Cat Sanctuary

Fuzzy Bros

What can you do with a couple of British Shorthair and Longhair cats other than give them the very British names of Oscar and Winston?

Oscar and Winston when they arrived at the Sanctuary – skinny and shorn… (BC)

These two came into our care before Christmas. Both came to us having had a short haircut to help deal with a case of fleas, but their fur is growing again, and Winston will soon be the Longhair that originally came to us. They’re probably not purebred – they both have the pushed-in face of a Persian (Winston more than Oscar), but that may be accidental genetics, since the British Longhair is a mix of British Shorthair and Persian. The Persian element may explain the haircut – Persians usually need daily brushing to maintain their fur and discourage matting, and once they mat, all you can do it shave it out!

Oscar is serious, but no grouch…. (KN)

Initially these boys were surrendered to the Adoption Centre in 2022 when their owner passed away, and they were adopted out a month later. Sadly, Oscar started peeing outside the litter box, and with a new baby imminent, the family decided that they couldn’t deal with the problem, and the pair were returned to us. In fact, Oscar was probably in pain and avoiding the litterbox, where he felt the most pain. This is why the experts tell us to get the cat to the vet when there’s a pee-ing-outside-the-box problem – sometimes the reason is physical or situational, and not just the cat being “bad”.

Enjoying outside-cage time (MW)

Oscar has idiopathic cystitis. “Idiopathic” just means that we don’t know what causes the cystitis flare-up, but low-mineral prescription food will help to prevent formation of crystals or stones, which can increase inflammation. Since they came to us, both Winston and Oscar have been on a prescription diet, and seem to be doing really well.

Winston has amazing poofy feet (KN)

Oscar is the “blue” brother; he likes to come for petting, but he’s also one of those cats for whom petting leads to “I gotta eat!”, and he heads for the food bowl. Winston is the silver boy; he likes a little lap-time, but prefers to sit beside you to be petted. They’re around 9 years old, definitely a bonded pair, and we’re thankful that their former owners recognized the bond and didn’t try to split them up, returning both of them to our care. The two of them were caged in the Single-Wide office initially, but were then moved into one of larger Single-Wide cages, giving them much more room, and more human company.

… and is showing himself to be playful, now they’re out of the cage (MW)

These sweet boys are very people-friendly. Their breed is known for their easy-going, tolerant nature, stocky bodies and poofy feet! Though Winston is a “Longhair”, in fact the coat is only semi-longhair, but dense; he will need regular grooming to keep the part-Persian coat in good condition.

Winston’s original admission picture; we can see there’s still lots of hair to grow!

Our staff are now working out what will be best for them. They could probably manage on the regular cat food shared by the other Single-Wide cats, but the prescription food is more likely to prevent a recurrence of the cystitis. However, that means keeping them separated from the other cats. Currently they are having out-of-cage visiting time with the other cats, and we’ll see if the evening feed can be kept apart.

“Don’t look now, but she’s taking a picture…” (BC)

What they really need is a home with a cat-savvy owner who can feed them the special diet, and who knows to watch for the signs of trouble and react quickly. That may mean a fosterage situation, or a foster-to-adopt one. If you know anyone looking to bring some feline British aristocracy into their home, please contact our Shelter Manager!

Bonded brothers (BC)

Blog by Brigid Coult
Featured image: “Oscar & Winston” by Brigid Coult
Photos by Brigid Coult, Karen Nicholson, Michele Wright