Almost a quarter of catsadmitted to Blue Cross in 2017 were brought in as strays but the charity believes most of them were actually owned pets and hundreds of UK families are now grieving over a beloved missing pet.
Blue Cross is calling for microchipping of cats to become compulsory to reduce the number of strays they take in every year. Microchipping, compulsory by law with dogs, is a way of swiftly reuniting a missing pet with their owners – as long as the owner keeps their contact details for the chip up to date.
A survey commissioned by the charity shows most of the UK agree, with almost 80%supporting a change in legislation to protect the nation’s cats.
Out of all the cats admitted for rehoming with Blue Cross in 2017, 80% were not microchipped and for those admitted as a stray there was no way the charity could track down their owners and the pet charity had to find them a new home.
The survey also reveals that around two million cats in the UK are at risk of being lost to their owners forever, with almost a quarter (24%) of owners admitting that their pet is not microchipped.
Karina Grimwade, rehoming manager at Blue Cross, said: “We know how heartbreaking it can be when a beloved family pet goes missing. If pets aren’t microchipped there is no way of reuniting them with their owner. During the summer months cats go out for longer and often wander further, leaving them at a higher risk of getting lost.
“We see a huge rise in the number of strays admitted during the summer months – almost two-thirds more compared to winter. Don’t risk losing your pet forever, make sure your cat is microchipped and your contact details are kept up to date. You can also reduce the chances of your cat straying by neutering them.”