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Press Office

6th November 2006

Meowch! - Drivers hit cats every 2 and a half minutes

Nine lives a myth as clocks go back

New figures released today by Petplan show a cat is run over on our roads every two and a half minutes. Drivers hit 630 cats every day which means nearly ¼ million felines fell victim to a road traffic accident I in 2005/6. The Petplan “Meowch” Research also indicates that kittens are most at risk with half of all the cats involved in RTA’s aged between 7 months and 2 years old II. Leading pet insurance provider Petplan is releasing the figures this week, as it predicts a peak following the clocks going back and Guy Fawkes Night and has produced a free guide for cat owners to help prevent and deal with cat RTA’s.

Bristol is pinpointed as the UK’s cat accident black spot. The city has the highest number of cat RTA's in the last 12 months III with London coming a close second as the most hazardous place for cats. Grimsby and Dundee are cat heaven having the lowest reported incidents in the last year.

Petplan’s research also found 35% of drivers admitted to either hitting or nearly missing a cat IV and three out of four drivers confessed to having no idea what to do if they were to hit a cat. Almost one in ten Brits felt the best course of action rather than seek professional help, was to stop and apply first aid themselves. While a meaner 13% would leave the cat for dead.

Simon Wheeler, Petplan’s Head of Marketing said: “Our “Meowch” research shows that RTA’s are a serious threat to cats. The luckier cats that do survive often suffer terrible injuries. Last year our most expensive claim came in at over £10,000 which illustrates just how crucial pet insurance is. It enables pet owners to make life saving decisions when tragedy strikes.”

Petplan paid out over £1million on RTA claims involving cats last year alone. The average vet bill for treatment of RTA’s is £500.

55% of drivers feel that cat owners should take further steps to look after their furry friends. 85% of people believe a reflective collar is a good preventative measure to make it safer for cats and drivers on the streets, whilst 64% say keep cats indoors at night.

Petplan’s free guide to cat care is available by calling 0800 316 0270 or visiting www.meowch.info. In addition, callers will be offered 30 days free insurance for their cats* to help protect against the unexpected.

Accident black spots

  • Bristol
  • London
  • Swindon
  • Leeds
  • Nottingham
  • Reading
  • Jersey
  • Manchester
  • Cheltenham
  • Glasgow

* Free pet insurance is available to cats aged between 8 weeks and 10 years old. Terms, conditions and excesses apply.

I The estimated figure is based on Petplan’s road accident claims multiplied by the remaining percentage of the UK cat population.

II Based on a study carried out by Universities Federation for Animal Welfare in 2004

III Based on claims to Petplan, the UK’s largest pet insurance provider. Set up 30 years ago, the company provides cover for some 690,000 animals in the UK

IV Tickbox surveyed 1123 UK adults in September 2006

Notes to Editors:

Petplan is the largest pet insurance provider in the world, offering comprehensive lifetime pet insurance cover for dogs, cats and rabbits. Established more than 30 years ago, it is part of Allianz Insurance, one of the largest general insurers in the UK.

For more information about Petplan cat insurance, please visit:
www.petplan.co.uk/factsheets/why-take-out-cat-insurance.asp

For more information about Petplan dog insurance, please visit:
www.petplan.co.uk/factsheets/why-take-out-dog-insurance.asp