From Ryde to Russia with love: Bid to reunite missing mog with its owners

  • Video report by Kerry Swain

Animal charity volunteers on the Isle of Wight are trying to reunite a cat, thought to be from Russia, in time for Christmas.

Ivan - as he's been named - had a microchip that originated in Russia. Now a team of cat-lovers are trying to reveal his identity and reunite him with his family.

Cats Protection's Isle of Wight Adoption Centre has joined forces with volunteers at the charity's Southampton and Gosport branches to investigate.

He was originally handed over to the Southampton Branch by a kind-hearted couple in October. They had been feeding Ivan in their garden in the Netley Abbey area, where he had been sleeping rough for over five months. The couple had let him into their house when the weather turned colder but had to keep him away from their own two cats who were fearful of the unknown cat.

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.

Mel Read, Adoption Centre Manager

"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."

Anybody with information about Ivan should email or call 03000 120 251.

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

Microchipping is a safe, permanent and cost-effective method of identification which ensures cats like Ivan can be reunited with their owner should they go missing. It also means lost cats are not mistaken as strays and taken in by rehoming charities. However, Cats Protection's CATS report estimates there are over 2.6 million cats in the UK that are not microchipped.

Cat lovers can back the charity's campaign for compulsory microchipping of owned cats by signing its petition.