The charity Cats Protection has said it is “extremely concerned” about Claudia Schiffer’s cat who appeared on a red carpet in a backpack cat carrier.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, the charity said: “Thought the photos of Chip the cat in a bubble backpack on the red carpet at the Argylle premiere looked fun? Think again.
“It’s extremely concerning to see a cat exposed to such a stressful environment while contained in an inappropriate carrier.”
The German model appeared on the red carpet of her husband Matthew Vaughn’s new spy action film Argylle with Chip in an argyle-patterned backpack – complete with air holes and a perspex dome.
Schiffer and Chip, who is owned by her daughter Clementine, posed for photos in front of paparazzi before joining the rest of the star-studded cast on stage inside the cinema.
“Though some cats may appear to tolerate backpacks, the movement on a person’s back is unpredictable and most lack adequate ventilation and space for the cat – leaving them cramped or uncomfortable,” said the charity’s head of clinical services Alison Richards.
“The large window in the bubble backpack featured also means cats don’t have the option to hide when they feel anxious, leaving them feeling exposed and vulnerable.”
Chip the cat plays the role of Alfie in Argylle. Chip and his owner, spy novelist Elly, are saved from being kidnapped after her books begin to depict the activities of a sinister underground group.
The film features a mammoth ensemble cast that includes former Superman actor Henry Cavill, John Cena, Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston, Pulp Fiction’s Samuel L Jackson and musician Dua Lipa.
Cats Protection has also raised concerns over how Argylle “glamorises” Chip’s breed, the Scottish Fold, saying it is “a breed associated with serious health and welfare concerns, and is anticipated to amplify the breed’s popularity among potential cat owners”.
The charity, alongside other animal organisations including Cats Care, RSPCA and Battersea Dogs and Cats Home, have written to Universal Pictures to “consider the potential impact of Argylle on cat welfare and join the efforts to promote responsible pet ownership, prioritising the wellbeing of animals above entertainment value”.
“The impact of using this breed in a Hollywood film cannot be overstated,” Ms Richards said.
“All Scottish Fold cats suffer from variable degrees of painful degenerative joint disease and the underlying genetic defect has far-reaching and severe consequences for their health.
“They go on to develop painful arthritis and it develops it so reliably that it’s being used as a model to study the gene involved in human arthritis.
“They’re already very popular on social media and with celebrities so we really worry that this film will cause this to surge even more.”
Sky News has contacted Schiffer’s representatives and Apple TV+, who produced Argylle, for comment.