Cats Protection is the UK’s leading feline welfare charity and we are “Speaking up for cats”. As one of the nation's favourite pets, cats have a special place in the home. Almost one in four households (24 per cent) has at least one cat and benefits from the love and unique companionship cats bring. There’s an estimated UK pet cat population of 10.5 million*.
Following our three-month public consultation, 93 per cent of those who took part agreed with all of our suggested 10 manifesto priorities.
Breeding of cats for sale: updating the law to control the breeding and sale of cats to reduce the number of unwanted kittens. We recommend new regulations under the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to regulate the commercial breeding and sale of cats - 94.5% agreed.
Microchipping of cats: making it compulsory to microchip owned cats. We’d like to see regulations to introduce compulsory microchipping of owned cats. More needs to be done to raise awareness among cat owners of the benefits of microchipping as the safe and permanent way of identification to help reunite a lost or injured cat with its owner - 93% agreed.
Cats entering the UK: creating a national database to ensure that a central record is kept of all cats entering the UK legally so those entering illegally without a rabies vaccine can be identified without delay. We’d like to see Government guidance for local authorities, trading standards officers, welfare charities and other relevant bodies on procedures to follow if a cat is suspected of being an illegal import - 96% agreed.
Dog attacks on cats: creation of a new offence within legislation governing dangerous dogs where a dog that is out of control attacks, injures or kills a cat - 94% agreed.
Cats and the curriculum: inclusion of animal welfare in the national curriculum so that all children learn about responsible pet care and Government recognition of the preventative impact of teaching animal welfare to schoolchildren - 96% agreed.
Cats and housing providers: Government recognition of the needs of people with cats or other companion animals in rented housing and care homes to allow people to keep their pets and avoid heart-breaking separations of cats from their owners. We’d also like to see more local authorities, social housing associations and private landlords having pet friendly tenancy clauses - 96% agreed.
Cats and personal wellbeing: Government monitoring to ensure that assessments and personalised care plans include consideration of any companion animals that form part of the individual’s household and contribute to an individual’s wellbeing - 98% agreed.
Products toxic to cats: clear labelling of flowers, plants and household products that are toxic to cats so cat owners know which to avoid. We are seeking Government encouragement to manufacturers of toxic products to develop non-toxic alternatives - 97% agreed.
Cats and snares: an outright ban on the use of snares on the basis they are inhumane and cruel and inflict suffering, injury or death on cats and other animals caught in them - 99% agreed.
Cats, air guns and crossbows: much stricter regulation on the ownership of air guns and crossbows to prevent injury or death to cats shot by such weapons - 98% agreed.
*PDSA Issues in Focus. December 2014 www.pdsa.org.uk