Sunday, 1 October 2017

Learn something new every day

I have attended two cat-related courses recently, the first was the Cat Weekend run by International Cat Care on 16th September.  
There was a great variety of talks attended by veterinary professionals, charity staff and volunteers, cat owners and others. 

Schedule of talks
(Click to enlarge)

Topics explored basic aspects of what makes a cat a cat to more specific health conditions.  I picked up a copy of The Trainable Cat written by Sarah Ellis who works for iCatCare and was attending the weekend, a recommended read for anyone wanting to explore and improve the bond with your cat! 

Keep an eye on the iCatCare website and social media accounts for details about the event for 2018.

Source: International Cat Care Facebook page @icatcare
Source: International Cat Care
Facebook page @icatcare

The talk given by Sarah Endersby about a stress-free vet visit was particularly interesting as going to the vets is often stressful for both cats and owners. 

Being coerced into an unfamiliar carrier, then carried outside to the unfamiliar car, enduring a noisy car journey, being carried into the veterinary practice smelling of other cats, dogs and cleaning chemicals, waiting among other animals and clients in a potentially busy reception and entering a scary examination room all contribute to increasing levels of stress and that's before the vet has even looked at them!  

The iCatCare YouTube channel has fantastic videos on how to start at the beginning and train cats to use the carrier in a positive way.  This, with the use of Feliway and helping the cat to feel more secure by keeping the carrier covered, can help to reduce stress levels.  And finally, choose a Cat Friendly Clinic where there are protocols in place to provide the best care for your cat.

Arriving in Shrewsbury
On Sunday 24th September I attended a Volunteer Information Day in Shrewsbury, with branch coordinator Leanne Curtin, entitled "Feline Wellbeing - a good life?" which discussed assessment of welfare and quality of life, detecting signs of pain and making end-of-life decisions.  Volunteers and staff attended from Colwyn, Wrexham, Newtown, and Stoke and Newcastle areas.

Staff and volunteers are responsible for upholding the Five Welfare Needs for all cats we care for:
  • Suitable environment
  • Suitable diet including fresh water
  • Exhibition of normal behaviour patterns
  • Housing with, or apart from, other animals
  • Protection from pain, suffering, injury and disease
We can achieve this by considering a tier system of aspects of cat care - providing for basic physical functions, personal safety and secure access to resources, a predictable and stable environment and then social and environmental stimulation.  The fulfilment of the needs will determine whether the cat experiences just a life worth living or a good life, where we promote comfort, provide interest and improve confidence. 

Cats Protection now offers an online course to the public to allow all cat owners to understand their cats better and to offer a cat friendly environment in the home.  The course is entitled "Understanding Feline Origins" (soon to be renamed "Understanding Cats Needs") and can be accessed here Understanding Feline Origins Course

Monday, 21 August 2017

Eglwysbach Show

Leanne (Branch Coordinator) and Janet
(Fundraising Team Leader)
Our lovely blue and yellow CP marquee made its debut at Eglwysbach show on the 12th August. 

We had information and fundraising leaflets, cat related gifts to sell and items from our charity shop located on Madoc Street in Llandudno. 

We also ran a game to scan a teddy for a microchip to win a prize.  Cats Protection promotes microchipping as the best form of permanent identification for your cats and all our foster cats are microchipped as part of the care we provide.  

I also represented Cats Protection with our canine mascot Frank in the fun dog show sponsored by Murphy & Co Veterinary Practice by doing a "demonstration" of the obstacle course.  Not sure we have a career in it though (see below for an excerpt)!

Needless to say we and Frank were all pretty tired by the end of the day, think his face says it all! 

Thanks to everyone who stopped by at our stand to support us, chat about cats and ask about volunteering and we hope you all enjoyed the day!

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Summer again

Summer is hear again and our Cats Protection branch is still as busy as ever!

Earlier this summer two North Wales RSPCA branches and our Cats Protection Colwyn & District Branch came together to fund vital surgery for a homeless tortoiseshell kitten found in Prestatyn.  A member of the public discovered beautiful Blaze with a badly-damaged leg that had to be amputated to save her, costing £600.  Because the kitten had no known owner, Clwyd and Colwyn & Aberconwy RSPCA branches contributed a combined £300 and Cats Protection Colwyn & District donated the remaining balance of £300. Lucky Blaze recovered very well and is now enjoying 3-legged life with her foster carer who chose to adopt her follow her rehabilitation. 

Mary Keenan with her cat statue
Longstanding volunteer Mary Keenan has now retired from her positions as branch coordinator and secretary after many years dedicated service.  Mary continues to fulfil vital roles in fostering and the Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) of feral cats and has been an invaluable volunteer for our branch.  Mary and also Dorothy Dolan (who has volunteered for the branch for around 30 years!) received recognition of their dedication to the branch by the presentation of bronze cat statues as a symbol of gratitude from Cats Protection. Dorothy acts as fosterer, TNR volunteer and website/social media volunteer.  We now welcome Leanne Curtin as our new branch coordinator who is already getting stuck into the role and we are in the process of recruiting a new secretary to join the committee.

Dorothy receiving her cat from 
Regional Development Manager Rob Hall

All other branch volunteers have also received pin badges as recognition of their dedication to and support of our Colwyn branch. There are different badges for 1, 5 and 10 years service and a number of volunteers have quite the collection already!

Our volunteers will be at Eglwysbach show on Saturday 12th August with games and freebies for the kids (or adults?), advice about adoption and cat ownership and information about the ongoing neutering scheme happening all across Wales.  

The show will be held at Cae Henblas in the middle of the village from 9:30am with plenty of stands, cows, sheep, horses with a fun dog show in the afternoon.  We look forward to seeing some of you there! 

We are always looking to recruit more volunteers to join our team, particularly in fostering (indoors and outdoors), TNR and fundraising.  If you are interested in finding out more about these roles please see the Volunteering section of our website.  You can play a vital role in improving the lives of cats in North Wales by giving a little time to volunteering.