Motorists who run over a cat would need to report it to police as campaigners demand for a change in law at Westminster.

The move would aim to ensure felines are protected in the same way as other animals – including dogs – and not left to die on the road following an accident.

The Cats Bill is set to be debated in the House of Commons this week after the backbench legislation was proposed by Gillingham and Rainham MP Rehman Chishti.

He is being supported by campaign group CatsMatter, who gained backing from London Assembly members earlier last year.

Camden Assembly member initiated the proposed before it was seconded by Croydon and Sutton’s Steve O’Connell.

Speaking to the Sunday Express, CatsMatter co-founder Mandy Hobbis said: “To ask that drivers be made aware of their responsibilities, and stop to report incidents, is a perfectly reasonable ask in a civilised and so-called animal-loving nation.

“Our fear is many cats are put down simply because there is no way of contacting owners.”

CatsMatter was launched when its founder, Hollie Ivy, discovered her cat Henry had been fatally struck by a car in April 2017.

She is using the tragic incident to encourage change – not just in how people drive around cats but what they do when they hit one with their vehicle.

Section 170 of the Road Traffic 1988 Act requires motorists to stop and report an accident involving animals.

These include horses, cattle, mules, sheep, pigs, goats and dogs – but not cats.

This must be done whether or not the animal was killed.

Mr Chishti told the newspaper: “There are around 11 million cats and they are part of people’s everyday lives.

“I think they bring people immense happiness. If they’ve been tragically killed on the road, people do want closure.

“They want to know what’s happened to their loved one.”

A Government spokesman said they “recognise the distress” which can be caused when a cat goes stray or becomes lost.

He added that owners are strongly encouraged to microchip their cats to “give them the best chance of being reunited”.