A sweet older feline at Battersea’s Brands Hatch centre is looking for a place to call home, after reaching the milestone of 180-days in the care of the leading animal welfare charity.
Pixel, a 12-year-old domestic shorthair, has been at Battersea six times longer than the average stay for one of the charity’s cats (28 days) and is hoping to find that special someone who can give her a home to call her own and focus all their love on her.
After arriving at Battersea’s Kent rescue centre, Pixel was nervous and shy of new people but was soon seeking some and fuss and attention from staff and since being with one of the charity’s dedicated foster carers, she has really started to find her paws.
Naomi Burgoyne, Cattery Team Leader at the centre said: “Once she gets to know you, Pixel will display her sweet and affectionate side and will lean in for gentle cheek strokes and a chin scratch. She may be an older cat, but she still has a keen sense of fun and loves playing with her favourite string toys. She’ll be your best pal if you have a treat ready for her after she’s shown off her catching skills.
“Pixel is an independent lady who likes to do her own thing and after a fuss and a play she enjoys time to herself for peaceful afternoon naps before seeking out her favourite human companions to chill out with in the evening.
“This elegant senior feline is keen to keep up appearances and enjoys a good grooming session and a brush behind the ears. We’ve found this has helped Pixel settle into a new environment and bond with people, so new owners should have their cat grooming brush at the ready!”
Pixel is looking to be the only pet in the home and would like a garden that she can explore in her own time. Potential new owners who feel they can give Pixel the love that she deserves, should visit the Battersea website to find out more: https://www.battersea.org.uk/
For Battersea’s tips on cat grooming, please visit: www.battersea.org.uk/pet-advice
Evolution and domestication are complicated and still largely mysterious concepts when it comes to cats. Much is known about the evolution and domestication of dogs, but far less so when it comes to their feline counterparts.
From Working Cats to Cuddle Buddies.
Dogs have long been known for their usefulness to humans, particularly for hunting and protection as early as 25,000 years ago. In contrast, the first cats to work with humans, as early as 10,000 years ago, began the road to domestication by ridding homes—and later, ships—of rats. When agriculture began spreading around the world, so did granaries and large stores of food, both of which brought mice, and by extension, felines. These expert four-legged hunters were handsomely rewarded for their efforts by farmers and storage owners.
Often, cats show their affection by proximity, not necessarily close physical interaction. As a general rule, wild or feral cats don’t enjoy being picked up—let alone cuddled—and they are not typically social creatures. From an evolutionary standpoint, cats needed to overcome this to be domesticated and brought into the fold of human households. Most animals, including cats, just want to stay safe, and living with humans is usually an easy way to do that.
Did Humans Domesticate Cats, or Was It The Other Way Around?
It may come as a surprise, but domestication is an extremely rare occurrence in nature. In fact, cats are still only partly domesticated compared to dogs. This largely explains the common trait of independence and aloofness in cats—most are happy to spend time alone. Dogs? Not so much.
Cats, for the most part, domesticated themselves. The selective breeding of cats only began about 200 years ago. The majority of the cat population comes from feral and outdoor cats choosing their own partners rather than breeding with cats that humans have chosen for them.
Generally, cats changed very little during their domestication, and remain very similar in behaviour and appearance to their wild ancestors—with a few notable examples. There are two theories when it comes to cat domestication. Either today’s feline ancestors were deliberately selected for their friendliness and companionship, or they were simply tolerated due to their usefulness in eradicating vermin. In all likelihood, it was a combination of these two that led to the cats we know and love today.
A member of the ExcitedCats.com veterinary team, Dr Lorna Whittemore, explains there are “12 distinct groups of cats worldwide, and these populations have led to around 24 genetically distinct breeds. Humans selected for desirable traits, resulting in another 20–30 breeds to cater for different preferences in modern pet cats.”
Cinnamon The Abyssinian.
In 2007, scientists sequenced the genome of an Abyssinian cat named Cinnamon in the hopes of uncovering more answers. While this was a largely incomplete sequencing and was primarily conducted to better understand hereditary diseases, when paired with a recent second gene sequencing, scientists uncovered interesting results regarding feline domestication.
By pairing the results with the sequencing of other domestic cats and wildcats compared to that of tigers, dogs, and other mammals, the study found that while domestic cats retain many of the hunting and sensory traits of their wild cousins, they have become more adapted to human interaction—even on a genetic level. Lower levels of fear around humans and the creation of a closer physical relationship with people have rewarded felines from an evolutionary standpoint, and that change could be seen even in the evolution of their genetic makeup.
The Benefits of Domestication.
It’s fascinating to discover that science proves cats had an evolutionary incentive to be cuddled, petted, and groomed by humans. No matter how aloof modern domestic cats may seem, cuddling was, and still is, in their best evolutionary interests!
Dr Whittemore further explains that the “natural selection of cats that are more amenable to human companionship has enabled them to reap the rewards of this relationship; access to food, shelter, and safety. Humans have benefited greatly from rodent control, and now in modern-day life—a furry friend to snuggle up with.” It’s a win-win scenario that has seen success for years and will likely continue to evolve.
Leading vet charity PDSA saved the life of a three-year-old cat who became trapped in a rabbit snare, leaving her with serious injuries.
CupCake, fondly known as C.C, was missing from her home in Canterbury for five days, leaving her loving owner, Karen Gunn, very concerned. When she came home, it was clear by how lethargic she was, there was something severely wrong.
Karen could see something caught on C.C. and immediately took her to PDSA’s out of hours provider, Vets Now in Herne Bay.
Once there, the vets made the horrific discovery that C.C was in fact, caught in a rabbit snare. A snare is a thin wire noose used as a method of wildlife management. When an animal steps into the trap, the noose tightens around them, trapping them in place.
The snare had wrapped so tightly around her waist it was hard to see buried underneath her fur. As C.C had struggled to get herself free, the snare cut deeper into her, causing deep and painful wounds – it was a miracle C.C was able to move, let alone struggle all the way home.
Luckily, thanks to Karen’s quick thinking and the treatment, which was funded by PDSA, the vets were able to save C.C’s life. The snare was very carefully removed and the wounds were cleaned, dressed and treated with antibiotics.
Karen said: “If C.C hadn’t managed to get herself home, I don’t bear to think about what would have happened to her – it’s possible she spent five whole days trapped in that snare, trying to wiggle herself free. We can’t thank PDSA enough for ensuring C.C got the treatment she needed for a full recovery.”
C.C needed regular check-ups at Margate PDSA Pet Clinic to monitor her wounds, to ensure they were clean and free from infection.
Karen added: “C.C’s wounds are now fully healed and she’s back on her paws again – she has a big scar and her fur is yet to fully grow back, but she’s a real fighter.”
PDSA Veterinary Surgeon, Lynne James, said: “We’re extremely pleased that Wales has committed to a full ban on all snares, as this is a great step for animal welfare in Wales, due to the suffering these devices cause to wild, farmed and companion animals. PDSA supports a ban on the manufacture, sale, possession and use of all snares not just in Wales, but across the whole of the UK, and is now looking to England and Scotland to follow suit and join Wales with a complete ban on snares.
Lynne added: “Unfortunately we do see cases like C.C’s across our 48 Pet Hospitals, and we firmly believe there needs to be a ban on snares. Snares are inhumane; catching a range of wild and domestic animals, including protected species and beloved family pets, often resulting in severe injury or death.
“Animals caught in snares naturally panic and struggle to break free, this causes the snare to cut deeper into the skin and flesh, seriously harming the animal. Unless found, animals suffer horrendously, possibly for many hours, before they die.”
The easiest way to enter is by sending them in via firstname.lastname@example.org. Or just leave a comment with a link to the post / photo you’d like us to use on this blog post.
“Here is a photo of my lap cat. He loves to have his tummy rubbed. His normal pose is on his back, even while sleeping. His name is Sunny.” Sent in by Jeanne via email.
“Snoot Snoot!” Sent in via email by Katherine.
“This is Nicki, she’s a 3 year old bundle of fun. She’s very photogenic & likes to pose.” Carol – Sent in via email
“This is Max. He is my nephew, Joseph’s cat. Sweetest bundle of fur.” From Tejana, sent in via email.
Missed last weeks post? Why not check it out here.
Now we need ALL of you! Do you want to see your cat featured and join our fun blog roll? Follow the steps below. 😀
All you need to do is post a photo or photo story of your fur-friend on your own Blog and add your post link and photo into our Tummy Rub Tuesday post within our Forum.
Simply leave a comment on the post and attach the image you’d like to use. If you’ve got more than one image to use, make multiple comments! 😀
Should you not have an own Blog you can participate by sending us an email with your photo to email@example.com – just let us know what you would like to have listed as source! 🙂
And to make it fair your cat photos don’t have to be a tummy shot we do understand that not all cats like showing off their belly! So any fun photo story will be fine but tummy ones will be even better 😀
And on next week’s #TRT we will be posting photos with links back to all you guys in the weekly Tummy Rub Tuesday post!!!
A big thank you to all participants from all of us here at Katzenworld.
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Winston is now making a good recovery and is in the care of the RSPCA
The RSPCA is appealing for information after a kitten believed to have been thrown from a moving vehicle suffered serious injury.
The six-week-old, who has been named Winston by volunteers at RSPCA Crewe and Nantwich Branch, is now making a good recovery after his ordeal.
He was spotted by delivery driver Leaum Rutter (pictured) lying on Cross Lane at Church Minshull near Crewe on Friday, June 30. Winston was crawling around in agony on the side of the road, but Leaum stopped the traffic and came to his rescue. The driver placed the young cat in a box and took him to a Nantwich-based vet’s where x-rays revealed the feline had suffered a bilateral femoral fracture.
Winston underwent successful surgery to pin his broken leg and is now under the care of the Crewe and Nantwich Branch, who have moved him into a foster home.
The branch’s cat coordinator, Mandy Hill, said: “The vet thought the impact injuries were unusual and after examination it sadly does look like this little kitten was thrown from a moving car.
“It’s such a callous thing to do to a little cat. Winston was really scared when he first came into the branch. At first we thought he may be a feral cat, but it is clear he has been socialised by someone and has been living in someone’s home.
“He’s a lively little thing and fortunately the vet expects him to make a good recovery.”
Winston’s sad story comes as the RSPCA has launched its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, to raise funds to help its busy frontline rescue teams continue to save animals from cruelty and abuse and to raise awareness about how to stop cruelty to animals for good.
On Tuesday last week (18 July), the charity received 4,060 calls to its cruelty line – on average six a minute during opening hours – with 1,775 incidents investigated by frontline rescuers on its busiest day of the year.
Anyone with any information about what happened to Winston should call the RSPCA appeals line number on 0300 123 8018.
Kind-hearted delivery driver Leaum and his family are making a donation to help cover the branch’s vet bill. The branch is also taking donations from the public and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Crewe and Nantwich Branch is also seeking homes for a female cat and her four kittens who were discovered at Nantwich Marina on Friday, July 14.
A narrowboat owner called the charity after she rescued one of the kittens who had fallen into the Shropshire Union Canal. Animal rescue officer Scarlet Sanderson went to the marina and collected the kitten and the four other felines, some of whom were found hiding in piping.
The branch has named the mother Doris (pictured), while her fleet-footed offspring are called Senna, Hamilton, Lando and Ricciardo after Formula One racing drivers.
Anyone who is interested in offering the cats a loving home should email the branch at email@example.com
Heartbreaking figures released by the RSPCA have shown that reports of animals being beaten increased by 22% last year – with incidents peaking during the summer months, with three reported every minute. The charity has launched its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, to raise funds to help its frontline rescue teams continue to save animals from cruelty. The RSPCA’s frontline rescuers, volunteers and a network of branches are working tirelessly to save animals this summer but we can’t do it alone. Please help cancel out cruelty, visit rspca.org.uk/cancel.
Dr Emma Milne, a British vet and long-standing campaigner on animal welfare issues, particularly those relating to the health problems suffered by many brachycephalic animals, is to receive this year’s World Small Animal Veterinary Association (WSAVA) Award for Companion Animal Welfare.
Emma Milne qualified as a veterinary surgeon in 1996 and worked in practice in the UK for 12 years before becoming a clinical nutrition advisor for Hill’s for seven years, during which time she moved to France. She is well-known in the UK following her appearances in a TV series called Vets in Practice and her role as a presenter on documentaries on wildlife. She was one of the first veterinarians to highlight the health issues suffered by many brachycephalic and extreme breeds and launched the online platform Vets Against Brachycephalism in 2017 to encourage vets worldwide to join the global fight against breeding extremely brachycephalic animals. She also campaigns on the responsible use of animal photos in marketing, calling out advertisers which use deformed animals in a ‘cute’ way, to sell their products.
Dr Milne is also an author – her most recent book, ‘Picking a Pedigree: How to choose a healthy puppy or kitten,’ highlighted health problems in pedigree dogs and cats associated with body size and shape, as well as other inherited conditions. Her other writing includes a series of children’s pet care books, The Pet Detective Series, including ‘Is a cat the right pet for you?’ The books highlight the five welfare needs of companion animals and the importance of their mental, as well as physical, wellbeing.
Commenting on the Award to Dr Milne, Dr Cheryl Good, member of the WSAVA’s Animal Wellness and Welfare Committee (AWWC), said: ” Emma Milne exemplifies the integration of animal welfare with veterinary medicine. Her advocacy on the welfare issues associated with selecting for brachycephaly and extreme conformation has had international impacts on countless numbers of animals.
“Her impact on the community is felt globally as she inspires future and current veterinarians and the public with her many speaking engagements and written works. Dr Milne’s authorship of children’s books and national media appearances demonstrate her creativity and determination to reach new audiences and magnify her impact.”
Dr Milne said: “I had no idea I’d even been nominated for this incredible award. I had to read the email three times before I believed what I was seeing. I work alongside people who I feel are absolute giants in animal welfare and ethics so to be awarded this myself is indescribable. I can’t thank those who nominated me enough or get close to expressing verbally just how much it means to me, It is things like this that, on the low days, keep me fired up to continue what has become my life’s work.”
The WSAVA Companion Animal Welfare Award recognizes individual veterinarians who have made a significant contribution to animal welfare and inspired others to play their part in advancing welfare globally. Dr Milne will receive her award during this year’s WSAVA World Congress, which takes place from 27-29 September in Lisbon, Portugal.
The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 115 member associations and works to enhance standards of clinical care for companion animals. Its core activities include the development of WSAVA Global Guidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including pain management, nutrition and vaccination, together with lobbying on important issues affecting companion animal care worldwide.
Buckle in for the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards emotional rollercoaster
As the deadline for the 2023 RSPCA Young Photographer Awards looms, the RSPCA is celebrating some of its finest young photographer alumni and the stunning range of emotions they have captured in animal portraits over the years.
Every year, incredible photographs are taken by youngsters aged 18 and under and entered as submissions to the prestigious RSPCA Young Photographer Awards. As this year’s awards judges brace themselves for another emotional judging session, the RSPCA is looking back at some of the most emotive entries from the last few years.
Young photographers still have until Tuesday 15 August to enter awards, which is now celebrating its 33rd year.
Award winning wildlife photographer and Young Photographer Awards judge, Emma Jacobs, said: “You might want to have a tissue ready for looking through our pick of some historic entries. Some will make you cry with laughter, others will make you weep from the emotion radiating from them – they all showcase what the RSPCA Young Photographer Awards is all about!”
Hilarious pet portrait taken by Demmi Havenhand, aged 18 from Bedlington in Northumberland, for the 2022 Young Photographer Awards. Demmi scored the Runner Up position in the Pet Portraits category for capturing this happy moment.
2. Guilty Sofa Look
Snapped for the under 12 mobile and devices category in 2020, 10-year-old Wilfred Maidment from Cranbrook in Kent, shot this heart-wrenching photo of his dog Buda, looking very sad and guilty for getting caught taking a nap on the sofa. Wilfred won first prize for his brilliant photo.
3. Sleeping Heart
Kathryn Walton, aged 12 from Northampton, took this warm fuzzy photo in 2020 and won the runner up prize for the aged 12-15 mobile phone and devices category. Awwww.
4. A Summer Shower
Gideon Knight, aged 18 from Essex, captured this comic photo of a seagull ‘enjoying’ the great British summertime. Gideon was commended for his photo portfolio submission in 2018.
5. Hopeful for a white Christmas
Clara Drycz, aged 15 from Rochdale, caught the longing in her puppy’s eyes – as if he was wishing for just one white Christmas! Clara submitted her emotional entry to the mobile phone and devices category in 2022.
6. Nose Dive
At the other end of the spectrum, young photographer Hattie Pearce, aged 18 from Solihull, was commended in the 2022 Pet Personalities category for her photo of a joyful puppy enjoying some summer sand.
7. Puffins Kiss
This tender moment between two puffins was captured by Jake Kneale, aged 16 from Pewsey, in Wiltshire. Jake was commended for his photography portfolio submitted in 2019.
8. To infinity and beyond!
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Nope, it’s a…flying lamb…Molly Tollson, aged 14 from Biggar in Scotland, photographed the surreal moment she saw a lamb take flight. Molly submitted her brilliant photo entry to the 12-15 mobile phone and devices category and won in 2020.
9. Snuggled Squirrel
Hugo Napier, aged 10 from York, photographed this lovely moment of human-animal connection as an orphaned squirrel is given a feed and a warm blanket. Hugo was runner up in the under 12 mobile phone and devices category for 2022.
10. Mid Air Catch
Daniel Zhang, aged 15 from Hendon in London, won the aged 12-15 category in 2019 for snapping this bird looking for his supper!
Last but not least, a final bonus photo to strike a fear into even the bravest of hearts. Joshu Myers aged 15 from Sheffield, shot this incredible but terrifying photo in 2018 and claimed the runner up position in the aged 12-15 category. Here’s a surprise wild card, number 11…
11. The Stare
There’s still time for budding young photographers to enter this year’s awards, and with ten different categories* to choose from, there’s something for everyone, whatever their interest – and some amazing prizes to be won. All animals are welcome, from pets to wildlife, insects, farm animals and more.
TV presenter, wildlife advocate and president of the RSPCA, Chris Packham said: “I am really excited about this year’s RSPCA Young Photographer Awards and I hope many young people will get outside and photograph their favourite animals or bugs for this fantastic competition.”
Judges include: wildlife photographer and TV presenter Chris Packham; wildlife photographer and presenter Rachel Bigsby; former competition winner-turned-professional photographer Catriona Parfitt; professional wildlife photographer and photographic guide Ellie Rothnie; and RSPCA photographers Andrew Forsyth and Emma Jacobs.
The judges will award trophies to winners in each category, as well as crowning an Overall Winner. The Overall Winner will receive a weekend photography break with award-winning wildlife photographer Danny Green’s team at Natures Images. Worth £675, this fabulous prize includes two nights’ accommodation for the winner and a parent/guardian.
The winners will be announced in December 2023, at an awards ceremony hosted by Chris Packham at the Tower of London.
Young photographers can upload their images, view past galleries and find out everything they need to know at: www.rspca.org.uk/ypa.
Sponsors of the competition are Natures Images (wildlife photography holidays) and Camtraptions (camera traps for wildlife photography).
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit our website or call our donation line on 0300 123 8181.
Just like us, our furry family members can get sunburnt on sunny days – especially if they have a light coloured fur or a thin or patchy coat. And as with human sunburn, it can be painful to our pets, and the skin damage it causes has the possibility to lead to cancer.
However, there are ways to protect your pets from the sun’s harmful rays this summer as PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing explains.
“The most common places for pets to get sunburnt are their ears, nose, eyelids and tummy,” explains Nina. “And they are especially at risk if they are light coloured, so ginger or white, or have any thin fur or bald patches.”
Nina says that if it’s sunny enough for you to need sun cream, your pet may need protection too. She advises:
Keep them out of the sun at the hottest parts of the day, where possible. Avoid walking your dog in the middle of hot days when the sun is strongest – instead, stick to the mornings and evenings. And if it is an extremely hot day, sometimes it’s best to avoid walking them altogether on that day.
Don’t allow your pet to sunbathe in direct sunlight. Make sure they always have access to plenty of shade – trees and shrubs make great shade for dogs and cats, and a blanket draped over part of their run is an easy way to create shade for rabbits and guinea pigs. Just always make sure they have good ventilation and a breeze flowing through if you are using a blanket over their run.
Apply sunblock. Apply sunscreen to any areas where your pet’s fur is thin i.e. their nose, ear tips and tummy. Make sure the sunblock you are using is pet/child safe, SPF30 or higher, and waterproof. Apply at least 15 minutes before your pet goes outside, discourage them from licking it off, and remember to reapply as necessary.
“If your pet has already suffered with sunburn, symptoms you may spot are:
Treatment and medication
“If you spot symptoms of sunburn in your pets, it’s important to know how to treat them,” Nina adds.
“Mild sunburn often heals within a few days. You can help to make your pet feel more comfortable with easy treatment at home. Use cold compresses to gently cool your pet’s skin using something like a flannel or towel that has been wet under a cold tap.
“If your pet has sunburn, it’s important to keep them out of direct sunlight until their skin has healed and use sunblock or sun protective clothing for those with exposed skin on their back or sides to protect their skin if they need to go outside.
“If your pet is very sunburnt, or appears to be in pain, you should contact your vet for advice immediately. They may offer treatment such as pain relief, anti-bacterial creams and a protective cone collar ”
PDSA is the UK’s largest vet charity providing a vital service for pets across the UK whose owners struggle to afford treatment costs for their sick and injured pets. For many vulnerable pets, PDSA is there to help when there is nowhere else for their owners to turn. Support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery helps us reach even more pet owners with vital advice and information.
Ginger and Mollie are currently two of the oldest cats in RSPCA care
An RSPCA rehoming centre in Salford is putting out a special appeal for two mature moggies who have both come into rescue at the grand old age of 19.
The charity’s Manchester and Salford Branch took in the elderly felines last month after their previous owner sadly became too unwell to care for them.
Long-haired Ginger, and black and white Mollie – who is believed to be almost, if not completely, deaf – are thought to be two of the oldest cats being looked after by the RSPCA’s network of branches and centres in England and Wales.
Both cats, who are each the equivalent of 92-years-old in human years, have had full veterinary check ups and despite their advancing years are said to be agile and in good health.
Despite having apparently lived together for sometime, the RSPCA branch is looking for separate homes for the cats in their twilight years after it became clear that Mollie, the more reserved of the pair, had probably been competing with Ginger for attention and food – and missing out.
The effect on Mollie since she’s been looked after on her own has been immediate and positive. Whereas she used to sleep all day and hide away avoiding social interaction, she’s now blossomed into a friendly, good natured and very affectionate cat who loves to be stroked and fussed over.
She has also begun to show a real interest in food and is now a healthy weight.
Describing the golden oldies, who are both in the care of fosterers, branch manager Susie Hughes said: “Ginger has been around the block enough times to know exactly what she wants. Her daily mission is to get as close to people as often as she can, and she’s a fantastic organiser of human time, telling her foster carer exactly what she needs.
“She’s a super confident cat who loves being the centre of attention and would spend all day on someone’s lap if she could. She’ll need an adopter who is as equally confident as she is though because Ginger will tell them off with a little hiss or a quick swipe of her paw if you try and get up from your chair before she wants you to!
“Mollie frequently naps during the day and appears to be almost, if not completely, deaf. Whilst this doesn’t appear to have affected her adversely in terms of confidence, it does mean her meows can sometimes be rather loud.
“It also means she’ll have to be an indoor cat, unless a catio (enclosed outdoor patio for cats) is available, as it wouldn’t be safe for her to go outside. She’s very fond of a window ledge to sit on and watch the world go by, so that’s definitely top of the list in her potential new home.
“We’d urge people to look beyond these cats’ ages as age is really just a number and rehoming an older pet can be incredibly rewarding. You’re giving them the best possible life in their twilight years and we always do our utmost to ensure a happy ending for every animal that comes into our care, young or old.”
Both Ginger and Mollie are looking for quiet, adult-only homes without other pets.If you would like to know more about them or express an interest in adoption, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the branch’s website where you will also be able to see all the other animals looking for new homes at the centre.