Sadly there are many cats being stolen in the UK. The majority of the cats stolen tend to be pedigree cats. These are easy to sell on and are often moved across the country.
Many pedigree cats are picked up and used as breeding cats if they have not been neutered. It is so important that if you have cats that they are neutered before letting them outside. If buying from a breeder always check out if they are registered and check the reputation of the breeder. Most breeders will have have both parents on site.
Ideally pedigree cats should be kept as house cats, to prevent them from being taken. If your pedigree cat is being allowed outside it is advisable to use a tracker collar. This will allow you to monitor your cats movements.
The most common breeds that are stolen are Bengals, British short haired and Maine coons. Often these cats are stolen to order, and can be sold for quick financial gain.
Young cats and kittens are often targeted as they can be sold on quickly.
Some cats are stolen in order to hold that cat until the owner offers some kind of reward and then the cat is cashed in!
Is it illegal to steal a cat?
The answer is yes, a cat is classed as property. If you know that someone has stolen your cat you can report this with the police. However often when reporting a stolen cat it is not followed up, make sure you push to get the police to act on the theft.
As we are in a money crisis time, stealing a cat and selling it on can be a quick way of getting some money. Cat theft is becoming more common.
Are vets doing enough to check for microchips?
I believe if more microchips are checked when the cat is taken to the vets I believe many more cats will be reunited with their owners. People maybe sold a cat but not realise that the cat has been stolen and sold on. I do believe it should be compulsory to check every microchip details at every visit at the vets, as by law both dogs and cats should be chipped.
What to do if you think you have bought a stolen cat
If you believe that you have bought a stolen or even if you think there is a chance then contact the microchipping company or report to your local RSPCA or rescue centre who will be able to advise what to do.
If you are being offered a pedigree cat without papers or at a reduced rate and you believe the cat may have be stolen please report to police.
Do try and keep your cats as safe as possible, make sure your cats are chipped. Trackers can be fitted to their collars, this will give you their location when outside.