2012 Cats in Canada Report

Canada’s Cat Overpopulation Crisis

Cat playing on the floor

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, instead, die painful deaths outside.

The homeless cat crisis affects nearly every community in Canada, urban and rural. Want to learn more?

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What is Humane Canada doing about cat overpopulation?

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

While our members deal with these issues in their local communities, they need Humane Canada to work at the national level, developing new and innovative programs to help them get more cats off the streets and into loving homes. But, we can’t do it alone. We need YOUR HELP.

More than one way to SAVE a cat

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

  • 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: the cat you foster (who might not have survived in the stressful shelter environment), and the cat 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 in his or her lifetime will end up in a secure, permanent home?
  • I.D. YOUR CAT. Even indoor cats can escape and end up lost. By giving your cat permanent identification, like a microchip and a tag with your address and contact information on it, you dramatically decrease the risk that she could become lost and never found.
  • DONATE.The problem we face is complicated. By taking action TODAY and supporting Humane Canada’s homeless cat crisis response, you are helping us put solutions into the hands of shelters across the country.
  • ADVOCATE FOR CATS by writing letters to your local government representatives. Ask them to pass by-laws that encourage or require residents to register, I.D. and spay or neuter their cats. Local governments can also prohibit residents from letting cats roam outdoors, which keeps cats (and birds) much safer.

To download a PDF copy of the above list, click here.