Cat Lovers Animal Welfare Society
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Cats have been homed
since January 2018

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Special Needs

Cruelty takes many forms - physical violence, emotional abuse and life-threatening neglect are daily realities for many cats but the most common of these are abandonment and neglect.

C.L.A.W.S. has always worked with the underprivileged members of the feline race, those that are ignored by other cat rescues because they are too old or ill or traumatised.

It was not until 2014 (and the events described on the home page) that caring for such animals became a significant part of its work.

Rehabilitating these cats demands great commitment, skill and patience, often over a long period of time.   It is challenging, frustrating and rewarding.
You can read some of their stories in this section.


"Ronnie’s much the same as when he came into care isn’t he?"   Well, no he’s not.

RONNIE was rescued from a supporter’s garden in the autumn of 2016.   She thought he was a feral but, although he was very frightened, it soon became obvious that he was an abandoned domestic that had been living rough for some time as he showed no aggression.
He is a beautiful ginger boy, about 6 years old, with a cast in one eye which gives him a somewhat quizzical look.

The first step in bringing a traumatised cat round is to talk to it.   Standing just inside its pen, so it doesn’t feel threatened, chattering about anything or  nothing or even reading a book, so it gets to know your voice.

At first he stayed behind his igloo, shaking with fear.   How did we know that ?    His whiskers were trembling !  Gradually he progressed to sitting in his igloo (cowering right at the back) and then he was brave enough to crouch by the side of it.

Then came the day when his carer went to feed him and he was sitting on the shelf at the front of his pen – but fled to the safety of his bedroom as soon as she approached.   Then he began to stay put when she went into his pen.   He has become devoted to her and when feeling very brave allows her to stroke his face.

Step by tiny step he is growing more confident now allowing another volunteer to go into his pen and,  rather running for his bedroom, goes behind his litter tray.  He no longer rushes away but walks quietly.

In the recent good weather he was fast asleep on the shelf at the front of his pen and didn’t stir when we walked past.   That really was a major step forward.
It is only by constant contact and close observation that these small improvements are noticed – it is so rewarding to see him beginning to relax and enjoy life.

We think that at heart he is a gentle giant that has been dealt some nasty knocks in his life and still needs lots more time, love and patience to recover his confidence and that is what he will get by staying with C.L.A.W.S.


The little family (mum and two kittens) that had been surviving in a garden in Slough were brought into care in the autumn of 2016.
Mum (named Belle) was only a youngster herself and the two kittens (named Oliver and Beth) were about 6 months old.

We are often asked ‘Why isn’t Oliver up for adoption – he is such a friendly little boy ‘ ?

And indeed he is.    He likes nothing better than cuddling up beside you and rolling over on his back to have his tummy tickled.   In fact, he is a real character entertaining us with his hilarious antics.   He is yet to grasp the fact that if he whacks Meg or Ruby they are likely to whack him back !   If this happens he crouches down, screws up his face and close his eyes !   ‘What have I done to deserve such treatment ‘ ?   But it isn’t long before he is off again seeing what new mischief he can get up to !

But there is another side to Oliver – his fear of noises.    And not necessarily loud ones – two stainless steel feeding dishes clattering together spook him, the raucous cry of the magpies gets him in a spin and the lawn mower sends him running to hide behind his bed.

Out in a garden he is bound to encounter such noises.   What would he do ?   Almost certainly run away from them – and then might not be able to find his way home.  We can’t take that chance.    And, of course, we wouldn’t want to separate him from Beth.

Beth is painfully shy.   She did progress to sitting on the shelf just outside her bedroom but something unnerved her and she retreated to her bed.

The recent move to the new enclosure along with Oliver, Meg and Ruby saw her taking up residence on the roof of the cat cabin (the higher a cat can get the safer it feels) only descending when all is quiet.   We did spot her once sitting in her litter tray (another comfort zone).

We are ‘ignoring her’ whilst keeping a watchful eye out.   We are hopeful that, given time, she will come to join the rest.   Her behaviour is a mirror image of Tina’s and look how well Tina is doing now.




Cassie, Joules and Violet are three of the 12 cats taken into care in 2014.

CASSIE and the Hooligans share an enclosure and are very happy together.   They can often be seen rubbing noses and grooming each other.   The boys (Paddy and Yogi) are particularly fond of their "auntie” Cassie.
Recently Joules and Violet were moved into the Golden Oldies pen with Dolly.   We held our breath – and waited.   When animals are transferred there is always at least one carer present – just in case !   But all went well – Violet did a complete circuit of the enclosure to accustom herself to the new surroundings whilst Joules stayed closer to the house.   She and Dolly actually rubbed noses !   

Joules and Violet then spent the afternoon sitting on the shelf watching what was going on in the field next door – there is always plenty of wild life to attract their attention – ducks, pheasants and voles to name but three.

The next morning they were up and about early and we saw Violet rolling on her back with her legs in the air playing with a cat nip mouse.    By far the most deeply traumatised of the 12 cats we took in in 2014 it was wonderful to see her relaxed and enjoying herself.

Paddy Yogi

Penny Pru
The Hooligans
PENNY, PRU, PADDY AND YOGI, a loving and tight-knit family group, (collectively and affectionately known as the Hooligans because they were so naughty when kittens) came to C.L.A.W.S. in the spring of 2015.  

They were then about 4 months old, had never been handled and were "climbing the walls” to escape their carers.    
Their rehabilitation has been a challenge but since they were transferred to the new enclosure early in 2017 they have come on in leaps and bounds and are now friendly youngsters that enjoy being made a fuss of.
Each morning they await the arrival of their carer with breakfast and ask for a stroke.   On cold or wet mornings Pru stays in her basket and has breakfast in bed (hence the epithet Princess !!)

They enjoy company and gather round their carer.   Yogi in particular is very friendly sitting beside her with his front legs over her knee.    This demonstration of affection is very touching but she is wise enough to know that it may have an ulterior motive.    By placing himself over her knee he is in a better position to search her pockets for – treats !!!   And, of course they are all given some.

Any attempt to constrain them and they revert to their wild ways so they would never adapt to a normal domestic environment.  And that is why they will stay with C.L.A.W.S.




MEG and RUBY, about 5 years old, were 2 of the 12 cats from the same household that came to C.L.A.W.S. in 2014.  They had had a tough start in life and were terrified of humans
Over the last 4 years a lot has changed.   With expert care and lots of love and patience, they have become affectionate, gentle girls that, although still shy, enjoy being made a fuss of.

In 2017 they were ready for adoption and their details were put on the C.L.A.W.S. web site when they had recurrent bouts of diarrhoea which a bland diet and a course of broad spectrum antibiotics failed to cure.

Their B12 levels were low so weekly injections of B12 were given for 6 weeks.   Although at first an improvement was noted it failed to solve the problem.  Further tests carried out by a specialist laboratory  pinpointed the cause as the Tritrichomanas intestinal parasite in their gut.

This is a highly contagious condition so the strictest standards of hygiene were put in place including barrier nursing and weekly visits to the vet were needed.  In all his years in practice their vet had only seen this parasite once before and that was in a dog ! They remained on a bland diet and were given a month long course of an anti-parasitic drug.

Constant vigilance was needed as sometimes this drug causes imbalance and in severe cases fits but as the girls were on a low dose these symptoms were unlikely.   This proved to be the case.  

They stayed on a bland diet for a further month after the tablets were finished and were then weaned back on to their normal food.    They were delighted as this meant they were allowed treats once again !

Because of the complex nature of this condition and the demanding nursing regimen needed to contain it, after careful consideration we have decided that they should remain with C.L.A.W.S.

Recently, along with Oliver and Beth, they have been transferred to the new enclosure.   They are enjoying the extra freedom and interests this gives them.   In particular they love running up the ramp on to the shelf to look into the field next door.   It is also a good place to snooze in the morning sun.



It was the autumn of 2014 and the days were getting shorter and the nights were getting colder when C.L.A.W.S. was asked to trap and take into care a cat and her kitten that had been sheltering under a hedge.

They were put in a room in the house to settle down and so they could be assessed.   They both made a beeline for the top of the cupboard but it wasn’t long before MINSTREL (mum) came down to look around.   Although wary and easily spooked it was obvious that she was used to people and was yet another abandoned domestic

TINA (her daughter) was terrified because she had never been handled.

Minstrel became frustrated at being confined indoors so her carer suggested that she and Tina be moved in with the Divas, a very friendly and laid back trio.   There was a empty cat cabin in their enclosure.

It was not an obvious combination but it has worked well.   Minstrel and Tina established themselves on the roof of their cat cabin so they could survey the scene.
Minstrel came down to explore and met the Divas.   All was well.   Tina remained on the roof only coming down to eat when it was quiet.

Gradually over the past 3 ½ years Minstrel has become more confident playing with the Divas and even joining them in their cabin for a snooze.      Tina is still very shy but spends much more time on the ground and has even been spotted playing with Lily (two black girls together).    She doesn’t run away as often when you approach her and on a very good day you can stroke her – just !

MINSTREL was very interested when the first residents were transferred to the recently completed new enclosure (just opposite the Divas residence) which meant more people were going to and fro which seems to have brought her out of herself still further.    Even Tina has been watching the new arrivals.

An unexpected benefit from the new enclosure !!.

TULA had had a wretched start in life.   She had been living rough trying to care for her kittens when,  little more than a kitten herself,  she was attacked by some dogs.

Eventually she was taken into care by another cat rescue but, sadly, her troubles weren’t yet over as the owner of the rescue had 5 dogs !     Her previous experience was indelibly etched on her mind so, as you can imagine, she was terrified.   She became more and more agitated and was unable to settle so she was transferred to C.L.A.W.S

It took a long time before we saw even the hint of her relaxing.   We use the same "method” with all cats coming into care, varying it slightly to more closely fit their needs.

For instance we spotted Tula playing with little ball so exploited her interests in toys to persuade her to interact with us.   We sat in her pen talking quietly to her and gently pulling a fishing rod toy across the floor.   She watched this for what seemed like weeks until one day she stretched out her paw and touched it !    Since then she has become more confident which has drawn her closer to her carer.

Currently her favourite toy has a silver stick at one end with a long piece of thread attached to it and at the other end a funky chicken.   The red thread fascinates her and she spends hours catching it as her carer pulls the chicken up and down.   It is particularly pleasing that she now plays with it on her own.    She also likes a fluffy  "tail” attached to a stick and clasps it in her paws whilst rolling on her back.   Wonderful !

She still enjoys her treats but it torn between whether to play with her toys first and have some treats !

Unlike Ronnie her progress has been, and remains, erratic.   Any attempt to touch her and she flinches and rushes into the corner of her pen.    What trauma has she suffered to make her re-act like that ? 

She needs peace, security and love so she will remain with C.L.A.W.S


Two "ferals” were placed at a stable to help control the rodent population.   They hadn’t been there long when the manager rang C.L.A.W.S. to say that one of them had dragged itself in that morning with half its tail missing.   It was in a very bad way but had disappeared before he could catch it.   Beverley loaded a trap into the van and went to the stable to set it.   Then all we could do was wait.

Her phone rang early next morning – it was the manager to say that the cat was in the trap.   Quickly ringing the vet to alert him that she was bringing in an emergency she hastened to the stable.

An initial examination showed that the tail had been caught in something and been torn away to free the cat.   It would have to be amputated.   She (for it was a tiny little female tabby weighing less than 2 kilos) was given pain relief and antibiotics and the operation was set for the next day.   The concern was that such an injury could have damaged the bladder and / or the bowel.     The operation went well and she was kept in hospital under observation.   Fortunately both her bladder and bowel were fine so she was released into C.L.A.W.S. care.

She was kept in a recovery cage to restrict her movements and so prevent any damage.   It soon became obvious that she was not a feral but yet another abandoned domestic.   She began to settle down and peered at us from the depths of her cosy igloo, wary but not frightened.

We called her ZIVA.

After a week or so she was transferred to a pen in the garden.   Soon she was taking an interest in the comings and goings and began to relax.    She was taken back for a check up and had put on weight (now over 2 kilos).
The manager of the stables agreed that she should stay with C.L.A.W.S.

A couple of months down the line and she is doing well.   Sometimes we are allowed to stroke her but other days she runs to hide.

Her carer noticed that she was trying to play with the tail of the cat in the next pen through the Perspex so we introduced her to a toy which was a long strip of rainbow coloured fabric attached to a stick.    She was too nervous to respond whilst her carer was in the pen.    Standing outside the pen and talking to her her carer started to run her fingers up and down the wire and to her delight felt a little paw tapping her finger.

It was only a few days later that there was a significant breakthrough.  She was waiting on her shelf to play pat a cake !!   Then her carer gently stroked a feather toy up and down the wires and she thought this was very interesting.   Her carer went into her pen and continued to run the feather toy along her shelf.   She was hooked !   She hung on to it and jumped down on to the floor.  It wasn't long before she had detached a feather.  But the best bit was that she let her carer hold the stick so she could chase the feather end.   At one point she rolled over on her back to play with it.   Just the very best - and she continued to play with it when she was left on her own.

Cat Lovers Animal Welfare Society
Registered Charity 1062244
PO Box 1646, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 3TL
Telephone 01189 341699