Cat-napping on the rise in the UK
Insurance technology expert Aquarium Software believes that micro-chipping of cats could lead to a better deal on pet insurance in the future, following news that cat thefts are on the rise. Recent research by Direct Line Pet Insurance indicates that 360,000 cats were stolen last year, despite only 261 cat thefts being recorded by the police, suggesting the problem is being overlooked by both owners and authorities alike. This comes in the wake of new legislation requiring all dogs to be chipped; cats are exempt from compulsory chipping, and more felines are being stolen than canines, often without any apparent consequence.
The number of microchipped cats is overshadowed by dogs, with two-fifths of cats currently not chipped. This is an oversight by owners, according to Aquarium: “Although some pet owners dislike the ‘big brother’ element to chipping their pets, the benefits of chipping an animal is nicely illustrated in the recent data. For example, of the 360,000 cats stolen last year it was said that more than half were returned after being found or because of microchips,” said Aquarium Director, Mark Colonnese.
“Microchipping pets also leads to the acquisition of invaluable Big Data, which will further aid insurers in their quest to offer fairer policy pricing to customers in the future. Indeed, a good pet owner who chips their cat could eventually be rewarded by cheaper pet insurance, as companies are provided with useful information about the pet’s and their parent’s behaviour,” Colonnese added.
A YouGov survey commissioned by Aquarium Software found that 69 per cent of people asked said their pets were just as important as their human counterparts; hence, it is fair to assume that pet owners would be extremely distressed when their feline goes missing, and would want to do everything to avoid that. “Microchipping is an important part of the mix when it comes to pet welfare and security, so we would like to see compulsory chipping extended to cats as well,” concluded Colonnese.