Keep Him Fe-line Safe & Sound
March 2003 - Despite recent research showing that one-third of domestic felines are living in their second or third home, most cat owners would be horrified at the prospect of losing their furry friend.
Cats Protection, the UKís leading welfare charity, reunites approximately 5,000 lost cats a year with their owners. With almost 10% of calls to the charityís Helpline concerning lost and found cats, Cats Protection today issued a reminder about ways to keep felines safe in order to avoid unnecessary loss and suffering for both owner and pet.
Cats are treated as property by law. Should a legal dispute arise over a felineís ownership, the owner needs to prove that the cat is theirs in order to reclaim the pet.
Tips for keeping puss safe:
- Microchipping: A painless and safe method of permanently identifying a pet and provides simple proof of ownership. However, owners must ensure their contact details are kept up-to-date with the microchip registration body in order to maximise the chances of a cat being safely reunited with its owner.
- Neutering: A neutered feline is less likely to wander away from home for days on end. Neutering a cat also lessens the likelihood that it will be injured through fighting or a road traffic accident. A cat that stays close to home is more likely to stay safe and secure.
- Moving home: As a territorial animal, moving home is a very stressful experience for a cat. Keep puss in a secure room in both the old and the new home on the day of the move and do not allow him to venture outdoors for at least two to three weeks in your new home. Let the removal men know where your pets are and check the van prior to its departure to ensure no cats are trapped inside.
- Play time: A home and garden designed with pussís need for fun and play in mind will provide him or her with the stimulation needed to discourage him or her from visiting the neighbours. Keen gardeners are not always pleased to have cats on their property and, whilst most use humane deterrents to keep cats away, a minority can resort to cruel and dangerous practices.
- Taking care: If you have a regular feline visitor that is clearly not a stray, it is best not to encourage a Ďcat with two homesí situation. Try to avoid feeding someone elseís pet and, if possible, inform the owner of his or her catís visits.
- Missing: If your cat does go missing, check with all your local animal rescue centres to see if your pet has been taken into care or has been registered as found. Itís also a good idea to contact local vets and put notices up in your local area. Cats Protection Branches and Shelters keep cats in their care for at least two weeks before rehoming them in order to try to locate an owner.
Cats Protection publishes a range of informative leaflets on many aspects of cat care that are available free-of-charge from the charityís Helpline on 08702-099-099 (UK).