AN ANIMAL charity received more than eight calls a day in Sussex regarding cat cruelty.

The RSPCA has revealed it’s cruelty line hosted a total of 2,934 calls from the county last year.

Alice Potter, the charity’s cat welfare expert, said: “It’s sad to see that we have received so many calls about cats in need.

“Cats end up needing our help for a variety of reasons, for example their natural curiosity can mean they need rescuing when they get into scrapes and tricky situations.

“There are also some real issues that we see time and again including cats and kittens being abandoned, cats having unplanned and unwanted pregnancies due to a lack of neutering and multi-cat households where breeding has sadly become out of control.”

The data was released on Thursday to mark national cat day, in an attempt by the RSPCA to “shine a light on the plight of cats and how we can help them”.

Alice said ensuring a cat was properly cared for included learning each pet’s unique habits and behaviours.

But she added that some behaviour could be recognised.

She said: “Cats who are feeling anxious or fearful often like to hide away. A cat who is feeling friendly and happy to meet you will approach with their tail held upright with the tip of the tail curved.”

Alice also offered advice on petting cats.

She said: “Rolling over onto their back and showing their tummy can be a sign your cat feels comfortable and safe around you.

"This is not however, an invitation to rub their belly. Most cats do not enjoy a belly rub and may react defensively.

"Instead, you may like to give them a gentle stroke on their head or cheeks.