Hi, I'm Alfie
And 'I don't want to talk about that I'm still a male cat'
Of not too many words
I was loved
But then my loved ones moved
And I was kicked out onto the streets
So I've lived rough,
You know, really rough....
Been in fights (but proud of my scars)
Been out in the cold, the rain, the snow
But I'm tough
Oh and stiff
Yep, all this surviving over the last 10 years left me with a bit of arthritis,
mostly in my back legs
Found out recently, a pill covered up by good grub can make it bearable
That and a soft warm place to sleep
Love a lap
And a bed
And being stroked and gently brushed
Then I give head butts, love bites, soft purrs
and hair, got lots of that to share still
My time out there gave me a thick furry coat
Don't need it now, don't really want to go outside anymore
Just want to be near grown up people that care
For me
Only me really
And I'll be there for you
All of my loving me, for all of the loving you
And thank you


PS sorry I mumble, but after my last visit to the vet I woke up with fewer teeth than when I came in. Thank goodness I am also without tooth ache now.
My name is Tom and I live with my foster mum right now. I am very quiet and nervous, I can't talk about what happened to me but it's made me nervous of people. I sometimes hiss because I am scared but I never scratch. I hide behind sofas and under beds. When I let my foster mum stroke and fuss me, I actually enjoyed it but it will take a long time to trust a human again. I need a quiet home and a patient human Mum and Dad who will gently and slowly coax me out of my shell.
Our low cost neutering scheme is open to people on low incomes, particularly pensioners and those in receipt of benefit who would not otherwise be able to afford to have their cat neutered.

If you live in and around the Reading, Maidenhead, Henley-on-Thames or Wokingham area and think that you might qualify for financial help, or if you know of someone who might do so, please contact us on 0118 9472855. The scheme is very straightforward and arrangements can be made very easily. Read more about our scheme
Cats often go missing, but in many cases return home after a few days of adventure. If you cat is missing there are a few things you can do to help try and find them:
  • Microchip your cat and remember to keep your contact details up to date if you move
  • Check thoroughly around your property in case your cat has got stuck or is hiding
  • Let your neighbours know your cat is missing and ask them to check sheds, garages, outbuildings etc
  • Post a photo and short description of your cat on local lost & found Facebook and social media groups
  • Put a photo of your cat and your contact details on a poster or flyer and display in your area
  • Look for them at night when it is quieter and you might be able to hear mewing
  • Ring the local vets in case they have had a cat handed into them
  • Register your lost pet with TVAW - either by ringing Jenny on 0118 947 2855 or Anna on 07474 545457
The mother's purr is crucial to survival as kittens are born deaf and blind, but are able to feel vibrations. It is the vibrations of the mother's purr that leads the kittens to her body for nursing and warmth. At the age of 2 weeks kittens start to purr and this starts the communication with their mother and siblings. It is a means of letting their mother know that all is well, she in turn purrs to let her kittens know that she is also content and relaxed. Kittens press and flex their paws, which is known as kneading, to stimulate milk flow and they typically purr at the same time. This behaviour is often carried on into their adult lives, and is associated with them feeling safe and content.

Cats however purr for a variety of reasons and not all of them mean contentment. They may use purring for self-soothing, when they are nervous, unsure, sick, in pain (such as when in labour) or even when close to death. Although the true cause in unknown, it is believed that it may be a means of calming themselves or even promoting healing.

Scientists have known for a while now that vibrations at specific frequency levels can promote healing. Remarkably, a cat's purr vibrates at this level, so it could be that purring during resting is a form of physical therapy to keep the cat's bones strong and promote healing. Amazing!
TVAW fosterer, Chris: A terrified Albert arrived in my cat house last November, after being noticed living rough for around 4 months. He was a large, unneutered, ginger tom and despite his rather shabby, dejected appearance it was obvious that underneath was a magnificent pussy cat.

Albert spent a few days anxiously hiding, but soon settled into the cat house and appeared exhausted and relieved to be somewhere warm and safe where food (which he ate with great gusto) and company (he loved being brushed and fussed) appeared at regular intervals. However, it soon became apparent that he was in some pain and at his check up the vets confirmed that his mouth and teeth were in a very poor state and some serious dental work was required.

During his first operation, he was neutered, some teeth were taken out and a large growth was also removed from his mouth which was a result of his poor health. It was decided that he should also be tested for FIV which sadly proved to be positive. More surgery however was required to remove further teeth and throughout all these visits, examinations and check-ups, Albert behaved impeccably. The vets and nurses who came in contact with him thought he was adorable.

Three successful operations later and thanks to the care and expertise of the amazing staff at Henley Veterinary Centre, Albert has only a few precious teeth left, but is pain free and in good health! Albert's appetite is still amazing and although a bit of a messy eater, he still loves his food! As cats with FIV can be difficult to home, I was delighted when Jeanette came to meet him with her daughter Lucy, and decided he was the one for them. I am grateful that they have been able to offer him an inside home with the love and care he deserves.

Jeanette and Lucy were so patient waiting for Albert to be given a clean bill of health and while he was recuperating they visited him and Lucy even sent him a card and presents through the post! There are some cats that have a very special place in my heart, and Albert is one of them. I wish him a long and happy life with Jeannette and Lucy.

Albert's new owner, Lucy aged 11:

In April 2017, our old cat Charlie died. He was black and white and he gave lovely hugs and he was very old; we had looked after him since I was 6 months (I am 11 years old now). We were so sad after he died and it took a while to get used to not having a cat in the house. It was sad not having a friendly feline there when you come home from work or school. We looked everywhere for cats but nowhere had cats that were right for us. We must have an indoor cat as we don't have any garden for it to mark its territory in. Every time we thought we found a cat it either wasn't right or available. I missed having cat hugs so much and we nearly went a whole year without one!

One day we were talking to our friends and telling them that we still couldn't find a cat. They suggested a local animal charity called Thames Valley Animal Welfare. So, we phoned up and arranged to visit a white and ginger cat called Albert. We had a look at him on the website and he was so cute and adorable. When we visited him, he was the most chilled and friendly cat I had ever seen! He was so soft and cuddly; he seemed

to like us. Chris explained everything he went through about living rough and having lots of surgery on his teeth and we felt so sorry for him! He was a lovely cat and we decided he was the cat for us. We waited a couple of weeks for him as he had to have some surgery on his teeth but we visited him lots in his little cat house (he also received lots of presents from us!).

Now that he was a lot better and on the road to recovery, we rehomed him and realised he was worth the wait. He was a little nervous at first and he hid under the bed for a few days as he was in a new environment but afterwards he came out of his shell and was the most playful and delightful cat! He loves his scratching post and enjoys playing with his big box of toys! He also likes being stroked and curls up with us on the sofa; he even sits on our chests whilst we are in bed!

Everyone that visits him says he is the most beautiful and relaxed cat! He pokes his tongue out a lot and it is so cute. He is our little ginger boy and we love him to bits. Thank you TVAW for rehoming us with such an amazing, beautiful cat!

Microchips are implantable computer chips that are encoded with a unique id number which can be read when scanned by a vet or an animal rescue charity. They are roughly the size of a grain of rice placed under a cat's skin. They do not irritate the cat and unlike a disc on a collar they are not going to fall off.

Cats do roam and often adopt friendly neighbours (particularly the well-meaning ones who provide some tasty food!), often these neighbours will make some checks with a charity such as TVAW whether the cat has been reported lost.

We were recently informed about a stray cat in the Reading area which had for some time been fed by a kind lady and she wondered whether we could check whether the cat was microchipped. One of our volunteers went out to scan the cat and found he was registered to a family in Reading. We have access to the microchip companies' database and were able to contact the owners even though they were away holiday at the time. They were overjoyed to hear that we had found their beloved 'Dash' and amazed as he had been missing for 18 months! Shirley, one of our fosterers looked after him until the owners returned from their holiday. We have since heard he is doing very well and happy to be home!

At TVAW will never re-home a cat without first scanning for a microchip and making every effort to reunite the cat with its owner. There are some breeds of cat that are vulnerable to being stolen. Vets will also scan the cat whenever a cat is treated. If the microchip records do not match up with the details of the person who has taken the cat to the surgery, then the vets will make enquiries like we do.

The cost of microchipping is not expensive and we certainly believe the benefits merit the expense. You can update the information details registered with the microchip company and if you forget which company you registered with, then a quick scan will allow you to identify the database. You will also have the option to use the microchip as a means to operate a microchip sensitive cat flap which is very useful should you be prone to visits by other local cats - they may be eating your cat's food, or they may be bullies!

We hope this highlights the importance and benefit of having your pets microchipped and encourage everyone to do so.