Colin Smyth MSP
Colin Smyth MSP

South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s Animal Welfare spokesperson Colin Smyth joined Cats Protection at a parliamentary reception in Holyrood to discuss the charity’s work across Scotland to improve feline welfare, which includes through rehoming, neutering, education, and their campaigning work.

The event, on 16 June, was held to highlight ways that politicians can help support Scotland’s 685,000 pet cats and their owners.

Cats Protection’s ‘The Time is Meow: A cat welfare Action Plan for Scotland’ sets out the issues the charity is campaigning on, which includes calling on the Scottish Government to introduce compulsory microchipping for pet cats.

Colin Smyth said: “I really welcomed the opportunity to meet with Cats Protection in the Scottish Parliament last week to discuss their amazing work to improve feline welfare.

“I completely support the charity’s action plan and will continue to push the Scottish Government on these important issues, especially the compulsory microchipping of pet cats.

“It is compulsory for pet dogs to be microchipped, so the rules should be the same for cats. It would safeguard welfare and promote responsible ownership.”

Cats Protection’s Advocacy & Government Relations Officer for Scotland Alice Palombo said: “It was wonderful to welcome so many MSPs who were keen to find out how they can support cats and the people who care about them.

“Scotland is a nation of cat lovers, with 20 per cent of households owning one, so their welfare is important to a huge number of people. While Scotland already has some strong legislation in place to protect cats, there is always more that can be done. We were pleased to discuss our priorities with so many MSPs as part of our work to help cats in Scotland.”

Cats Protection, the UK’s leading feline welfare charity, has a Scottish network of 24 volunteer-run branches, four adoption centres, and nine charity shops which also offer advice on cat care. In 2021, the charity rehomed 2,500 cats in Scotland and helped neuter 10,500 cats and microchip 1,600 cats.

To find out more about the charity’s campaigning work, please visit

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