Cat Owners in the UK Negatively Impacted by Rising Living Costs: Survey Reveals

The most comprehensive survey of cat owners in the UK has found that a third (34%) have been significantly and negatively impacted by the rise in living costs, with younger, female and less affluent owners particularly affected.

According to Cats Protection’s Cats and Their Stats Report 20231over 3% of cat owners rely on food banks to feed their pets and 14% seriously worry about how they will meet their cat’s needs in the future.

For many owners, the rising cost of living is a big concern, with 7% saying that they have already had to reduce their spending on necessities such as cat food and a quarter of owners (25%) having doubts about how they would pay vet bills if their cat became sick or injured.

The report also found that 13% of people who used to own a cat, but no longer do, say that it’s because they can’t afford it.

“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,” said Cats Protection’s Chief Executive John May. “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.”

This is the fourth year Cats Protection has conducted the CATS survey which takes a unique and unrivalled look at the relationship between people and their pet cats.

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

Earlier this year the charity launched an online hub to support owners in need with a raft of information including how to look after a cat on a budget and how to access help with costs.

In addition, Cats Protection runs schemes across the UK to help people on limited incomes with the cost of microchipping and neutering their pet cats as well as providing food banks with cat food.

Cats Protection’s work, including insights, is kindly supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who have been raising funds for the charity since 2018. Funds are awarded via Postcode Animal Trust.

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