Charity concerned over rise in 'click and collect' cats

Charity concerned over rise in 'click and collect' cats

More people are buying a cat on Facebook after falling in love with a photo or video.

The latest Cats and Their Stats (CATS) Report from Cats Protection reveals that 61% of cats purchased in the last 12 months were found online, compared with 58% in 2021 — and almost a quarter were found on Facebook, up from 16% last year.

Around 200,000 cats were bought on the platform in the last 12 months, even though Facebook now has a full-screen alert when people search on the platform for a kitten to buy.

Peter Shergold, head of field operations at Cats Protection, said the latest figures show a “worrying uplift” in the purchase of cats online.

“It may be tempting to buy cats or kittens through online listings, adverts, or social media, but you could be putting money in the pockets of unscrupulous breeders who don’t have cat welfare at heart,” Shergold explained.

“It’s very easy to be tricked by a cute photo but the animal may be in ill health or kept in poor conditions.

“Buying online or via social media encourages impulsivity — a few clicks and you could have a new cat within hours of purchase. We need to slow down and take the time to research, understand the long-term costs, and make sure we are fully prepared for all the commitments involved in cat ownership.”

Cats Protection has already seen a historic rise in the number of cats being relinquished and the charity is concerned that as the cost-of-living crisis escalates, even more families will have to give up their cat.

“New cat owners need to be more aware of financial commitments than ever before,” Shergold said.

“As many people can sadly attest to, having to relinquish a pet is a heart-breaking process and not a situation you want to find yourself in. So, before you rush to click and buy online, take your time, do lots of research, and consider the financial climate and how you will cover costs.”

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