Cat who raised almost £40,000 for charity wins 2024 ‘Pet of the Year’

Tom Stone
Authored by Tom Stone
Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2024 - 08:00

A cat stricken by allergies that lead to him tearing his fur off has raised almost £40,000 for animal charities after becoming a social media sensation.

Owner Rhia Watson, from Norfolk, is thrilled that the fundraising efforts have seen him crowned  Vets Now's 'Pet of the Year'.

Five-year-old Morgan started attracting attention through pictures of him in the cute and colourful coats he wears to protect his skin.

He now has a whole catalogue of "Morgan merchandise" that's snapped up by dedicated fans from Canada to New Zealand, with funds raised donated to dozens of small animal charities.

43-year-old owner Rhia, a dental nurse who lives near Aylsham, rescued Morgan, and twin brother Morris, as a three-week-old kitten in 2019.

She didn't realise Morgan had any problems until he suffered an allergic reaction to the anaesthetic during neutering and vets feared he wouldn't survive.

Morgan then had a reaction to flea medication and subsequently a whole host of other allergic issues showed up, including hay fever. Deodorant and air freshener sprays also trigger serious skin problems and are among a host of products which have had to be banned from the house.

Desperate to stop him tearing at his fur, Rhia got him a small dog coat and it worked so well she now has a wardrobe of over 50.

When she posted fun pictures on her Facebook during lockdown, she got so many comments she set up his own page. He soon had friends following from all over the world and Rhia had the idea of printing a few calendars with pictures of him to see for Christmas to help a local animal charity.

After selling 250 calendars in the first year and sales nearly tripling the following Christmas, Rhia brought out more products with pictures of Morgan wearing his coat. The range of charity merchandise now has hoodies, mugs, tea towels and much more.

Rhia said: - "I'd never have dreamed that what started as a bit of fun to beat the boredom in lockdown could have done so much good. It surprises me every day and I sometimes wonder if Morgan knows what people think of him." 

"It's really satisfying to know this is helping little charities, and I was shocked but so happy at him winning this lovely award." 

Thankfully, ongoing medication and excluding products around the home have helped to keep Morgan's allergies largely under control recently.

"Despite his health problems he's a very happy boy and a bit of a diva," said Rhia, who has even had Morgan fans from America drop in to see him. "He's very special to me, but it's so strange to think that people all over the world idolise him."

As winner of Vets Now's 'Pet of the Year' Morgan has been presented with a personalised trophy, £500 Pets Pyjamas voucher and a bundle of vet-approved goodies.

Vets Now is the UK's leading emergency vets and pet equivalent to A&E, treating and caring for thousands of brave pets every year. The annual awards look to shine a light on the special bond between pets and their owners and the brave stories from animals across the UK.

Dave Leicester, Head of Telehealth at Vets Now, manages the Video Vets Now service whose vets helped judge the competition. Dave commented: -

"We had some amazing stories, and it was very hard to choose between all the fantastic entries. The judges were especially impressed with how our worthy winner has overcome adversity and continues to help other animals through their amazing character and personality. The amount Morgan has raised for charity is incredible, especially considering all that he has had to overcome since he was a kitten." 

Partnering with the multi-award-winning national charity StreetVet for the 2024 'Pet of the Year' awards, Vets Now has donated £500 to the charity.

StreetVet provide free essential veterinary care and services to the pets of those people experiencing homelessness, who may otherwise have to go without the treatment they need and deserve. 

Collette Sheaff, Head of Marketing at StreetVet, said: - "StreetVet was delighted to be selected as the charity partner for the Vets Now Pet of the Year 2024. It's a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and hear about the incredible stories of some amazing pets and to highlight the importance that pets can play in our everyday lives and the strength of the human-animal bond." 

Collette continued: - "This year's winner, Morgan, the fundraising cat, has raised an astounding amount for animal charities worldwide and has become a social media star through the many cute and colourful coats he wears to protect his fur from his allergies." 

To read more on Morgan's story, visit -  

There are more than 60 Vets Now clinics and hospitals across the UK that are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur. Vets Now also offers an online video consultation service to make professional veterinary advice easily available from home. 

For more advice and information, or to find your nearest Vets Now emergency service, visit the Vets Now website,

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