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Charity urges people not to give kittens as Christmas presents

20 December 2014
Charity urges people not to give kittens as Christmas presents 16 December 2014

The UK’s leading feline welfare charity, Cats Protection, is urging people not to give cats or kittens as gifts this Christmas.

“While a kitten may appear to be the perfect present for a loved one at Christmas, pet ownership shouldn’t be taken lightly,” said Karen Thompson, Deputy Manager of Cats Protection’s National Cat Adoption Centre in Sussex.

“Kittens don’t stay kittens for long and, with cats often living into their late teens and over, a cat owner will need to provide for them, whether that’s food or vet bills, for the duration of their lifetime.

“So, while they do make wonderful additions to many homes, the decision to become a cat owner is a serious one, and you have to be sure that you can commit your time and money to your new feline friend.”

Cats Protection has between 5,000 and 6,000 cats in care across the UK at any time, some of which were given up due to a lack of time, lack of funds, and lack of thought when initially homing the unfortunate moggies.

The charity is also urging anyone considering adding a feline to their family to think carefully before welcoming a cat into their home during the holiday season.

Karen continued: “While Christmas is a time of fun, family and lots of wonderful memories, it may not be the ideal time to bring a cat home. Your home will likely be busy, full of strangers, and your new cat will find this experience quite alarming – making the transition to a new home much more stressful.

“We are urging people take a little time, and to not rush into the decision. If you still want a cat in the New Year, come in and meet one of the many cats in our care.”

For current cat owners preparing for Christmas, Cats Protection would like to remind them that unhealthy treats fed over Christmas are contributing to rising obesity in cats.

In 2012, a Cats Protection survey of 1,120 cat owners revealed that 8 per cent fed their cats a special Christmas dinner consisting of human food, 2 per cent fed their cats chocolate, 2 per cent fed their cats stuffing and 1 per cent fed Christmas pudding.

To treat four-legged family members over the holiday season, the charity recommends avoiding ‘human’ food, such as cheese, chocolate and crisps, and instead giving them a little boiled fish or boneless chicken – this will ensure they are eating food that is right for them, and won’t contribute to excessive weight gain.

For more cat care advice please visit www.cats.org.uk 

~ Ends ~

For further information or an interview, please contact Cats Protection’s Media Office on 01825 741 911, at
media.office@cats.org.uk or @CPMediaTeam on Twitter.

Notes to Editors

1. Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and helps over 194,000 cats each year through its national network of over 250 volunteer-run branches and 31 adoption centres.

2. Cats Protection’s vision is a world where every cat is treated with kindness and an understanding of its needs.

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 in all published material.

4. More information about the work of Cats Protection can be found at www.cats.org.uk