Special Issue "Urban Stray Cats: Monitoring and Control of Population"

A special issue of Animals (ISSN 2076-2615). This special issue belongs to the section "Companion Animals".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Helen Swarbrick
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Campus Cats NSW, Kensington, NSW 2033, Australia
2. Australian Pet Welfare Foundation, Kenmore, QLD 4069, Australia
3. School of Optometry and Vision Science, the University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia
Interests: urban stray cat management; population control; population monitoring; trap-neuter-release

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Management of the unowned urban stray cat population is a major challenge. This is because of the prolific breeding rate of undesexed female cats, and the considerable task of trapping and removing or desexing sufficient animals to maintain control of the population.

I encourage submissions to this special issue that present robust strategies for monitoring urban stray cat populations. Decisions about the most effective approaches to urban cat management must be informed by reliable, evidence-based methods for monitoring cats before and after interventions. There are no generally agreed standards for enumerating stray cat populations or monitoring their dynamics. Methods based on camera traps, foot patrols to count or photograph cats, and tracking collars on released animals have been used. Although theoretical modeling may provide some insight into population dynamics, this approach should ideally be supported by evidence from field-based research.

There is considerable polarization among scientists and the animal welfare community about the most effective, practical and humane approaches to urban stray cat management, given the constraints of manpower and economics. Proposed solutions range from focused or generalized trap/cull programs, through to broadly applied or targeted trap/desex strategies with or without release of the animal back into its urban environment. The impacts of adoption of young tameable animals, euthanasia of apparently unadoptable cats, and immigration from neighboring areas within the context of such programs also raise controversy. In this special issue, I hope to stimulate ongoing informed discussion of the relative merits and effectiveness of these different population control strategies.

Prof. Helen Swarbrick
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Animals is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Urban feline
  • Unowned
  • Stray
  • Cat management
  • Spay/neuter
  • Euthanasia
  • Trap-neuter-release
  • Population monitoring
  • Population modeling
  • Rehoming
  • adoption
  • Identification
  • Microchipping
  • Immigration
  • Population control

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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