A cat who has been missing for three years has finally been reunited with his family after being taken in as a stray by Cats Protection.
Nine-year-old Freddo disappeared in March 2017 after moving to a new home in Baillieston, Glasgow, with owners Nicola and Gary McGrattan, and their son Dominic.
Despite months of searching with posters and posts on social media, no trace was found. But because Freddo was microchipped, the family continued to hope that one day he might be found.
And three years later, the delighted family got the call they’d been hoping for after Freddo was handed in as a stray to Cats Protection’s Glasgow Adoption Centre. As with all strays, Freddo had been scanned for a microchip at the centre, making it quick and easy to trace his owners.
Nicola, who now lives with her family in Uddington, South Lanarkshire, said: “I was absolutely over the moon to get the call to say Freddo was safe and well and that we could go and collect him. He’s a lovely, affectionate cat and we had missed him terribly when he went missing.
“We searched and searched for him, but we had no sightings whatsoever. We just hoped he’d found somewhere nice to live and nothing awful had happened to him.
“A couple of years after he went missing, we left Baillieston and returned to live in Uddington, but because Freddo was microchipped we still had hope that one day he may be found. Apparently, he had been living near a care home, not far from the house where we’d been living in Baillieston, but someone had been concerned about him so handed him into Cats Protection.
“We’re so happy to have Freddo back, he’s a joy to have around. It’s great to have him back where he belongs, and he seems just as happy to be home at last.”
The happy reunion comes as Cats Protection renews calls for a change in the law to ensure that all owned cats, like dogs, are microchipped.
Microchipping is a safe, permanent and cost-effective method of identification which ensures cats can be reunited with their owner should they go missing. It means lost cats are not mistaken as strays and taken in by rehoming charities.
Jacqui Cuff, Cats Protection’s Head of Advocacy & Government Relations said: “It’s always lovely to hear of stories where cats have been reunited with their owners, but most of these happy endings are only possible if a cat has been microchipped.
“Microchipping is an essential part of responsible pet ownership, and is already compulsory for dogs in Scotland and the rest of the UK. This should now be extended to ensure all owned cats are microchipped, giving them the same level of protection to keep them safe.”
Cat lovers can back Cats Protection’s campaign for compulsory microchipping of owned cats by signing its petition at www.cats.org.uk/microchippingpetition
Cats Protection is the UK’s largest cat charity, helping around 200,000 cats every year through a network of around 230 volunteer-run branches and 37 centres.
To find out more about the charity, please visit www.cats.org.uk