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Heartbreaking New Statistics Show Shocking Rise in Cruelty to Cats

Heartbreaking statistics released by the RSPCA today have revealed a worrying rise in intentional harm to cats, with a staggering 25% increase in reports of cruelty last year alone. In 2022, around five cats every day were abused, amounting to a total of 1,726 cases reported to the charity.

These figures depict a grim reality for our feline companions, who are sadly the second most abused pets after dogs. The RSPCA’s “Cancel Out Cruelty” campaign aims to raise funds to support their frontline rescue teams in their ongoing battle against animal cruelty and abuse.

With an estimated 11 million pet cats in UK homes, cats have undeniably earned a place as beloved companions. However, their popularity has not shielded them from cruelty. The RSPCA has witnessed a distressing number of cats coming through their doors, each one bearing the scars of unimaginable cruelty. Tragically, many of these injuries are inflicted intentionally by their own owners, those who should be their protectors and caregivers.

Vulnerable to both known and unknown perpetrators, cats’ independent nature often finds them wandering outdoors alone, making them susceptible to attacks. Incidents of airgun attacks and other forms of cruelty perpetrated by strangers are a concerning and growing issue.


A Disturbing Case of Cruelty

Benny’s heartbreaking story epitomises the horrors faced by innocent felines. In a deliberate attack, boiling water was poured on him, causing excruciating pain and extensive scald wounds all over his body. Unable to walk on his affected feet, Benny endured unimaginable suffering for five days until he was rescued by the RSPCA. Veterinary staff fought tirelessly to save his life, conducting six surgeries and providing months of care before he could be rehomed.


Rising Reports of Cruelty

The RSPCA’s figures reveal a 22% increase in reports of beatings in 2022 compared to the previous year, with a staggering 9,658 incidents reported. August witnessed the highest peak in such cases, with an average of 35 beatings reported daily. Tragically, the number of animals killed in ‘suspicious circumstances’ also rose by 15%, with 891 cases reported in 2022. Astonishingly, beatings accounted for 77% of all cruelty complaints to the charity that year.

Dermot Murphy, RSPCA inspectorate commissioner, points to a potential link between the rising cases of animal cruelty and the post-pandemic world’s impact, including the cost-of-living crisis. The aftermath of the pandemic has created an animal welfare crisis, leaving many animals vulnerable to mistreatment. The summer months bring an even greater surge in cruelty reports, with an animal being beaten on average every hour of every day.


Supporting the RSPCA’s Fight Against Cruelty

As the sole charity in England and Wales dedicated to investigating and rescuing animals, the RSPCA needs our support. With the cost of rescuing animals at an all-time high and frontline services stretched to their limits, every contribution is crucial.

By supporting the “Cancel Out Cruelty” campaign, we can make a difference in the lives of suffering animals. Donations as little as £2 can help provide a meal for a cat or dog in their care, while larger contributions can aid in purchasing essential rescue equipment and supplies. Together, we can empower the RSPCA’s frontline teams to rescue animals in dire need, offering them a second chance at life and the love they truly deserve.

The RSPCA’s alarming statistics reveal the disturbing reality of animal cruelty faced by cats every day. As their guardians, it is our collective responsibility to stand against such atrocities and support organisations like the RSPCA in their efforts to protect and rescue these innocent animals. Only through unity and compassion can we hope to create a world where all pets can live free from cruelty and harm. To join the fight against animal cruelty and extend a helping hand to the RSPCA, visit www.rspca.org.uk/cruelty.