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Current attitudes toward, and incidence of, sterilization of cats and dogs by caregivers (owners) in Auckland, New Zealand

By S. A. McKay, M. J. Farnworth, N. K. Waran

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This study distributed a questionnaire to cat or dog caregivers (owners) throughout Auckland, New Zealand, to investigate the attitudes of human companions toward the sterilization of their cats and dogs and the degree to which this occurs relative to demographic information gathered. A total of 276 recipients returned questionnaires with data pertinent to 477 cats and dogs. Female owners were more likely than were males to sterilize cats or dogs: 90.2% sterilization rate compared with 80%. Statistical trends also suggested that owners with a postschool education had a higher percentage of sterilized nonhuman animals than owners with no postschool or only school-age education. Cats were more likely than dogs to be neutered: 91.7% versus 78.5%. Companion animals not annually vaccinated were more likely to be sterilized than animals who were vaccinated annually: 93.6% and 85.4%. The study also showed gender bias and age differences in owner attitudes toward a number of the statements regarding sterilization, with male owners more likely to be concerned about the effect of neutering or spaying on the sexuality or masculinity of the animal.

Publication Title Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Volume 12
Issue 4
Pages 331-344
ISBN/ISSN 1088-8705
Publisher Taylor & Francis
DOI 10.1080/10888700903163617
Language English
Author Address Department of Natural Sciences, Unitec Institute of Technology, Carrington Road, Mt. Albert, Auckland 1142, New
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  1. Age
  2. Animal behavior
  3. Animal reproduction
  4. Animal rights
  5. Animals
  6. Animal welfare
  7. Attitudes
  8. Australasia
  9. Behavior and behavior mechanisms
  10. Canidae
  11. Canine
  12. Carnivores
  13. Cats
  14. Commonwealth of Nations
  15. Demography
  16. Developed countries
  17. Dogs
  18. Education
  19. Effect
  20. Incidence
  21. Mammals
  22. New Zealand
  23. Oceania
  24. OECD countries
  25. ovariectomy
  26. peer-reviewed
  27. Pets and companion animals
  28. Questionnaires
  29. recipients
  30. Sexual behavior
  31. sexuality
  32. Sexual practices
  33. Social psychology and social anthropology
  34. sterilization
  35. vertebrates
  1. peer-reviewed