Friday, 1 December 2017

Brad's story and FIV cats


Poor Brad was found living underneath a house, desperate for food and shelter from the cold. Luckily he was rescued and brought into our care. He looks like he’s been in the wars and was quite frightened on arrival. His ears were really itchy and causing him some discomfort, after some ear drops, he needed to be neutered too.
Brad - December 2017
After lots of TLC he’s feeling much better. Once gaining his confidence with the CCAs he loves his warm comfy, bed regular meals and all the fuss he can ask for. He’s a very affectionate boy who will make a lovely companion for somebody. Due to living rough he has contracted FIV - Feline Immunodeficiency Virus so he will need to find an indoor home. Now Brad is ready for adoption, he is looking forward to finding a loving forever home.  
Handsome boy!

 
Here's some info about FIV and indoor life for cats below, Brad has of course done some modelling for this blog too.....


What is Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)?
FIV is a virus in cats that is similar to the human virus, HIV or Human Immunodeficiency Virus. However, FIV does not infect humans, and HIV does not infect cats.

How do cats catch FIV?
The virus is present in the blood, saliva and other body fluids of infected cats. It is very delicate and is unable to survive for long periods outside of the cat – so it cannot be transferred to other cats from your hands or clothes. Cats primarily pick up the virus through fighting – via bite wounds – or through mating behaviour, but it can also be passed from an infected female cat to her kittens.

Do all cats that get the virus become permanently infected?
Yes. A cat will produce antibodies, but these are ineffective and once a cat has FIV, they will be FIV positive for the rest of their life.

What are the signs of FIV?
There is an incubation period of months or even years when your cat may be perfectly healthy before signs of infection show. Many infected cats have years of normal life and may die from something else entirely before their FIV infection causes any problems.

Signs of FIV are varied but usually result from a weakened immune system and therefore a vulnerability to other infections. Once disease develops, infected cats may:

·         become repeatedly ill e.g with cat flu, sore gums, skin disease or digestive upsets

·         simply seem ‘off-colour’ or have a high temperature

·         take a long time to recover from infections

·         lose weight

·         develop tumours

How do I have my cat tested for FIV?
Vets can quickly perform a test that detects the antibodies to the virus in blood. It is recommended that positive results – particularly those from otherwise healthy cats – are sent for confirmation using a different test at an external laboratory, as false positive results can occur.

Kittens less than five to six months old may have had antibodies passed on to them by their infected mothers, but not the virus itself. On average, only a third of kittens born to FIV-positive mothers actually have FIV themselves. A special test to detect the virus should be performed on such kittens and antibody tests can be repeated when the kittens are five to six months old. Results can give a false negative if a cat has only recently been exposed to the virus.

Is there any treatment for FIV?
There is currently no reliable treatment for FIV and it is not possible to predict if and when signs may develop. Vets will treat each FIV-positive cat individually, depending on the signs they develop, but treatment may involve:

·         antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatory drugs as appropriate for secondary recurrent infections

·         drugs that may help through direct anti-viral activity

·         keeping infected cats indoors, with a good diet and ensuring they are fully vaccinated and regularly treated against fleas and worms. This will help to protect them from secondary infections, as well as help to prevent the spread of FIV to other cats.

Cats Protection recommends that FIV-positive cats are kept indoors and only allowed outside in an impenetrable garden or safe run. They should not be allowed direct contact with FIV-negative cats.

Indoor life....

Ideally all cats would be allowed access to the outdoors to express their natural behaviour. However, cats can adapt to living indoors, particularly if they are used to it from a young age. Some cats need to be confined indoors due to medical conditions and others prefer an indoor life. If they become bored they may develop behaviour problems so there are a number of ways to keep your cat happy:

Keep them occupied…
Domestic cats that have free access to the outdoors will still often engage in hunting activity even if there is no access to prey – e.g. playing with fallen leaves, or grass blowing in the wind. It is important to allow cats opportunities to exhibit hunting behaviour, as it keeps them mentally stimulated and releases feel-good hormones called endorphins. Indoor cats aren’t able to play outside, so it is important to provide them with toys and activities to keep them occupied.

Brad with a puzzle feeder


If you are out of the house all day, you might consider getting two cats. They may keep each other company and stop each other from becoming bored. However, while this set up can work well if the two cats have been brought up together, this is not a guarantee. Even some siblings may prefer not to remain together once they reach adulthood.

If you do introduce a new cat to your home, it is critical to do this slowly and carefully to avoid lifelong tension which may lead to behavioural issues and conflict. If the two cats do not get along, it can be even more stressful for them if they are confined indoors and can never escape each other.

Indoor benefits

Your cat will be protected from loss or outdoor hazards, such as road accidents, physical attacks from other animals and outdoor poisons, if they are kept solely indoors

Your cat may be less likely to contract parasites or infectious disease through not having direct contact with other cats or the environment used by cats or other animals

Your cat won’t hunt if kept solely indoors – assuming your house is rodent-proof – however, opportunities to play and express hunting behaviour must still be given

Keep your cat safe indoors….

·         Indoor hazards – It’s important to remember to keep cupboards, washing machines and tumble driers closed. Toilet lids should be kept down to avoid any risk of drowning. Balconies and windows should be safely fenced over with strong wire mesh or screens, making sure there are no gaps that your cat could fall through

·         Houseplants – some plants and flowers – particularly lilies – can be toxic to cats. It’s probably best to ensure you don’t have plants that are dangerous to cats in your home, or certainly not within your cats’ reach

·         Household products – cats are very susceptible to poisoning. A number of everyday household items can pose a danger to cats and should be kept safely away

·         inactivity and obesity – indoor cats need to be provided with opportunities to exercise to avoid them getting fat or inactive which can lead to other health issues

·         over-dependence – a solitary indoor cat will rely on its owner to provide stimulation, companionship and exercise and can become over-dependent

·         escape – keeping windows and doors shut to prevent an indoor cat escaping can be difficult in busy households. If the cat does get out, they’ll be highly stressed and disorientated as they’ll have no experience of the outdoor environment. It is recommended that you microchip your cat, even if they live indoors to increase the chance of them being reunited with you if they go missing

Cats in the wild spend a lot of their time on short, frequent hunting expeditions. In comparison, domestic cats are given food bowls, so it doesn’t take long for them to eat their daily ration or allow them to make use of their great senses. Try using feeding puzzle balls to give part, or all, of your cat’s daily ration. It is best to let cats get used to this gradually, to ensure they have enough to eat and don’t become frustrated.

Enhancing and maximising the indoor environment for all cats
Cats should be provided with a stimulating and safe indoor environment, whether they go outside or not. If your cat is solely kept indoors, then this is particularly essential. If you have more than one cat, offer enough resources in different locations where your cats can eat, drink, toilet, rest and hide.

Play and exercise
Keep your cat amused with toys, climbing towers or activity centres. These can be bought or made – a cardboard box with holes cut into it or a ball of tin foil can be perfectly adequate. Play is more fun if you get involved too – you can use fishing rod toys with feathers on a string to mimic their prey! Opportunities to exhibit hunting behaviour are often triggered by toys which move and attract the cat’s attention. Older cats will love playing three or four times a day, but the type of play may need to be adapted to suit their needs and level of mobility.

Brad playing with CCA Charlie


Younger cats will be happy to play 10 times a day or more. Very short games of one to two minutes are fine – cats use their energy in short bursts when hunting, so try to mimic this. Create interest at meal times by hiding biscuits around the house for your cat to find. Make a pyramid out of cardboard toilet roll tubes and hide food in the tubes, or use a puzzle ball. Swap toys around regularly to keep them interesting.

Somewhere to hide
It is important to always provide your cat with an easily accessible place to hide which will help to make them feel safe and secure. A hiding place can be something as simple as a cardboard box on its side, or upside down with large holes for access. Alternatively, you could purchase an igloo style cat bed, or offer space under the bed or in a wardrobe with the door left ajar. The cat shouldn’t be disturbed while they are hiding.

Brad enjoying a fuss!


Somewhere to get up high

Cats feel safer if they can view their surroundings from a height and this also increases their territory by providing extra vertical space that they can use. This is a common coping mechanism for cats that feel anxious or fearful. You could place a cosy blanket on top of a wardrobe and provide access by placing a stool or similar item next to it. Cats also love to sit on window sills and shelves. Extra consideration should be given to elderly cats.

Sleeping
On average, cats spend about 16 hours a day sleeping. Cats generally rest or sleep intermittently throughout the day and will prefer a warm, comfortable and safe place. There is a large range of cat beds available, including igloo beds, or hammocks for the radiator. A simple cardboard box with a blanket inside will also do the trick.

Scratching and climbing

A scratching post will provide exercise, claw maintenance and a focal point for your cat to express this natural behaviour

– it will help protect your furniture too. Cats like to stretch and scratch after they wake up, so try placing the scratching post near where they sleep. A good scratching post has the following features:

a strong sturdy base so the cat can lean against the post without it wobbling

tall enough that the cat can stretch fully

a vertical thread that allows the cat to scratch downwards

Eating grass
A type of grass that cats particularly like is Cocksfoot – it has long broad leaves so it is easy for them to bite. It is believed that eating grass helps cats to cough up hairballs. If your cat can’t go outside, Cocksfoot grass can be grown indoors. Seeds are readily available from garden centres and pet shops. If no grass is provided, your cat may try to eat other household plants which can pose a risk.

Toileting
It is a good idea to have one litter tray per cat, plus one extra – especially if your cats are kept indoors. Place the litter trays in different quiet areas of the house, away from the food and water bowls. Cats don’t like using dirty or soiled trays so make sure the litter tray is cleaned at least once a day. This helps to prevent accidents as well as being more hygienic. Cats generally prefer at least 3cm depth of litter and a litter of a sandy texture. Make any changes to the tray, the litter or its location very slowly to avoid accidents.

Indoor cats can make extremely rewarding pets and giving a home to an FIV positive cat may give you both many years of happiness together. For more information please visit our website www.axhayes.cats.org.uk. Thank you.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Conker's story

Poor little Conker was found all lost and alone back in October. He was rummaging through bins desperate to find his next meal. Luckily a kind cat-loving man found him and contacted us. Our Deputy Manager Phil collected him on the way to work, his wife decided to name him Conker. 1) Its Autumn and 2) On the news that particular day, the word “Conker” was going to be taken out of the Oxford's Children's Dictionary, because children don't use that word anymore. Little Conker was looking a little sorry for himself; he had a weepy eye due to cat flu and was very dehydrated. He needed lots of small meals to help build up his strength and re-hydration fluid to get him hydrated once again. He had medication to treat his eyes and sniffles.

Conker on his first day at the centre

After a couple of weeks of intense care and love he is now the sprightliest affectionate kitten. He still has a weepy eye from time to time, it doesn’t worry him. He could still live with other cats but they will need their vaccinations up to date. Conker is a brilliant bundle of fun who will make an excellent pet for any family! We have little history for Conker but due to his young age he is likely to be sociable with other animals and children with gentle introductions. Just over a month later, he has moved to our rehoming corridor, looking forward to meeting any potential adopters or volunteers.
Conker now looking much better!
Just chillin'
Conker is now available for adoption to our Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre and you live in the Devon, UK area, why not come in and meet him or give us a call on 01395 232377, thank you. For more information about us please visit our website at www.axhayes.cats.org.uk. You can follow us on our Facebook @cpexeteraxhayes, Twitter and Instagram.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Cat-friendly homes for the elderly feline

Since it's Mature Moggies Week at Cats Protection Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre, we thought we'd share some advice on how to make your home more elderly cat-friendly.....
There are a number of small changes that can be made to  your home which will have a big impact on the quality of your cat’s life. While a number of older cats appear to be ‘as young as they feel’ with many still showing kitten-like behaviours, others can benefit from a few home tweaks that ensure that all their resources are within easy reach.

What you can do to help an older cat

Microchip
Make sure your cat is microchipped in case they become disorientated or goes missing. A microchip carries a unique number linked to a database holding your contact details, allowing you to be quickly traced should they stray and be scanned.

Beds
Allow your cat to reach favourite places to rest by strategically placing boxes or items of furniture for them to climb. Make sure they have a variety of cosy, well-padded beds in safe warm places that can be readily accessed. Your cat may enjoy the hammock-style radiator beds as they are very warm.





Somewhere to perch up high
Older cats can find it difficult to make accurate calculations when jumping and are not as agile as they used to be, especially f they are stiff, in pain or have arthritis. Provide easy ways for cats to access their favourite areas, such as using a ramp or small foot stool to give them access to high surfaces. Make sure it is wide enough and you could also cover it in carpet to give extra grip. It is a good idea to fashion some sort of crash mat underneath the ramp, in case the cat falls. Cushions under windowsills act as crash mats for uncoordinated or wobbly cats.

Litter trays and toileting
Provide several litter trays in the house at all times, even if your cat has toileted outside all of their life. There are many occasions when an older cat will need an indoor litter tray, such as when it’s raining outside, if the normal toileting site has frozen over and is hard to dig, or if they feel intimidated by other neighbouring cats. Place the litter trays in quiet, safe areas of the home.




Providing a large tray gives the cat plenty of space to move around inside. Make sure the tray has a low side so they can get in and out more easily. Some litter types that were acceptable as an adult may be too coarse for older cats. Don’t make any sudden changes, but provide additional trays with 3cm of soft, fine litter that they will find more comfortable under their paws.


Older cats are less able to defend themselves or a territory and as a result may become more anxious or dependant on their owners. Some cats will feel reassurance from owners that accompany them outside so they are protected against the neighbouring cats. If your cat still prefers to toilet outside, provide a newly dug over border as close to the house as possible and maintain it regularly.

Water and food bowls
Place water and food bowls in a variety of easily accessible locations around the house, both upstairs and downstairs so they are easy to find and they don’t have to walk up and down stairs just to get food and water. Speak to your vet about the most appropriate diet for your older cat.

Playtime
Older cats still like to play, but they need more gentle, brief games than when they were younger. Use toys that are unlikely to intimidate them, such as a feather attached to string that is slowly moved past them. Experiment with different toys to see what captures your cat’s attention. Even if they only watch or slowly swipes the toy with a paw, it is still important beneficial mental stimulation.

Regular grooming
As older cats may struggle to look after their coats, additional help and gentle grooming will help to keep your cat’s skin healthy and gives you some valuable bonding time with your cat. Stroking a cat is a great de-stressor and may lower an owner’s blood pressure.

Scratching posts
Cats may still want to scratch but can find it difficult as they age. You could provide a
horizontal scratching post or one with a lower gradient and softer material such as carpet, which they may find easier. Remember to check their claws regularly.





Routines
Cats are creatures of habit and this characteristic becomes more pronounced as they age. They prefer a familiar, regular routine to provide predictability. Where possible, avoid moving furniture so that your cat’s environment is familiar and they can easily find their way around your home.


Veterinary care
Seek veterinary advice early if you are worried. Remember, many of the disorders that affect older cats can be treated and managed to allow your cat a happy and content life, particularly when treatment is sought early. However, inevitably there may come a time when your cat is in continual pain, discomfort or distress, and the most loving and courageous way you can show them how much you care is to end their suffering.

Your elderly cat and you
Caring for an older cat in their twilight years brings a tremendous joy and many owners actively decide to adopt an older cat because of the endearing qualities they can offer. With their wandering days behind them, older cats tend to stay closer to
home and appreciate gentle affection. Owners often comment on the special relationship they have with their older pet, enhanced by some simple measures and an understanding of their needs. (Source: Cats Protection)


If you’re the proud owner of a senior kitizen, show the world just how amazing they are by leaving a comment below or sharing your photos and stories using #MatureMoggies on our Facebook @cpexeteraxhayes, Twitter and Instagram. If you would like to adopt one of our senior kitizens please contact our adoption centre via www.axhayes.cats.org.uk. Thank you. 

Monday, 13 November 2017

It's Mature Moggies Week!


Kittens may be cute, but older cats still have a lot of love and purrs to give those looking for the purrfect feline companion.

Sadly, mature moggies aged 11 and older in Cats Protection’s care take over twice as long to find their forever home as their younger counterparts. These senior kitizens take an average of 33 days to be adopted, while kittens are typically adopted in just eight days.

To raise awareness of older cats still looking for homes, Cats Protection is hosting Mature Moggies Week from 13-17 November. Across five days we will be highlighting the benefits of adopting an older puss and providing helpful cat care information for anyone who owns, or is thinking of owning, a feline friend.

In a survey conducted by Cats Protection, just 24% of people said that they’d consider adopting an older cat, compared to 68% who would be happy to home a kitten. Reasons people gave for not wanting to adopt an older cat included; the fear that it wouldn’t live long, concerns over health, worries about the cost to nurse an old cat back to health and the belief that an older puss would not be playful.

However, as many owners of older cats will know, mature moggies can make the best pets. When asked about the benefits of owning a senior kitizen, the top reasons owners gave included; they are calmer, they don’t want to leave the house as much and they feel like they are more of a family member.

 
Check out some of lovely Senior Kitizens currently available for adoption at our Exeter Axhayes Adoption centre.....
 

Sabrina is 15 years old - Sabrina is a lovely older lady looking for a new home after her owners were moving abroad. Sabrina has been described as an affectionate cat who has a big soft spot for older people. She is used to a quiet home as she doesn't get on well with other cats but is okay with older children. Sabrina would love to get back to homely comforts soon where she can get back to sleeping on the sofa and lounging out in the garden. Sabrina's hunting days are now over so would love a purrfect retirement home!  

Sabrina


Black Cat and Luka are 12 and 11 years old. Black Cat and Luka find themselves here after the loss of their beloved owner. Black Cat and Luka are an affectionate pair, that are partial to a lap and certainly don’t mind a fuss. Black cat and Luka have had access to a garden and don’t tend to wander off too far and would like to find a home with opportunity to go outside in a safe garden. They don’t like canine company as they find it quite stressful and scary and so would like a home where there are no dogs. As Black Cat and Luka like a quiet, chilled environment and haven’t been around children a home with older children could be considered. If you are looking for a lovely pair of cats to complete your home, this could be the pair for you! Please ask to meet them today.
Black Cat and Luka

 

Camille is 15 years old. She has been on quite the journey during her many years. After first leaving Axhayes in 2008 she was found moving into a neighbour’s house as she didn't get on with other cats in her household. It was attempted to reintegrate her many times but with no avail. Her new owners took her on but unfortunately can now no longer keep her. 15 is a terrible age for a cat to be in care so please do ask to meet her and take her home with you soon! Camille has been known to be a very affectionate cat who loves a lap to sleep on, she doesn't venture too far and her hunting days are over.
Camille

 
Coco and Misty are both 11 years old. Coco and her sister Misty find themselves here after their owners moved house after they broke up. They are hoping to find a loving home together. Misty is the outgoing, she loves all people and a lap to curl up on. Coco is a bit shy at begin with, she loves a cuddle and a lap to sit on too. They are great with children of all ages, so they can fit in a family well. They would like access to a garden so they go out exploring and hunting. These two lovely ladies will make a lovely addition to your family, please take them home.
Coco and Misty
 
Reggie is 11 years old. This handsome boy has found himself here after not being happy in his last home. Reggie is a big softie just looking for a quiet retirement home with no other cats to bother him. Reggie is also a bit of a grump when it comes to noisy children so a house with adult companions would be best. With some encouragement to build back his confidence Reggie would sure make a perfect pet.
Reggie
 

If you’re the proud owner of a senior kitizen, show the world just how amazing they are by leaving a comment below or sharing your photos and stories using #MatureMoggies on our Facebook @cpexeteraxhayes, Twitter and Instagram. If you would like to adopt one of our senior kitizens please contact our adoption centre via www.axhayes.cats.org.uk. Thank you.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Our Taunton Homing & Info Centre is a year old!

Our New Taunton Homing & Information Centre has been open for just over 12 months now, so far we have rehomed 100 cats which is fantastic! We are hoping the next 12 months will be just as successful! Many of our cats and kittens come up from Exeter Axhayes or from the local Taunton & Wellington Branch.  Our latest addition to Taunton HIC is our longest stayer Millie, she is hoping to have better luck up there and her new pen will be a nice change of scenery. We have our fingers crossed she will find her forever home very soon….


Millie settling in to her new pen
 
If you haven’t heard about our Taunton Homing & Information centre, here’s some information about our newest adoption centre. It is a small satellite centre which is managed by our Exeter Axhayes Adoption Centre. Our Taunton Rehoming and Information Centre is based at the Blackdown Garden Centre, Wellington, Somerset. We are open from 10am until 4pm every day. Our shiny new centre has five purpose built pens – where you can walk in and meet and greet the cats! If you are in the area, why not say hello to our friendly staff!
 
Tillie (rehomed Spring 2017) in one of our Taunton Pens
 
If you live in the Taunton/Wellington area and are thinking of adopting a cat or kitten - our friendly staff at the centre are ready to assist you every step of the way! Each of our cats available for adoption is neutered, fully vaccinated, microchipped and treated for fleas and worms. Our cats also come with one month's FREE Petplan insurance. We do ask for an adoption fee of £60 per cat or kitten - this fee helps cover some of the costs - as on average it costs £200 to care for a cat in our centre. Any donations are gratefully received.

Outside of our Taunton Homing & Info Centre

You can find our Taunton Homing & Information Centre at Blackdown Garden Centre, West Buckland, Wellington, Nr Taunton, Somerset, TA21 9HY. Telephone - 01823 667945.Our Taunton cats will feature on our new website http://www.cats.org.uk/taunton-centre 

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Success Story - Gorgeous Greg

You may have seen Greg featured on here, Facebook and Instagram. Back in May we launched our Gorgeous Greg appeal hoping to raise £2,500 for this life living operation to repair his liver shunt. Greg travelled up to Bristol to have his liver shunt operation, which was a huge success and he can now enjoy a healthy happy life. As you can see from his photos he's looking much healthier. His eyes are bright and his fur is all shiny and soft.  

Greg ready for adoption 

We thought we'd give you a quick blog update on the Gorgeous Greg! He was signed off by our vet as "fit to home" at the end of August. He didn't hang around our rehoming block for long. His owners were keen to meet him after seeing him on our Facebook page and watched his cute cuddly video on our Youtube channel. After a chat with CCA Jackie (who has been fostering him) and our vet, they were happy to adopt him. He finally left the building on 31st August to start the next chapter of his life...

Greg leaving Exeter Axhayes

Three weeks later we have received some lovely photos of Greg in his new home. He has settled in very well and they are really happy with him. His owner's have said "He is very much loved and apart of our little family" Here's just a few of the wonderful pictures of Greg....






Again we would like to say THANK YOU to everyone who had donated towards the Gorgeous Greg Appeal. In total we raised £4,230.30 any surplus donations will go towards any future cats which need operations whilst in our care. We like to say thank you to Greg's owners for allowing us to share their photos of Greg in his new home. If you would like to share photos of our ex-Axhayes cats who have adopted from us, free feel to post them to our Facebook page, Tag us on Instagram or email us at exeteraxhayes@cats.org.uk . We always love hearing your stories about your cats and kittens you have adopted from us.    

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

How you can live with cat allergies


During hayfever/allergy season we thought we'd share this article from "The Cat" Magazine (Summer 2016). We have many cats which come into our care due to their owners suffering with cat allergies.

Cats might be Britain’s favourite pets, they’re also thought to be one of the most common causes of allergies. Sadly, many owners decide to give up their cats when symptoms of allergy strike, and while it may seem like the only option, there are many alternatives to ensure you keep your cat companion without impacting your health.



How do cats cause allergies?

Most people believe that airborne cat fur/hair is the cause of allergy symptoms, but this is not always the case. The symptoms you’re experiencing are more likely to be caused by a protein called Fel d 1 originating from sebum found in a cat’s sebaceous glands. Ironically, a cat’s attempts at keeping themselves clean may be the very reason allergies are exacerbated – this protein attaches itself to dried skin called dander and is carried through the air when cats groom themselves.

Dander can spread throughout your home and even be carried on your clothing, so it can often feel difficult to escape your symptoms. In some cases, repeated exposure to an individual cat can ease symptoms over time, although there is not yet enough research to support this.
How do I know if I have an allergy?

Red eyes, runny nose and itching are all signs you might be allergic to something. While these symptoms can be irritating, it is just your immune system’s unfortunate way of fighting off substances that might harm your body.

Before you blame your family pet, you need to determine whether it is indeed your cat that is causing your allergic reaction. There are many allergens encountered in the home, with the most common found in dust mites, pollen and mould spores – your itchy eyes and runny nose could just as likely be down to your old mattress rather than your feline friend.

Your local GP is the first place to visit. Simple tests will be able to confirm whether or not your cat is the cause and you’ll be able to discuss options such as antihistamine tablets or nasal sprays to ease your symptoms in the interim.



What next?

Taking antihistamines might be a good short term solution but adapting your lifestyle is the only way you’ll be able to cope with your allergy symptoms in the long term. Reducing the amount of allergens in your home is key and there are a number of simple things you can do.

Close encounters

Avoid letting your cat lick your hands or face. Cats harbour many bacterial organisms in their mouth and allergens are particularly present in saliva
Keep your cat’s fur clean. While previous advice suggested that bathing a cat would reduce the spread of dander, this is no longer recommended for owners or the cat, and we would certainly not recommend anyone washes their cat unless absolutely necessary! Using cleansing wipes to gently remove allergens from the fur is a much less stressful way to keep your kitty clean
Although it might seem obvious, washing your hands after petting your cat is highly important. We touch our face many times throughout the day and forgetting to clean your hands thoroughly can worsen your symptoms

In the zone

Designate areas in the house as pet-free zones to limit the amount of dander in the household. While you might enjoy having your cat sleep on your bed, allergies often become worse at night and keeping your moggy away from your bedroom is a good way to relieve your symptoms
Grooming your cat regularly can result in fewer allergens being released into the atmosphere. Make sure you brush them outside in the garden and preferably in old clothes to ensure no allergens filter through to your home
Insulated homes don’t just trap heat, they trap allergens too. Opening windows for an hour each day can increase ventilation




House rules

If your house is carpeted, it is important you vacuum often. Cat hair and dander can easily get caught in the carpet and intensify your symptoms, so a thorough clean at least once a week is recommended. Sprinkle baking soda, a substance harmless to cats, on your floor before you vacuum to eliminate any pet odours
Although hardwood or linoleum floors don’t attract hair in the same way, it is important you vacuum these areas too as sweeping will push allergens back into the air
Wash your cat’s bedding, accessories and litter trays regularly. Fel d 1 can also be released through your pet’s saliva or urine, so keeping these items fresh is important


Shop smart

There are a number of great products designed for those suffering from allergies and adapting your lifestyle will ensure that you and your cat continue to live side by side.

Invest in a washable allergen pillow and cover. Made from polyester and cotton, the fabric prevents a collection of allergy triggers and can be washed easily and regularly without damage
While fresh air is important to keep allergies at bay, unpredictable weather means it isn’t always possible to keep windows open. An air purifier will limit the amount of allergens in your home
Using a vacuum with a HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter limits the amount of dander into the atmosphere. Alternatively, you can choose to wear a dust mask when using your vacuum
Allergy control solutions, such as sprays, can be used on furniture and upholstery to alter cat allergens and make them less reactive. Use these according to manufacturer’s instructions and check they are safe for use around pets.

While it might take some time and a little trial and error to find out what is best for you and your cat, there are plenty of solutions that don’t have to result in you giving up your family pet. Hopefully these tips will make a world of difference. (Source: Cats Protection - The Cat Magazine)

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Greg Update


Greg is our lovable stray who came from the Midlands back in January. He was in such a terrible condition when he first came in, and he was aged as a senior cat with flu medications prescribed. Over time it became apparent that he was suffering from more than just a simple cold. Off his food and looking very sad he was taken into a foster home to bring him back to the energetic, lovable cat we knew he could be.

Four months on and several tests later we were still no closer to a diagnosis for Greg so the decision was made to make the journey to a specialist vet in Bristol for an ultrasound scan. Finally we have a diagnosis - Greg has a portosystemic shunt meaning the liver is not working to its full capacity and can have detrimental effects on his body and brain. This is a life threatening condition that without intervention would cause poor Greg to have short unhappy life.
Greg recovering at our local vets

In May we launched our Gorgeous Greg appeal hoping to raise £2,500 for this life living operation to repair his liver shunt. Greg travelled up to Bristol to have his liver shunt operation. Greg spent a week in their ICU whilst recovering from his operation. He did suffer some side effects now his liver was functioning properly and had to continue some of his medication. He returned to our local veterinary hospital for another week during his recovery process.
 
Back at Axhayes





Last week Greg returned to our adoption centre, still a bit wobbly on his legs but feeling more like himself, he is getting stronger day by day. He is back to his usual cuddly self. Over night he stays in his foster home with CCA Jackie. Our Gorgeous Greg appeal in the end raised £3,545, which is fantastic and we can't thank everyone enough for your generosity. We are slowly reducing his medication and we are able to use any addition money to pay for his medication and any future scans. Greg will continue his recovery at the centre and his foster home until he is fit and well enough to be adopted. We will continue to keep you up to date with Greg's progress. Again, a HUGE thank you to everyone who donated towards Greg's life-saving operation. 

For more details about our adoption centre please visit our website - www.axhayes.cats.org.uk.