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Mystery of Australian cat found thousands of miles from home in Ireland is solved: 'Tigger' has his own passport and belongs to a globetrotting family from Sydney

Images courtesy and © of the Armagh Cats Protection

The 15-year-old ginger cat was found wandering streets of County Armagh
Named Ozzie by staff, they found he was microchipped in Sydney in 2000
Staff initiated a social media campaign to locate the sick feline's owners 
It was revealed the named Tigger has a well-travelled and 'loving' family
He was left with friends in Armagh but escaped, landing him on the streets <
Staff are now working to reunite Tigger with his Australian owners

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Huge trek: The feline, whose real name is Tigger, travelled more than 10,550 miles from Sydney, Australia, to London, before somehow taking off another 450 miles to County Armagh in Northern Ireland

The mystery surrounding a globetrotting cat that managed to make its way from Australia to Northern Ireland after a stop-off in London - almost 11,000 miles away, has been solved after a social media campaign was launched to locate his owners. Originally thought to be 25-years-old, the ginger cat named Ozzie by his rescuers was found wandering the streets of Laurelvale, near County Armagh last week and taken to the local Cats Protection centre. Staff at the clinic scanned his microchip and were stunned to find the poorly feline was registered in Sydney in 2000 as 'Tigger' and have since discovered that his owners were in fact globetrotters themselves.

'He is a much loved pet called Tigger who has travelled back and forth from Australia with his own passport and as part of a loving family,' Armagh Cats Protection posted on Facebook.   

UTV reported that Tigger's owners left him with friends in Armagh but the well-travelled feline managed to escape his holiday home, leaving his carer's with no idea where he had disappeared to.  

Staff are currently working to reunite Tigger with his Australian owners. Data from Tigger's microchip revealed that he had turned up as a stray in a vet clinic in London in 2004 but no owner could be traced at the time. Volunteers launched an international campaign on social media to uncover how the moggy ended up on the other side of the world - and the post was shared over 18,000 times. Luckily Tigger was picked up by animal welfare staff because the the cat was found in a starving condition, suffering kidney failure. The organisation believed 'Tigger' was taken to London by its owner, before he somehow then crossed the Irish Sea to Northern Ireland some 450 miles away.

Cats Protection co-ordinator, Gillian McMullen, said: 'I responded to a call from a member of the public who was concerned about a poorly stray cat that had been hanging around her garden for several days.  The poor cat was starving but obviously had been cared for in the past because it was wearing a collar. I took it to Willow Veterinary Clinic, Portadown, where we discovered it was microchipped and this is where the mystery begins. The cat had originally been microchipped in Australia. In 2004 he turned up as a stray in a vet clinic in London, but no owners could be traced.'

While Tigger was originally thought to have been born in 1989, making him 25 - 10 years older than the age of the average cat- it has been revealed he was born in 2000 making him only 15-years-old.  Ms McMullen added: 'If only he could tell us about his life and how he got here.'  

Update

Globetrotting cat mystery solved

The mystery surrounding how an Australian cat made it all the way to Northern Ireland, after ‘pawsing’ for a while in London, has been solved. The moggy, nicknamed Ozzie, turned up in Co Armagh, having started his journey 10,000 miles away in Sydney.

The 15-year-old cat was born in 2000 and was micro-chipped and registered down under with the name Tigger – only to show up as a stray in London four years later.

The bedraggled-looking cat has since been picked up by the charity Cat’s Protection while wandering the streets of Laurelvale but its owners have now been traced and his story isn't as remarkable as previously thought. It turns out the cat's Aussie owners are globetrotters themselves - having travelled around the world, with their feline friend tailing them along the way. They had left Tigger in the care of some friends in Armagh but the adventurous pet ran away and didn't return.

The cat will now be reunited with its owners.

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Page updated 23rd June 2015