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Cat stress poorly understood by owners
cat being cuddled
Research finds owners struggle to identify and deal with cat stress.
More than half of owners cuddle their stressed cat, research finds

Causes of feline stress are poorly understood by the UK's cat owners, according to new research by Cats Protection.

A survey of 1,300 owners found more than half (53 per cent) would deal with their cat's stress by giving it a cuddle.

The findings come ahead of a BBC Two Horizon documentary, in which Cats Protection took part. Titled Cat Watch 2014: The New Horizon Experiment, the series tracks the lifestyles of 100 cats. It is due to begin on Tuesday, October 7.

Other key findings were:
  • More than half (55 per cent) of owners were unaware that living with another cat or dog could be stressful for their cat.
  • Over a third (35 per cent) allowed neighbouring cats into the house, through a door, window or their cat's own cat flap. Half of the owners did not realise that other cats entering the home could be a source of stress.
  • More than half (51 per cent) did not realise soiling or wetting in the house is a sign of stress.
  • Just a quarter of respondents knew that excessive grooming of a particular area indicates stress.

The charity's behaviour manager Nicky Trevorrow said: "Being held or stroked for too long can be very stressful for some cats. Space and peace is often what they need - they’re not small furry humans so what would comfort us won’t necessarily comfort them.

"Owners love their animals and want them to be happy,” said Nicky.  “But our research has highlighted a lack of understanding of stress triggers for cats and how to deal with them."

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Avian flu outbreak at RSPB Minsmere

News Story 1
 RSPB Minsmere nature reserve in Suffolk has confirmed an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza on its site. The coastal nature reserve has seen an increase in dead birds recently, and has said that it is 'extremely concerned' about the potential impacts on bird populations, with 2021 and 2022 seeing the largest ever outbreak in the UK.

In a statement, RSPB said: "We appreciate that it is distressing, for both visitors and staff, to see dead or dying birds at our site but we ask that if visitors see any dead or unwell birds, they do not touch or go near them and that they report it to us at our Visitor Centre during its opening hours, or by emailing us on minsmere@rspb.org.uk outside of these times."  

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Moredun Foundation Award opens for applications

The 2022-2023 Moredun Foundation Award (MFA) is now open for members, with up to £2,000 available for successful applicants.

The MFA honours the contribution that education, teamwork, life experience, and travel have made to the understanding of cattle health and welfare. Through its charitable endeavours, Moredun offers its members the opportunity to pursue projects that support personal development.

The prize is open to a wide range of project applications, including those that include producing educational tools, conducting a small research project, or studying farming methods in other nations. For more information and to apply, visit moredun.org.uk