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Canada’s Cat Overpopulation Crisis

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The biggest problem that threatens cats in Canada is homelessness.

Cats are a domesticated species that need human care to survive and stay healthy — especially during cold Canadian winters. But every year, the population of homeless cats grows, and more and more cats flow into already crowded animal shelters. It is estimated that less than half of cats admitted to shelters are adopted. The majority are euthanized. Many never make it to a shelter, and die painful deaths outside.

The homeless cat crisis affects nearly every community in Canada, urban and rural.

To learn more about the homeless cat crisis, what fuels it, and why it’s so hard to solve, click here.

Click the images below to read the Cats in Canada Report

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What is the CFHS doing about it?

Shelters in your neighborhood are overwhelmed with the number of cats in crisis – just like every other SPCA and humane society across the country. And, they need the CFHS’s help today, more than ever.

While our members deal with these issues in their local communities, they need the CFHS to work at the national level developing new and innovative programs to help them get more cats off the streets and into loving homes. That’s why, after months of months of ground-breaking and intense industry research, the CFHS’s Cat Overpopulation task force is preparing a comprehensive, multi-stakeholder report that includes practical, hands-on tools for our members across the country to use as they struggle to address their local homeless cat issue.

But, we can’t do it alone. YOU can help, as well.

More than one way to SAVE a cat

The good news is that every Canadian can take action to save cats’ lives. To re-phrase an old anti-feline saying, there is more than one way to save a cat. Here are six:

  • ADOPT. Adopt a cat from an animal shelter or animal rescue group. Remember: kittens are cute, but adult cats are the ones whose lives are most at risk.
  • FOSTER. Give a temporary home to a cat in need by volunteering to foster cats or kittens for your local humane society, SPCA or cat rescue group. By fostering, you save two lives: one of the cat you foster (who might not have survived in the stressful shelter environment), and one of the animal who benefits from an extra space freed up in the shelter.
  • SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR CAT. Help cut off cat overpopulation at the source. If your cat isn’t spayed or neutered, ask yourself: can you guarantee that each and every kitten your cat might produce will end up in a secure, permanent home?
  • DONATE. The problem we face is deep and it’s complicated. By taking action TODAY and supporting the CFHS’s homeless cat crisis response you are helping us put solutions into the hands of shelters across the country. .

To download a pdf copy of this list, click here.

Please forward it, post it online, print copies, and distribute or post them in public places to help raise awareness of the stray cat crisis and its solutions!

More resources

CATS Count in Canada – Report Presentation

You will need to enter your email and name to download the file

Please enter your name and email to access the file

For cat owners and owners-to-be

Follow the link above for resources that cover topics like helping a new cat adapt to your household, understanding your cat’s scratching behaviour and keeping your cat safe and happy indoors.

For humane societies and SPCAs

Check out this page for resources on keeping cats happy and healthy in shelters, increasing adoptions, using volunteer fosterers to increase capacity, advocating for cat-friendly municipal by-laws, spay-neuter initiatives and more.

For those who want to help feral cats

“Feral” means a cat who was born as a stray and has never been socialized to humans. Increasingly, caring people are learning how to help these vulnerable cats survive outside while also having them spayed or neutered, to halt the vicious cycle of overpopulation.

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