Scratch is returned to his relieved Chittlehampton owner after being found seven miles away thanks to his microchip

A cat that went missing in Chittlehampton three years ago has been reunited with his delighted owner after being found in Barnstaple.

Scratch was returned after he was scanned by a fosterer from Barnstaple and District Cats Protection, who discovered his owner Cheryl Mundy’s details on his microchip.

It is not known how the cat managed to travel seven miles away from home, but Cheryl said she was amazed to have him back.

“It’s quite incredible; he was no more than a year old when he disappeared,” she said.

“It was harvesting time and there were a lot of tractors about. When he didn’t come home we thought he’d possibly been in an accident.

“I couldn’t believe it when I got the call to say they’d found a black Siamese cat – I assumed it was his identical sister Strictly.”

Cheryl, who runs a livery yard on the outskirts of the village, thinks Scratch, now four, unwittingly hitched a ride to Whiddon Valley in Barnstaple.

“He’s much bigger than when he left so he was obviously being looked after very well; it’s nice to have him back but I feel sad for whoever was looking after him.

“He’s settled back in well and usually comes in at four in the morning and sleeps in our bed – it’s like having a hot water bottle.

“It just shows that micro-chipping works – it’s really good value for money.”

Sarah Pincombe of Cats Protection said: “There have been numerous other stories recently of cats found and reunited because they are chipped, sadly not always with a happy ending if they have met with an accident, but by being chipped, owners can be contacted and have their beloved pet home with them.”

Microchipping costs around £15 and involves a tiny chip being injected under the skin.

The cat’s details, together with the owners, are registered on a national database.

All cats rehomed via Cats Protection are microchipped and will have had their first vaccination, flea and worm treatment and a full heath check.

Find out more about chipping from Barnstaple Cats Protection on 0345 3714203 or click here.