Cats are protected from harm by law, and owners have a duty to meet their needs. If these needs aren’t being met, then by law this could be seen as cruelty and neglect.
As owners, it’s our job to make sure our cats are happy and healthy at all times. If there’s something wrong with our cat then we need to work towards making it better, be this a change in the home environment or a visit to the vet for a checkup.
Whether you own a cat or not, if you see another cat suffering from cruelty and neglect you should take steps to help the cat in need.
If an owner is failing to meet any one of these needs, it could be seen as animal cruelty. This law applies to feral cats too. So, if anyone prevents a feral cat from being able to meet their five welfare needs, they could be prosecuted.
While Cats Protection is the UK’s leading cat welfare charity, we are primarily a rescue and rehoming organisation and do not carry out private prosecutions.
Animal cruelty is not acceptable and is a criminal offence. Cats Protection was heavily involved in the campaign to raise sentences for cruelty. In 2021 the maximum penalty for cruelty offences (causing unnecessary suffering) was raised from six months to five years and/or an unlimited fine.