In 2012 Humane Canada published the first comprehensive report on the cat overpopulation crisis in Canada ( A follow up report was published in 2017 – Cats in Canada 2017).
The report included input from more than 400 stakeholders including humane societies, SPCAs, cat rescue organizations, spay/neuter groups, trap-neuter-return groups, veterinarians and local governments. It confirmed the many negative consequences of cat overpopulation which includes, homelessness (and all the terrible things that can be a result of that), overflowing animal shelters and the killing of healthy animals (Both the NS SPCA and Bide Awhile are no kill shelters).
Sadly, cats do not receive the same consideration as dogs do. They are considered by some people to be “disposable”. At most animal shelters in Canada cats are admitted at rate that is twice as frequent as dogs and adopted out at lower rates than dogs.
Although things are improving on the cat over population front, there is still work to be done. We believe in a multi-pronged solution to the problem. This approach includes programs such as: low cost spay/neuter, trap-neuter-return, animal rescue, animal shelters and public education.
In our community we have programs running on all fronts, except for public education. This project is focused on educating people on why they should keep their cats indoors. Humane Canada estimates that 72% of Canadians keep their cats indoors. A survey done as part of this project indicates that Nova Scotians are similar to the rest of Canada in this regard.
However, it’s the 28% of households that allow their cats to roam freely that is of concern. The stray/lost/abandoned cats that are brought into rescue programs and shelters come from somewhere. And the feral cats in our community are the descendants of these homeless cats. Keeping more cats indoors will help with cat overpopulation.
We believe that indoor cats are good for everyone. Especially for the cats, but also for wildlife and our community at large.
This public education project was made possible by a grant from the CanFel Foundation.