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Numbers and Characteristics of Cats Admitted to Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Shelters in Australia and Reasons for Surrender

By Corinne Alberthsen, Jacquie Rand, John Morton, Pauleen Bennett, Mandy Paterson, Dianne Vankan

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Abstract

Despite high numbers of cats admitted to animal shelters annually, there is surprisingly little information available about the characteristics of these cats. In this study, we examined 195,387 admissions to 33 Australian RSPCA shelters and six friends of the RSPCA groups from July 2006 to June 2010. The aims of this study were to describe the numbers and characteristics of cats entering Australian RSPCA shelters, and to describe reasons for cat surrender. Data collected included shelter, state, admission source, age, gender, date of arrival, color, breed, reproductive status (sterilized or not prior to admission), feral status and surrender reason (if applicable). Most admissions were presented by members of the general public, as either stray animals or owner-surrenders, and more kittens were admitted than adults. Owner-related reasons were most commonly given for surrendering a cat to a shelter. The most frequently cited owner-related reason was accommodation (i.e., cats were not allowed). Importantly, although the percentage of admissions where the cat was previously sterilized (36%) was the highest of any shelter study reported to date, this was still lower than expected, particularly among owner-surrendered cats (47%). The percentage of admissions where the cat was previously sterilized was low even in jurisdictions that require mandatory sterilization.

Submitter

Katie Carroll

Date 2016
Publication Title Animals
Volume 6
Issue 3
Publisher MDPI
DOI 10.3390/ani6030023
URL http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ani6030023
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Animal housing
  2. Animal rescue
  3. Animal roles
  4. Animal shelters
  5. Animal welfare
  6. Australia
  7. Cats
  8. Homeless pets
  9. Mammals
  10. pet adoption
  11. Pet ownership
  12. Pets and companion animals
  13. Shelter pets
  14. shelters