Cat-Napping On The Rise In The United Kingdom

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
Newly released figures show that cat thievery is alive and well in the UK, with a rise of 40 percent in the number of stolen cats reported.

Cats are a part of our family, and when they are stolen, it’s a family member gone missing. In the United Kingdom, when dogs are stolen, police most always record the breed of missing dog, but that is not typically the case for when cats are reported stolen.

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Still, when they are recorded, it turns out that there are a few popular breeds that go missing more: Bengals (which are known to be pricey) and the regular old garden kitty, the Domestic Shorthair.

Officials say that the Bengal is most commonly the target of cat thievery, with the Domestic Shorthair and Russian Blue coming in right behind it as highly sought out felines. London, Kent, and West Yorkshire are the places that report the most thefts, and sadly, barely a fifth of stolen cats are recovered (compared to 21 percent of reported stolen dogs making their way home).

Direct Line Pet Insurance claims that in 2016, 261 cats were reported stolen in the UK, and this data shows a 40 percent increase compared to 186 stolen in 2014. Officials believe that the number is actually an underestimate of stolen cats as there are over 360,000 adults in the UK who believe they’ve had a cat stolen from their care in the last year. And, because cats are more ‘free spirits,’ often owners think their cats are missing when it, in fact, could have been stolen.

Bengals and Russian Blues, as well as Siamese kittens, can go for $600 or more and seem like easy money for would-be cat-nappers. Officials recommend that cat owners should contact the local animal control/warden as soon as they’ve checked with neighbors and neighboring vicinities to find their cat. If they can’t find them, it may not be because they’re lost but that they’ve been taken.

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They also recommend making sure your cat is microchipped and neutered, and putting this information on the cat’s collar may protect a would-be thief from thinking they were worth stealing. Sometimes, those ‘high-maintenance’ cats aren’t worth the trouble, and a little extra information on the tag may deter a thief.

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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