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Third of cat owners significantly impacted by rising costs
Fourteen per cent of cat owners remain seriously concerned about how they will meet their cat's needs in future.
Cats Protection reports an increase in cats relinquished for financial reasons.

The latest Cats and Their Stats (CATS) findings have revealed that 34 per cent of cat owners have been significantly and negatively affected by the cost of living crisis.

This year’s report, run by Cats Protection, also highlighted a 48 per cent increase in cats relinquished for financial reasons between January and May 2023, compared with the same period in 2022.

The cat welfare charity says that this year’s survey demonstrates the effect that increased living costs have had on cat owners, with the demographics suggesting younger, female and less affluent owners are being affected most often.

While seven per cent of respondents said that they had to reduce their spending on necessities such as cat food, over three per cent of cat owners are already relying on food banks to feed their pets. Twenty-five per cent of cat owners reported doubts about how they could pay veterinary fees if their cat needed treatment.

Fourteen per cent of cat owners remain seriously concerned about how they will meet their cat’s needs in the future. Thirteen per cent of respondents who had previously owned a cat, but no longer do, say that it was due to affordability.

This year’s results form part of an ongoing trend in financial worries, after the 2022 report revealed that 30 per cent of cat owners were concerned about how they would manage pet costs over the forthcoming year.

Cats Protection has voiced its concerns that these challenges could have a significant impact on cats finding permanent homes.

The cat welfare charity launched an online hub earlier this year, devised to provide support for owners struggling to care for a cat on a budget and access support. It also runs schemes to support low-income cat owners with microchipping and neutering, as well as running food banks with cat food.

John May, Cat Protection’s chief executive, said: “This year’s report data suggests that these concerns about the cost of living are having the tangible effect of preventing cats from entering or remaining within loving homes. And we’ve noticed in recent months that calls to our Contact Centre to give a cat up have increased while those wanting to adopt have gone down.”

“Understanding the current challenges that cat owners face and recognising trends early is crucial in helping us provide the most appropriate support.”

Image © Shutterstock

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VMG president joins House of Lords

News Story 1
 Miles Russell, president of the Veterinary Management Group (VMG), has been elected to the House of Lords as a crossbench hereditary peer.

He will join Lord Trees as a representative of the veterinary sector in the second chamber of the UK parliament.

Lord Russell said: "Those of us working in the animal health and veterinary sectors are only too aware of the importance of the work we do and the challenges we face.

"I will use my platform in the House of Lords to increase understanding of our sectors and to promote positive change." 

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News Shorts
Sixth case of bluetongue confirmed

A sixth case of bluetongue virus serotype 3 has been confirmed in the UK.

The case was detected in an animal on a premises linked to one of the farms within the Temporary Control Zone (TCZ) currently in place near Canterbury, Kent.

In response, the Animal and Plant Health Agency has extended the TCZ. Investigations into the spread of the disease are ongoing.

The cases in Kent come at a time when a new strain of the virus has spread rapidly across farms in the Netherlands. Both the Government and the British Veterinary Association have urged livestock keepers to remain vigilant.

Bluetongue is a notifiable disease and suspected cases must be reported immediately on 03000 200 301 in England or 03003 038 268 in Wales. In Scotland, possible cases should be reported to the local field services office.