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Cats purr their way into the hearts of UK families

Cats across the UK are purring with pleasure after new survey findings from Cats Protection have placed them at the heart of the modern family.

Cats Protection’s Cats and the Family Survey 2007 quizzed cat owners on all aspects of pet ownership and revealed that many owners invest a great deal of time and effort in their relationship with their cat. It even showed that owning a cat was important enough for many people to consider changing their jobs, their houses or even their partners!

The survey, which was commissioned as part of the charity’s 80th Birthday celebrations, attracted over 500 responses and has the backing of celebrity TV vets Dr Scott Miller and Joe Inglis.

The results showed that more than half of respondents (64%) said that they spent over six hours a day with their pet while over two thirds admitted confiding their problems in their cat. Furthermore, a massive 76% said that their cat understood their moods.

In terms of the sacrifices cat owners would make to keep their pet, over half said they would give up a holiday while a third of male owners and almost half of all female owners said they would move house. What’s more, 28% of men and 40% of women said they would even change their partner in order to keep their cat!

Leading health psychologist Dr June McNicholas, who conducted the survey, explained: “Cats love you for what you are, despite any shortcomings you may feel about yourself - that’s why people are so willing to spend time with, and make sacrifices for, their cats. Having a loving family cat is high on many people’s lifestyle choices and, in my opinion, is a choice that will ultimately help their health and happiness.”

Peter Hepburn, Chief Executive of Cats Protection said: “Cats are currently the UK’s most popular pet and the survey findings clearly demonstrate that cats are part of the family.

This shows enormous progress since 1927, the year the charity was formed, when the true value of cats was hardly understood. However, the fact remains that we have over 7,000 cats in our care at any time across the UK all looking for new homes so I do hope people will consider adopting a cat.”

For more information about the work of Cats Protection, please call the charity’s helpline on 08702 099 099 or email helpline@cats.org.uk