BROMSGROVE’S Blue Cross is calling on microchipping of cats to be made compulsory.
The calls come amidst today’s International Cat Day.
Shocking statistics show half the people in the West Midlands would not know what to do if they found a stray cat.
Almost a quarter of cats admitted to the pet charity in 2017 were brought in as strays but the charity believes most of them were actually owned pets, leaving hundreds of UK families grieving over a beloved missing pet.
Out of all the cats admitted for rehoming with Blue Cross in 2017 a staggering 80 per cent were not microchipped and for those admitted as a stray there was no way the charity could track down their owners and the pet charity had to find them a loving new home.
A survey commissioned by Blue Cross shows most of the UK, almost 80 per cent supports compulsory microchipping being extended to include cats.
Microchipping, compulsory by law with dogs, is a way of swiftly reuniting a missing pet with their owners – as long as the owner keeps their contact details for the chip up to date. Blue Cross is calling for microchipping of cats to become compulsory to reduce the number of strays they take in every year.
Neil Edwards, the Bromsgrove Blue Cross’ rehoming manager, said: “We know how heartbreaking it can be when a beloved family pet goes missing.
“If pets aren’t microchipped there is no way of reuniting them with their owner. During the summer months cats go out for longer and often wander further, leaving them at a higher risk of getting lost.
“We see a huge rise in the number of strays admitted during the summer months – a quester more compared to other months. Don’t risk losing your pet forever, make sure your cat is microchipped and your contact details are kept up to date. You can also reduce the chances of your cat straying by neutering them.”
Blue Cross has launched new advice at www.bluecross.org.uk/straycat and is offering a free paper collar to download and attach to a suspected stray to find out if they are actually owned.
“Cats will always come back to a reliable source of food so kind animal lovers believing a cat to be a stray and feeding it might actually be luring it away from home.
“We know of cases where they have even ended up keeping the cat themselves, leaving their loving owners at a devastating loss of not knowing what happened to their pet,” added Neil.
Almost a fifth of people surveyed in the West Midlands region said they had given food or water to a cat they believed to be a stray, while 11 per cent had actually taken the cat in as their own. Worryingly only eight per cent of people surveyed in the region said they had reported a cat they believed to be a stray to a pet charity or vet.
Blue Cross offers free microchipping at all of its rehoming or clinical sites. For more details of how to help a cat you think might be a stray or to find out more about microchipping your pet visit www.bluecross.org.uk/straycat