GOOD NEWS – London Zoo welcomes Sumatran tiger cubs!

With only 300 Sumatran tigers left in the wild, the arrival of 3 healthy cubs at London Zoo is a welcome addition to their dwindling population. Although the cubs were born on February 3rd, London Zoo chose not to publicise the delivery until they were happy that all three cubs were thriving. Pregnancy took 106 days for the 5 year-old tigress, Melati, and the birth process was monitored by remote cameras. Six year-old father, Jae Jae, is still able to be seen by visitors, whereas the mother and cubs are in a private cubbing den.

The arrival of the triplets is also welcome news to the keepers at London Zoo, who were left distraught after the tragic death of the first Sumatran tiger cub to be born in 17 years, a little under 6 months ago, when it drowned at only 2 weeks old.

The sex of the tiger cubs is not yet known, but they are being monitored 24/7 and have already opened their eyes and started to explore the den. We wish them all good health and can’t wait to meet them!

UK’s National Cat Awards 2014 – is your cat a Hero Cat?

The UK charity Cats Protection are once again asking for nominations for the National Cat Awards. Nominations need to be in by Friday May 30th, and the following categories are open to all living UK cats:

  • Hero Cat – cats that save the day
  • Most Caring Cat – cats that have a positive impact on an owner’s health or wellbeing
  • Most Incredible Story – belief-defying, true stories from the cat world
  • Outstanding Rescue Cat – felines adopted from animal welfare organisations
  • Purina® Better Together – celebrating the special bond that has transformed and enriched the lives of both a feline and human

Winners will be announced on August 7th at London’s Savoy Hotel, with celebrity guests presenting winners with a trophy. Not only that, but you win 3 month’s of cat food from the sponsors, Purina!

Winn Feline Foundation – an amazing organisation!

We mentioned the Winn Feline Foundation in our recent blog post about stem cell research. This brilliant non-profit organisation provides funding for essential research into cat diseases and behaviour. Without the Winn Feline Foundation, these research projects might not get the go-ahead, and we’d be left still knowing very little about killer diseases such as FIP.

The Winn Feline Foundation also gives student scholarship awards to those who will become the cat-advocates of the future, who are already devoting their lives to the welfare of cats but who need a little support along the way. The Foundation’s funding focus is broad-ranging, but includes research into Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), and breed-associated diseases. We should emphasise that such studies involve cellular research and assessment of cats that already have such diseases, and that funding does not support animal testing.

From its inception in 1968 the Winn Feline Foundation has invested more than $4 million in scientific studies of cat disease and health. If anyone were looking to support a cat charity that has scientific research as its basis and cat health at its core, we cannot think of a more worthy recipient.

Other similar charities that are just as worthy of your support include International Cat Care and in the UK, Cats Protection.


Stem cell therapy in cats

There is a lot of talk about the use of stem cells in human medicine, but did you know it is used in veterinary medicine too? In cats, there are a number of research projects looking into the value of stem cells in inflammatory conditions (such as inflammatory bowel disease and feline asthma), and chronic illness where the ability of tissue to repair or regenerate is desired (such as tendon injuries, chronic kidney disease).

A number of these important research projects are funded by the Winn Feline Foundation, a non-profit organisation that supports studies to improve cats health. In fact we have so much more to tell you about the Winn Feline Foundation, that we think it deserves its own post!

What are the best books about cat behaviour? We know the answer!!

Once again we’ve ended up writing such a long blog post, that it became an article in its own right!

We have reviewed SIX of the best books about cat behaviour, and put the article HERE. We’d love to hear from anyone who found these books interesting or useful, and definitely let us know if you think we have missed a good book out!

Query about pet insurance? No problem!

News flash! We’ve just added a rather thorough article about pet insurance, which we hope will answer any queries you have, such as whether you should take out pet insurance, and if you do what you need to know.

If you think we’re missing any useful information then please be in touch using the Comments boxes. And if you found the article useful, let us know!

Pet insurance article

Lots of toes, but no homes! Can you help?

A litter of kittens has caused a stir at the Blue Cross charity in the UK, as they all have a condition called ‘polydactyly’, also known as ‘mitten kittens’, where they have more toes than normal. The cats are nervous as they were a stray during their socialisation period when they were young, so they are looking for extra special, understanding homes. Can you help?

All about neutering your cat – what age?

We have just posted a new page on the subject of neutering or sterilizing your cat, and thought we’d share with you this video from Cats Protection about early neutering. Historically we used to neuter cats at 6 months or thereabouts. This was an arbitrary age that was chosen because most cats are reaching puberty at this age and are a decent size for anaesthesia. However, nowadays vets have access to good modern anaesthetic drugs and we have significant problems with huge numbers of homeless cats and kittens, and the accidental litters from cats aged 6 months make a big contribution to the unwanted population in rescue centres. So there is now an increasing number of vets, breeders and rescue centres who are neutering at a younger age (from 10-12 weeks).

If any of you are thinking of letting your kitty have ‘just one litter’, watch this video and see how many kittens there are in the rescue centre it is filmed in. They are all homeless. For every kitten you bring into the world, one of the kittens in this video loses out on a chance of a loving home…