A mysterious moggie is living under a pseudonym on the Isle of Wight - as teams of cat-lovers try to reveal his identity and reunite him with his family for Christmas.

Cats Protection's Isle of Wight Adoption Centre in Ryde is among those trying to discover the truth about the fluffy, brown cat, currently known as Ivan.

The long-haired feline, thought to be around three years old, was first handed to the charity in Southampton, in October.

A kind-hearted couple had been feeding Ivan in their garden in the Netley Abbey area of the city.

He had been sleeping rough for over five months, so they let him into their house when the weather turned colder - but had to keep him away from their own two cats, who were scared.

Wanting to find him a home of his own, the couple called the charity for help.

Isle of Wight County Press: Image: Isle of Wight Cats Protection

Image: Cats Protection Isle of Wight

When the branch scanned Ivan's microchip, the team found no address was registered, but a number showed the chip originated in Russia.

Ivan has now been transferred to the adoption centre in Ryde, where he is living in precautionary quarantine and has received a rabies vaccination.

Mel Read, Adoption Centre Manager, explains: "Ivan is a real mystery. Other than the five months or more that he was living rough in Southampton, we know nothing more about him and yet somebody must know something.

"He is very friendly and so may be a long-lost beloved pet who was used to his home in Russia and then got confused once he was allowed outside after a long journey to the UK.

"Perhaps he was brought over as a kitten.

"We don't know if he came in through official channels, as part of the PETS scheme, so he has been quarantined here at the centre as a precaution."

The charity wants to hear from anyone with information and if Ivan's family can't be found, he'll be rehomed.

Isle of Wight County Press: Image: Isle of Wight Cats Protection

Image: Cats Protection Isle of Wight

Cats Protection is calling for a change in the law to ensure that all owned cats, like dogs, are microchipped.

You might opt to back the charity's campaign for compulsory microchipping by signing its petition.

Mel Read said: "An up-to-date microchip would have made such a difference in this situation and we would urge everyone to ensure their cat's details are updated, especially if you move here from abroad.

"It just takes a quick call to your cat's microchip company, or many can be updated online. If you don't know which company your cat's chip is registered to, a vet will be able to tell you by scanning your cat."

Email IsleOfWight@cats.org.uk with information about Ivan, or call 03000 120 251.

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