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Cat Overpopulation Statistics — 9 Comments

  1. I am concerned about someone keeping cats because they love them, but going overboard by keeping 3 to 5 cats caged up in their bedroom. Are there numerical living standards that cat lovers should follow to avoid mistreating cats at home?

  2. I agree, Michael. There are things that people do which are just wrong and damage not only the beings they are hurting, but themselves as well. Killing healthy cats is one, and I believing declawing cats or participating in the declawing of cars is another. People need to work– vet techs in veterinary clinics that declaw or workers at animal control may feel trapped, especially in this economy. But no one should be forced to sin against their own conscience just to make a living. I’ve been in similar situations, from schools where I couldn’t stand the teachers bad mouthing the kids in the faculty room to more recently healthcare facilities that push therapists to commit Medicare fraud in order to meet unrealistic productivity standards. In each instance, I’ve walked away and faced ridicule from family members for doing so. What if more people simply refused to do a job if it required them to act against their consciences? It takes courage to do this, especially if you are guving up income.
    Maybe if more people refused to kill the cats we’d actually have to deal with the roots of the problem instead of enabling it through the killing. The people who kill the cats think they are doing what must be done. But what if they’re like the enabler in a family that makes sure the alcoholic never deals with the consequences of his drinking? The enabler may feel noble for taking on the alcoholic’s problems and shielding him (or her) from them, but in the end alcoholism kills. We keep killing and killing all these pets, but this makes pets more easily seen as throw aways and the suffering is exacerbated through an increase in abuse and neglect cases. I believe the same is true of abortion, that far from preventing child abuse by making every child a wanted child, it increases it because if it’s ok to kill the child in the womb, then how valuable is any child really? If some humans are just thrown away then no humans are intrinsically worth much. As we throw away millions of companion animals it creates a situation where no animal is worth much. They go from being a member of the family to dumped at a shelter in the blink of an eye.

  3. Today is very close to the day three years ago when I went back to Animal Control and got Monty, after several days of begging my husband to let me keep him. Had either of us known his real chances there, we never would have turned him in at all. The month I rescued Monty 636 cats were killed at that place. I still don’t understand why the woman at the front desk didn’t tell me plainly just how bleak his chances were. She said he would go to the Humane Society for adoption. That just was not true. He would have been put down, and it would have been 637 cats killed that month, and I never would have known. I would have been thinking all along that he found a home and family. The woman at animal control acted like euthanasia would happen if an animal was sick. Or rather, that is what I assumed, and she didn’t correct that assumption. If she had said, there just are not enough homes for these cats, we kill hundreds of healthy ones every month, I would have adopted him right then and there and he wouldn’t have spent a week there. Although, they did get him to eat and they began the process of socializing him. I don’t know how people can work there, treating sick and injured cats, feeding them, socializing them– knowing that at the end of their seven day hold, almost all of the cats will be put down.

    • Tense story, Ruth. People must get inured to the mass slaughter. I actually think it is dangerous to people’s mental health to kill so many domestic cats every year. It makes people blasé about the whole thing. It is not natural and normal to kill cats so frequently and in such large numbers. I could never do it. I couldn’t get close to doing it.

  4. What depressing statistics and I notice no statistics for the number of declawed cats, this is always hidden. Yet people believe rubbing a cat’s nose in mess is effective discipline, I wonder how many of the cats who mess in inappropriate places were declawed and had good reason to do so.
    Misbehaving out of spite? That shows the utter ignorance or contempt for cats of the people who thought that, they must be the ones who expect a cat to behave like a human. So many fearful cats too, a happy, well treated, content cat is not fearful, this tells me many cats live sad, bewildering, miserable lives with people who should never have a cat in their power. Most being indoor cats, haven’t even the escape route of some freedom outdoors. Education about cats is very sadly lacking in the USA and it’s even worse than I thought! Killing cats in Shelters seems to be accepted as normal.The real cat lovers in the USA have my deepest sympathy, it’s bad enough hearing about all the suffering and misery and killing of so many cats from here but to have to live with it happening right there must be heartbreaking.

    • Yes, Ruth, these are uncomfortable stats. They come from the best sources. This is not internet fudge but as accurate as you can get. Of course all the figures relate to cat overpopulation and are therefore bound to portray a bad side of cat caretaking but nonetheless it is does not make happy reading. In the excellent book, The Welfare of Cats there is nothing on declawing as far as I can see.

  5. Well, this is certainly depressing to read. I was surprised to find the example I relate to best is a low 14%. All of my cats were strays or feral.

    Thanks for the added note at the bottom. The figures don’t speak well for our country. Oddly, in my personal world at the ripe old age of 59, I see mostly the best side of animal care. Thank goodness or I’d surely become a crazy cat lady.


    • It makes depressing reading I agree but it shouldn’t detract from the millions of responsible cat caretakers. The reason why I collated the information like this is because I want the stats to speak for themselves and I want an end to the killing. This is the most important aspect of cat welfare in the United States and nothing profound and effective is being done about it.

      One other good thing is that studies are being done in the USA. I don’t see this kind of information readily available in the UK or elsewhere.

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