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Find out more about our Westminster Manifesto, aiming to improve the life of cats

As one of the nation's favourite pets, cats have always held a special place in the home.

From young families to pensioners 25% of the population has at least one cat (that’s an estimated 11.1 million cats*). Cat owners benefit from the unique love and companionship cats bring.

Our Westminster agenda

In 2015, we launched our Manifesto for Cats at Westminster calling on the new Government to put in place measures to protect cats from abandonment, harm and neglect. After a three-month public consultation 93% of participants agreed with all of our 10 suggested manifesto priorities which are designed to benefit cats, owners and society as a whole.

Our Manifesto priorities include calls for tighter regulation of the licensing of air guns and banning the use of snares – both of which cause unimaginable pain and suffering, through injury and death, to cats on a daily basis. We're also calling for a review of the law governing the breeding and sale of kittens to drive out unscrupulous breeders and prevent the sale of kittens that are sick, diseased and under eight weeks of age.

In 2016, ahead of the devolved elections we launched our Manifesto for Cats for each of the devolved regions; Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

It's important that we keep cat welfare on the political agenda.

What is our Westminster Manifesto for cats?

Following our three-month public consultation, 93% of those who took part agreed with all of our suggested 10 manifesto priorities. These are:

  • 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 with this
  • 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 with this
  • 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 with this
  • 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 with this
  • 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 heartbreaking 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

What can I do?

Together we can help create a better world for cats.

Thank you for your help.

*PDSA Animal Wellbeing Report (PAW) 2015

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Banner photo credit - Photo by Ming Jun Tan on Unsplash

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