Vets have criticized Claudia Schiffer's decision to hit the red carpet last night with her pet cat.
The model was attending the world premiere of the film Her husband Matthew Von Argylle's new film, which stars her pet cat Chip.
Chip attended the premiere with a yellow backpack, and could be seen looking through a small window as Claudia posed for the cameras.
Although he may have looked cute slung over Claudia's shoulder, experts warned that Chip was likely “stressed” by the situation.
“Cats are very territorial creatures and crave freedom of movement, so keeping them in a small, confined space and taking them to new and unfamiliar environments, unnecessarily, is likely to cause them stress, fear and anxiety and will provide them no benefit.” Alison Richards, Head of Clinical Services at Cat Protection, said:
Cats Protection says Claudia's decision to take Chip to the premiere was “unnecessary” and claims the model chose to make a fashion statement about caring for her pet.
“Cats are sentient animals and should not be used as fashion accessories. We strongly urge cat owners not to take their cats out in bubble pet carriers, as seen in the film,” Ms Richards explained.
“Although some cats may seem to tolerate backpacks, the movement on a person's back is unpredictable and most lack adequate ventilation and space for the cat – making them cramped or uncomfortable.
“The large window in our signature bubble backpack also means cats don't have the option to hide when they feel anxious, leaving them feeling exposed and vulnerable.
“Cats prefer to roam freely in their familiar environment and thrive best when they have an element of choice about where they go and what they interact with.
“We recommend not taking them out of their home unless absolutely necessary, for example going to the vet.”
The RSPCA echoed the cat's protection concerns.
Speaking to MailOnline, an RSPCA spokesperson said: 'The RSPCA does not recommend using backpacks to transport cats, as cats naturally hide or try to escape when stressed or afraid – but this instinct can be restricted when contained within these bags.' Clear bags.
The charity advises cat owners to monitor their cats for any signs of stress when introducing them to new or different experiences, but this becomes very difficult when cats travel on their owners' backs.
“These backpacks are often small, very restrictive, and interfere with temperature regulation.”
Claudia appeared with Chip on The Jonathan Ross Show in November, and explained how her cat was cast in his first film.
“We had another cat in the movie, and he's not a good actor. He was terrible. He was also very expensive,” she said.
“So he asked my husband, Matthew, the manager, if he could have my cat. I said: 'Why not, it could be a Nebo cat' and here we are.”
Aside from taking Chip to the premiere, Cats Protection questioned the decision to include him in the film at all.
Chip is a Scottish Fold cat – a breed known to suffer from a range of serious health and welfare concerns.
Ms Richards added: “The impact of using this breed in a Hollywood film cannot be overstated.”
All Scottish Fold cats suffer from varying degrees of painful degenerative joint disease, and the underlying genetic defect has far-reaching and severe consequences for their health.
“They continue to develop painful arthritis and develop it so reliably that it is used as a model to study a gene involved in human arthritis.
“They're already very popular on social media and among celebrities, so we're really concerned that this film will increase that number even further.”
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