Community Cat Program News
Latest Community Cat Program Update
In the past month, we have:
- – Engaged the support of community members in Rosewood, Goodna, and Redbank Plains willing to have cat tracking cameras installed in their gardens. We have placed a total of 150 cameras in these suburbs;
- – Surveyed residents in Rosewood about pet ownership and preferred ways of managing stray cats;
- – Commenced desexing cats as part of the Community Cat Program in Ipswich, Queensland.
1. Cat tracking cameras installed
Motion-activated cameras placed on residential properties with the permission of residents. These have been photographing free-roaming cats. We will be comparing this data to street-level surveys that were previously undertaken, and together this data will be used to estimate free-roaming cat numbers.
2. Community surveys underway
We have been completing telephone surveys of residents in Rosewood to gather attitudes towards pet ownership (desexing, confinement, source of their pets, etc.) and how they’d like stray cats to be managed. After desexing, we’ll determine if attitudes have changed. We need this data to demonstrate to local governments that most residents support desexing, rather than culling, to manage stray cats in our cities and towns.
3. Cat desexing commenced in Rosewood
The first cat we desexed was a female stray believed to be dumped at the local tip. She had already had several litters of kittens. Happily, the local resident who found her agreed to become her registered owner after desexing. This is exactly the kind of positive change we can achieve for stray cats and those who care about them. Donate now to help continue this life-saving desexing work.
We hope to desex approximately 200 cats before Christmas. Eventually, we plan to desex over 6000 cats in the City of Ipswich to reduce cat impoundments from 9 cats per 1000 residents to less than 2 cats per 1000 residents. This will save the lives of countless cats and dogs by reducing the pressure on the local pounds and shelters.
Do Community Cat Programs change peoples’ attitudes and behaviours?
The benefits to animals have been clearly demonstrated overseas, with drastically reduced shelter intake and euthanasia following targeted desexing programs.
But what about people – do they benefit? And what are their thoughts about desexing programs vs ‘trap and kill’? To find out, we are surveying residents to determine any changes in:
- – the human-animal bond, and behaviours, of stray cat carers
- – community preferences for how stray cats are managed
One of our industry partners, Victoria’s Banyule City Council, is now surveying stray cat carers who enroll their cat in the desexing program. At our Queensland site, we’ll soon start surveying people’s preferences for cat management.
What do we hope to find?
We anticipate that carers will have a closer relationship – and display more behaviours typical of owners, like providing vaccinations and other veterinary treatment – after their cats have been desexed.
We also hope that residents who aren’t carers will be delighted that there is no longer a ‘stray cat problem’. This will be valuable when we seek legislative change.
We couldn’t do this without our generous donors.
If you would like to support our life-saving work, please donate.