Hero Cat

Cats that save the day.

Cleo - Photo credit Anna BranthwaiteCleo - WINNER!

Owned by Pauline and Richard Jenkins, of Chessington, Surrey

Pauline Jenkins knew something was wrong when the normally placid and laid-back Cleo started running up and down the stairs and behaving strangely. So when husband Richard complained of chest pains and Cleo clambered onto the bed to be next to him, she quickly dialled 999. Paramedics arrived and confirmed Richard had suffered a heart attack and needed emergency treatment.

Despite being wary of strangers, loyal Cleo, aged 15, refused to leave his side throughout and upon his return from hospital stayed with him around the clock until he was back on his feet.

Cleo was selected as the winner of the Hero Cat category by celebrity judge Carley Stenson, who said: “Cleo overcame her own fear of strangers to help her beloved owner. She saved his life. It was just that one factor that pushed it for me.”

Click here to read more about this year's category judges

Photo credit - Anna Branthwaite

Slinky Malinki - Photo credit Lee BradburneSlinky Malinki - Runner up

Owned by Janet Rawlinson, of Todmorden, West Yorkshire

When Janet Rawlinson spent five days slipping in and out of consciousness following a bad reaction to painkillers, two-year-old Slinky Malinki was the one to raise the alarm.

Janet, who suffers chronic back pain due to a neurological problem, had passed out after being prescribed morphine to manage her condition. Neighbours became concerned when they noticed the normally-aloof Slinky Malinki prowling up and down the fence and tapping at their window. Realising they hadn’t seen Janet for a few days, they went to investigate and called for medical help.

Photo credit - Lee Bradburne

Smudge - Photo credit - Lee BradbourneSmudge - Runner up

Owned by Sarah Fenton, of Thorne, South Yorkshire

Four-year-old Smudge became an unlikely bodyguard when he stepped in to chase off school bullies.

Mum Sarah Fenton was watching through the kitchen window as her two sons Ethan, 5, and Ashton, 3, played football in the front garden. The fun was shattered when a group of older boys approached and pushed Ethan to the ground.

Within seconds, family puss Smudge shot out from the bushes, hissed and jumped up at one of the bullies, prompting them to beat a hasty retreat.

Photo credit - Lee Bradburne