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There is always something going on in a multi-cat household. Erm 9... cats and counting...... Plus stories from the Sheffield Cats Shelter

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Sunday at the Shelter 29-09-13

I worked in Holding today and met some new cats.  

First there were Mum and Daughter,  Sophie and Sheba.  Sadly their owner could no longer afford to keep them.  Both were a little frightened to start with, but it wasn't long before Sophie was enjoying a bit of a fuss with me.  
White and black cat
Sophie enjoying some attention
Daughter Sheba, on the other hand, was much more timid.  Eventually she plucked up enough courage to play with the bottom of my trousers but that was as close as she wanted to be.  

White and tabby kitten
When it came to putting them back into their cage Sheba tried her best to keep on the move so I couldn't catch her!  Once she was in my arms though she was happy for a tickle.  A pair of lovely cats, I'm sure in the right environment Sheba will soon become more confident.

Flash was brought into holding while I was cleaning.  Emma started to give him his health check and fill out his record sheet. At around 4 months old, he's only ever know life on the street, no surprise then to find him covered in ticks and fleas.  

Black kitten
I held Flash while Emma got to work on the tick problem.  She used a special little plastic tool to remove them.  If they're not removed correctly the head of the tick will be left in the skin which will lead to infection.  Poor flash had a lot, all over his face and ears.  As you can see, some of them were quite big! 

Bowl of water with ticks in
Ticks!!! yuck
It also looks like Flash doesn't want to put weight on one of his front paws.  There is no obvious sign of injury so we'll see what the vet makes of it.

Ruby is still in holding, she is shown to potential adopters,  even though she isn't in one of the main cat rooms.

Black cat

The last cat in holding today is Tia.  She's 17 and is suffering from a thyroid problem. Her owners were considering putting her to sleep.  Now she is in the care of the Shelter where she can receive the medication she needs to make her feel better. 

Black cat
Unfortunately, she is struggling to adjust to her change in circumstances and hasn't yet been tempted with any food.  I spent some time with her and found that she enjoyed being brushed but couldn't encourage her to eat.  She doesn't like to be handled and isn't keen on medical intervention which is going to make treating her difficult.  

The Staff will do everything they can to try and gain her trust and get her medical needs under control.  It might be difficult to find someone willing to adopt an older cat with medical needs, but it may be that a foster place can be found instead.  Long term foster placements can be used so that medical treatment is paid for by the shelter but the cat benefits from having a loving home.  If you are experienced in giving medication and could offer a long term foster home to Tia, please call the Shelter to discuss.

I also had a peek in Maternity.  

Tortie cat in a cage
Texas and her kittens
 Texas and her two kittens are still here, it won't be long before they go out to a foster carer. 

Ginger kitten
Little cutie

A stray and her kittens were trapped by Maggie a few days ago and they are now at the Shelter.

Tortie long haired cat
Dora was in a very poor state and had her front leg through the collar she was wearing.  The collar had to be cut off as it had gone into the flesh and left deep awful sores  

Tortie long haired cat with wound under armpit
Dora's collar wound

Tortie long haired cat with wound under armpit
Poor Dora
The collar was one with an elasticated section, it's supposed to allow the cat to wriggle its head out should the collar become caught on anything.  Sadly, what often happens is that the cat manages to get it's front leg through and there is no way it can free itself.  One of my own cats had this experience and I haven't used these types of collars since.  

Living outside with a injury like this, she's done well to look after her kittens, the fact she had the collar shows she was owned, so life on the streets must have been awful for her.  She originally had four kittens but sadly two didn't make it. 
Black kitten
Dora's kitten

Thank goodness Maggie was able to get her and her babies to the Shelter.

There are also a number of feral kittens at the Shelter.  They are now looking for experienced cat owners to become foster carers to help these frightened animals adjust to life in a home.

Could you foster a feral??
If this is a challenge you could rise to, please give the Shelter a call any day between 1pm and 4pm.

And finally, little Ernest was at the Shelter today. Still fighting a big battle, he's underweight and has periods when his temperature goes far too low.

White kitten being held

I got to have a lovely cuddle before I left :)

Visit the Donate & Support page if you'd like to know how you can help.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Sunday at the Shelter 22-09-13

Ernest was visiting the Shelter today with Emma, he's still losing weight and was scheduled for another visit to the vets.  The reason for his poor progress is proving difficult to diagnose, despite numerous tests, nothing has been conclusive.  He's now just over 8 and half weeks old but is the size of a 4 - 5 week old kitten. As you can see from the photo, he also has no interest in washing himself.  Emma generally needs to clean him up several times a day.

White kitten with dirty face
Ernest needs his face washing again!
At the moment it's just a case of looking after him and taking each day as it comes.  It will be some time before we know if he will be available for adoption in the future.

Here's a great picture of him with his big (foster) sister Amber :)

Ginger cat and white kitten
Amber, taking care of Ernest
It was great to see some of little Percy's 'family' have been pre-adopted.  Patrick will be off to his new home shortly.
longhaired tabby cat

Little Florence and Peanut were taken home today :)

two ginger cats looking out of a window
Georgie and Peanut watch the world go by

So that leaves Georgie, who is very friendly and Maisie and Sid, who are a little timid, to find their forever homes.


Ginger cat

Its been a while since I caught up with Libby.  

Black and white cat

Some of you may remember this little lady had to be trapped not once, but twice, when she managed to escape from her new home too soon after being adopted.

She's currently sharing a room with Shadow, Julie and Tigger.  Thankfully, she is pretty much recovered from flu now, but she's still really timid and looking for that special someone.

The 6 black kittens brought in last week have made really good progress, but are not yet flu free.  They've  been moved from infirmary into a room on their own.  

This leaves infirmary free to have a deep clean ready for any potential occupants.

Sunshine came back from foster care and was pre-adopted today :) Her kittens are still with a foster carer until they are big enough to all be neutered, vaccinated and brought back to the shelter.

Sunshine :)
I also met up with Millie and Josh, who have just come back from foster care.  They are now in one of the main cat rooms, but are still extremely timid.  

Tabby cat and black cat in an open carrier
Millie and Josh
As you can see they are spending a bit of time in this carrier.  The shelter often use cages or carriers for timid cats within larger rooms.  It helps to make it a little bit better for those frightened ones, as they are able to use it as a place of safety.

Here's Tallulah using a carrier in exactly the same way.

There have been a lot of updates on Twitter about Ernest, but also about Marley, too.  Marley is a kitten who was in foster care and suddenly became very ill.  Since this time he's been in and out of the vet hospital  and there have been a number of touch and go moments.

Due to him being so ill he's recently been back in the care of Kim. This week a diagnosis was finally made and the news is not so good.   Marley is suffering from a blood disorder.  The disorder means his immune system attacks his own red blood cells. He can't ever be vaccinated, and has to be on immune suppressants to survive. Sadly this means if he picks up any infections he won't be able to fight them.  

In view of this prognosis, Marley will stay in Kim's care and won't be available for adoption. 


It's not certain how long this little chap will have, but you can be assured that Kim will give him plenty of love and care, making every day count.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Sunday at the Shelter 15-09-2013

Its been a sad week, poor little Percy who was first featured a couple of weeks ago, was just too poorly to survive.  It turned out he was actually 7-8 weeks old and should have been around 800grams, not the pitiful 260grams he weighed in at. After fighting sickness and diarrhoea, he then began to have breathing problems.

Small ginger kitten
Little sweetheart Percy

It's soul destroying to think this could have been prevented if only he'd received basic care in his previous home. Proper nutrition, plus flea and worm treatment from the start and his story could have been very different.

A new little family arrived in my home yesterday.  Fluff and her 3 kittens are here for the weekend, while her foster carers have a well earned weekend away.

Black and white cat nursing kittens
Fluff and her three kittens

She's a lovely cat and a very good mum.  The kittens are about 2 weeks old.  She's coped really well being in a strange environment, quickly settling down and enjoying our attention. Her foster carers will be picking her up again tomorrow, but I'm hoping to keep in touch so I can get updates on their progress.

So, back to today.  Libby and I started in holding this week.  There were two very shy little girls, Tabatha and Milly sharing one cage. 

tabby cat and black cat laying in a litter tray
Tabatha and Milly hiding in a litter tray

Arriving only yesterday, they are still finding it hard to adapt to going from a home environment to the cage room.  We spent a little time cuddling and talking to them.  I'm sure these little girls will be absolutely fine, they just need a bit of time to adjust.

Ruby was next.  She'd recently been adopted but sadly didn't like being in a home with children so she has been returned to the shelter. 

black cat

It won't be long before she's back in one of the main rooms and now the shelter have more information about her, it will help to get her the perfect home.

Finally to Mitzy, a petite little lady who enjoyed a fuss :)

black and white cat

Texas is still in Maternity and I managed to get a few new pictures.  This little one looks very sad for some reason but is perfectly ok!

ginger and white kitten
Little sweetie :)
Next was Luke who is now in a room on his own.  If you've been following the blog, you may remember these partners in crime.

black and white cat

White and black cat

So friendly and loving with each other and visitors, it came as no surprise when they were quickly pre-adopted. 

As part of the health checks before re-homing the boys visited the vets.  Charlie needed some dental work but sadly became very unwell after the operation.  Tests revealed that he was suffering from FeLV - Feline Leukaemia Virus, which contributed to his poor recovery. He became so ill that the vet decided the kindest thing was to put him to sleep.

Luke was also tested for FeLV and has been found to be positive too. He must remain isolated from the other cats (which fortunately, he has been) as the infection can be passed on through saliva.

The shelter are now desperate to find a home for Luke.  He will need to be either an only cat, or be with another cat who is also FeLV positive.  FeLV positive cats should be kept indoor only to prevent spreading infection to other cats in the area. 

So this little guy found himself at the shelter when his owner passed away and has now lost his lifelong buddy.  If you can help to promote Luke and his sad situation, it would be greatly appreciated.  He still has so much to give.

black and white cat
Finally, Libby and I tried to clean up this mucky pup.

dirty white kitten
Ernest is one of the kittens currently being looked after by Emma and he likes to stand in his food bowl as you can see.  He's not been doing so well this week either and will be spending sometime with the vet on Monday for them to try and work out why his tummy has suddenly become very swollen.

The Shelter do an amazing job looking after all these cats and kittens.  Check out the Donate & Support page and see how you can help too.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Sunday at the Shelter 08-09-2013

I was working in Infirmary again today.

I was part way through cleaning out Texas and her kittens when she started to feed, so I left her alone for a while and finished the rest off later.

Tortie cat feeding her ginger kittens
Texas and her kittens

And here's a little video I took of them.  There was such a lot of purring going on, its a real shame the mic on my phone didn't pick it up!

While Texas took care of her babies I tackled a nice mess left behind by Lego and Cuebec who were moved into another room.

Messy and dirty cat cage
What a mucky mess!

The Shelter were expecting to admit 6 kittens during the afternoon, so I was to set up cages ready to receive them.  Normally, depending on their age, they would go into Holding or Maternity, but these 2 rooms are still trying to fully get rid of the last of the flu.

Next up was Amy, a 3 month old kitten.  The Shelter were desperate to find her a home as quickly as possible as she was now all on her own.  She's a lovely playful little girl.

Black kitten in a cage

Back to Texas and her babies, here are their close ups!

Tortie cat
 Here are her 2 week old kittens.

white and ginger kitten

Ginger kitten

If you read the blog last week you'll remember Percy who came in full of fleas.  He spent a couple of days in foster care gaining weight and then took a turn for the worse.

Ginger kitten
Percy in foster care
He was so poorly he ended up receiving IV fluids at the vets and staying there during the day.  He returned to his foster home with his little bandage.

Ginger kitten
Percy with his little bandage
Sadly he then started with diarrhoea and keeping his weight stable became a real issue.  At the moment he is back in the Vet Hospital receiving 24 hour care.  The Shelter regularly post updates on their Twitter page. You can follow them @CatsShelter

I met two people today of whom I'd heard lots of good things!  The first was Maggie of Friends of Ferals she is a real unsung hero.  This is the lady who gives up her own time to feed feral cats and trap strays and ferals.  She is so modest about what she does!  I'd love to go and spend some time out trapping or feeding with her so I can bring you the full story behind this amazing lady.

The second person I met today was Miki.  She's the lady you have to thank for all the amazing photos displayed by the Cats Shelter. I really don't know how she manages it!  Beautiful photos :)

Black cat
Pixie - Photo by Miki

My morning was almost at a close.  Then the 6 expected kittens arrived, but they came with an unexpected problem.  They all had terrible cat flu.

The staff put their heads together to work out how to accommodate the new arrivals and not risk any other cats or rooms in the Shelter.  The kittens couldn't go in rooms with a current infection as there is a chance that the flu strain could be different.  This could result in re-infecting those cats almost over the flu.

The decision was made and everyone was moved out of infirmary.  The 6 kittens were brought down and I helped to get them settled.

To begin with all 6 needed health checks.  These are done for every cat or kitten when they first arrive at the shelter.  Their sex is checked, their weight is recorded and then it's eyes, ears, nose, mouth, fleas and visual check to see if there is anything to be concerned about.

Out of the 6 kittens 3 had their eyes stuck shut with puss, several had crusty noses and all had filthy ears as a result of mites.
black kitten with sore eyes
Such sore eyes

Each kitten was given a name, these were Boston, Houston, Phoenix, Georgia, Dakota and Michigan.  It's possible they are from two litters as some weigh more than others.

We got them settled into two cages and encouraged them to eat.

kittens eating
Tucking into some food

It was so upsetting to see how sore their little eyes were.  Yet another reminder to make sure cats and kittens are vaccinated as soon as possible.  The ears were no better, cleaning these loosened huge chunks of dirt.

They will all have a visit to the vets tomorrow and I hope they will soon be looking and feeling much better.

Good news by the end of visiting time.  Little Amy left with her new family and so did Tilly, who'd been at the Shelter for a number of months.

The lovely pair, Charlie and Luke were pre- adopted and will go to their new home once they've had their second vaccination. 

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Sunday at the Shelter 1-09-13

It was great to see how many volunteers were at the Shelter this morning, it meant jobs got completed much quicker.

As you can see, there are still some rooms struggling to fully overcome flu but, all in all, the situation is much improved.

Libby and I worked in Infirmary.  Here, 3 cats have been admitted under strict quarantine.

Mike is a sweet boy, but a little timid at the moment.  He was keen to be back in his little house as soon as possible.

Black and white cat in a cage

We also met too adorable boys who came in together and really are best friends.  They enjoyed rubbing round our legs and each others faces!
Black and white cat

White and black cat

Later we were also lucky enough to meet Womble as she was being adopted.

Many cats have a story, but hers is one that sadly, the Shelter hear all the time. Womble was first seen at the Shelter when she was around 7 weeks old. She was suffering from such terrible diarrhoea it was actually dripping out of her. The cardboard box she was in was soaked through.

Malnourished and dehydrated she spent several days in the Vet hospital at a cost of approximately £100 per day for care and fluids. Medication costs are on top of this.

You may think that this poor mite had been found abandoned somewhere, but this wasn't the case.

Her owner bought her after seeing an ad on the internet. She was just 5 weeks old.  The Shelter were told she'd had diarrhoea from the start and no medical advice had been sought. 
The owner lived in rented accommodation and didn't have permission from the landlord to have a cat in the house.  Once the landlord became aware, the owner was told to 'get rid' of the kitten immediately.  

The Sheffield Cats Shelter were left to pick up the pieces for this poorly little girl.  As you can see from the photo below, the Vets, the Shelter Staff and her Foster mum rose to the challenge. :)

Tortie kitten
Womble in her foster home, fit and healthy

There are a number of lessons to learn from this.  It's frightening to see how many tiny kittens are advertised online.  When they are so young, they need to be with mum and if there is no mum, they need to be with someone who knows how to care for them.

Then there is the issue of tenancy agreements.  If you want to give a cat or kitten a home, check with your landlord first.  

Back to today:-  It got a little busy at visiting time, so I helped out showing a lovely lady around some of the available cats.  She had recently lost her previous cat to illness and was missing having a feline friend in her home.  I really enjoyed chatting to her and hopefully she'll be back with her husband to make a choice.

Whilst I was showing cats, Libby was helping Emma and Ray with 7 cats that had been given up for adoption.  All from the same home, they are a mix of ages, but are all beautiful.

This pretty girl is around 6 months old.

Here's Patrick, thought to be the Daddy to some of the others, he's very handsome and was balancing on top of the open window.

Long haired tabby cat
Patrick balancing on the open window

The others are young adults except for Percy who is about 4-5 weeks old.  Sadly he's malnourished, dehydrated, subdued and crawling with fleas. His gums and pads were so pale due to anaemia caused by his flea infestation.

Ginger kitten being held
Percy, covered in fleas

Emma had no option but to spray Percy to try and kill the fleas.  We then attempted to use a flea comb to remove as many as possible.  Left untreated, a serious flea infestation can kill. 

Flea spraying a kitten
Libby holds Percy as Emma sprays on flea treatment

This was my first experience of such a bad infestation.  He was covered in them :(  Libby and I helped Emma and you can see an example of how many we managed to get off him below.

bowl of water with dead  cat fleas
Dead fleas

Makes you itch doesn't it?   It was obvious that he was getting cold so despite him not yet being fully clear of fleas, Emma wanted to warm him up and dry his fur.  Bring on the hairdryer...

Unhappy with his hydration levels he was given some milk with a hydration solution mixed in. I had him sandwiched between my body and a heat pad for some time to try and get his little body warmer.

ginger kitten with a heat pad for warmth
Percy sandwich

It did seem to make a difference, as you can see he did perk up.

Alert ginger kitten
Perky Percy

This evening he's at home with Emma and hopefully when he's flea free he'll be able to play with Spud and Ernest who are a similar age.

In the meantime, he'll be getting regular food and hydration through the night and will then be off to the Vets in the morning.

Fingers and paws crossed.