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24th September 2019

A survey released today from Cats Protection shows how the household moggy has evolved to become an essential part of the family, and this especially rings true for 63-old year-old Ian Turner from Llandudno.

Ian and his cat SpikeIan suffers from a complex medical condition affecting both his physical and mental health but says his cat Spike keeps him going through times of despair.

Diagnosed with idiopathic intracranial hypertension – a condition that has similar symptoms to a brain tumour, including debilitating headaches - it sometimes leaves Ian feeling suicidal.

Throughout his worst moments, however, Spike is there to offer a supportive purr.

“There is no cure for this condition – you just keep getting through each day the best you can and Spike is a huge help with that.

“When moments come along when I think I can’t do this anymore, Spike seems to know and is there to comfort me. He will climb on my shoulder and look into my eyes as if to tell me he’s here and check I’m ok.”

Cats Protection conducted research as part of its More Than Just a Cat campaign, which highlights the many ways cats enhance and enrich people’s lives. It showed that 93.5% of cat owners think that owning a cat has a positive effect on their mental wellbeing¹.

Ian was initially reluctant to get a pet but since his partner Anna-Marie introduced him to cat ownership, he’s never looked back.

The couple previously owned a ginger cat called Mr Chips, who won the Purina Better Together Category of Cats Protection’s National Cat Awards in 2014 for the support he gave Ian throughout his illness and numerous operations.

The couple sadly lost Mr Chips three years ago but Spike, who himself suffers from cerebellar hyperplasia which means he’s a little wobbly on his feet, has since taken over this important role.

“You get so much back when you open your heart and home to a cat. I don’t know what I’d do without Spike in my life. He’s always there when I need him, brightening my day.

“Spike is more than just a cat, he’s my motivation to keep going when times are tough.”

To get involved with the campaign, visit www.cats.org.uk/my-cat-is or Cat Protection’s social media pages (Cats Protection on Facebook and @CatsProtection on Twitter and Instagram) and use the hashtag #MoreThanJustACat.

To see cats in need of homes in your area visit www.cats.org.uk/find-a-cat

~ Ends ~

For further information, photos or an interview please contact Cats Protection’s Media Office by emailing on 01825 741 911 or email media.office@cats.org.uk

¹The survey of 2,000 cat owners was conducted for Cats Protection by 3 Gem Research and Insights during August 2019

Notes to Editors:

  1. Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an under-standing of its needs
  2. Cats Protection’s registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland).
  3. Founded as the Cats Protection League in 1927, the charity adopted the name Cats Protection in 1998. We ask that you use the name Cats Protection when referring to the charity in all published material.
  4. More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk
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