Owners have been advised to make sure their pet has a collar and is microchipped, as 19 per cent of people who have lost their pet believe it could have been stolen.
According to research by Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance, nine per cent of cat and dog owners who have lost their pet think it is ‘very likely’ it was stolen, while ten per cent believe it was ‘quite likely’ it was stolen.
Helen Williams, head of Sainsbury’s Pet Insurance, said: “Unfortunately pets frequently go missing, they may escape the garden boundary or simply be taken when the owner is not looking, making for a very stressful time.
“There is a lot you can do to increase the chances of finding your lost pet, including making sure that they are micro-chipped.”
Despite this, research shows that 49 per cent of pedigree cats are not microchipped, with 29 per cent of pedigree dogs not being chipped.
In total, eight per cent of cat and dog owners have lost their pets over the last five years and have not seen them again.