The UK’s leading feline welfare charity have launched a new campaign to encourage parents to keep their pets during pregnancy and beyond.
The #KidsandKitties campaign urges people not to give up their pets, following new findings that show round half of parents have concerns about cats and children.
Survey results reveal that 1 in 2 parents give up their pets because they were expecting a baby or had young children, with two thirds regretting the decision.
Through the campaign, Cats Protection will be offering a range of advice on cats and pregnancy, babies and children to help keep cats in the family.
Cats Protection ran the survey to find out what concerns parents have about keeping cats in the family, with the key findings revealing that less than a third (30%) of respondents sought advice regarding cat(s) and pregnancy/children.
Only half of respondents (54%) who owned a cat while expecting a child had concerns regarding their cat and their pregnancy. Whereas 49% of cat owners surveyed said they had concerns with the top two involving the cat(s) scratching/injuring their child (61%) and the cat climbing into the cot (50%) with the child.
The survey also revealed that nearly a third (31%) of expectant parents were told that they should give up their cat, with 67% getting that advice from friends or family.
Cats Protection are keen to dispel myths and help keeps cats in the family, as they receive hundreds of calls each year form people wanting to give up their cat for reasons related to children or babies.
Daniel Cummings, Cats Protection’s Behaviour Officer, said: “There seems to be a lot of conflicting advice out there about cats, pregnancy and children, so we’re keen to stress that you don’t need to give up your cat if you are pregnant or have young children.
“With just some simple considerations, cats and children may live in harmony together and this can bring huge benefits such as helping kids to learn responsibility and compassion for living things.”
The campaign is being supported by Emmerdale star and mum-of-two Samantha Giles. She said: “I am a huge supporter of the benefit of cats both to a calm, relaxed pregnancy and on children learning to care and look after an animal. I’d definitely encourage people not to give up their cats when they are pregnant because there are so many benefits to having a pet in the family.”
Cats protection are offering advice for cat-loving parents and expectant parents, which can be found at www.cats.org.uk/kids-and-kitties