South Scotland MSP 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 June 16, 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’ document sets out the issues the charity is campaigning on, including a call on the Scottish Government to introduce compulsory microchipping for pet cats.

Mr Smyth, who is Scottish Labour’s animal welfare spokesperson, 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.”

Alice Palombo, Cats Protection’s advocacy and government relations officer for Scotland 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.”

Cats Protection has rehomed 2,500 cats in Scotland and helped neuter 10,500 cats.