Since cats are by their very nature independent animals, they often make great pets for those owners who are keen to have a four-legged friend around the home but don't have the time to look after a dog.

However, although cats are generally quite adept at looking after themselves, just like any animal, owning a moggie is a huge responsibility and is not one that should be taken lightly.

Not only do owners have to be sure that they are in the financial position to pay for expenses such as cat food, vets bills and pet insurance, but they also need to be responsible for their feline friend's behaviour.

Which means ensuring that your moggie doesn't behave destructively on your neighbours' property and isn't noisy or disruptive at night time.

Ros Davies, cattery rehomer at Battersea Dogs & Cats Home's London site, points out that identification and loss prevention are also key components of responsible cat ownership.

"Owners need to take real responsibility for their pets, which means neutering, vaccinating, microchipping and making sure your cat has a collar and tag," she says.

"Last year nearly half of all the cats coming into Battersea were strays, and because 95 per cent weren't microchipped it meant we were only able to reunite seven per cent of them with their owners."

As Ros points out, neutering should also be a priority for responsible cat owners, as this will not only prevent unwanted litters of kittens but it can also help protect your pet's health.

"Unfortunately most people don't bother vaccinating their cats and there is still an unacceptably high percentage of people who do not neuter," she adds.

Finally, it is also important to know that your feline friend is getting all the nutrients they need from their diet, so make sure you are feeding them a quality product such as Iams cat food, as well as ensuring there is always a clean, fresh supply of water available.

Written by: Hannah