Prevalence of desexed cats in relation to age in a convenience sample of Western Australian cats

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Abstract

Background

Desexing percentages for pet cats in Australia are nearly 95%, but the high numbers of unwanted kittens surrendered to animal shelters suggest that many pet cats breed before the owners consider desexing, or that the mothers of many of these kittens are stray or feral.

Methods and Results

A convenience sample of Western Australian pet cats of known age presented for microchipping (584 in 2012 and 316 in 2013) found that younger cats were less likely to be desexed. In 2012, 93.2% of cats aged ≥2 years were desexed compared with 49.4% of cats <2 years old, with the data for 2013 being 97.4% and 28%, respectively.

Conclusion

If these results are reflected nationally, desexing of prepubescent cats up to 4 months old could significantly reduce the numbers of unwanted kittens born to pet cats.

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