We all know that cats are curious creatures, famous for getting themselves stuck in perilous places. New figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) in the UK support this: the charity receives more calls about cats in trouble than any other animal, and since the start of 2017, has been called to help 2,819 trapped cats.
An example of one such moggy who was rescued before using up all of her nine lives is Lola the kitten, who managed to wedge herself 8ft up a chimney. Lola was freed after a four-hour rescue operation between the RSPCA and Merseyside Fire Service.
The RSPCA’s cat welfare expert, Alice Potter, advises the following to try to reduce the number of cat rescues needed:
“Cats can fit into small spaces and like hiding and sleeping in warm quiet spots. This means it's important to always check that there are no cats in your garage, shed or conservatory before you lock it up.
“Likewise it’s important to be cautious with any bins or other places that cats might get in and become stuck.
Alice also gives advice on how to keep cats given outdoor access as safe as possible:
“Unfortunately we can't always be there to supervise our cats when they are out and about to make sure they are safe but there are some steps we can take.
“Make sure your cat is microchipped and registered with your current contact details. Remember if you've moved home or changed your phone number you will need to update your details.
“Microchipping your cat is the most reliable way to identify them and gives you the best chances of being reunited if they become lost. If you decide to put a collar and ID tag on your cat it's important to ensure the collar is correctly fitted and is a quick release type collar with a snap-safe buckle - other collars can get caught and cause nasty injuries.
“It can be helpful to have a consistent routine with your cat and to feed them their meals around the same time each day. This way your cat will know when to come home for food and can give you a chance to check in with them and make sure they are okay.”