Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS A new study on cat overpopulation in Canada says more of the pets are being sterilized to reduce unwanted litters, but there are still more cats than people willing to give them homes.

New report says some progress on reducing cat overpopulation, but not enough

OTTAWA — A new study on cat overpopulation in Canada says more of the pets are being sterilized to reduce unwanted litters, but there are still more cats than people willing to give them homes.

The report by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies recommends more should be done to encourage spaying and neutering, even for kittens as young as six weeks old.

“Cat overpopulation continues to challenge communities across Canada,” says the report released Thursday.

“There are still twice as many cats being admitted to shelters as dogs and the fraction of those cats who are juveniles is also twice as high as for dogs, pointing to the continuing problem of unwanted litters.”

The report is an update to a similar study done five years ago. It includes the results of an Ipsos survey conducted last May.

The new findings indicate more cats are being adopted. Fewer cats are being put down and more lost cats are being reunited with their owners.

Fewer Canadians are letting their cats roam outside unsupervised where they are at risk of being hit by vehicles or getting into fights with other cats and animals.

The number of cats that arrive at shelters already spayed or neutered is up, and more are being sterilized by animal care organizations.

But the report says there are still too many cats and that won’t change unless spay and neuter rates improve.

“The good news is we’ve taken some giant leaps forward in cat welfare since 2012,” said Barbara Cartwright, CEO of the federation. “The bad news is it is not happening quickly enough to overcome Canada’s cat overpopulation crisis.”

The report notes there are an estimated 9.3 million cats in Canada. But for some reason, cats don’t receive the same care and consideration as their canine counterparts.

Toolika Rastogi, the federation’s policy and research manager, said cats are seen by some people as being more disposable, perhaps because they were obtained free from a relative or neighbour.

They are also more fertile than dogs and can become pregnant at a younger age.

“We have got cats being the most popular animals in the homes of Canadians, being followed very closely by dogs, and yet they are facing far more difficulty,” she said.

Overpopulation creates other problems.

Cats can languish in shelters too long waiting for adoption, making them more prone to stress-related illnesses.

Rastogi said the improvement in cat sterlization rates is a direct result of animal organizations making spay and neutering a priority. More work is being done, including creating mobile units to deal with animals in remote locations.

The study notes that only about 19 per cent of municipalities that responded to the survey have spay or neuter policies.

The report recommends communities should promote the sterilization of cats and offer incentives for the procedure to be done at no or low-cost.

Rastogi said if more municipalities emulate what animal organizations are doing, spay-neuter rates are bound to improve.

“They need to do more,” she said.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Clearwater County firefighter recruitment campaign deemed a success

A firefighter recruitment campaign is being considered a success by Clearwater County.… Continue reading

Dems say oust Trump or he’ll betray again; ‘He is who he is’

WASHINGTON — Closing out their case, House Democrats warned Friday in Donald… Continue reading

Senators may have to rein in activism in minority Parliament: new govt rep

OTTAWA — Independent senators may have to curb their enthusiasm for amending… Continue reading

Alberta woman charged with child abduction pleads guilty to lesser charge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — A woman in southern Alberta who was charged with… Continue reading

‘A little love can go a long way,’ says a Red Deer opioid user who supports overdose prevention

The OPS means higher survival rates and less needle debris, he adds

Fashion Fridays: The basics you need for your body type

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Jan. 22 Downtown House Senior Center (5414 43 St.) in Red Deer… Continue reading

Pearman: Bohemian Waxwings the consummate nomads

It is always a treat when a winter flock of Bohemian waxwings… Continue reading

Shots from stands, women’s 3-on-3 highlight NHL skills event

ST. LOUIS — Shooting pucks from the stands and some of the… Continue reading

Canada beats U.S. in 3-on-3 women’s game at NHL all-star skills competition

ST. LOUIS — Melodie Daoust and Rebecca Johnston scored to give Canada… Continue reading

Lowry, Siakam lead Raptors past Knicks for 6th straight win

Raptors 118 Knicks 112 NEW YORK — Kyle Lowry scored 26 points,… Continue reading

Dems say oust Trump or he’ll betray again; ‘He is who he is’

WASHINGTON — Closing out their case, House Democrats warned Friday in Donald… Continue reading

Senators may have to rein in activism in minority Parliament: new govt rep

OTTAWA — Independent senators may have to curb their enthusiasm for amending… Continue reading

Alberta woman charged with child abduction pleads guilty to lesser charge

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. — A woman in southern Alberta who was charged with… Continue reading

Most Read