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!

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!

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…