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RSPCA receives one call about cat welfare every four minutes
The RSPCA said it also rescues more cats than any other animal, whether they have got stuck in a tight spot or been abandoned, neglected or abused.
Figures released to mark International Cat Day 

The RSPCA has revealed its cruelty line receives one call every four minutes from members of the public who are concerned about cat welfare.

Greater London is a particular hotspot, with the charity recording 17,550 calls from the area last year. Following on from this is the West Midlands (9,306 calls), Greater Manchester (7,300), West Yorkshire (6,588) and Kent (4,212).

In total, the charity received 134,537 calls about cat welfare in 2018. The figures have been released to mark International Cat Day today (8 August).

The RSPCA said it also rescues more cats than any other animal, whether they have got stuck in a tight spot or been abandoned, neglected or abused.

In a bid to raise awareness of the plight of cats, RSPCA’s cat welfare expert Alice Potter said: “It’s sad to see that we have received so many calls about cats in need.

“Cats end up needing our help for a variety of reasons, for example their natural curiosity can mean they need rescuing when they get into scrapes and tricky situations. There are also some real issues that we see time and again including cats and kittens being abandoned, cats having unplanned and unwanted pregnancies due to a lack of neutering and multi-cat households where breeding has sadly become out of control.

“However, there are many cats who are much luckier and are very much a part of the family and loved by their owners who understand their likes and dislikes, their little quirks and routines. Every cat is an individual but there are some signs we can look out for to see how our cats are feeling through understanding their body language and behaviour to ensure they are happy and healthy.”

The charity has put together some top tips for cat owners:

  • Cats who are feeling anxious or fearful often like to hide away - this can help them cope better. Always ensure your cat has lots of cosy hiding places around the house.
  • A cat who is feeling friendly and happy to meet you will approach with their tail held upright with the tip of the tail curved. Most cats prefer to initiate any interaction so give them time to come to you.
  • Rolling over onto their back and showing their tummy can be a sign your cat feels comfortable and safe around you. This is not however, an invitation to rub their belly! Most cats do not enjoy a belly rub and may react defensively. Instead, you may like to give them a gentle stroke on their head or cheeks.
  • Look out for any changes in your cats usual behaviour, for example changes to their eating toileting or sleeping habits - any change may indicate that something isn’t right and you may need to seek advice from your vet.  

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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.