A cat charity has come up with an unusual new way for people to interact with the animals in its care - by installing a live webcam feed. Thanks to two new webcams, people will be able to go to the Cats Protection website and follow the antics of whichever cat is currently staying in one pen at the National Cat Adoption Centre. The pinhole cameras have been installed in the top and side of the pen at the charity's centre in Chelwood Gate, East Sussex. They will be on every day when staff on duty between 8.15 am and 4.45 pm so viewers can watch the mogs eat, play and sleep. Cats Protection's virtual homing manager Clare Kiernan said the charity hopes that by giving cat lovers an insight into the daily life of some of its cats, more people will choose to adopt through its branches or adoption centres. She said: "We're always looking for ways to tell people about the many wonderful cats we have in our care throughout the UK that need a new, loving home. "The webcams seemed like a brilliant idea to us, so people can see for themselves just how funny, charming and entertaining cats can be. "Whether you're taking a sneaky break from work to log on, or watching online with the kids, the live stream is endlessly entertaining. "From the high-energy mayhem created when the pen is occupied by a litter of kittens, to the calming and relaxing vibes from a resting older cat, we hope that by tuning in viewers will get a sense of what they're missing out on." Cats Protection is thought to be the first UK cat charity to install cameras in one of its centres. The idea is not completely new, though, as The Donkey Sanctuary in Devon and Edinburgh Zoo in Scotland also have similar cameras installed. Clare, who joined the charity last July, said the cameras will always be in the same pen but the cats people get to see will change as they find new homes. She also said the home plans to put in more cameras in the coming months. She said: "The cat on show will probably change every week or so as the cats go to their forever homes. "We hope to have some kittens in there soon - we did when we were trying this out and it was very entertaining. "We hope to scale it up and put cameras in other branches of the charity. "Some of them are quite remote so it would hopefully highlight the cats there more." All camera-ready cats are ready to go to a new home and first in the hot-seat is two-year-old Eric. He has been at the home for just under two weeks. Clare said: "We picked him to be first because he is a very affectionate cat. "His previous owners said he acts like a dog because of the way he follows people around. I don't think he will be here long."

NEW SURVEY SHOWS DOG AND CAT BREEDS MOST LIKELY TO DEVELOP DIABETES

West Highland terriers, followed by Labradors are the dog breeds most likely to get diabetes, according to new research by a leading British pet insurer.

British Shorthair and Burmese are the most likely cat breeds to develop the potentially life–threatening disease.

The findings follow a study of 9,000 pets insured by firm Animal Friends over the last five years.

The data showed a shocking explosion in the number of British pets being diagnosed with diabetes – a condition with impairs the body’s ability to process sugar.

Researchers found a staggering 900 per cent increase in diagnosed cases.

Animal Friends found a 1161 per cent increase in cases of cat diabetes claims since 2011 – that year the company received just 62 claims compared to 721 in 2015.

The data also shows cases in dogs have also seen an increase of 850 per cent in the same time span.

Diabetes in pets can often be managed successfully with insulin therapy and attention to diet and exercise.

But signs which could show a pet has diabetes is if they are hungry or thirsty a lot of the time along with an increase in producing urine.

The study found that the British Shorthair was the most diagnosed cat.

This breed was followed by the Burmese, Foreign Shorthair, Maine Coon and then the Abyssinian.

The most commonly diagnosed dog is the West Highland Terrier followed by the Labrador, King Charles Spaniel, Husky and Miniature Schnauzer.

It is not known whether the diagnoses are due to the genetics of the breed or lifestyles of the pets.

But the study revealed how in 2011 just 309 cats and dogs had been diagnosed with diabetes compared to a whopping 2,877 in 2015.

Last year the PDSA, the UK’s leading veterinary charity, released a report which estimated by 2020 obese animals would be more common than healthy ones.

The report also estimated that a quarter of a million dogs in the UK don’t get walked at all.

Along with the rates of diabetes rising in pets, the amount of humans living with the condition has almost quadrupled since 1980.

Westley Pearson, Director of Claims for Animal Friends said “With weight issues and diabetes on the rise amongst humans, we assumed we would find the same in people’s pets but the 900% rise we uncovered was shocking.

“It shows a clear gap in Brits knowledge regarding proper care of their pets.

“The fact that the increase is so much higher than in humans suggests that while people are beginning to think more about their health, their pets are being left on their old diet and exercise regimes.”

Westley went on to explain what to look out for if you’re concerned about your pets.

He said: “The most common symptoms of diabetes in animals are increases in drinking and urinating. A common overlooked symptom is weight loss.

“This is because the animal will often be overweight in the months leading up to a diagnosis so owners don’t see it as a problem when their pet finally starts losing the extra weight.”

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    • Associate news editor John kicked off his career in journalism when he was with news agency SWNS in its’ earliest days over 30 years ago. During this time he’s had the honor of working with some major newspaper titles including the Daily Express and The Sun, both as district and head office reporters.

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