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Cats In the News

Just because we call ourselves London Dog Forum, we would not like you to think we are 'catist' in any way, so News Ed, Nick Mays brings you 'Cats In the News'

Kitten George is crowned Prince of Battersea’s cattery

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Prince George                                                                                    George's brothers and sisters

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home has crowned a kitten named George the Prince of the rescue centre’s cattery after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge revealed George is the royal name of their new baby.

Staff at the world-renowned rescue centre named the eight week old black kitten and his six brothers and sisters with the bookie’s favourite royal names last week. The adorable litter - which visitors can meet at the charity’s Kitten Shower this Saturday - have gone from rags to riches after being found dumped in a bin in North London and brought to the Home by a member of the public.

News of George and his siblings, Victoria, Charlotte, Elizabeth, James, Grace and Alexandra, and the odds of their names being chosen by the royals, spread across the international news channels earlier this week as the world waited for Prince George Alexander Louis’ name to be revealed.

Lindsey Quinlan, Head of Battersea’s Cattery, said: “Everybody here is so delighted with the news of the royal baby, and thrilled one of our kittens has a direct connection with the future King of England. We take in hundreds of abandoned kittens, particularly around this time of year and we treat every single arrival like a Princess or Prince, but George does have something a little special about him now he has the royal seal of approval.”

The internationally-recognised charity has always had a royal connection. Queen Victoria was Battersea’s first Royal Patron, our current Monarch Her Majesty The Queen became the rescue centre’s Patron in 1956, and the Duchess of Cornwall opened the Home’s new cattery in 2010.

Feline fans wanting to meet and greet George and his royal court of fluff balls at Battersea’s London cattery and celebrate the royal baby’s arrival are cordially invited to the charity’s Kitten Shower on Saturday 27 July, running from 12pm to 4pm. There will be a chance to meet the Home’s tiny tots in a kitten crèche, take part in craft and quiz activities, and even name the Home’s future new arrivals at the free event.

Airline Puts UK at Risk of Rabies

An Airline that flew a cat into Cardiff Airport from Mexico has been fined £1,800 and ordered to pay £3000 for breaking the regulations for bringing cats into this country.

Not only was the plane unlicensed to carry animals but it landed at Cardiff which is not one of the designated ports for animal entry. 

The cat, Misha is owned by a Mexican family who are relocating to Cardiff.  By flouting the regulations KLM airlines could have been responsible for introducing rabies into the country. 

The cat was seized by the authorities and put into quarantine where vets are testing it for rabies.



A cat owner from Plymouth has been reunited with her cat, this National Microchipping Month, four months after he went missing, thanks to a microchip the size of a grain of rice.

Milo, owned by Siobhan Trelford, went missing on Valentine’s Day. As he was microchipped, Siobhan, who had recently moved, immediately contacted Petlog to alert the microchip database of his disappearance and update her contact information. It was this action that helped Siobhan and Milo to be reunited during National Microchipping Month, which takes place throughout June and is sponsored by Petlog.

Siobhan had recently moved to Plymouth and planned on keeping her two cats indoors for 4-6 weeks to allow them to become accustomed to their surroundings and so removed their collars. However, Milo escaped through a bathroom window when it was left slightly ajar, just four days after they had moved in. Distraught, Siobhan contacted Petlog, put up posters and enquired in the area but had no luck in finding him.

Three months after Milo had been missing he was taken in by an elderly lady who lived less than two miles away. Clearly hungry, Milo would steal food from her bird table. The lady took Milo in for several weeks, but due to an impending hospital stay, called the RSPCA for their help. A volunteer picked Milo up and took him to a vet where he was scanned and Petlog were able to provide Siobhan’s contact details.

Siobhan explains “The RSPCA volunteer called to say Milo had been found and that I had been traced through Petlog and his microchip. I was delighted, the volunteer was lovely, she even met me after work to reunite Milo and myself.

“It is wonderful to have Milo back, he is fitting back in perfectly, although his brother has had to get used to not being number one anymore. Milo is such an affectionate cat, I knew he would find someone, he loves snuggling and nudging up to people, although I wonder where he was for the first three months of his journey.

“Milo was very skinny when he first came home, but apart from that he seems very healthy and we are a very happy family again. If it was not for the microchip and Petlog, we may never have seen Milo again, I hope all pet owners will learn from our story, get their pet microchipped and make sure that they keep all of their contact details up to date with the microchip database.”

A survey by Petlog revealed that just over half of pets are microchipped and only around half of those owners of microchipped pets know that their contact details are up to date. This June is the 10th National Microchipping Month, and Petlog, the UK’s largest database for lost and found pets are encouraging people to get their pets microchipped and to check their contact details.

During June 2013 those with pets already registered with Petlog can upgrade to the Petlog Premium lifetime service for £7.50 (usually £10). Petlog Premium customers can amend contact details as many times as they like for the lifetime of their pet, as well as adding emergency, holiday contact details and benefitting from the lost pet alert. There will also be free and reduced price microchipping throughout the UK for National Microchipping Month, further more cat owners can download the ‘My Cat’ app on iPhone for free which helps owners look for their lost cats. Visit .

Battersea faces cat crisis after surge of feline residents
10 June 2013


Concerned staff at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home are urgently appealing to cat- lovers to rehome a rescue moggy this summer after a huge surge in feline residents has pushed the charity’s cattery to maximum capacity.

Battersea currently has more than 150 cats at its London centre and has taken around 2,600 calls from cat owners wanting to bring in their pet since the start of the year. A sudden surge in arrivals is believed to be caused by the rise in litters during the summer months when the warm weather stirs cats’ instincts to seek out a mate.

Lindsey Quinlan, Head of Cattery, said: “Our cattery currently has the highest number of cats we can ever remember having at one time. And in the first six months of the year we’ve taken 15 per cent more calls from people wanting to give up their cats than the same period last year. On any given month we could receive in the region of 500 calls from cat owners seeking our help.”

“We have rehomed a lot of kittens recently but a whole litter can be housed in one pen, which doesn’t help our space issue or aid our long stay residents in finding a new home. Summer is a perfect time to rehome a cat because, after the settling period inside, owners can introduce their new pet to the delights of the outside. Cats love to sunbathe, and laze in the sun ‘watching’ the birds, so what a great time of year to take a new cat home.”

Handsome two to three year old Malcolm, is one example of a perfect companion who is dreaming of a garden to sunbathe in. The white and black active boy was brought into Battersea in March as a stray, like 46 per cent of all cats brought to the rescue centre, and is looking for a second chance in a permanent home.

Visit for more information on rehoming a Battersea cat.

Battersea kittens give thumbs up to finding a new home
Thursday 6th June 2013


Niall                                                                             Brenda


Three feline residents at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home Brands Hatch will be making sure their extra thumbs help them in hitching a ride to a new home.

The five week old kittens, named Pudding, Brenda and Niall, arrived at Battersea Brands Hatch along with their mum when their owner fell ill and was unable to care for them. But staff in Battersea’s cattery soon noticed there was something different about this particular litter of kittens: that they had an extra digit on all four paws.

Cats normally have five toes on each paw but some cats, known as Polydactyl cats or mitten cats, are born with a genetic mutation that gives them extra toes. Debbie Coker works in the cattery at Battersea Brands Hatch and says: “We sometimes see cats coming in with an extra digit on one paw, but to get three kittens in a litter with extra toes on all four paws is quite unusual. They are very sweet kittens and will definitely get lots of attention.”

Six-toed kittens Pudding, Brenda and Niall are just some of the many cats at Battersea looking for new families. The Kent branch of the world famous animal charity took in around 320 cats in 2012, and the centre is bracing itself for its busiest time of year as ‘kitten season’ approaches.

Debbie Coker continues: “Cats tend to breed when it’s warmer so we see lots of kittens during the summer months. Sadly people aren’t getting their cats neutered and rescue centres like Battersea are left to pick up the pieces. Our three centres are currently inundated with unwanted cats and we are desperate for more homes.”

Pudding, Brenda and Niall will be ready for rehoming once they are nine weeks old. To find out more about adopting cats and dogs from Battersea Brands Hatch contact 01474 874994 or visit

A royal reunion – Diamond Jubilee cat reunited with mystified owner one year later at Battersea
3 June 2013

Joanna Whaley, son Stephan and Purvical

A cat that strayed from his Essex home during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations last June has been reunited with his baffled owner almost a year later at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.

Four year old tabby Purcival, who decided to mark Her Majesty’s 60th year on the throne by wandering off from his home in Hornchuch, was reunited with his stunned owner Joanna Whaley last month after being brought into the world-renowned animal charity as a stray.

Joanna – who had last seen Purcival on 3 June 2012 on the day of the Thames Diamond Jubilee River Pageant - received the unexpected call from the London rescue centre after Purcival’s microchip provided Battersea staff with her contact details.

Joanna said: “This is a miracle I never thought would happen. Although Purcival was microchipped and neutered, and we put up posters all-round the neighbourhood when he disappeared, I truly thought – after all this time – I’d lost him forever. Now, thanks to Battersea, we have him back where he belongs.

“He had never strayed before, and hopefully he’s learned his lesson now and will stay in the garden. Purcival’s happy ending also shows the value of getting your pet microchipped. He would have been lost forever without his chip!”

Purcival was brought to Battersea by a member of the public who found him wandering in Romford, just five miles from home. The independent traveller was given a full bill of health by Battersea vets before being reunited with a delighted Joanna and her young son Stephan, who was only a year old when their cat went missing.

Lindsey Quinlan, Head of Cattery, said: “We are thrilled we could reunite Joanna and Purcival at Battersea after all this time. The cattery cared for almost 1,200 stray cats in 2012, and 90 per cent of them weren’t microchipped, this makes it very difficult for Battersea to reunite them with their owners. A microchip, which only takes moments to painlessly insert, contains all the details needed to reunite cats and their families.”

Visit for help and advice on what to do if you have lost or found a pet.

Hitching a ride – the cat who took her own coach trip to Battersea Dogs and Cats Home


An anxious coach driver thought he was losing his marbles after an unexpected traveller stowed away on his bus for a ride to London. The thrill-seeking passenger turned out to be a heavily pregnant stray cat that was about to give birth and was, as luck would have it, headed in the right direction for receiving the care and attention she needed.

Westbus Coach Services Ltd. driver Graham Denning was driving his empty bus from Hounslow to Vauxhall last month when he developed the unnerving feeling a pair of bright green eyes were watching him. His suspicions of a freeloading passenger grew as he caught glimpses in his rear view mirror of a bushy tail shooting between the rows of seats. After coming to his senses he realised the tortoiseshell tail belonged to a cat, and steered his bus in the direction of nearby Battersea Dogs & Cats Home.

On arrival, staff at the world-renowned animal charity, which took in more than 2,500 cats last year, tried their best to coax the travelling tabby out from behind the dashboard but the cat was determined to stay in her new four-wheeler home.

Battersea’s Head of Intake Liz McWalter said: “Using the driver's tools we unscrewed the dashboard to find a dusty, bewildered and stressed cat. We called her Olive and just as she was settling in to the Cattery, Olive had another surprise up her sleeve for us. Within hours she'd given birth to four kittens. We’re so pleased her journey ended at Battersea so we could give her the care she needed. Unfortunately, she was not microchipped so her owner could not be traced.

“Olive is not the only animal to give birth at the home. So far this year, over 40 cats have been born at the animal charity’s three centres. Unfortunately two of Olive’s kittens didn't make it, but the two that did are healthy and Olive is coping well after her adventurous journey.”

Tim Miles, Westbus Coach Services Ltd. General Manager, said: "Our luxury coaches have carried many passengers over the years, from football players to film stars, but I think this is a first time we have had a cat decide to travel with us. The driver was in the centre of London when he discovered his feline friend, so she managed to take in some of the sites during the journey out to Battersea, from the comfort of our coach."

Liz McWalter added: “Olive and her two kittens are now on foster enjoying a rather more comfortable lifestyle until they are all ready to be rehomed. We’re urgently looking for people living within an hour of London to foster our cats and kittens so they can experience a normal living environment before being rehomed and we’d urge people to get in touch if they think they could help.”

Visit for more information on fostering or rehoming a cat from Battersea.

Battersea’s cat double acts scout for new owners
20th March 2013

Jasmine and Gemima

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home is seeking new owners for many feline friends that need a new home together.

Cats are regularly brought into Battersea’s three centres in pairs, and, as long as they are happy together, staff at the animal charity always try to rehome the couples together. The

Home receives around 120 calls on average each month from people wanting to bring in two or more cats. In January staff managed to rehome 20 pairs of cats together, before numbers fell to only 13 couples finding new homes last month.

Ros Davies, Cattery Rehomer at Battersea, said: “At the moment, we have an unusually high number of pairs needing to find new homes, and it does tend to take a little longer to rehome cats together. We suspect some people are concerned that two cats cost too much or take more work but a pair of cats can be wonderful pets for working couples as they have each other for entertainment during the day. People rehoming a pair will have twice the love and twice the fun.”

There are currently seven pairs of cats looking for new homes at Battersea’s London centre, and they account for a fifth of all the cats looking for new owners.

Pairs currently looking for a new home include inseparable mother and daughter Jasmine and Gemima, who were brought in by their owner who could not take care of them any longer, and have been wrapped in each other’s paws since joining the centre last month. The adorable six and seven year old duo have a very close mother and daughter bond, and would make a loving pair for a couple or family in a secure home.

If you are considering taking on a new cat, please contact Battersea Dogs & Cats Home on 020 7622 3626 or visit

No longer feline lonely - Londoners find love at Battersea's cattery
15 February 2013

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Stephanie Whittaker and Rome                                        Josh Ker and Karla Gouvea with Sophie

Love was in the air at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home last night, as Londoners flocked to the charity to rehome a cat at a special Valentines’ Day event.

With a special late-night opening until 8pm, the Feline Lonely event saw 10 cats find new homes. Operations Manager Lindsey Quinlan said: “On a normal day we rehome about seven cats from our London centre, so the event was a great success. It proves that Londoners really do love cats.”

About a fifth of people rehoming cats from Battersea are single, so the event was popular with those looking for an alternative to the traditional Valentines’ Day celebrations. Among those finding love was Stephanie Whittaker from Tooting, who adopted Rome the six month old cat. Rome will join Stephanie’s other cat Cal, and Stephanie explained: “I’m single so this was a really nice way to spend Valentines’ Day. Cats bring so much joy into your life, and Rome is going to be spoiled rotten and have a lovely life with me and Cal.”

The event matched people with their “purrfect” cat, and was very similar to the dating circuit, as both sides have their own profile, and Battersea’s Rehomers worked as matchmakers to ensure long-lasting relationships. Lindsey continued: “We believe our Rehomers are real matchmakers, as it takes considerable skill to pair a person with their perfect cat. We need to be sure they will have a long-lasting relationship and will both be happy.”

One cat who found their ideal match was 13 year old Sophie, who was rehomed by Karla Gouvea and Josh Ker from Chelsea. Karla said: “We cancelled our dinner plans to come to the event and it was a lovely way to spend Valentines’ Day.”

Mimi the nine month old cat also snapped up a new home, with Chloe Hamilton from Camberwell and her two housemates. Chloe explained: “We all ditched our boyfriends for the evening, and we definitely got the better end of the deal. Mimi is going to be the fourth housemate in our flat and when we get home we’re going to curl up with her on the sofa and watch the film Valentines’ Day.”

Battersea purrs with pleasure as a cat is added to the Monopoly game

Thursday 7 February 2013


Wayne the cat plays Monopoly

There were audible purrs of delight from the Battersea Dogs & Cats Home Cattery, as toy maker Hasbro announced that a cat is being added as a new Monopoly token.

The cat clawed its way to the top after Monopoly asked fans in 185 countries to decide which token should be added to the game. Securing 31% of the votes the cat was the first to pass ‘Go’ and collect £200, beating off stiff competition from the toy robot, guitar, helicopter and diamond ring. 

Battersea Dogs & Cats Home Operations Manager Philip Heron said: “It came as no surprise to us here at Battersea that the cat won the day. Everyone knows that cats always get the cream, and we’re sure this new token will become a firm family favourite. However you needn’t just settle for the silver token, and if you are looking for a purrfect Monopoly partner just visit our cattery, as we have plenty of cats looking for a loving new home.”

Among Battersea’s feline Monopoly fans is two year old Wayne, who is looking for a new home with his brother Bruce. The playful duo would love a home with an ardent Monopoly fan, although there may be heated debates over who plays with the cat token. 

As well as deciding which token would be added to the game, fans were asked to vote on which current token should be retired. Among them was the Scottie dog, and as ardent dog-lovers, Battersea launched a campaign to save the token. However the Home needn’t have feared, as the dog was a clear favourite, scooping 29% of the votes. While the wheelbarrow, racing car, shoe, thimble, top hat and battleship clearly had their supporters, it was the iron which fell victim to the cat’s success with a mere 8% of votes, and will now languish in jail as it is retired. 

Philip added: “This goes to show how integral dogs and cats are to families around the world, as none of us can imagine life, or boardgames, without them. We’re sure there will be plenty of squabbles among Monopoly players over who gets to play with these two prize tokens.”

Hasbro will replace the iron with the new cat token on the Monopoly production lines immediately, and feline fans will be able to start playing the new game in mid to late 2013.

Lauren Laverne adopts two kittens from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home
Posted - 18 January 2012

Lauren and kittens - Ginger, Jasper & Black Whisper

Radio DJ Lauren Laverne has rehomed two kittens from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, after they were born under a building and abandoned by their mother when they were just one day old.

The pair were part of a litter of eight who were found alone in a derelict building near the world famous animal charity, after staff heard their desperate cries. The new-born kittens were all in a bad way suffering from severe hypothermia, and one had already lost its life. The remaining kittens were rushed to Battersea’s veterinary clinic where they were given emergency treatment.

Now nine weeks old, kittens Jasper and Whisper have been hand-reared by Battersea’s team, initially being fed every two hours. They have spent the last few weeks living in a foster home with five dogs and an older cat, where they proved to be very friendly and confident. They were the last of the litter in need of new homes, and will be joining BBC Radio 6 Music presenter Lauren and her family in Muswell Hill, London.

Lauren explains that the whole family is excited about the new arrivals. She says: “All of us are real animal lovers and the kittens will be our first family pets. We can’t wait to get them settled in.”

Lauren contacted Battersea after making an appeal on Twitter to her 214,000 followers to help her find a kitten, and she was soon inundated with suggestions to visit the charity. She says: “We are really proud to have adopted Jasper and Whisper. I believe visiting an animal rescue home like Battersea is the right thing to do when you’re getting a new pet, as there are so many animals in need of homes. I feel really lucky to have found the kittens, and we’ll make sure they have fantastic lives, with lots of strokes and attention.”

Battersea has hundreds of cats of all ages looking for new homes across its three centres in London, Old Windsor and Brands Hatch. To find out more about the charity’s feline residents, visit

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