They're companions, confidants, comfort blankets and sometimes, cheeky little monkeys. And for many of us, we'd be utterly lost without our lovely cats.
But what happens if our cats suddenly find themselves without us? Whilst it's not always nice to think too far ahead, the Cats Protection is urging people to paws for thought and make provisions for beloved pets should you pass away.
Former BBC newsreader, Jan Leeming, who has her own much-loved kitty, Tamby, is now backing the campaign, encouraging cat owners to consider joining the Cat Guardians service. This is a free service aimed at giving peace of mind to cat owners concerned about what might happen if they were to pass away before their cat.
Through the Cat Guardians service, owners can make arrangements so that in the event of their death, the charity will take care of their cats until they find them a loving new home.
Cats Protection ambassador and broadcaster Jan Leeming said: “The older you get, the more important your pet becomes.
“Having a cat is a joy but also a huge responsibility. So it's great that we can now plan for our pets, on the understanding they will be looked after when we are gone.
“Tamby, my cat, is my companion and part of my family. He is an old boy of 16 but very special. It is crucial that I have the reassurance of knowing he would be looked after should I go first.”
New research has revealed more than three quarters of British cat owners make no plans for their beloved pet should they pass away. Of those surveyed who don’t have a plan in place, 40 per cent assumed a friend or family member will take care of the responsibility if they pass away.
But this assumption could land relatives or friends with an unexpected hefty bill, with one in ten (13 per cent) spending on average of £250 a year on their cat. And with the average number of cats per household being two, relatives could be forking out an additional £500 a year.
Becky Tichband, of Cats Protection’s Cat Guardians service, said: “Although it can be difficult to think about what will happen when we are gone, it is important to ensure that our cats will be looked after. It is great that many people feel they can rely on their friends and family to take their cat in but this isn’t always possible.
“With Cat Guardians, we offer an invaluable peace-of-mind service, which is entirely free of charge. If you pass away and have registered with our Cat Guardians service, then we will arrange to bring your cat or cats into the care of one of our nearby branches or adoption centres.
“Once there, Cats Protection will care for your cat for as long as it takes to find them a loving new home that matches their personality and needs.”
- To find out more about the Cat Guardians service or to leave a gift in your will to Cats Protection visit www.cats.org.uk
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