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Open AccessArticle

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

1
School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland, Gatton 4343, Australia
2
Jemora Pty Ltd, PO Box 2277, Geelong 3220, Australia
3
School of Psychological Science, La Trobe University, Bendigo 3550, Australia
4
Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), Wacol Animal Care Campus, Wacol 4076, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Clive Phillips and Marina von Keyserlingk
Animals 2016, 6(3), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani6030023
Received: 17 March 2015 / Revised: 22 January 2016 / Accepted: 28 January 2016 / Published: 16 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management and Welfare of Shelter Animals)
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: cat; animal shelter; surrender; sterilization; excess pets; relinquishment cat; animal shelter; surrender; sterilization; excess pets; relinquishment
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Alberthsen, C.; Rand, J.; Morton, J.; Bennett, P.; Paterson, M.; Vankan, D. Numbers and Characteristics of Cats Admitted to Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) Shelters in Australia and Reasons for Surrender. Animals 2016, 6, 23.

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