Rise in cat theft – how to protect your cat
Research by Direct Line Pet Insurance[i] last summer revealed 261 cats were reported as stolen to UK police forces in 2016. According to the data, the number of cats reported stolen has jumped by 40 per cent since 2014 (186).
Less than a fifth (18 per cent) of cats reported stolen were recovered by police forces in 2016, representing a lower recovery rate than dogs (21 per cent).
They also found that 360,000 adults believe a cat was stolen from their care in the last 12 months, although more than half said the animals were returned after being found by someone or because of their microchips.
Bengals, domestic shorthairs, Russian blues and Siamese were among the most popular breeds to be snatched. Just like ‘designer dogs’ such as French Bulldogs are targets for thieves, pedigree kittens such as Bengals and Russian blues are now becoming targets because they can sell for upwards of £350 each.
How can you protect your cat from being lost or stolen? Here are some of our top tips:
Improve your home security
Keeping your home secure can go a long way to keeping your cat safe. Make sure all the back doors are locked and downstairs doors and windows are shut and locked when you go out. Also ensure the back of your house isn’t easily accessible.
Install motion triggered lighting and CCTV
For extra security motion triggered lighting and CCTV will not only help to keep your cat safe, but also your home, making it less likely you will be burgled. Often cats that are disturbed by burglars can run off as they are scared.
Cat proof your garden
Make it difficult for your cat to stray further than the back garden. This can be done using cat-proof fencing to fence off part or the entire garden.
Have your cat microchipped
Whilst microchipping isn’t compulsory for cats, as it is for dogs getting it done can make it easier for owners to be reunited with their cats if stolen or lost. Make sure you keep your details up-to-date with the microchipping company too.
Have your cat neutered
This can help prevent male cats wandering off in search of a mate and stop female cats becoming pregnant. It may also prevent them being stolen if someone knows they can’t be bred from.
Invest in a GPS collar
A GPS collar can be a great way to keep track of your cat, especially if it likes to roam. It can also be a good way to find your cat if taken, although if the thief realises what it is they may remove the collar.
Keep your cat indoors at night
Whilst this is traditionally cat hunting time, keeping your cat indoors overnight can help prevent them being taken.
Don’t leave your cat alone when you go on holiday
More people are using homesitters when they go away to look after their cats, preferring this to putting them in a cattery. Not only will your cat be looked after and be able to stay in their home environment, but your home will be occupied which can prevent burglaries.
More Homesitters stories on Katzenworld can be found here: