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21st October 2020

The UK’s largest and most comprehensive report into cats and their owners has been launched today by leading feline welfare charity Cats Protection.

The CATS (Cats And Their Stats) report is based on over 10,000 interviews with cat lovers and offers a unique and unrivalled insight into our relationship with one of the UK’s most favourite pets. Among the statistics:

  • There are 10.2 million owned cats in the UK – one for every six people
  • Cat ownership is highest among 28 – 54 year olds dispelling myths of the elderly cat owner
  • 62 per cent of cat owners aged between 18 and 34 said their cats help to relieve stress and loneliness
  • Despite microchipping being a safe and permanent means of identification, around 2.6 million cats are not ‘chipped.

“The report celebrates the special relationship we have with felines, highlighting how cats /bring joy to our lives and how we can better understand and adjust to their complex needs and behaviours, says James Yeates, Cats Protection’s Chief Executive.

“We now have detailed data on cat welfare issues of concern such as the number of un-microchipped cats or the number of cats affected by air gun attacks – which will greatly help Cats Protection’s campaigning efforts and calls for positive action.

“We also spoke to non-cat owners who would like a cat but can’t have one so we can learn more about the barriers to cat ownership and how to overcome them.

“We now plan to publish a CATS report every year and use it across our rehoming, neutering, education and advocacy work so we can ultimately help many thousands of unwanted cats to find happy homes and live happy lives.”      

One cat owner who can attest to the positive difference that cats make is Josie Murrie, 23, from Canterbury.

“I’ve suffered with Bell’s palsy ever since I was 11. It usually adversely affects the facial muscles but at the age of 19 I had a serious episode which led to me being completely paralysed and confined to bed for weeks, says Josie.

“At around the same time I lost three family members including my dad, and it felt like my whole world was falling in. I come from a family that loves cats and my earliest memories are of being surrounded by a feline friend, so when I heard of some local kittens in need of a home, I could not wait to adopt them.

“It was the best decision I've ever made. My cats - Jones, Ripley and Noodle - are my world and they were by my side offering cuddles, play and strokes as I took the steps on my road to recovery.

“My family’s love of cats has also inspired me to run a total of 200Km during the month of October to raise funds for my local branch of Cats Protection.

“It’s really enjoyable to read the CATS Report because it highlights how pet cats aid our health and happiness. Hopefully it will persuade more people to adopt a cat.”

 

There is one CATS Report covering the UK as well as regional versions for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales (in English and Welsh). To view all of the reports please click here or visit www.cats.org.uk/stats

 

To support Josie Murrie’s fundraising for Cats Protection please click here or visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/thefattabby200k

 

Ends

Photos of the CATS report as well as James Yeates and Josie Murrie with their cats can be found here

For further information please contact Cats Protection’s Media Office on media.office@cats.org.uk or call 01825 741911

Notes to Editors:

1.The CATS report was compiled by Basis Research for Cats Protection. 10,000 cat owners and non-cat owners were interviewed online between 28 February and 5 April 2020.
2. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps around 200,000 cats each year through a national network of around 230 volunteer-run branches and 37 adoption centres.
3. Cats Protection’s registered charity number is 203644 (England and Wales) and SC037711 (Scotland). 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.
4. Visit www.cats.org.uk to learn more.

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