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Simon's Cat creator picks up some feline facts from Cats Protection

17 November 2014

17 November 2014

The award-winning creator of the acclaimed Simon's Cat animations and books got some tips from real-life moggies when he visited Cats Protection's National Cat Adoption Centre in Sussex.

Simon Tofield spent a day meeting cats and staff at the centre in Lewes Road, Chelwood Gate, as part of research for his upcoming animated short film Off to the Vet.
Since first appearing online in 2008, Simon's Cat has attracted a worldwide fan-base with a series of short cartoons and books charting the antics of its title character.

Off to the Vet is a special 11 minute episode and the first Simon’s Cat film to be produced in colour. Due for release in 2015, the film will focus on the much-loved moggy's hilarious attempts to avoid a dreaded trip to the vet.

Simon said: “We know cats can be pretty cunning when they don't want to do something, so I was interested to talk to Cats Protection about their experiences and find out what owners can do to minimise stress surrounding a visit to the vets. It was very funny to hear some stories about how cats had tried to outwit them! All the same, it’s sad to see so many lovely cats in need of a home, especially as they have so much fun and companionship to offer.”

Simon will be posting a video about his trip to Cats Protection on the Simon’s Cat YouTube Channel later in November.

Chatting to Simon were the centre’s vet Emily Billings and Behaviour Manager Nicky Trevorrow, whilst unwanted puss Yoda (pictured), who was brought to the centre with his companion Padme two weeks ago, muscled in on the action and took part in the filming.

Nicky said: “It was lovely to meet Simon and we’re grateful he took the time to find out a vet’s perspective. Taking a cat to the vet for check-ups and vaccinations is an essential part of protecting a pet, but all too often it can become stressful for both owner and cat.”

For owners struggling to get their cat to the vet, Cats Protection offers the following advice:
• Ensure positive experiences when kittens are young. Get kittens used to having their body examined by gently touching their ears and looking at their teeth, much like they will experience at the vet.
• Make a cat’s carrier feel like a safe space. Choose a sturdy basket so there is no risk of escape, add a blanket which smells of home and consider using a synthetic pheromone spray such as Feliway® which can have a beneficial effect in calming cats
• Have a prompt, stress-free journey. Take an old towel to cover the cat basket while ensuring that the basket still gets sufficient ventilation.
• Take care in the waiting room. Cats prefer to be up on high rather than being on the floor, so place the cat basket on a table or on your lap, and try to sit away from dogs if there isn’t a separate waiting room.

For further advice, please visit www.cats.org.uk where there is a leaflet entitled ‘Your and Your Vet’. To find out more about cats at the National Cat Adoption Centre that are in need of a new home, including Yoda and Padme, please call the centre on 01825 741 330.