Cat owner wants driving off after hitting a cat to be a crime

It’s illegal for drivers to hit a dog, cow, horse, sheep, pig or goat and not call the police.

But one popular pet is conspicuously absent from this list – cats.

The 1988 Road Traffic Act says that all British motorists have a legal duty to inform the authorities if they hit one of the above animals, but cats are a notable exception.

Gemma Conway, a 35-year-old mother of two, has now launched a campaign to get cats included, so that drivers won’t just leave the animals to die on the side of the road. So far her petition has been signed more than 186,000 times.

She told The Dorset Echo that she started the petition after her own cat, Bertie, went missing in April.

When she was searching for him she noticed that there were not only a lot of missing cats in the area, but also a lot that were left on the side of the road.

‘I then discovered that if a motorist hits a cat, they do not have to legally report it,’ she said. ‘The driver can carry on driving as if nothing has happened – when did that become OK?’

But while the petition has had a lot of support, not everyone is convinced that simply changing the RTA is the best thing to do.