A mature cat who has been in foster care for more than 310 days has prompted a Bedford charity to appeal for new owners understanding of her needs.
Poppy, who has an ear for classical music, has been looked after by volunteers at Cats Protection’s Bedford and Biggleswade Branch since coming into care.
But the affectionate tortie has been passed over due to behavioural issues, which are thought to be temporary.
Claire Route, Poppy’s Cats Protection fosterer, said:
“She came in to care as a stray and went to a fosterer in a busy garden with other foster pens. When she started to display toileting issues, which could have been a sign of stress, we thought she would be more suited with me where there is only one other pen.”
Since the move, 10-year-old Poppy has improved somewhat and will use a litter tray to urinate, but she is still having some issues making full use of a tray.
“After she’s been she’ll scoop out some litter to cover her mess and then fold over the pad, making a little parcel, mimicking the behaviour she would have displayed when she was a stray.
“When she’s in a new home where she is the only pet and feels comfortable, we believe this behaviour should become less of an issue. It will take patience but there isn’t reason why she couldn’t be trained to use a tray every time.”
Poppy is on a daily tablet for raised blood pressure, but vets have ruled out any outstanding medical condition.
Cats Protection’s behaviour team has been working to resolve Poppy’s issues and can advise her new owners on how best to continue to improve her behaviour.
Volunteers are appealing for a quiet adult-only home away from busy roads, with access to a garden. Claire said:
“Poppy will need an understanding owner who can give her time to settle in. She will need to start in a quiet room with a regularly cleaned litter tray and puppy pads on the floor as far away as possible from her food and water to help break her toileting cycle.
“She should also have access to a high spot where she can keep an eye on her surroundings, as well as a suitable place to hide and sleep. She’s a playful girl, so a scratching post and a few cat toys would help her relax. Less stress and space to be herself is what this girl needs.”
Poppy recently found her own way to destress; listening to classical music:
“She enjoyed listening to Classic FM over the weekend, which made her feel less scared of the fireworks. I’m not sure where her musical taste comes from as it’s not my usual preference but it definitely seemed to work a treat for Poppy. She’s a very affectionate girl and she really loved to sit on my lap and enjoyed a good fuss.”
Poppy is a loving cat who likes attention:
“She is always so pleased to see us and does a funny little walk on the spot with her back legs, wiggling her tail and chirping.
“She is young at heart and will often have a mad five minutes running around in her pen, which is lovely to see. She loves to bat her feeding balls around her pen and likes to play with string toys and catnip mice. Otherwise, she’s more than happy to sit on the shelf in the sun and watch the world go by. She really is a lovely cat with a lot of love to share.”