Affectionate Aggie recently came into our care at Stranraer & District Cats Protection. She suddenly appeared at the door of a country farm, and her friendliness suggested that she was not a feral or farm cat. After appeals on Facebook found no signs of an owner looking for their missing cat, we sadly concluded that she had more than likely been abandoned.
After bringing Aggie into our care, a thorough vet check revealed that this young cat was pregnant. She now has a selection of nest beds to check out in preparation for her kitten’s arrival in a safe environment.
This experience only fuels our calls for MSP’s to back the Cats Protection Manifesto for Cats. In Scotland, 23 per cent of households have at least one cat, which is an estimated cat population of approximately 900,000. Of those it’s estimated that 45 percent (approximately 400,000) of owned cats are not microchipped and that there are approximately 90,000 unneutered cats in Scotland*.
Cats Protection is calling for existing and prospective MSP’s to get behind the Manifesto for Cats: Scotland in order to ensure that one of the nation’s best loved pets is fully protected by policies and the law. Presently they are not and many of you will have had experience of this.
It’s 10-point manifesto calls for:
- Cat breeding: update the law to control the breeding and sale of cats to reduce the number of unwanted kittens and ensure good welfare.
- Microchipping: Make it compulsory to microchip owned cats in Scotland.
- Enforce and Monitor new air gun licensing laws to prevent injury or death to cats shot by such weapons. The Air gun licensing Act 2015 is set to come into force in 2016.
- Dangerous Dogs: review the effectiveness of Dog Control Notices as a way of preventing dog attacks on cats.
- Animal welfare education: include animal welfare in the Curriculum for Excellence, so that children learn about responsible care.
- Cats and Housing providers: ensure Scottish Government recognises the needs of people with cats and other pets in rented housing and care homes, to allow people to keep their pets.
- Care and wellbeing: ensure Scottish Government recognises the benefits cats and other companion animals bring to health and personal wellbeing.
- Labelling toxic products: clearly label flowers, plants and household products that are toxic to cats so cat owners know which to avoid.
- Banning snares: bring in an outright ban on snares on the basis they are inhumane and cruel and inflict suffering or death upon animals caught in them, including cats.
- Illegal Imports: create a national database to ensure that a central record is kept of all cats entering the UK legally so those entering illegally without a rabies vaccine can be identified without delay.
Delivery of this Manifesto for Cats would improve the lives of thousands of cats in Scotland, like Aggie, and help prevent them from harm.
What You Can Do:
- Read a summary of our Manifesto for Cats or read the full manifesto.
- Follow the #CatManifestoScotland hashtag on Twitter
- Call on your local candidates standing in May’s Holyrood election to do More for Scotland’s Animals – find out more
*PDSA Animal Wellbeing Report (PAW) 2015