CONCERNS about cats being abused and neglected has seen more than 16,000 calls being made by worried residents in the past year, data reveals.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) revealed there were more than 16,200 calls coming through to its cruelty line from the South East in 2018.

This means there are two calls every hour about resident's concerned about cats being mistreated or neglected.

In Berkshire alone, there were 1,398 calls about cats being abused.

Alice Potter, cat welfare expert at RSPCA, said: "It is 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." The research comes ahead of International Cat Day (August 8), where the charity want to shine some light on how humans can help these furry creatures.

In England and Wales, the charity received more than 10,000 calls and rescues more cats than any other animal.

This is because cats get stuck in tight spots, climb up trees and can't get down or have been abandoned or abused.

Alice added: "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.

“However, there are many cats who are much luckier and are very much a part of the family and loved by their owners who understand their likes and dislikes, their little quirks and routines.

"Every cat is an individual but there are some signs we can look out for to see how our cats are feeling through understanding their body language and behaviour to ensure they are happy and healthy.”

Cats are good at showing their behaviour through their body language, according to the animal charity.

If a feline is anxious they will often hide, so make sure there are lots of cosy hiding places around the house.

A cat who is friendly will approach with their tail held upright and most cats prefer to initiate interaction so wait until they come to you.

Rolling over on their back and tummy shows they feel comfortable and look for any changes with their toileting or sleeping habits - any change may mean you need to seek advice from your vet.