Are Canadians having a cat moment?

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Are Canadians having a cat moment?
New shelter data reveals things are improving for shelter cats

December 18, 2014 (OTTAWA) – This holiday season it’s difficult to get away from cats! Between the Grumpy Cat Christmas movie, the Vancouver Canucks posing with shelter kittens and ubiquitous internet cat videos it’s impossible to ignore felines. All of this cat attention is coming at the same time as things are improving for shelter cats.

The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies’ (CFHS) annual shelter statistics were released today, revealing that feline adoption rates have increased, euthanasia rates have decreased and fewer cats were taken in by shelters. The 2013 data was collected from 90 shelters across Canada, representing the best information about companion animals in Canadian shelters.

“Not only has the cat adoption rate increased, for the first time it has surpassed the dog rate,” says Dr. Toolika Rastogi, Policy and Research Manager at the CFHS. “More Canadians are bringing shelter cats into their homes!”

“When the CFHS began systematically collecting shelter statistics in 1993 only 28% of cats who entered shelters were adopted, and a staggering 60% of cats were euthanized. In 2013 the adoption rate jumped to 53% and the euthanasia rate dropped to 37%,” says Dr. Rastogi.

Surprisingly, lost cats are less likely to be reunited with their owners now than in the past – in fact the reclaimed by owner rate for cats has actually dropped over time. In 2013 only 3.5% of cats in shelters were reunited with their owners. Reclaim rates for cats have consistently been 5% or less, at their highest in the late 1990s.

“The reclaim rates for cats are even more shocking when they are compared to those for dogs,” says Dr. Rastogi. “Lost dogs in shelters are nine times more likely than lost cats to be reclaimed by their owner,” says Dr. Rastogi. “The best present a cat can receive is some form of identification, be it a collar tag or a microchip, so that they can be reunited with their family if they are lost.”

Right now there are thousands of cats in shelters waiting for their forever home and you don’t have to be a hockey player to cuddle them. Just imagine the cat videos you could make!

To read the full shelter statistics report, visit

The CFHS is Canada’s voice for animal welfare, driving positive, progressive change to end animal cruelty, improve animal protection and promote the humane treatment of all animals.

Media contact: 
Kim Elmslie, Communications and Advocacy Manager, 613.224.8072 ext. 12

Media Release: Are Canadians having a cat moment?
Are Canadians having a cat moment?
Humane Canada (also known as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies) is Canada's federation of SPCAs and humane societies, representing the largest animal welfare community in Canada.