Cat and eight kittens found dumped in a suitcase

Article by RSPCA teams, 14th March 2017:

We are investigating after a cat and her eight kittens were found abandoned inside a zipped-up suitcase on a disused railway line in Essex.

The black and white cat, now named Tarini, and her five week-old babies were discovered by a passing dog walker in a remote spot between Great Yeldham and Castle Hedingham in Halstead, Essex on Tuesday, 7 March. They were inside a navy blue case with a Polo logo.

We were called and rescued Tarini and her kittens, after the passer by picked up the case and took them home for safety.

It was pure chance they were found

RSPCA Animal Collections Officer (ACO) Donna Smith said:

It was pure chance that this woman happened to find these little kittens and their mum.

She was walking along the disused rail track when she wandered past a dumped suitcase, not thinking anything of it until her dog stopped and started sniffing it.

She took a closer look and heard tiny miaows coming from the case, so opened the zip a tiny bit – and was shocked to discover nine pairs of eyes peering back.

The mother cat and eight kittens had been just zipped up in the case and discarded. Who knows how long they had been there – it must have been terrifying for them. It would not have ended well had this kindly woman not come to their rescue – I have no doubt they would have suffered for days.

Tarini is recovering well with her kittens

Blue suitcase cat and kittens were found in © RSPCA

We’re urging anyone with any information about how the cats came to be in such a secluded spot to call us, in complete confidence, on 0300 123 8018.

The cats are now in our care. They were all very thin, and looked to not have had much food for a while. Tarini had to be put on a drip, and received intensive care at the vets as she was also very dehydrated. She’s since recovered well and is back at an Essex centre with her kittens.

The kittens have all been named after characters from Disney film The Aristocats:

  • Toulouse (male, tabby/white),
  • Tiny Tim (male black/white),
  • Scat Cat (male, tabby),
  • Berloiz (male, black),
  • Alli (male tabby),
  • Duchess (female tabby),
  • Marie (female, black),
  • Eve (female tabby).

It’s hoped they will soon be available for rehoming. Anyone interested in rehoming them, or any other cats in our care, should keep an eye out on find a pet.

Article taken from: https://www.rspca.org.uk/whatwedo/latest/details/-/articleName/2017_03_14_cat_and_kittens_found


Critter Web Smiles: Kitten Growing up with Dog Best Friend

This adorable time lapse of a rescue kitten and its golden retriever best friend shows what an amazing bond can exist between dogs and cats.

For anyone who doesn’t think the two species can get along – watch this and be transformed into a whole world of cute.



Pets are not for profit. Grazia should be ashamed to suggest otherwise

Article by Beverley Cuddy for the Guardian, 13th July 2015

crumbly cat

Grazia magazine has developed a new following, and it’s not the usual fashionistas. Last week, it made the grave mistake of a dalliance with the murky world of amateur dog and cat breeding, with an upbeat article that made exploiting your pet cat and dog seem both clever and aspirational. It was part of a feature called Meet the Millennial Hustlers. The introduction set the scene: “For today’s generation wheeling and dealing is a financial necessity … pimping out and selling every asset and skill.”

Ella Jane Brookbanks revealed that she had discovered she was sitting on a cash cat and dog, and proudly announced that breeding her pets had given her extra pocket money and made the difference between affording Habitat furniture and flatpack Ikea.

It was obviously a howling error of judgment, but the magazine seemed to hope that things would calm down if it just carried on as if nothing had happened. Anti-puppy farming pressure group Pup Aid thought the article was remarkable. It awarded Grazia an accolade no magazine ever wants: it tweeted that it was “one of the most damaging articles for animal welfare ever written”.

Grazia struggled to pull the focus back to the sort of news that normally rocks its world – such as, had Prince George been wearing Prince William’s hand-me-downs at the christening? “Maybe they should breed some animals for money, they wouldn’t need to use hand-me-downs then,” one of its new followers helpfully replied. Another chipped in: “Is Prince George another example of breeding for cash?” The RSPCA, the Kennel Club, Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, the Blue Cross – everyone with an interest in animal welfare complained loudly.

But still there was no reaction from anyone at Grazia. A petition was started calling for an apology and a response in the next edition – it got more than 3,000 signatures in a couple of days.

Eventually Grazia responded, but it did nothing to calm the assembling masses of pet lovers. There was a brief apology for the offence caused to pet lovers and said it did not promote irresponsible breeding or unfair treatment to any animal, but there was no apology for glamorising the act of breeding pets. If anything, the groundswell of outrage was made stronger by Grazia’s statement.

If you are wondering what is so wrong about being a smart but casual breeder, let me explain. It is already far too easy to impulse buy a puppy or kitten. RSPCA research shows one in five puppy buyers no longer have their puppy two years after purchase. We have become a country where changing your dog is worryingly common.

I often wonder if the many television shows about animal rescue centres make them look so wonderful that owners feel little guilt about giving their pets up when they want a break or a change. They perceive rescue centres to be like lending libraries and imagine another home for their pet will be along shortly.

While charities do an amazing job, the seven-day council-run pounds will never get their own TV series. That’s where the dogs no one wants end up – quietly being killed. The old, the poorly, the unfashionable, the overly common and the naughty will often be put down.

Grazia’s suggestion of monetising and exploiting four-legged members of your family – without mention of the daily death rate of already unwanted dogs and cats – is a massive step backwards for a struggling animal rescue system.

The article made breeding sound easy, cool and all about the cash – there was no mention of conscience. In reality, breeding done properly is time-consuming, messy and potentially costly if things go wrong. If your dog or cat gets into difficulties giving birth there is no animal NHS, and normal pet insurance will not cover breeding-related claims.

The more you breed, the higher the chance of veterinary emergencies that will wipe out your profit margin and could end up killing the animal you called your best friend. What if everyone you sell to decides to monetise their pets too? And then the people who buy their pups do the same? Where will it stop?

The adopt don’t shop lobby is loud and persuasive, but shelters are still full to the brim. It’s not like dogs and cats are rare – the internet is full of people trying to give them away. Think carefully before breeding from your pet. Grazia might encourage it as a way to fund that next pair of shoes, but you’ll be doing your beloved Fido a huge disservice in the process.

Article taken from: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jul/13/pet-profit-grazia-breeding-dog-cat-animal-rescue


Sainsbury’s issues new guide for cat owners

Following Sainsbury’s Bank’s recent release of their pet owners guide ‘Preparing for a New Dog’, the company has now come out with one for all you (and me!) cat owners.


Entitled, surprise surprise, Preparing for a New Cat, the guide features a bunch of useful info and tips for anyone thinking of introducing a furry feline into their home.

The booklet covers a range of areas including:

  • Are you ready to get a cat?
  • What type of cat?
  • Moggies or non-pedigrees
  • Pedigree
  • Choosing a kitten
  • Choosing an adult cat
  • What your cat will need
  • Bringing your cat home
  • Letting your cat explore
  • Letting your cat outside
  • Play and discipline
  • Protecting and looking after your cat

Worth checking out if you want some tips on how to ensure your cat is healthy and happy. Enjoy reading!

Related posts: https://catdraggedin.co.uk/2015/06/08/sainsburys-bank-issues-new-pet-owners-guide-preparing-for-a-new-dog/


Buying a pet – from Gumtree to pedigree, where do you stand?

A petition has been created calling on Gumtree to stop the sale of pets through its UK website. Currently sitting at nearly 24,000 signatures, it’s gaining increasing attention as more people sit up and listen to the issues it raises.

We’ve all heard the horror stories about pets sold through Gumtree. Billed as a network of unscrupulous breeders out for no other reason than to make a profit, the stories which make it into the news are as worrying as they are heartbreaking. Pets are passed from pillar to post with illnesses, diseases and even deformities. Puppies are frequently separated from their mothers at far too early an age and families up and down the country are left devastated when the beloved pet they purchased in good faith passes away all too early. Most recently, we had the awful story of Kai, the gorgeous Shar Pei cross who was dumped at a railway station as he didn’t look the way the buyer expected him to. Undoubtedly, the Gumtree pet trade is simply not working.

The petition can be found here. It specifically cites the fact that pets are sold to order on what is ultimately an unregistered website, while many more languish desperately in shelters up and down the UK. It also suggests that many of the pets purchased could potentially be used for horrific acts such as dog fighting or live baiting, such as we discovered a few weeks ago in Australia.

Recently, I visited a well known Edinburgh pet shop which was selling gorgeous kittens at only eight weeks old. By the time I got there only one kitten was left, mewing pathetically from its cage on the cold floor. I asked the shop owner where the kitten(s) had come from and she told me proudly that she had bought them off Gumtree. The owner genuinely believed she was doing the cats a favour. She said that she bought them, wormed them, de-flea’d them and then sold them on to her customers who she ‘always met face to face’. She told me she did this to ‘rescue’ the cats from being sold on elsewhere.

The tiny kitten found in the Edinburgh pet shop

The tiny kitten found in the Edinburgh pet shop

At the time I couldn’t decide whether she was the cats’ saviour or their downfall. Undoubtedly the fact she looked after the kittens in her care and vetted any prospective buyers was preferable to the fate which undoubtedly faced them otherwise, but I couldn’t help feeling that by buying the kittens, she was simply encouraging the breeders to produce more to increase profits even further. Where there is a market, people will fill it. I personally do not believe all pet sellers on Gumtree care where the litters end up – whether it’s a well meaning pet shop swooping in to ‘save’ them or just someone wanting a cheap pet, it’s all the same to the breeder. Each animal comes with a pound sign.

As I’m sure you’ll not be surprised to hear, I am wholly supportive of the call to ban Gumtree from pet trading. Any operation which has zero vetting policy and enables absolutely anyone to sell live, sentient animals without any checks or monitoring is abhorrent in my mind. Slightly separately, I was encouraged to see that in Maryland an outright ban on puppy farming has recently been introduced, with pet shops being forced to sell rescue animals only from now on. I can think of very few people who wouldn’t welcome such a move in the UK.

At the same time, I am acutely aware that – after a lifetime of giving a home to some of the sweetest rescue animals I’ve ever known – today I own two purebred, pedigree Ragdolls; both of which I paid for. Neither cat came from a shelter. Is purchasing a pet really any different whether it’s from a shelter or a website?

Personally, I would suggest that it is – and not just because I’m their owner. Both my beloved cats were purchased at no earlier than 16 weeks – strict GCCF rules – from registered breeders in the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy (the official registration body for pedigree cat breeders in the UK). Both cats were acquired following full checks, conversations, photo exchanges, meetings to ascertain the environment they were being raised in, and visits to meet both parents of each cat. With both my cats, I had to sign various contracts to ensure I would adhere to the strict rules they came to me with. I had to register these adorable critters in my name once I got them home and I had to promise that, within the next four months, I would both microchip and neuter them. I also was encouraged to remain in contact with both breeders and to send regular updates as to how my new kittens were settling in. In the end, I have ended up with two wonderful, loving, loyal cats who I’d chop my arms off before live without. I specifically chose the Ragdoll breed as it suited my lifestyle – it meant cats I knew would fit right in with me and the quirky little life we’d live together.

For various reasons at this point in my life, rescue cats were simply not appropriate.

Crumble and Puff - my ridiculous Ragdolls

Crumble and Puff – my ridiculous Ragdolls

But it’s easy for me to defend pedigree cats as I have the two faces above staring down at me first thing in the morning and last thing at night. What about you? How do you feel about purchasing your pets? I’m sure you’re with me in supporting the Gumtree ban – but where do you stand on the wider issue of paying money, any money, for an animal? Is there a difference if you carry out extensive research, planning and care as opposed to clicking a link online? Or is a purchase a purchase?

t shirtThis morning I came across this t-shirt and it made me think about this whole issue even more. I wholeheartedly agree you can’t buy love – in any form. Yet I know, hand on heart, that I made the right decision in choosing my Ragdolls. Every day they make me smile – and I hope I do the same for them. My older cat, Crumble, is a registered Therapet and has made dementia patients cry tears of happiness. Both cats can be fully trusted left at home all day long with my ever increasing menagerie of 13 other animals. We currently share our little home with a plethora of birds, rodents and fish – yet what would be perfect miniature morsels for normal cats, Crumble and Puff couldn’t care less about. My budgies fly around the room and neither cat bats an eyelid. When my hamster recently escaped, Crumble found him and sat with him, mewing, until I collected his bedraggled but breathing heap from behind the sink. To me, my cats are perfect – and their pedigree has nothing to do with it. I haven’t ‘bought love’, but in making the decision to go to a registered breeder I have ensured that the cats I share my home with are healthy, happy and fully protected by both myself and the breeders I chose.

I bring up my kitties safe in the knowledge that if anything happens to me both warm, friendly breeders have informed me they’d happily, and genuinely, take the cats back in a heartbeat. I’m not sure you can say the same for Gumtree.


Kitten killed by banned pesticide in Midlothian


An animal welfare charity is appealing for information after a kitten that was poisoned died in her owner’s arms in Midlothian.

The owner of Edgelaw Farm Livery near Gorebridge found her eight-month-old cat named Bootes fitting and unable to walk and called the Scottish SPCA.

The toxicology results showed residues of carbofuran in Bootes’ stomach contents and liver. Carbofuran is a highly toxic pesticide which is banned.

The Scottish SPCA said: “A single grain the size of a poppy seed can be deadly to animals and a quarter teaspoon can be fatal to humans. Bootes’ owner is understandably devastated to have lost her pet at such a young age and under these dreadful circumstances. While this incident happened in December, we had to wait for the toxicology results to come back. Now that we know the poison was carbofuran we want to warn other cat owners in the area of the danger. Unfortunately our enquiries so far have not resulted in any leads so we are now appealing for information as to where the poison may have come from.”

Hayley McEwan, Bootes’ owner, said: “Bootes was a firm favourite on our small livery yard and touched many lives despite her young age. I found her while she was still alive and she died in my arms. I couldn’t do anything but wrap her up and cuddle her. By the time she was on the way to the vets she was already gone. Her brother Pavo still pines for her and he often lies in the spot where he and I found her. It was a matter of feet from our front door here in the farm. I’m still trying to come to terms with everything and find it hard to understand why this happened.”

Anyone with any information should call Scottish SPCA on 03000 999 999.

Article taken from: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-edinburgh-east-fife-31764053


Happy World Spay Day

Nine of the UK’s animal welfare charities have joined forces to promote World Spay Day, aimed at encouraging cat owners to have their cats spayed. Spaying protects cats from getting pregnant – this is also known as neutering, fixing or being done.

Around 85 per cent of litters of kittens are unplanned, with many cat owners getting caught out because they did not realise their cats could get pregnant at less than six months of age – while still kittens themselves. In addition, many cat owners believe that female cats should be allowed to have a litter of kittens before they are spayed, but this isn’t true – it’s just an old wives’ tale.

The advice is simple – have your cat spayed at four months to protect her from getting pregnant.

Male cats should be neutered too, to protect them catching diseases, such as FIV and getting nasty injuries from fighting – a male cat which hasn’t been neutered is much more likely to fight over a female mate. Neutering can also help to stop male cats from spraying indoors – which can be really smelly. He’s also more likely to stay close to home as a neutered male cat is less likely to stray.

You may be able to get help with the cost of having your cat neutered. For more information, check out: http://www.cats.org.uk/worldspayday

World Spay Day is supported by:

  • The Blue Cross
  • Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
  • Cats Protection
  • Celia Hammond Animal Trust
  • International Cat Care
  • Mayhew Animal Home
  • PDSA
  • Wood Green Animal Charity

For a full list of global animal events taking place throughout the year please visit our Calendar