RSPCA has been called to 2,819 trapped cats.

May and June had the most rescues with 606 and 611 respectively.

These figures include cats that have become entangled, ‘trapped up’, ‘trapped down’ or stuck in water.

The largest amount of rescues were cats ‘trapped up’ something with 1,488 in total from January to June.

Rescues can be a tricky business and requires specialist equipment to be able to safely free an animal from a tight spot without injury as well as avoiding a nasty nip or bite in the process.

RSPCA superintendent Tim Minty said: “There is a range of equipment needed for these particular rescues. The animal in itself will be frightened and its behaviour is most likely to be unpredictable because of the situation it’s in and the fact they don’t know the person trying to rescue them.

“Some standard equipment such as bitemaster gloves, eye protection and a grasper and restraining basket can all help with a cat rescue.

“Cats like height and so it’s very possible that our officers will need to reach heights themselves.

“Some of our officers have extendable ladders and nets which can reach to a first floor window and really helps in these situations – but sometimes we do need to ask the fire brigade for help if they are available.”

For more difficult rescues there are also water and rope rescue teams available who use a variety of equipment, for example extendable poles, pulleys, harnesses, and three types of inflatable rescue boats.

Some of the challenges cat’s face can leave some owners understandably concerned or worried about their safety.

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However, for most cats going outside is important for keeping them happy and healthy, explains Alice Potter, the RSPCA’s cat welfare expert.

She said: “Unfortunately we can’t always be there to supervise our cats when they are out and about to make sure they are safe but there are some steps we can take.

“Make sure your cat is microchipped and registered with your current contact details. Remember if you’ve moved home or changed your phone number you will need to update your details.

“Microchipping your cat is the most reliable way to identify them and gives you the best chances of being reunited if they become lost. If you decide to put a collar and ID tag on your cat it’s important to ensure the collar is correctly fitted and is a quick release type collar with a snap-safe buckle – other collars can get caught and cause nasty injuries.

“It can be helpful to have a consistent routine with your cat and to feed them their meals around the same time each day. This way your cat will know when to come home for food and can give you a chance to check in with them and make sure they are okay.”

There are also a few things that everyone can do to ensure there are less cat rescues needed.

Alice Potter added: “Cats can fit into small spaces and like hiding and sleeping in warm quiet spots. This means it’s important to always check that there are no cats in your garage, shed or conservatory before you lock it up.

“Likewise it’s important to be cautious with any bins or other places that cats might get in and become stuck.

“If you have any concerns or find a cat in distress, please contact the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.”
Our pick of the top cat rescues in June:

  1. Albus, the three year old tabby cat, had become tightly stuck between an office building and an external wall in Coleridge Road, Hove, on Thursday (June 1).

The owner of the building called the RSPCA and animal collection officer (ACO) Julie Parsons attended to try and free the cat.

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She said: “Poor Albus was stuck very tightly between two walls with about a four inch gap. No one knew how he managed to fit in there in the first place.

“It took about three hours, working with East Sussex Fire and Rescue to create a huge hole in the wall to free him.

“He was struggling to breathe where he had wedged himself so tightly between the walls so time was of the essence.”

Just when it looked like Albus had used all up of his nine lives, one last tug saw the moggy freed and reunited with his grateful owner.

2. A plucky kitten which had got herself wedged 8ft up a chimney was freed after a four-hour rescue operation between the RSPCA and Merseyside Fire Service.

Lola’s worried owner contacted the RSPCA after hearing the kitten making noises inside the chimney.

She had not long been adopted by her owner and, feeling timid in her new home, sought a place to hide – behind the fireplace.

“From there, she had somehow managed to climb inside the chimney – about 8ft up it,” said RSPCA Animal Welfare Officer Matt Brown, who went to rescue Lola from the house in Fairfield Drive, in Liverpool, on Friday (16 June).
3. A vulnerable kitten who used up one of his nine lives after getting stuck 20ft up a huge tree has landed on his feet – after bagging a new home with the firefighter who rescued him!

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It took 90 minutes to get to the little ginger puss who was buried deep inside a very dense tree in Bigby High Road, Brigg.

RSPCA animal collection officer Carol Smith was called to the scene on Tuesday morning (27 June) and requested the help of Humberside Fire & Rescue Service as the kitten was so high up.

She explained: “Due to his age and the height of the tree, I called in a local fire crew to help get to him.

“It took more than 90 minutes to get up to the tree and find him amongst the dense foliage. When they found him he was huddled inside a pigeon nest with some nestlings!”
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).

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Your Friday Art Cat is Blue

Humphrey was a muscular gray-blue kitty with haunting eyes, and he was angry. He was taken in by a local no-kill shelter because his owner of 9 years passed away.  There was no consoling or petting Humphrey. His behavior was unpredictable. He was not good around other animals. He needed an understanding home where he would be the only pet. He got adopted once, but was returned because of inappropriate marking. Oh, Humphrey.

Watercolor Cat

I can’t imagine all the feels of having your predictable cat world ripped out from under you, then being contained in a cage where well-meaning strangers stare and poke at you all day. If I didn’t have other cats (including your Friday Art Cat,) I would have taken Humphrey and tried to help him love again. Instead, I could only pay him respect by capturing his image as a reminder of feisty suffering.


Carol Parker Mittal is an artist and teacher living in Northern Michigan who wonders if Humphrey ever found a happy home. You can check out her blog about art and cats at Art is Not for Sissies. 

Lovecats! How nervous Patch found his purr-fect match

The tale of two star-crossed felines, with special thanks to Sarah Piggott from RSPCA Millbrook Animal Centre.

A rough patch

PatchPatch came into our care in May of last year. His owner had far too many cats to care for – they were all under-socialised and very timid. The household then suffered a house fire, which thankfully Patch managed to escape uninjured from.

He was utterly traumatised by his experiences and was one of the most nervous cats Southall Cattery had ever seen. He couldn’t be handled at all and would hide all day.

The day Seraphina came to stay

Seraphina arrived in November, having been rescued from another multi-cat household. She was suffering from a flea allergy and had severe hair loss. However, Seraphina was the complete opposite of Patch – she made herself at home in the cattery from day one and loved everybody she met.

Seraphina would have been snapped up straight away but had to stay at Millbrook for a few weeks for treatment. This turned out to be a serendipitous stroke of luck as during this time, staff noticed that Patch was very, very keen on Seraphina!

Stolen glances and cat-calls!

Patch&SPatch had started sneaking out of his hidey bed to watch Seraphina play in the corridor and would meow as she walked by.

Staff knew they had to introduce the two. Patch’s shyness lifted immediately when he was around Seraphina. He’d headbutt and groom her for attention. But they also noticed it changed his mood towards them – for the first time he wasn’t running away when the cattery staff went near him!

Seraphina was perfectly happy to spend her days in Patch’s pen too – so they moved in together and officially became a pair.

Love at first miaow

With Seraphina by his side, Patch became one hundred times braver than he used to be. He’d come to staff for attention and started to enjoyed having his chin scratched. He became almost unrecognisable from the scaredy-cat he was before.

The pair’s lust for life was noticed by a local woman who fell for the two tabbies when she visited them in early January. Determined to help the two sweethearts land on their feet, she took them home just a couple of weeks later.

In it for the long-haul

Patch_Seraphina_HomeWe were thrilled to receive a recent update:

“Patch and Seraphina are settling in really well so far. Seraphina has been sleeping on our laps and Patch sits nearby, gradually moving closer each day, which is really good to see.

“His confidence is growing each day and it is very sweet to see how devoted they are to eachother!

“I think a lot of Patch’s progress is testament to the patience and understanding of the RSPCA who laid the groundwork…and we are fortunate to be getting the benefit.”

Can you offer a special animal their fur-ever home?

If you can offer a loving home to one (or two!) of the fantastic animals in our care, head to Find a Pet to track down your purr-fect match.

Your Feral Friday Art Cat

I can’t tell you how many cats I’ve either rescued, or fed on a regular basis, who have lived all or part of their lives in drainage pipes. From the feline perspective, it’s nearly a perfect place to hide out. Dark, self-contained, easy to defend from a predator, an irresistible hidey hole. But, drainages are also dank, and at high water times, filled with polluted runoff. Cats that live there often have respiratory problems and are difficult to rescue if they get stuck (kittens are notorious for this.) Seriously, it just can’t be pleasant. Imagine the desperation of the cat who chooses this life.Trickle Down; painting by Carol Parker MittalSo, in honor of all those who survive by sneaking around in culverts, here is a portrait. May they stay safe, stay warm, and stay healthy.


Carol Parker Mittal is an artist and teacher living in Northern Michigan who is currently trying to clean out her studio so she can make room for more art. You can check out her blog about art and cats at Art is Not for Sissies. 

Charity Mews: An update from Bella

Hi everyone,

Some of you may remember our story from last year about Bella the cat that managed to eat a whole kebab stick!

We are pleased to be back with an update today to let everyone know that she is doing just fine and living happily ever after at her forever home with her Human and Feline family.

Bella was found by Cats Protection’s Birmingham Adoption Centre and after a full recovery was re-homed to her forever home! 🙂

Of course we too once had a scary incident with one of our little ones eating something that they shouldn’t have… It’s important that we all remember that something that seems harmless could cause much suffering to a vulnerable animal. 🙁

bella-the-cat

On this picture you can see that she has settled in just fine with the other resident cat, Blue, who are together on the trampoline on a warm summer day. 🙂

bella-the-cat-2

Can you guess where Bella is sleeping on this picture? Let us know! 😀

Never want to miss a story again? Sign up for our Newsletter here!

Thanks,

Marc

Friday Art Cat: It’s Not Snowing Yet

It’s been a warm fall in the Midwest. By now, we’ve usually seen a snowflake or two. I bring this up because, fortunately, that means that our homeless cat friends are enjoying the same unseasonal sunniness. But, the colder weather is coming, and I think about all of the feral and stray cats who will need to find warm, safe spaces if they are to survive. This week’s Friday Art Cat is a reminder about our scrappy friends who manage to endure despite the conditions. Stay safe, everybody!

Cats under a building
Lack of Affordable Housing

You can check out more of my art on my blog, Art Is Not For Sissies.

Mews: A lucky escape for Bella the kebab stick cat

Hi everyone,

Today I would like to share with you a lucky rescue story from Cats Protection:

Cats Protection’s Birmingham Adoption Centre has ensured that a young female cat has eight of her ‘nine lives’ still intact after a routine spay procedure uncovered an amazing discovery.

“Little Bella came in to the charity as a stray at the beginning of the month,” says Bryan Cross, who works full time as a Cat Care Assistant at the centre.

BELLA after op

“She is a fairly young cat, around 18 months old. She is black and white and very beautiful. As with all cats that come to us, we booked her in with our veterinarian to be vaccinated and spayed.”

However, whilst Bella was under anaesthetic, the vet noticed an unusual object in Bella’s stomach. Upon further examination, and the decision to explore with further surgery, a very sharp, flexible stick – three inches long – was discovered to be lodged in her colon.

BELLA twig

The vet stated that if the stick, thought to be from a kebab, had encroached much further down Bella’s intestines, then the consequences would surely have been fatal.

“So Bella had a very lucky escape – if we had not opened her up, we never would have found such a potential threat to her life,” added Bryan.

Bella has recovered well from her ordeal and is a sociable and friendly girl. She would be best suited to a couple or a family with older children.

Bella now

About Cats Protection

Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps over 194,000 cats each year through its national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 31 adoption centres. www.cats.org.uk

Never want to miss a story again? Sign up for our Newsletter here!

Thanks,

Marc