On Thursday I met Cats Protection in Holyrood to discuss the charity’s important work across Scotland to improve feline welfare such as rehoming, neutering, education, and their campaigning work.
Scotland is a nation of cat lovers, with 20% of households owning one, so their welfare is important to a huge number of my constituents.
We already have strong legislation in place to protect cat welfare and I was pleased to talk with Cats Protection’s Advocacy & Government Relations Officer for Scotland, Alice Palombo and vet Yvette Malone, about what more can be done.
The pandemic has likely had a role to play in changing ownership, with 7% of owners acquiring a cat directly due to COVID-19, so it is important to reinforce regulations to safeguard cat welfare in Scotland.
We talked about ways that politicians can help support Scotland’s 685,000 pet cats and their owners, including Cats Protection’s welfare Action Plan for Scotland which sets out the issues the charity is campaigning on.
I support calls for the SNP Government to introduce compulsory microchipping for pet cats, as I did for dogs, prior to compulsory microchipping in 2016. Currently around one in three cats in Scotland is not ‘chipped.
To find out more about the charity’s campaigning work, please visit www.cats.org.uk/speakingupforcats