We don’t just have a moral responsibility to take care of our cats as owners, we also have to take good care of them by law in the UK.
There are a number of laws that protect our cats from cruelty and neglect. These make sure that every cat is given the chance to live a happy and healthy life.
As a cat owner, you will of course want to make sure that your cat is always happy and well looked after. But there are also laws in place to make sure that all animals are protected from harm and provided with everything they need.
By law, you are responsible for meeting your cat's needs:
Failing to meet your cat’s welfare needs can be seen as animal cruelty and neglect and you could be prosecuted for this. 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.
If you’re struggling to take care of your cat, it’s important to seek help as soon as possible so their needs can still be met. There may be lots of different reasons, such as financial or a change in circumstances, and you might even have to consider rehoming your cat if that is what’s best for them. You can find out more about what to do if you’re struggling to take care of your cat in our guide.