The RSPCA has revealed that last year there were 134,537 calls coming through to its cruelty line – which is one call every four minutes.
This International Cat Day (August 8), the RSPCA is shining a light on the plight of cats and how we can help them.
According to RSPCA data, cats are one of the most neglected animals and the charity rescues more cats than any other animal, whether it’s moggies stuck in tight spots or cats that have been abandoned or abused.
Alice Potter, RSPCA’s cat welfare expert, said: “It’s sad to see that we have received so many calls about cats in need. Cats end up needing our help for a variety of reasons, for example their natural curiosity can mean they need rescuing when they get into scrapes and tricky situations. There are also some real issues that we see time and again including cats and kittens being abandoned, cats having unplanned and unwanted pregnancies due to a lack of neutering and multi-cat households where breeding has sadly become out of control.
“However, there are many cats who are much luckier and are very much a part of the family and loved by their owners who understand their likes and dislikes, their little quirks and routines. Every cat is an individual but there are some signs we can look out for to see how our cats are feeling through understanding their body language and behaviour to ensure they are happy and healthy.”
The RSPCA offer some tips for understanding cat behaviour:
- Cats who are feeling anxious or fearful often like to hide away – this can help them cope better. Always ensure your cat has lots of cosy places to hide around the house.
- A cat who is feeling friendly and happy to meet you will approach with their tail held upright with the tip of the tail curved. Most cats prefer to initiate any interaction so give them time to come to you.
- Rolling over onto their back and showing their tummy can be a sign your cat feels comfortable and safe around you. This is not however, an invitation to rub their belly. Most cats do not enjoy a belly rub and may act defensively. Instead, you may like to give them a gentle stroke on their head or cheeks.
- Look out for any changes in your cat’s usual behaviour, for example changes to their eating, toileting or sleeping habits – any change may indicate something isn’t right and you may need to seek advice from your vet.
Across the country, Greater London is a hotspot for calls about cats with the charity recording 17,550 calls last year.
This was followed by the West Midlands with 9,306, Greater Manchester with 7,300. In West Yorkshire there were 6,588 calls about cats and Kent completes the top five with 4,212 calls relating to cats in need.
RSPCA centres across the country are full of rescue cats and kittens looking for loving new homes. Anyone who would like to rehome an RSPCA cat, you can visit www.rspca.org.uk/findapet.