Cat Ownership & Overpopulation
By Niki Waldron, Head of Formulation
Part of Jaguar’s staff contribution series
Approximately 30-37% of households have a cat, which equates to an estimated 74-96 million cats owned in the US. In general, owned cats live longer and healthier lives.
Most cats living in households are obtained from friends or family members, with only 29% adopted from shelters and rescues. Each year, about 3.4 million cats enter animal shelters nationwide but only 1.3 million are adopted. This leaves close to 2 million cats to be euthanized each year.
Spaying and neutering of cats is the best approach to controlling the overpopulation. Cats can begin reproducing as early as 5 months of age and can give birth several times a year with 4-6 kittens per litter. In addition to helping control cat overpopulation, sterilization can help eliminate unpleasant behaviors associated with intact cats, such as spraying and fighting. The cost of spaying or neutering a cat is less than the cost of raising a litter of kittens for a year!
Pictured: Niki’s daughter’s cat, Joeman