Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Perceptions of community cats and preferences for their management in Guelph, Ontario. Part I: A quantitative analysis.

Abstract

In 2014, 116 Guelph residents were surveyed to investigate attitudes about community cats and preferences for population management. There are an estimated 29 579 owned cats in Guelph, an estimated 40% of residents allow outdoor access to their cat(s), and 8054 households (15%) feed community cats. Participants reported more concern with community cat welfare than nuisance behavior. There were high levels of support for responsible pet ownership education (90%), accessible or low-cost spay/neuter (86%), and trap-neuter-return (78%), and low levels of support for inaction (4%) and euthanasia (20%). Respondents who did not own cats or who considered cats as "pests" or a "non-native, invasive species" were more supportive of euthanasia. Results suggest that Guelph residents want to see action taken to address community cat population concerns, and that proactive management tools such as education, accessible or low-cost spay/neuter, and trap-neuter-return would be well supported and less divisive than euthanasia.