Cat cruelty figures for the Isle of Wight show there were more than 30 reports made to the RSPCA last year.

The charity has released the data as part of its Cancel Out Cruelty campaign, which aims to raise funds for its frontline rescue teams.

On the Island last year, the RSPCA received 32 calls about cat cruelty, in total.

Exactly 31 of the incidents involved either abandonment or neglect of the pets.

While one of the reports was regarding intentional harm, which the charity defines as attempted killing, poisonings, beatings, improper killing, or suspicious circumstances.

Nationally, last year, there were almost 18,000 cat cruelty complaints reported to the RSPCA. Of those reports 1,726 were intentional harm incidents - which is around five a day.

This is a 25 per cent increase from 2021 when the number was 1,387.

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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 heartbreaking 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.”

Paul Williams, chief inspector for Hampshire, said: “Right now, animal cruelty is happening in England and 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. 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.”

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.