Monday, 16 April 2018

Tabby Tom Appeal

Last month we launched our Tabby Tom Appeal – we thought we’d share Tom’s story and recovery all thanks to the generosity of our supporters.

Tom is a handsome long-haired tabby and white boy who came into our care after he was found starving and living on the streets of Birmingham. He was too hungry he resorted to eating the bread put out of the birds. Our adoption centre has been helping a local cat charity in Birmingham so Tom came down to Exeter to start a new life. During his routine veterinary examination, our vet discovered that Tom had a very badly infected ear and will need a life-saving surgical TECA operation (Total Ear Canal Ablation) which will cost £700. Following the operation Tom should be able to live a normal life, albeit deaf in one ear. Our deputy manager Phil launched the Tabby Tom Appeal on our JustGiving page in the hope we would raise the money for his treatment.

Tom before his operation

Everyone has been fantastic! We smashed our target within 24 hours. In total we managed to raise £778.50, we would like to thank everybody who donated towards his treatment. On March 27th Tom went to our Veterinary Hospital for the surgical operation on his ear. His operation was very successful and he spent a few days recovering at the Veterinary Hospital. By the 7th March he came back to Axhayes to continue his recovery. He still needs lubricant eye drops in his eye regularly as part of post-op. He is wearing a buster collar to stop him from scratching his ear and his stitches. He is enjoying lots of attention and tummy tickles from our CCAs who are caring for him.

1 week after his op

Two weeks later....lounging around in his bed

We will keep you all posted on his progress over the coming weeks and when he is available for rehoming. Again, we would like to say THANK YOU to everyone who donated to Tom’s operation. For more news about Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre or Taunton Homing & Info Centre and the cats we have available for adoption, you can follow us on our Facebook @cpexeteraxhayes, Twitter and Instagram.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Snuggles story

One of the most lovely parts of our job is hearing how cats affect our lives.

We recently received a lovely email from Mandy about a cat that was adopted from our centre 20 years ago.

This is the wonderful story of Snuggles....

On 19/9/1998 my life changed forever. My sister bought a kitten from you for myself and my son to join our family. My sister was his registered keeper, but I was his human mummy. He was a little ginger kitten 8 weeks old, his fur mummy and siblings were shades of black and black and white. You had called him Knave.

Snuggles with Mandy's Son

My son chose him because he walked in the opposite direction to the rest of his family. There began the most amazing, pure love relationship I have ever had in my life. We renamed him Snuggles, Snuggles Frankie Sox was his full name. He was called Snuggles because my son thought he was snuggly. Snuggles had an amazing life, he was free to come and go and had many cat adventures. He was a hunter and and adventurer and a bit of a reputation as a fighter in the neighbourhood too. He was so intelligent, and love to play games, hide and seek was his favourite, he would hide and wait to be found, and then I would hide and he would come and find me. Snuggles chose where he slept and this was by my side under the duvet with his head on the pillow.

Snuggles developed diabetes at the age of 16 years, and then had to have insulin injections twice a day.  I learnt how to do this myself and to test his blood sugar levels, it was terrifying and didn't seem right to stick needles in him at first. Snuggles was so patient and tolerant and gave me the courage and confidence to maintain this for three years. Sadly Snuggles also developed kidney problems and arthritis. From then on Snuggles led a more sedate life, he had access to the garden which was then fenced off to stop him escaping, although he sometimes he still managed to scale the 6ft gate, to attempt escape. 

Snuggles relaxing in the garden

Sadly Snuggles' health deteriorated, and I had to make the hardest decision of my life. Snuggles passed away peacefully in my arms at home with the help of the vet on 5/3/18.

A light went out of my life that day, Snuggles was my best friend, and my soul mate.
I feel truly blessed and honoured to have been his human mummy for the best part of 20 years, and for that I will always be grateful.


So thank you from the bottom of my heart, for giving me Snuggles.

If you have a story that you would like to share with us and our Facebook readers, please email us at : and mark it for the attention of Di or Gemma ( Facebook editors)

Thursday, 5 April 2018

The Scratching Post - Axhayes' newest place to be...

We hope you all had a fantastic Easter weekend! During the Easter weekend was our annual Easter Coffee Morning hosted by our Friends of Exeter Axhayes Group. The weather was thankfully dry on the day after week of rain and the threat of the snow returning. It also saw the official opening of our new tearoom – named The Scratching Post. All of this has been possible thanks to your generosity and supporting our events here at the centre. Thanks to the money we have raised over the years, we have been able to buy and set up our own tearoom on site for our future events.   
Just after it was built beginning of March

On our Facebook page we launched a competition to allow our followers to come up with names for our shiny new tearoom. The Scratching Post was chosen by popular vote by our staff members and Friends of Group. The lucky three winners came out for some free cake and goodie bags for them and their cats. We would like to thank everybody who helped get our tearoom up and running for our Coffee Morning we were worried we wouldn’t be able to use it in time. Special thanks to our volunteer Dawn for helping Mark (A/C manager) with painting the exterior when we had some sunshine. Thanks to Jan our new greenfingers volunteer for potting some lovely flowers around the grounds in time for Saturday. Thank you to our Friends of Group volunteer Libby for decorating the interior with lots of Easter bunting and tablecloths. Looked fantastic!

Looking great after few coats of paint

Decorated interior - lots of pretty bunting

Our fabulous homemade Easter cakes

The Scratching Post needs some more work on the interior in the coming weeks and we will share with you in the coming weeks on Facebook. Our Easter Coffee Morning was a huge success and very busy! We managed to raise in total £267 which is fantastic! Thank you to everybody who came out and supported us. All of the money will go towards helping cats and kittens here at the centre.

For more news about Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre or Taunton Homing & Info Centre and the cats we have available for adoption, you can follow us on our Facebook @cpexeteraxhayes, Twitter and Instagram.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Cats at play

Playing with your cat is a great way to bond and have fun in the process. It's also important for their wellbeing and health as well as being key to a kitten's development.

Here at Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre we keep our cats and kittens active with a variety of toys, scratching posts, puzzle feeders and cardboard boxes. All of our toys have been donated during Christmas Holidays (Santa Paws Appeal), from our Amazon wishlist, our VIP vouchers from Pets at Home, some are handmade by our supporters or donated in general. We would like to thank our kind supporters for our cat toys. These toys make cattery life a little easier for our cats. Our toys provide them with exercise, mental stimulation and help our cats and kittens bond with our CCAs and volunteers. Playing with these toys is also very important for our centre-born kittens development too. Here's some information about why playing is so important for cats and kittens....   

Why cats play
Cats that can freely go outdoors will often engage in hunting activity or will play with fallen leaves or grass blowing in the wind if there is no access to prey. The drive to hunt is not because they are hungry, but because hunting activity – the stalk, pounce, play and kill – releases feel-good hormones called endorphins. It's important that your cat is given lots of opportunity to play to keep them mentally stimulated.

Play is very important for cats, particularly kittens, as it teaches them the skills needed for life and lessons about the world around them. Play is a great way for a cat to use up some of their energy, keep fit and healthy and keep their brain alert and active. The best games encourage cats to stalk, pounce, chase and bat objects with a paw in a safe way.

Toys don’t have to be expensive as even a cardboard box with holes cut into it provides a fun hiding place. A ball of tin foil can make a perfectly adequate toy, as long as the cat can’t swallow it.
Play is more fun if you get involved too – you could use fishing rod toys with feathers on a string to mimic their prey. Allow them to catch and ‘kill’ the toy periodically will stop them getting frustrated. Cats like to win!

Older cats will love playing three or four times a day, while younger cats will be happy to play ten times a day or more.

Very short games of one to two minutes are fine. Swap toys around regularly to keep them interesting, but don’t leave your cat on their own with toys which could be shredded and eaten or ones that they can get tangled in. Check toys regularly for signs of wear, replacing them when needed.

Indoor cats need more entertainment than outdoor cats, so make dinner time more of a challenge by feeding cat biscuits through a puzzle feeder or a plastic drinks bottle, with biscuit sized holes cut into it. The cat will learn that batting the bottle releases a biscuit. It also means that he will take his time eating his food!
Cats love to climb and hide so getting a cat activity centre is a good idea, but a cheaper option is to give your cat some cardboard boxes to play in. Some cats go mad for the herb catnip. You can buy toys stuffed with dried catnip – give one to your cat and see what he does!

If you would like to donate a cat toy for any of our cats here at Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre please visit our Amazon wishlist we appreciate any gifts we receive. Thank you for our support and generosity.

For more information about our adoption centre please visit You can follow us on Facebook @cpexeteraxhayes, Twitter and Instagram.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

April update

You may remember our 15 year old lady April who came to us in December 2017. She was found in a bit of a state in a local skip hire yard. She was very thin, hungry and covered in dirt or arrival. She was microchipped, but sadly her owner had passed away. We managed to get in contact with her next of kin who was unable to take her and was happy for us to find her another home. A month later she was feeling much better and she'd put on weight, she was available for adoption at our Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre.

April in our Taunton HIC

Sadly she hasn’t had much luck finding her forever home yet. Many of the cats around her were getting snapped up. To give her a change of scenery so she doesn’t get too fed up, she has travelled up to our Taunton Homing & Information centre. She is hoping she’ll have better luck finding a new home up there. She has already made herself very comfortable in her new pen and enjoying any attention from any visitors to come along to see her. We are keeping our fingers crossed it’ll be her turn to find a home very soon.

April is now at our Taunton Homing & Information centre. If you would like to meet her you can find us at Blackdown Garden Centre, West Buckland, Wellington, Nr Taunton, Somerset, TA21 9HY. Telephone - 01823 667945.Our Taunton cats will feature on our new website 

Sunday, 28 January 2018

Success Story - Jean

Jean came into our centre back in May 2017. She had spent life outdoors, but she saw that life with humans was something she wanted. She had spent many months with us, due to being quite shy in her pen and staying under her hide. Many cats around were more confident cats in our homing corridor were up at the pen doors meowing or jump out of their beds to greet passers-by. Jean was a sweet cat once she got to know you and earned her trust. She just needed that special someone to give her a chance and help her settle into her new home.  

Jean at Axhayes Adoption Centre in May 2017
 A day in September turned out to be Jean’s lucky day. One of our visitors to our centre saw her and wanted to give her a chance. We are hoping her story will inspire anybody who wants to give a shy/timid cat a forever home. Her owner has been keeping us updated regularly with Jean’s (now renamed Luna) progress. Her owner has spent us a wonderful email, we would like to share with you….

She said “I adopted Luna back in September 2017. It has been a long but rewarding journey getting to know her and getting her to feel safe and confident in her new home. It is only in the last week that she has ventured downstairs with people about four and a half months after her arrival. She spent the first month hiding away. I put her food close so she could easily access it and talked to her regularly for short periods."

"She eventually came out and sat on the windowsill. I could see that she desperately wanted to be petted but was just too nervous. The first time she let me stroke her was about six weeks after she had been here. I bought lots of toys to try and draw her out to no avail. In desperation I tried a scrunched up post it note and it worked! She loved it! It was amazing to see her playing for the first time.

This last week has been amazing, she has come down and jumped on the couch, come into the kitchen and followed me down in the morning for her breakfast. She is now also jumping up on the bed and sleeps beside me. We still have a ways to go, but each new step forward is another step to getting this lovely little lady to be the happy cat she deserves to be.
With some cats you never know what has happened to them in the past or what trauma has befallen them. They just need a bit of extra time, love and patience. Please don’t overlook the shy, timid or nervous ones. They too can be wonderful pets and companions. Thank you.”
Luna (was Jean) ventured downstairs

We would like to say thank you to Jean (now Luna’s) owner for sharing your story with us and giving Jean a chance. We have loved receiving her regular updates on Luna’s progress during the past few months. If you've adopted any of our cats or kittens from Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre or Taunton Homing & Info Centre, tell us how they are settling in to their new homes or how they are doing. Share your photos on our Facebook @cpexeteraxhayes, Twitter and Instagram. You can email us at, we love to see how our ex-CP cats are getting on, thank you.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Success Story - Conker

You may remember our little black kitten Conker. He came to our Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre back in October after he was found a member of the public rummaging through bins. He was desperately hungry, very dehydrated and was suffering from flu.  Our CCAs gave him lots of small meals to help build up his strength and re-hydration fluid to get him hydrated once again. Our vet gave him medication to treat his eyes and sniffles. A month later he was well and ready to find a new home.

Conker a week at Exeter Axhayes after he arrived

His new owner came in to our centre to meet him; he was quite shy and timid in his pen. He was brave enough to play pass the ball with her. She went away to think about it and speak to her daughter. Her daughter fell in love with him as soon she saw his photo. They contacted us straight away, the next day Conker was adopted and left Axhayes to start his new life. Conker has been with in his new home for two months now, his owner said “He took a couple of days to settle in and now we couldn’t imagine live without him. He is a cheeky and mischievous healthy boy who still plays passing the ball and loves playing with the conkers I have around my home”. We would like to thank Conker’s new owner for contacting us and sharing your story with us. We’re all so pleased Conker has settled in so well. Here are a few photos of him…   

Conker helping out in the office

Playing hide and seek
Conker is on the left with his new feline friend

If you've adopted any of our cats or kittens from Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre or Taunton Homing & Info Centre, tell us how they are settling in to their new homes or how they are doing. Share your photos on our Facebook @cpexeteraxhayes, Twitter and Instagram. You can email us at We love hearing about our Ex-CP cats and kittens, thank you.