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Canada  

9.3M cats and counting

A new study on cat overpopulation in Canada says more of the pets are being sterilized to reduce unwanted litters, but there are still more cats than people willing to give them homes.

The report by the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies recommends more should be done to encourage spaying and neutering, even for kittens as young as six weeks old.

"Cat overpopulation continues to challenge communities across Canada," says the report released Thursday.

"There are still twice as many cats being admitted to shelters as dogs and the fraction of those cats who are juveniles is also twice as high as for dogs, pointing to the continuing problem of unwanted litters."

The new findings indicate more cats are being adopted. Fewer cats are being put down and more lost cats are being reunited with their owners.

"The good news is we've taken some giant leaps forward in cat welfare since 2012," said Barbara Cartwright, CEO of the federation. "The bad news is it is not happening quickly enough to overcome Canada's cat overpopulation crisis."

The report notes there are an estimated 9.3 million cats in Canada. But for some reason, cats don't receive the same care and consideration as their canine counterparts.

Toolika Rastogi, the federation's policy and research manager, said cats are seen by some people as being more disposable, perhaps because they were obtained free from a relative or neighbour.

They are also more fertile than dogs and can become pregnant at a younger age.

"We have got cats being the most popular animals in the homes of Canadians, being followed very closely by dogs, and yet they are facing far more difficulty," she said.



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