A petition calling for motorists to report collisions with cats has gained almost 150,000 signatures.

In the UK, if you hit an animal which is covered by The Road Traffic Act 1988 – namely, dogs, goats, horses, cattle, donkeys, mules, sheep and pigs you are legally required to report it to the police.

But cats are currently an exception and Gemma Conway is on a mission to change that.

Mum-of-two Gemma, from Chickerell, argues that a cat is a much of a loved pet as a dog so the same rules should apply.

Explaining how she came to launch the petition, she said: “We had a black cat called Bertie who went missing in April.

“I joined groups on Facebook for lost and found cats and put up posters, I received a lot of responses but none were Bertie.

“It was then that I noticed that not only are they a lot of missing cats in the area, but there are so many that are left on the side of the road.

“I then discovered that if a motorist hits a cat, they do not have to legally report it - unlike with dogs and other animals.

“The driver can carry on driving as if nothing has happened - when did that become okay?”

Mrs Conway, who is currently on maternity leave, decided to set up a petition in an effort to change the law.

She has also contacted West Dorset MP Oliver Letwin in the hope of gaining his support in taking the petition to Parliament.

Mrs Conway added: “I only started the petition about three weeks ago and I can’t believe how well received it has been.

“I didn’t expected this many signatures in this little amount of time.

“But this petition shows that people do care and it is something that should be looked at more closely.

“There are so many families who still don’t know what happened to their cat, just like us.

“Bertie could be living a great life with another family, but he could have also have been hit by a car - we just don’t know.

“But if a driver did hit a cat and legally had to report it, it would bring closure to the families and then they can move on.

“A change in the law could make a huge difference to a lot of families.”

To sign the petition visit change.org/p/change-the-law-for-cats-to-be-treated-the-same-as-dogs