Cat theft in the UK is becoming a soaring problem; a new study from pet insurance provider Direct Line has shown that cat theft has risen by a staggering 40% over the last three years.
In 2016, 261 cats were reported stolen from their homes. But researchers suggest the number of cat thefts might actually be much higher; as many as 360,000 cat owners believe their cats were stolen over the last year alone. And sadly, only 18% of the reported stolen cats were recovered and returned safely to their homes.
Since the police do not typically report information about breeds in these cases, researchers cannot be sure whether the breed of the cat is a leading reason behind the thefts. However, the available data does suggest that Bengal cats seem to be “the most sought after”, due to their impressive leopard-like markings.
Prit Powar, head of pet insurance at Direct Line, said that when cat owners leave the house, always make sure the pet is safely indoors and be aware of strangers in the neighbourhood.
Mr Powar added: “If an owner believes their cat is missing, they should first check the immediate vicinity such as in neighbouring gardens or garages as well as asking local people if they have seen it.”