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Shelter Cats in Australia

Marston, L.C. and P.C. Bennett, Admissions of Cats to Animal Welfare Shelters in Melbourne, Australia. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 2009. 12(3): p. 189 – 213.

Despite a decreasing pet cat population in Australia, feline entries into animal shelters have not decreased. To investigate this, researchers tracked over 15,000 cat submissions in one large shelter in Melbourne over a one-year period in an effort to develop effective strategies to reduce shelter admissions and euthanasia. The majority of cats were strays (81.6%). In addition, the vast majority were not neutered, even among owner-relinquished cats. The sociability of the strays indicated that these animals may have been “semi-owned”. Shelter intake increased over the summer with an influx of kittens. The authors conclude that there is an oversupply of pet-quality cats in the state of Victoria. Strategies aimed at reducing cat admissions to shelters from feral, semi-owned, and casually owned populations are likely to be quite different but equally important. As most cats admitted to shelters are strays, with no identifiable owner, the introduction of mandatory neutering may have a limited effect on this population. [MK]
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Related articles:
Centonze, L. and J. Levy, Characteristics of free-roaming cats and their caretakers. J Amer Vet Med Assoc, 2002. 220(11): p. 1627-1633.
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Patronek, G., et al., Risk factors for relinquishment of cats to an animal shelter. J Amer Vet Med Assoc, 1996. 209(3): p. 582-588.
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