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6th December 2018

They’re calm under pressure, help reduce stress and always land on their feet – so discussing cats was a welcome distraction from the Brexit debate for politicians at Westminster yesterday.

Madison Rogers, Cats Protection's Advocacy & Government Relations Officer; James Yeates, Cats Protection's Chief Executive; and Justine Greening MPThey’re calm under pressure, help reduce stress and always land on their feet – so discussing cats was a welcome distraction from the Brexit debate for politicians at Westminster yesterday.

Sixty-five MPs and peers attended Cats Protection’s annual Christmas parliamentary reception, hosted on the charity’s behalf by Justine Greening MP.

As well as talking to politicians about the stress-busting benefits of cat ownership, the event was a chance to highlight Cats Protection’s campaigning work.

Politicians were able to find out more about the charity’s award-winning Purrfect Landlords campaign, aimed at encouraging more landlords to allow tenants to own cats. They also learned about the charity’s work in calling for compulsory microchipping of cats and the licensing of air guns in England and Wales to prevent cats being the victims of shootings.

Among those attending the event, sponsored by DMS, was David Rutley MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Food and Animal Welfare, in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Justine Greening MP said: “As a cat owner myself I know first-hand the joys of having a feline friend and I am delighted to support Cats Protection’s annual reception and vital work the charity does speaking up for all cats across the UK.”

Cats Protection is the UK’s leading cat charity, helping around 200,000 cats every year through a network of over 250 voluntary-run branches and 36 centres.

The charity’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations Jacqui Cuff said: “Cats are much-loved pets for millions of people in the UK, so we were pleased to welcome so many politicians who were keen to find out how we’re helping improve the lives of cats.

“The day was a great opportunity for us to highlight the problems faced by many renters who are unable to own cats due to ‘no pet’ policies. We were pleased that so many MPs wanted to find out more about the problem and how our Purrfect Landlords campaign is helping change the way cat ownership is viewed by landlords and letting agents. Cats make for happy tenants with 94% of private tenants with a cat saying that cat ownership has a positive impact on their lives.”

Research conducted by Cats Protection and the Mental Health Foundation, show 87% of people who owned a cat felt it had a positive impact on their wellbeing, while 76% said they could cope with everyday life much better thanks to the company of their feline friends. Half of the cat owners felt that their cat’s presence and companionship was most helpful, followed by a third of respondents describing stroking a cat as a calming and helpful activity.

To find out more about Cats Protection’s advocacy work, please visit www.cats.org.uk/speakingupforcats

Ends

For more information or a photo from the event, please contact Michaela at Adastra Media by email on michaela@adastramedia.co.uk or call 07740 305918.

Notes to Editors:

  1. Photo caption: Madison Rogers, Cats Protection's Advocacy & Government Relations Officer; James Yeates, Cats Protection's Chief Executive; and Justine Greening MP.
  2. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps around 200,000 cats each year through its national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 36 centres.
  3. Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.
  4. Cats Protection’s registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland).
  5. 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.
  6. More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk
  7. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size for the survey of private landlords was 985. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th - 27th January 2018. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of private landlords. The total sample size for the survey of private renters was 1378. Fieldwork was undertaken between 9th - 27th November 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of private renters in the UK (aged 16+).
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