New figures reveal 1,072 cat cruelty reports made to RSPCA in Wales last year

THE RSPCA has released figures as part of its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign.

Heartbreaking figures released today by the RSPCA as part of its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign have revealed 1,072 cat cruelty complaints were made in Wales last year.

Across England and Wales, there were almost 18,000 cat cruelty complaints* reported to the RSPCA in 2022. Of those reports 1,726 were intentional harm incidents** – which is around five a day. This is a 25% increase from 2021 when the number was 1,387.

In Wales there were 89 reports of intentional harm incidents involving cats out of 1,072 cat cruelty calls. Sadly 600 calls were concerning neglect.

The charity has released the heartbreaking figures as part of its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, in a bid to raise funds to help its frontline rescue teams continue to save animals from cruelty and abuse.

It comes during a busy time for the animal welfare charity which sees cruelty peak in the summer with three reports made every single minute.

The cost-of-living crisis is also thought to be a contributing factor to an increase in deliberate harm to animals at a time when the cost of rescuing animals is at an all-time high and the RSPCA’s vital services are stretched to the limit.

Dr Sam Gaines, head of the RSPCA’s companion animal department, said: “Cats are one of the most popular pets in the UK with an estimated 11 million pet cats in UK homes but our figures suggest sadly they are the second most abused pet – after dogs.

“It is heart-breaking to think that five cats every day are suffering at the hands of humans – it really is appalling – but sadly the RSPCA knows all too well that this cruelty is carried out on a regular basis.

“We see hundreds of felines come through our doors every year who have been subjected to unimaginable cruelty – being beaten, burned, thrown around, had bones broken, been shot at, poisoned and drowned.

“In many cases these pets have been injured deliberately by their owners – the very people who are supposed to love and protect them. But cats are also more vulnerable as they tend to be out and about on their own which can leave them vulnerable to airgun attacks and other forms of cruelty by complete strangers.”

Elaine Spence, one of the three chief inspectors in Wales, said: “Right now, animal cruelty is happening across Wales on a massive scale and rising. It is heartbreaking that we are seeing such sad figures which show animal cruelty is, very sadly, on the rise.

“While we don’t know for certain why there has been an increase, the cost of living crisis and the post-pandemic world we live in has created an animal welfare crisis.

“Each year, these reports reach its terrible annual peak in the summer months – when an animal is beaten on average every hour of every day. The cost-of-living crisis also means the cost of rescuing animals is at an all-time high and our vital services are stretched to the limit.”


“Together, we believe we can and will cancel out cruelty to animals by replacing violence with kindness. We are urging people to donate to our Cancel Out Cruelty campaign,every donation will help animals.”

In 2021, there were 66 calls from Wales that concerned cat abandonment. At RSPCA Bryn-y-Maen Animal Centre staff are caring for more than 54 cats and are supporting the hand rearing of an additional 12 kittens. While at RSPCA Newport Animal Centre is caring for around 16 cats.

Hetty was sadly abandoned and has been at the Upper Colwyn Bay centre for more than 340 days. The tabby and white cat has gained in confidence since being at the centre and proved to be a quirky, friendly and playful girl.


While Marlene was sadly abandoned in a property and is now ready to find her forever home. Marlene is very affectionate and adores company on her own terms so she is looking for a home where she can be around her family for a large portion of the day with lots of places to laze around too.

Three-year-old black cat Simon came to the animal welfare charity due to an injury. Unfortunately his owner was in hospital so unable to care for him. He has been in care for 370 days.

Clare Jones from RSPCA Bryn-Y-Maen said: “Hetty, Marlene and Simon will all make such wonderful pets and we are really hoping their forever homes are just waiting around the corner.

“Rehoming has really slowed at the moment, so if you are able to take on a pet, please consider adopting instead of buying.”

If you would like to express an interest in any of the cats at RSPCA Bryn-Y-Maen please fill out a perfect match form online.

It is not known why reports of animal cruelty peak in the summer months although factors like animal abuse being more visible as people are outdoors more, could be one factor.

The RSPCA is the only charity rescuing animals and investigating cruelty in England and Wales with a team of frontline rescue officers, specialist vet teams and a network of animal care centres and 140 branches providing rehabilitation to animal victims.

As the only charity in England and Wales investigating cruelty and rescuing animals, the RSPCA needs support to stay out on the frontline:

£2 could help to provide a meal for a cat or dog in our care

£6 could help pay to feed a dog for a day in our care

£10 could help pay towards bandages for a cat or dog

£15 could help pay for a cat or dog’s clinical exam

£20 could help pay towards a bird catching kit

£30 could help pay for a life jacket for an inspector

£100 could help pay towards water rescue equipment

£500 could kit out a 4×4 inspector van

The RSPCA’s frontline teams are working hard to rescue animals in need this summer but we can’t do it alone – we need your help to Cancel Out Cruelty. To help support the RSPCA, visit:

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