Whether you have an adventurous moggie who spends their days exploring outdoors or a pampered feline who prefers to curl up in front of the fire, chances are at some point in their life your cat will be exposed to road traffic.

Independent and often solitary by nature, it is an unfortunate fact that cats are more prone than other pets to being involved in road accidents, so it is essential that owners take the necessary steps to keep their four-legged friends as safe as possible around traffic.

Recently released data from Direct Line pet insurance has revealed that 60 per cent of settled claims between January and December 2011 involved a cat, with the cost of a claim involving a feline averaging out at £794.

"Most people view their dog or cat as a part of the family and therefore it can be a traumatic experience for them if their pet is involved in a road traffic accident," said Adam Whiteley, head of Direct Line pet insurance.

"By taking simple steps such as keeping their dog on a lead at all times and buying a reflective collar or jacket it's possible to reduce the likelihood of a pet becoming involved in a road accident."

Dogs are in general easier to keep away from traffic than cats, many of which spend much of their time outdoors and often only come into the home for cat food and a snooze.

Some cat owners in particularly traffic-heavy areas keep their pets indoors to avoid the hazards on the roads, but those who are reluctant to confine their moggie to the home and garden can take other steps to keep their animal safe.

Reflective collars are useful if your cat often ventures out after dark, and make sure that your pet has an identification tag and microchip so that if an accident does occur you can be notified immediately.

Written by: Hannah