Anyone that owns cats that have access to the outdoors lives in fear of one day finding them on the road, a victim of a road traffic accident (RTA). It is, sadly, a regular occurrence even on the quietest of roads and with the most ‘road-savvy’ cats, but are certain cats more likely to become a casualty of our increasingly-busy highways?
According to analysis of over 1,400 cases of cats involved in RTAs, if you’re a young, male, cross-bred cat taking a walk across the road in autumn, your chances of success are not great.
Here is a breakdown of the findings for you:
- 4.2% of all cats treated at an emergency Vets Now clinic during the time of the two-year trial, were cats that had been involved in a road traffic accident.
- Cats between 6 months and 6 years of age are most at risk – presumably due to their lack of road sense and experience.
- Male cats were found to be 30% more likely to be a victim than their female counterparts – interestingly, they didn’t add any statistics regarding the proportion of male cats that were not castrated and therefore more likely to be wandering in unfamiliar territory looking for females.
- Cross-bred cats were 90% more likely to be involved in an RTA than pure-bred cats – I would think this is because many pure-bred cat owners keep their cats confined to the house and therefore the likelihood of them getting close to a moving vehicle is very low.
- A perhaps more random finding was that accidents involving vehicles and cats seem to be at their peak during the autumn months.
- As is to be expected, cats don’t generally fare very well when they come up against a tonne of moving metalwork. Of the 1,407 casualties analysed, 94 were dead on arrival whilst 433 were euthanised during treatment; mostly during the initial consultation.
As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, cats falling victim to vehicles on our roads is sadly commonplace. I have had my own experience of this devastating event and I chose to share my cats’ story with you all here.