Last updated: 22 Jan, 2021
Published on: 21 Jan, 2021
What is the Community Cat Program?
Changing the playing field with targeted desexing
The Community Cat Program is a science-based humane cat management program focused on targeted desexing. These programs have been extremely successful, reducing the numbers of cats entering shelters and pounds and lowering the numbers of urban stray cats in the community.
PetRescue’s aim is to see every pet in Australia safe, respected and loved, and we’re proud to be part of a groundbreaking five-year trial into humane cat management, along with fellow pet welfare champions. The trial is underpinned by a team of researchers who are international leaders in their disciplines.
The ultimate aim of this project is to obtain evidence to change legislation while investigating the effects on a humane approach to cat management on the following:
- Intake and euthanasia rates (in council pounds and shelters)
- Pound/shelter staff and volunteer carers (mental health and job satisfaction)
- Community attitudes and cat-related complaints (received by councils)
- Costs and benefits for shelters and pounds (compared to current reactive methods)
- Risks of the spread of infectious disease (to pet cats, humans and wildlife)
- Numbers of free-roaming urban strays
- Wildlife predation and cat roaming behaviour
What happens in this trial
This trial will see a new community-based cat management program implemented across selected low-socioeconomic suburbs.
Urban stray cats within these communities will be desexed and after desexing, will remain in their original location, rather than being removed and killed. This approach has proven to be successful in reducing urban stray cat populations in the US. It's already gaining momentum as best practice in other developed nations.
Based on proven and extensive overseas research, we expect the Community Cat Program will lead to:
• 30% decrease in cat intake into pounds and shelters from target areas after 1 year
• 50% decrease in the killing of healthy and treatable cats from target areas after 1 year
• 30% decrease in stray cats in target areas by year 2
• continuing declines in subsequent years
• less killing of healthy and treatable cats and dogs
• greater proportion of cats and dogs adopted
• less damage to the mental health of staff tasked with euthanasia.
The Community Cat Program works in three key areas
The first phase of this trial commenced in Rosewood (QLD) and is being driven by the Australian Pet Welfare Foundation. This trial includes promoting the program among residents, free desexing and microchipping of owned and urban stray cats, and rehoming healthy stray cats and kittens.
in creating a better future for cats...
PetRescue is proud to be part of this landmark research. We're asking all pet lovers to join us in making Australia a happier, safer place for cats and those who care for them.
As the first phase of this trial gains momentum, there is an opportunity for you, as a cat-lover, to be a part of something unique, and help bring change on a systemic level.
As we're nearing the goal of desexing at least 100 cats by the start of 2021, we're inviting funding partners and donors to support this research and take the first step towards a better future for cats and those who care for them. Get in touch with the Australian Pet Welfare Foundation for more information.