Briefing on Cats: A Community Approach to Solving Cat Overpopulation.

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Briefing on Cats: A Community Approach to Solving Cat Overpopulation

What is the source of cats? Existing Feral cats: typically not sterilized & reproduce freely The Problem: Cat Overpopulation Abandoned/Lost house cats Abandoned kittens House cats: not sterilized & go outside

1 Exaggerated # for Quebec Only 1 litter (climate) 1.5 surviving to adulthood Lifespan of 7years Take home message: Exponential Growth Cats Breed QUICKLY

The Problem: Cat Overpopulation What sort of numbers are we dealing with in Quebec*? Total population unknown 1 452 000 cats in households alone 25% of cat owners visit vet annually (vs. dogs 63%) In USA: # House-hold Cats = # Free-Ranging Cats? * Based on 2006-07 survey conducted by Leger Marketing on behalf of AMVQ, CDMV & Hill’s Pet Nutrition. Survey sampled 1 001 individuals in Quebec over the age of 18. Weighted by age, sex, language, and region using statistics Canada data. Margin of error is ±3,1 %, 19 of 20

The Problem: Cat Overpopulation What sort of numbers are we dealing with in Quebec*? Total population unknown VERY Rough Estimate House-hold = 1 452 000 with 75% not sterilized* = 1 089 000 (both sexes) Free-ranging = 1:1 (USA) with 100% not sterilized = 1 452 000 (both sexes)

The Problem: Cat Overpopulation What sort of numbers are we dealing with in Quebec*? Total population unknown VERY Rough Estimate House-hold = 1 452 000 with 75% not sterilized* = 1 089 000 ÷ 2 = 544 500 (ƒ) Free-ranging = 1:1 (USA) with 100% not sterilized = 1 452 000 ÷2 =726 000 (ƒ) 1 270 500 Breeding ƒemales!!! Total Population ~3 million (including males and all sterilized cats)

The Problem: Cat Overpopulation What sort of numbers are we dealing with in Quebec*? Total population unknown VERY Rough Estimate House-hold = 1 452 000 with 75% not sterilized* = Free-ranging = 1:1 (USA) with 100% not sterilized = REMEMBER EXPONENTIAL GROWTH, EACH FEMALE CAN GIVE RISE TO ANOTHER 100 CATS IN HER LIFE X 1 270 500!?!?

Why is this solution ineffective? Standard cat population control for decades Can never catch EVERY cat Can never stop immigration Creates VACUUM EFFECT Requires continual monitoring and cat removal Growing public distaste/Welfare concerns The Options: Trap & Kill (TK)

Carrying Capacity (how many can live in area) # T

Carrying Capacity (how many can live in area) TK # T

Carrying Capacity (how many can live in area) TK # T Vacuum effect

What is this solution? “A non-lethal program where stray & feral cats are humanely trapped, vaccinated, sterilized & released to reduce free-ranging population, both immediately & long-term” Trapped by citizens using provided cages Kittens adopted Abandoned/stray cats adopted if possible Vaccinated against diseases Ill or injured beyond recovery are euthanized Left-ear tipped for ID (according to international protocol) The Options: Trap Neuter Release (TNR)

What are the advantages of this solution? Colony size decreases over time Cats healthy and vaccinated+ Fewer car accidents because roam less+ Rodent population decreased+ Annoying behaviors reduced (spraying & vocalizing) More humane as far fewer cats born/killed More cost effective

The Options: Trap Neuter Release (TNR) What are the costs associated? TK \$170-\$225/cat High cost from patrolling & sheltering animals Reoccurring cost because of vacuum effect TNR \$60-\$120/cat Brunt of cost avoided using volunteers Costs subside over time (fewer and fewer fertile cats) Public is generally supportive of TNR

TK TNR

TK TNR

TK TNR Vacuum effect

TK TNR Vacuum effctVacuum effect

TK TNR Vacuum effect

Closing Remarks: Cat Overpopulation What can we do? A Community Approach to Resolving Cat Overpopulation is Needed Incredible capacity of cats to reproduce Municipalities not using proper tools Pet stores selling non-sterile animals Shelters & Pounds adopting out non-sterile animals Citizens not taking responsibility for sterilizing their pets

Closing Remarks: Cat Overpopulation What can we do? A Community Approach to Resolving Cat Overpopulation is Needed Public Education program: importance of sterilization & abandonment Sterilization program involving: SHELTERS, GRASS-ROOTS ORGANISATIONS, VETERINARIANS, MUNICIPALITIES, POUNDS, GOVERNMENT, and VOLUNTEERS

Why TNR is more effective than traditional approaches? Long-term solution Reduces financial burden Reduce nuisance complaints Pro-actively alleviate potential public health issues TK - proven ineffective in long-term Ties up resources requiring continual monitoring Usually one-time trapping Cycle is not broken Growing public distaste/Welfare concerns Closing Remarks: Quick Summary

THANK YOU www.humanesociety.org/feralcats www.alleycat.org www.neighborhoodcats.org For further information and Resources, contact: Nikolas Gour, Campaigner ngour@hsi.org 514-395-2914 Nancy Peterson, Cat Programs Manager npeterson@humanesociety.org 301-258-3129

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