Did you know that ‘Luna’ was the most popular cat name of 2018? According to data from microchip company Identibase, this moon-inspired moniker was the top name for cats registered for a microchip between January and December last year.
While it is not clear how Luna, which means ‘moon’ in Latin, became a favoured name for felines, there are some theories.
Dr Peter McClure, Honorary Professor at Nottingham University’s Institute of Name Studies says: “An explanation could be that cats hunt at night and their eyes shine in the dark, so they have an affinity with the moon. However, the rapid rise in popularity of Luna as a female cat name suggests that something else is going on.”
Other theories suggest that characters such as Harry Potter’s Luna Lovegood has resulted in an increase in the name’s popularity.
Whatever its mystical origin, if you’re looking for a Luna to love, we’ve got some that are still waiting for owners. With 18 Lunas currently in Cats Protection’s care, it is clear that their popular name isn’t proving any luck in helping them find forever homes.
Here are just a few of the Lunas waiting for a home.
Luna from Dereham, Norfolk
A laid-back cat who loves to be pampered and brushed, she would be an ideal pet for a family home. If you live in the Dereham area and want to adopt this adorable bundle of fluff, please call 01362 687 919.
Luna from Bredhurst, Kent
A fun-loving and energetic cat that is always on the go, this Luna would be best suited to a busy household and an experienced cat owner. If you can’t resist those eyes and want to give her a home, please call 01634 232 471.
Luna from Coventry, Warwickshire
A shy cat with a close affinity to her brother Loki, black-and-white Luna would be looking for a home where they can remain together. If you’ve got space in your heart for two gorgeous moggies, please call 02476 594 116.
Every year Cats Protection searches for extraordinary tales of the nation’s remarkable felines and 2019 is no exception.
Entries are now open for this year’s National Cat Awards and you have until noon on Friday 8 March to nominate your cat for one of five categories – so you need to be quick!
The categories are:
Hero Cat – Cats that save the day
Most Caring Cat – Cats that positively impact a person’s health or wellbeing
Furr-ever Friends – Tales of friendship between children and cats
Outstanding Rescue Cat – Fabulous felines adopted from animal charities
Purina® Better Together – Celebrating the special bond that has transformed and enriched the lives of both a feline and human
All of the winners and judges at the 2018 National Cat Awards - Credit: Ciaran McCrickard
The awards are sponsored by PURINA® and a panel of celebrity cat-lovers will have the difficult task of selecting winners. The winning cats’ owners will then be presented with their trophies at a star-studded ceremony at London’s Savoy Hotel on Thursday 8 August – fittingly coinciding with International Cat Day.
The overall winner will inherit the title of National Cat of the Year from Theo, who helped his owner Charlotte Dixon survive a potentially fatal blood clot.
2018 National Cat of the Year Theo with his owner Charlotte Dixon
Theo followed in the paw prints of a long line of feline heroes honoured by Cats Protection. They include Genie, who helped schoolgirl Evie Henderson battle bone cancer; Tink, who saved her owners from a house fire, and Jessi-Cat who was celebrated for helping a seven-year-old boy cope with Selective Mutism.
Broadcaster and writer Andrew Collins, whose own cat Gerry was previously a stray, will be one of the panel of celebrity judges selecting the National Cat of the Year. He said: “Cats make a house a home and whatever stage of life they join you, it improves everything. The National Cat Awards honour acts of extraordinary bravery, empathy and loyalty. Humans are lucky to be chosen and adopted by cats of all ages.” To find out how to nominate your cat for the 2019 National Cat Awards, visit www.cats.org.uk/nca For a recap of what happened at last year’s star-studded ceremony, check out our post: 2018 National Cat Awards: The best quotes from the event To hear more about what Andrew Collins thinks of the National Cat Awards, read his guest blog: That's not my cat!
Did you know that where you place items in your household might have a noticeable effect on how your cat behaves? The right environment is important for a cat – which is why they might seem stressed or disorientated in certain situations.
In aid of ‘organise your home’ day, we’re sharing advice on how to make your space appealing to your feline friend. Whether you’ve got a new cat or you’re looking to make life easier for your existing moggy, our top tips will help you create a cat-friendly home.
Setting up a place for your cat
1. Make sure the space is private – keep all guests, kids and dogs away.
2. Make the area safe by removing any potential hazards, trailing wires and poisonous items.
3. Provide a hiding space to make your cat feel safe. A box in a high place is ideal.
4. Add your cat’s essential items – you can find a full list here.
5. Provide some fun and games! Fishing rod toys, puzzle toys and feeding enrichment games are excellent additions.
Living room or downstairs bathroom – the perfect place for a litter tray
• Wherever you choose to place your cat’s litter tray, make sure it is in a quiet room that the cat always has access to. Some cats might struggle using a litter tray in areas of high footfall, such as the hallway or kitchen
• Avoid placing litter trays beside things that can be scary for the cat, such as beside washing machines or other appliances. Avoid exposed areas, such as beside glass patio doors where neighbouring cats might be able to see them toilet
• Unsurprisingly, cats can be reluctant to eat their food near to their litter tray. Keep the toileting area away from the eating area to keep your cat content
• Each cat should have its own litter tray. If you’ve got more than one cat, avoid having the trays next to each other
Kitchen – a place for your cat to eat and drink
• Cats don’t like to drink in the same place as where they eat. Place your cat’s water bowl and food bowl away from each other
• If your cat struggles to drink enough, try a water fountain. Cats often prefer moving water, making it a great alternative to a water bowl
Hallways and other rooms – a great spot for play
• If you’d like to have some time to yourself in the evening without being kneaded or head-butted, try putting an enrichment feeder in your hallway or another room in the house. If all rewards are given in one section of the house (ie: living room), that’s where the cat will be. If they learn that good things happen in other sections of the house, they are more likely to spend time there
• Cats love to get up high – it can make them feel more relaxed. Try providing comfortable access to off-the-ground places and provide covered items for the cat in each room – a cardboard box is perfect
• Cats are often likely to scratch wherever they wake up or close to entrances and exit points if they feel unsure – these are often the ideal place to position a scratching post
In aid of Kiss a Ginger Day, we’re sharing a story of one ginger moggy who has been happily reunited with his owner after going missing.
Adventurous cat Thomas is finally settling in back at home in Wrexham after being collected by his owner, Susan, on Monday. He had been missing for the last few months. He had been in the care of Cats Protection’s Wrexham Adoption Centre after he was found living near Subway, Starbucks and the Travelodge in Rhostyllen, four-and-a-half miles away from his home.
Susan said: “I couldn’t believe it when I heard Cats Protection had Thomas in its care and he was safe and well – I was devastated when he went missing and after so many weeks had gone by, I was convinced I’d never see him again.”
“Thank goodness I’d had him microchipped so they could let me know he’d been found.”
Wrexham Adoption Centre had been alerted after concern grew from local staff and customers of Subway, Starbucks and the Travelodge. Pictures of Thomas, or Teriyaki as he had become known, were posted on a lost and found Facebook page.
He was then taken to the centre last Sunday, where he was scanned for a microchip and Susan’s contact details were found. Adoption Centre Manager Suzan Kennedy said: “We are so pleased to see Thomas reunited with Susan – this amazing story shows the importance of microchipping cats and keeping the contact details up to date.
“We were able to reunite Thomas with his overjoyed owner quickly and easy – without a microchip, sadly that may never have happened.”
It’s not known for sure how Thomas strayed so far from home, but it is thought he may have climbed into a vehicle and didn’t know how to find his way home.
Susan says: “I’m absolutely made up to see Thomas again and to be able to give him a great big kiss!”
Veterinary note: It’s okay to kiss your cat as long as both owner and cat are healthy, the cat is well socialised and used to this level of human contact. Avoid kissing on the lips for hygiene reasons and avoid the stomach as many cats don’t like being touched in this area. Cats tend to prefer brief interactions and greetings tend to be nose to nose.
Today is National Kiss a Ginger Day (12 January) but instead of kissing your favourite human redhead, why not show a gorgeous ginger moggy some love instead?
Here are some of the lovely ginger cats we currently have waiting for their forever homes…
Five-year-old Arnie has lived most of his life on the streets, so needs a home with a patient owner who he can learn to trust. Arnie will need to be the only pet in the home, where he can have a snooze on a sofa. To give Arnie a home, contact Cats Protection’s Downham Market Adoption Centre on 01366 382 311 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Peanut is finding life in the cattery quite unsettling as he is only 18 months old. He is in desperate need of a calm and quiet home, with a patient owner, where he can relax and show his true loving character. To give Peanut a home, contact Cats Protection’s National Cat Adoption Centre on 01825 741 330 or by emailing email@example.com
Five-year-old Sebastion has had a rough start to life after being found as a stray in a very bad condition. After much love and care, he is now ready to find a new and loving home. To give Sebastion a home, contact Cats Protection’s Framlingham & Saxmundham Branch on 01728 723 499 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
While Cats Protection does not advocate giving cats a big kiss, we do encourage showing them the love and attention they deserve.
Daniel Cummings, Behaviour Officer for Cats Protection said: “It’s better to wait for your cat to approach you rather than restraining your cat to lavish them with hugs and kisses as many cats will find this uncomfortable and unpleasant – there are many other ways to show love to your cat such as stroking, playing and slow blinking at them."
While many of us are likely to be steering clear of the carbs this New Year, it hasn’t stopped potato-loving cat Oliver.
The twelve-year-old black cat Oliver doesn’t have a taste for potatoes, although he does seem to have a taste of adventure. In fact, he has stowed away on a potato harvest tractor three times in the last seven years.
Located in Carmyllie in Angus, Oliver has repeatedly gone missing, only to be found in Arbroath, six-and-a-half miles away from his home. Thankfully, due to his up-to-date microchip and the help of Cats Protection’s Arborath & Canoustie Branch, he has now been reunited with his worried owners.
Oliver’s owner, John Preston, said: “Oliver’s jaunts started seven years ago when he went missing for five months. We were distraught and had almost given up hope of ever seeing him again when we heard from Cats Protection that he had been found.”
“He’s a friendly cat but quite timid with people he doesn’t know, so we think the reason it takes a while for him to be identified is that it takes him time to trust people enough to let them get close to him.”
In 2013, Oliver went missing for a few weeks before being returned home. It was hoped that his wandering days were behind him, until he disappeared again last October – this time, for two months.
John said: “Even though this was the third time Oliver had gone missing, it doesn’t make it any less worrying. As the weeks go by you do start to fear the worst, so we are incredibly happy to have him home safely again.”
Sharyn Wood, Co-ordinator of Cats Protection’s Arbroath and Carnoustie Branch, said: “This is a great example of how important it is for cats to be microchipped. We’d love all cats to be chipped to ensure many more happy returns.”
Whether you’ve been a cat owner for years or have just welcomed a moggy into your life, New Year is a perfect time to make some caring commitments to your feline friend. Cats have five basic welfare needs and by fulfilling each one you can make life happier for them and you. Here are some resolutions you can make to help you meet your cats’ needs and get 2019 off to a good start.
1. Make sure your cat has a healthy diet
Giving your cat access to suitable food and fresh water will ensure they get all the nutrients they need. A complete cat food should be enough to give them a balanced diet but avoid overfeeding as preventing your cat from gaining weight is much easier than helping them lose weight. For more advice on feeding your cat, visit www.cats.org.uk/diet
2. Provide your cat with the perfect place to live
Cats should be able to live in a suitable environment with everything they need, including food and water bowls, a comfortable bed, a litter tray, a scratching post, some fun toys and access to a high spot where they can escape to and hide. Visit the Cats Protection website to find a checklist of everything you need to supply them with. 3. Protect your cat from pain, suffering, injury and disease
As well as keeping your cat healthy with a balanced diet, you also need to make sure they receive all of the necessary vet treatments they need, including vaccinations against common cat illnesses and regular flea and worm treatments. You should get you cat checked by a vet at least annually and have them neutered, as neutered cats lead healthier and longer lives. For more advice on keeping your cat healthy, visit www.cats.org.uk/cat-care/help-and-advice/health-search-page
4. Enable your cat to express normal behaviour
There are certain behaviours that make a cat a cat, so letting your moggy exhibit these is important for their wellbeing. For example, hunting provides your cat with great physical and mental stimulation, so if you’d rather they didn’t catch prey in the garden, let them play with cat toys instead. There’s lots more information about cat behaviours at www.cats.org.uk/behaviour 5. Give your cat the choice to be apart from other cats
Although some cats can be sociable with other cats, they generally don’t need the company of other moggies as they are evolved from a solitary species. If you have more than one cat at home, make sure they each have their own separate space to retreat to if they want to be alone, complete with their own food and water bowls, scratch posts, litter trays and beds. Visit www.cats.org.uk/other-cats to find more advice on helping cats live happily together. Are you planning to follow our five cat commitments? Or are you already meeting your moggy's must-haves? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter.
The New Year is a great time to make some changes to your life, but instead of pledging to give up certain pleasures, why not promise to take up new challenges instead?
Volunteering is a fantastic way to learn new skills and try new things and here at Cats Protection we have a wide range of roles available, each with training available to help you develop and help cats at the same time.
Here are some simple resolutions that we can help you with…
Learn online skills
In an increasingly more digital world, learning about different online platforms is incredibly useful for many aspects of daily life. By volunteering to manage the website or social media pages for your local branch or centre, you could discover what it takes to create great online content and connect with cat lovers all over the world. Boost your creativity
Have you ever walked passed a tired looking shop window display and thought you could do better? Our charity shops receive all sorts of kind donations and so creating exciting displays is important for encouraging people to buy them. A great chance for you to get creative and use your imagination, all to help raise money for the cats.
Brush up on your cat welfare knowledge
You might think you know all there is to know about cats, but there is always something new to learn about these curious creatures. If you become a cat care volunteer you’ll get lots of training on how to handle felines and learn lots on the job as you help to feed and groom the cats and keep their pens clean and tidy.
Get out and about
Our branches and centres rely on people getting out into the community, driving cats to and from the vets, trapping feral cats to be neutered and speaking to the public about various campaigns. If you’re a bit bored at home, or tired of being stuck in an office, these tasks would be the perfect opportunity to explore your local area a bit more.
Meet new people
Whether you’re organising an event, running a stall, or even doing a collection at the local supermarket, fundraising for Cats Protection is a great way to get chatting with fellow cat lovers. Even if you don’t manage to encourage them to part with their cash, you’ll still get the chance to tell them a bit about what the charity does and bond over some cat chat.
Become a better communicator
If you’d like to improve your public speaking skills or gain confidence talking to others, then what better way to do it than by talking about cats? You could sign up to be a volunteer speaker, giving talks to schools and community groups about cat welfare, or join our Contact Centre team and answer cat queries from the public when they call our National Information Line.
While you’re unwrapping presents and tucking in to Christmas dinner with all the trimmings, there will be caring cat lovers up and down the UK who will be busy with a very important task.
Cats Protection will be caring for thousands of cats over the festive period, and so we rely on dedicated volunteers to make sure they receive the care and attention they need every day of the year – even on 25 December.
Here are some heart-warming stories from just a few of the hard-working volunteers who will be looking after unwanted cats this Christmas…
Carol Woodward – Cat Care Volunteer at National Cat Adoption Centre, Sussex
Carol helps care for cats wiaiting for new homes
“Christmas Day was always a grand affair with the family, friends, waifs and strays all coming to my house for lunch. Makeshift tables and borrowed chairs would be set-up wherever there was room, the importance being to ensure no-one spent time alone on this special day. My cats would get spoilt rotten (they would always get a Cats Protection catnip banana for Christmas, which they loved) and I would end up an exhausted, frazzled wreck by the end of the day. It was lovely but with the younger family members growing up and having families of their own, it is now their turn to play hosts to us more ‘senior’ members.
“Following early retirement from work, I recently became a volunteer Cat Care Assistant at the National Cat Adoption Centre and have enjoyed every minute of it. When the call went out for assistance on Christmas Day morning, I didn’t hesitate to offer. With no need this year to rise at 5am to get the turkey in the oven, what better way to start the day than caring for the cats and giving them an extra festive cuddle. Hopefully, it will also enable one of the permanent Cat Care Assistants with a young family to get home a bit earlier and spend more time with them.
“Weather permitting, this will be followed by a run or bike ride (a great de-stress prior to a busy day ahead) before heading out to spend the rest of day with my husband and family and hopefully being waited on by them for the rest of the day while I put my feet up! Exchange of presents can wait but a cat’s hungry belly can’t.”
Linda Hartley – Branch Coordinator of Isle of Arran Branch
A litter of kittens cared for by Linda
“I am always available Christmas Day, as I have been every year for 12 years. Being available on Christmas Day means being ready to answer that phone when it rings with whatever problem comes across and trying to find a way to help someone as well as their cats. Calls have come in from Islay, from Kintyre as well as the mainland and here on the island and sometimes they are not the most pressing but to them it might be so I am ready and waiting whatever day of the week, or month, to help a cat in need.”
Niccy Townley – Branch Coordinator of Cambridge Branch
Niccy is always ready help people with their cat care needs
"I will almost certainly be volunteering this Christmas Day. I’m branch coordinator and also fosterer so will be feeding and looking after my foster cat and/or kittens. If there are any other fosterers locally who are away I will feed their foster cats too. We also feed very many ferals in the area, in particular I am dealing with a large feral colony at a huge recycling plant so I’ll inevitably feed these cats as nobody else feeds them. Our phones are never turned off so if there are any calls made to us they will be dealt with too.” If you would like to learn more about volunteering with Cats Protection, visit www.cats.org.uk/get-involved/volunteering for more information about the different roles available.