1. ITV Report

Is this Britain's most caring cat?

Arthur could also be named Cats Protection's cat of the year. Credit: Cats Protection

A pet cat from Cheshire who has helped his owner overcome serious challenges has been shortlisted to become named Britain’s ‘Most Caring Cat’ in a national charity competition.

Arthur helped his owner live an independent life following a three-and-a-half year stay at a mental health unit.

Emily says Arthur gives her a reason to care for herself. Credit: Cats Protection

Emily, 24, has battled serious mental health issues which has meant she spent much of the past eight years receiving specialist hospital care.

But since welcoming Arthur into her life last September, Emily has been able to live independently for the longest period in her adult life.

I once got told that I would never be well enough to live in the community, never mind on my own. But I do and Arthur is the reason why.

I have a reason to get up each day and caring for him means I need to think more about caring for myself too.

– Emily, Arthur's owner
Arthur and his owner have both helped each other grow in confidence. Credit: Cats Protection

Arthur beat hundreds of other entries to be one of three animals shortlisted in his category, which celebrates cats that have a positive impact on their owner’s health or wellbeing.

If he wins, he’ll go on to be in with a chance of becoming Cats Protection’s official ‘National Cat of the Year 2018’.

The awards are an annual celebration of the real-life stories of heroism, loyalty and companionship in the feline world.

Arthur and Emily’s story is truly heart-warming and shows how powerful the bond between cats and their owners can be. Emily has helped Arthur to grow from a kitten into a confident and affectionate young cat and it’s wonderful to hear how happy they are together.

– Kate Bunting, Cats Protection’s awards organiser