Stafford, Wolverhampton & District Branch
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Cat Neutering

Overpopulation of Cats and Neutering – DID YOU KNOW?

  • -  The UK cat population is estimated around 12.2 million

  • -  24% of the adult population own cats

  • -  75% of cats are acquired as kittens

  • -  It’s an old wives’ tale that cats need to have a litter of kittens before they’re spayed. Cats

    don’t actually choose to have kittens but if she’s not been spayed, she’ll have the urge to go

    outside and mate

  • -  Kittens can get pregnant while they are still kittens themselves. To stop this happening they

    should be spayed by the time they are four months old. Once your kitten has been spayed,

    she will have the freedom to go outside without male cats wanting to mate with her

  • -  A Tom cat that hasn’t been snipped is more likely to wander off and get into fights. When

    cats fight, they can spread FIV –the cat equivalent of AIDS. The best way to stop the spread

    is to have your cat snipped. Don’t worry, FIV can’t be spread from cats to humans

  • -  Cats in the 7-12 months old bracket account for 27% of first litters, less than 6 months old

    account for 14%

  • -  At present, approx 86% of cats are neutered but in order to achieve a stable cat population a

    neutering rate of 92% first needs to be attained and then sustained. Based on an estimated cat population of 11million, this suggests an estimated shortfall of 300,000 cats. If this shortfall were to be caught –up over decades, this would correspond to an additional 30,000 neuters per annum, requiring a budget of £1.8 million

  • -  Neutering is recognised as the most effective way to control the cat population but despite 86% of cats being neutered, animal welfare organisations are experiencing high numbers of unwanted cats coming through their doors

  • -  16-34 year olds (and especially 16-24 year olds), at the lower end of the socio-economic groups who have spontaneously acquired a kitten are 50% less likely to neuter their cats

  • -  Female owners are more likely to neuter than males but females are more likely to have

    primary responsibility for pets in a multi-person household

  • -  Allowing one litter is a deeply ingrained social norm (32% of owners believe this although


  • -  Female cat owners apply anthropomorphic tendencies to their female cats (e.g. “I don’t

    want to take away her right to have babies”)

  • -  Having one litter serves as a key trigger to neuter - the reality is not as good as the idea (15%

    of all female cats have had at least one litter, of which 21% had a second litter, 7% had a

    third litter or more)

  • -  People on a local level do not see their actions of not neutering as contributing to the

    overpopulation problem

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