Welfare Stories


Derby Branch of Cats Protection recently had a call from a farm in Derbyshire to help control their ever-growing feral cat population. We were only too pleased to help – after all, this is what we do.
So off the volunteer fieldworkers went with humane traps and food to start the process. While surveying the job, one cat caught the eye of a trapper. It sat back somewhat from the rest of the pack and she just had a feeling that it didn’t ‘belong’. She gently went over to test the water and it didn’t run away – completely uncharacteristic behaviour for a feral cat. She was able to lift it into a cat basket and take it to the vet where it was checked for a microchip - always the first thing they do. Would you believe it was chipped, found to belong to someone only half an hour’s drive away, and had been missing for 13 months? Of course, the owners were more than delighted to get her back. They had tried everything to find her; posters, adverts etc. but to no avail so they had given up hope after all that time. 
Luckily, the Branch manages to reunite many cats fairly quickly with their owners as a result of them being microchipped. Most have only been missing for a relatively short time although we had one which was missing for three years and a cat reported found in January 2015 had been missing since 2013. There have been recent reports nationally of cats being reunited with grateful owners after five and seven years!
Of course, there’s a moral to this story. Can you guess?  Yes, it’s GET YOUR CATS MICROCHIPPED– and also remember to update the details if you move. We also, fortunately quite rarely, come across cats that are microchipped but we are unable to contact the owner as the address and phone number are out of date.


Young Percy came to us with his brother, Ron, as a welfare job. Our volunteer was called to a home in Derby and was horrified to find that not only had Percy broken his leg but the owner had strapped it up to his body(!) with tape. They were both in a terrible condition as they weighed only 370 grams, were emaciated and had cat flu. We didn’t think they could be saved.

However, our welfare volunteer contacted the West Midlands Veterinary Referrals who immediately agreed to take their case on board and we are delighted to tell you that they have both settled in amazingly well. Little Percy is coping really well with his leg and will shortly be having the metal removed. They are eating for England and there are good homes in the pipeline for them when they are well enough to move into the big wide world. The vet said it was amazing how bright and happy they were despite their ordeal. Percy's photo shows him in a cage as he had to have cage rest after his orthopaedic procedure so he doesn't look very happy but he's a changed lad now.

Although the bill is cost assisted to us as a charity, getting Percy up and running is still going to cost the Branch over £800. Can you help us with a donation towards this, however small? If you are able to make a donation, simply click on the link below and follow the instructions: 
or you can post a cheque made payable to Cats Protection Derby and District Branch to us at the Charity Shop, 31 Wardwick, Derby DE1 1HA

Update on Percy and Ron  

They are both into everything and are unable to sit still! This was last night enjoying his night time snuggles. He has had the metal work removed from his little leg now but is still to be cage rested as his bone is still very weak. He has a bit of a limp at the minute but we are hoping that with a little patience this will resolve. Ron is absolutely fine too and they are both besotted with each other.


On the afternoon of 22 June our Welfare Officer, Gill Heath, received a call from our Catline about six kittens that needed immediate help. They had only been born two days previously but their mother had died that morning. Immediately, Gill rang someone who has hand-reared kittens for us in the past and she agreed to help but couldn’’t start until the evening of the next day as she was going to be out of Derby. Gill asked a vet we use a lot for help and was told to bring the kittens to them because they would give them kitten formula milk that day and a young vet nurse would take them home that night. This was an impressive thing to offer because to feed six kittens of such a young age is no mean task. They need feeding every two hours, but the process of feeding them takes half an hour which means that the feeder gets very little rest in between.

Having secured the kittens’ immediate future, Gill dashed out to the owner’’s house, not knowing what she would find because we had only had contact with a support worker, who had given us the address. Would some, or all, of the kittens have died? Would she be ringing the hand-rearer, thanking her for her offer of help, but saying it was no longer required?  To her great relief, the kittens were all still alive and, wrapped in an old T-shirt, were cradled in the arms of the man of the house. This was a good precaution to take because kittens of that age need warmth almost as much as food - when they are cold, they cannot be fed.

Leaving the kittens at the vets, she still had more to do because the hand-rearer would not return to Derby until late evening and the vet she had taken the kittens to closed at 7 pm. Another vet practice in the hand-rearer'’s area was open till 10 pm and said they could give the kittens two feeds until they were picked up by the hand-rearer.

Gill had been warned that it was likely not all the kittens would last the night but was told the next morning that they had all survived -– in fact, had been quite greedy in taking their feeds! Now that it seemed they might have a longer-term future, the kittens were sexed and weighed. There were three males and three females, three tabby and white, one black and white, one tortoiseshell and white and one ginger and white. Three weighed 0.1kg, two weighed 0.09kg and one weighed 0.08kg. At 4.30 pm that day, after the kittens'’ feed at 4 pm, another volunteer and Gill drove in rush hour traffic to the other vet, arriving 25 minutes before their next feed. All kittens did survive and found new homes.


Poor Gordon was involved in a road traffic accident and, as he was a stray, it was a little while before a member of the public became aware of his plight and kindly took him to the vets to see if they could help. He was taken to St. Leonard's Vets and their first thought was that his jaw was so badly injured that there wouldn’t be anything they could do for him, making it very unlikely that it would heal properly.
After discussions with Cats Protection, it was decided that he would be given painkillers and antibiotics and kept warm and comfortable to see how he progressed over the weekend. Gordon had made quite an improvement in those two days and the vets were able to see the area which was damaged, so it was decided to go ahead with the operation to repair his jaw. Part of the operation involved a procedure called osteostixis, which this particular vet had not done before, so Gordon was a bit of a first.
He spent a couple of weeks recovering and became a real favourite with the staff for the way he had fought through his difficulties and his winning personality. He was then well enough to go to his fosterers for a bit more 'tlc'.
His fosterers were amazed by how well he looked considering all he’d been through. He was a fantastic cat to look after, always ready to pop out of whichever bed he was resting in to come out for a chat. He loved to lie alongside the fosterers with his head on their knee discussing the issues of the day. 
After three or four weeks, a couple of vet check ups and his vaccinations he was all ready to go and was sent up to the Adoption Centre at Long Lane from where has now been rehomed.