In order to improve the welfare of companion animals, the animal welfare community and the public at large need to know the number of animals in shelters and what the outcome is for these animals after they are admitted.
Humane Canada™, formerly known as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies, gathers data on the number of animals entering humane society and SPCA shelters as well as the numbers adopted, returned to their owners or euthanized. This information provides a national picture of the important role shelters play in their communities.
Humane Canada's™ Canadian Animal Shelter Statistics represent the best available information about companion animals in Canadian shelters. Reports from 2017 and earlier are available for download below, along with a year-by-year comparison document that shows sheltering trends over time.
Click on the images below to download our reports.
2018 Canadian Animal Shelter Statistics Report
2017 Canadian Animal Shelter Statistics Report
Note that the 2016 Canadian Animal Shelter Statistics were published in our most recent Cats in Canada report, which you can find here. The report includes statistics on both cats and dogs.
2015 Canadian Animal Shelter Statistics Report
2014 Canadian Animal Shelter Statistics Report
2013 Canadian Animal Shelter Statistics Report
2012 Canadian Animal Shelter Statistics Report
Download this yearly comparison document to see upward and downward trends in Canadian sheltering outcomes for cats and dogs over the years.
Halloween is a fun time of year for humans, but it isn't always the case for pets. A parade of strangers in even stranger outfits ringing the doorbell can cause anxiety, and there are a number of threats to them – human and otherwise – on Halloween night.
Follow these safety tips below for a safer and happier Halloween for your pets.
Keep your pets away from chocolate. Between visitors, store these treats where your pets can't reach them. Even in minuscule doses, ingesting chocolate can be fatal to cats and dogs. Make sure the kids in your life know not to share their treats with their furry friends!
Candies and candy wrappers are also unsafe for cats and dogs. An artificial sweetener called xylitol is a common ingredient in candy, and it's poisonous for most animals. Wrappers can also be a threat to pets, causing life-threatening bowel obstructions if ingested.
- Some people choose to give out boxes of raisins at Halloween as a healthier alternative to candy. This is a great idea for trick-or-treaters, but they are very poisonous for dogs and must be kept out of their reach. Same thing for grapes! Both are toxic for canines.
Want to offer pet-friendly treats for your furbabies on Halloween night? Consider wet food, extra-moist chewy cat treats, dog biscuits with peanut butter on top, unsalted and unbuttered popcorn, fruit or carrots. They'll love you for thinking of them, and it will help to distract them from human treats!
Keep a close eye on wires or cords for decorative lights – many dogs and cats like to chew on them and could suffer serious injuries as a result of the electrical current. Either tuck the cords behind furniture where they can't be reached, or watch your pets closely.
- Cats are drawn to anything interesting that they can chew, so glowsticks pose a threat to your feline friends. While eating glowsticks is not usually fatal for cats, it causes them great pain and irritation, as well as excessive drooling and foaming at the mouth. Put them away in a drawer or on a high shelf when not wearing them.
- In case your pets do make a break for it on Halloween night, ensure that they all have proper, up-to-date ID tags and/or a microchip in time for Halloween. If your beloved pet escapes and becomes lost, these forms of ID are the best way for people to know how to reunite you.
All the noise and activity of Halloween can trigger anxiety responses in pets – it's best to keep your furry companions in a quiet, closed room or covered crate during trick-or-treating hours so they don't get agitated or run out the open door. Consider a TV or some calming music to mask all the noise, and talk to the kids in your life about not scaring, harassing or otherwise abusing animals on Halloween.
- Pet costumes. Take note if your pets are resisting dress-up time – if so, respect their preference not to wear a costume. Show your furbabies how much you love them by avoiding these additional stresses on an already stressful night and try a thematic collar or bandanna instead. If you're absolutely certain that your animals don't mind getting dressed up for Halloween, make sure that there are no dangly items like bells or buttons on their costumes that they may potentially choke on. Same goes for children's costumes – animals like to attack dangly things. And remember that your pets may not recognize you in costume!
It’s International Homeless Animals Day, a day that, for the past 25 years, has been highlighting the crisis of companion animal overpopulation and its solution: spay/neuter. In most of Canada today, this crisis is centred around our most popular companion animal – the cat.
When many of us hear about cat overpopulation, we picture an overabundance of cats in animal shelters and not enough families to adopt them – a situation that can have tragic consequences, including the risk of euthanasia. The number of cats needing homes rises as new litters of kittens are born and eventually surrendered to shelters. What most people don’t tend to understand is that, based on the sheer number and reproductive rates, the overall contribution of unowned free-roaming cats to cat overpopulation is much greater than owned cats, and this is what needs to be curtailed. But what’s the best way?
If a shelter is bursting at the seams with cats in need of adoption, and healthy-looking unowned cats are continuously brought in, does it make sense for the shelter to keep accepting them and risk overcrowding the entire animal population, leading to stress, potential illness and resulting euthanasia, while reducing the likelihood that potential adopters will find their feline companion?
An approach that has been successful in addressing this situation in some communities is called “return-to-field”. When free-roaming cats who are healthy and thriving in their outdoor home are brought to a full shelter, there is a better way for the organization to use its resources than to take them in and house them. They can provide medical treatment, including vaccination and sterilization surgery, a microchip or tattoo, and then return them to their home location where the cats have a better chance of survival than in a full shelter. They won’t contribute to the overcrowding that overextends shelter resources and makes it much less likely that the cats’ welfare needs will be met. Back in their territory, they will be less prone to fighting, roaming and mating behaviours associated with intact cats and, best of all, they will no longer contribute to an increasing feline population. For some of us, this approach may involve shifting our view of what a “home” is – perhaps to align more closely with the view of the unowned cat.
The concept of return to field is related to TNR, or Trap, Neuter, Return. TNR is the only humane, effective solution to managing and eventually eliminating populations of unowned, free-roaming cats. If we want to reduce the impacts of these cats, including wildlife predation, TNR must be done right. In brief, it’s important to understand that any well-intentioned person who is thinking of taking a few cats to be sterilized once in a while is not likely to make any impact on a community-wide scale. Effective TNR requires solid planning, sufficient resources and community-wide support.
Cooperation is an absolute necessity for a project of this scale and complexity to be successful. Thus, it’s essential to bring together all the people affected by cats, regardless of whether they’re concerned about the nuisance or the cats’ well-being. Working together towards common, stated goals is the first step. Not all situations are the same; each community will need to develop a custom approach, with collaboration, coordination and buy-in from all stakeholders, including the public. There are also the many volunteers to coordinate – TNR requires diligent caretakers to oversee colonies of cats, providing them food and monitoring their health, in addition to trapping cats when it’s time for their spay/neuter surgery.
Because cat populations are fluid, free-roaming owned cats will interact with unowned cats. As well, irresponsible owners may abandon cats in areas where outdoor populations already exist. Thus, a TNR program must be carried out in combination with public education initiatives regarding the importance of early sterilization of owned cats (cats can become pregnant as early as four months of age) and the illegality and cruelty of abandoning animals.
It’s important for TNR advocates to get buy-in from local government, and municipal bylaws should be written to support both current and future TNR efforts. For owned cats, promoting responsible guardianship is key, including the need for permanent pet identification so lost and stray cats can be recovered, cat licensing, incentivizing sterilization, limiting free-roaming and prohibiting abandonment. However, such requirements should exempt free-roaming colony cats, whose caretakers are not really “owners” in the same sense, and for whom the policy objectives are different. Caretakers should not be punished for feeding their charges. They should be allowed to provide feed to the colony in a way that does not attract wildlife or encourage immigration of new cats to the area. Colony cats should not be counted as “owned” if bylaws include a limit to the number of cats a resident can keep. Similarly, returning cats to their colony or neighbourhood after vet care should not be considered “abandonment”. Smart municipalities support TNR because it addresses public health and safety concerns as well as reducing cat-related complaints.
With regard to actually devising a TNR population management program, there are a number of best practices to follow:
A TNR initiative should be geographically targeted to areas where the highest concentration of free-roaming cats exist or areas that are important to vulnerable wildlife.
It’s important to get one population or colony under control before tackling subsequent ones.
Start by addressing the resources in the area, such as food sources, prior to tackling sterilization. If there is abundant, freely available food, immigration of other cats into the area can thwart any decreases in population that could be achieved through spay/neuter efforts. Caretakers should provide the sole stable food source to colony cats, on a set schedule.
A minimum of 65 or 70 per cent of the population should be sterilized, understanding that population stabilization and reduction will be achieved faster with as rates approach 100 per cent. Progress towards the sterilization target and other goals must be monitored and must guide the next trapping targets.
TNR efforts should be coupled with vaccinations (particularly rabies), parasite treatments and a general health check. The sterilized cat should be marked with the universal sign of a left ear tip and preferably another form of permanent identification and, once recovered, returned to their home territory and monitored. Friendly strays and kittens who are young enough to be socialized can be integrated into homes or adoption facilities, where space exists. That said, it’s important to stay focused on meeting the project’s sterilization targets rather than diverting resources towards fostering and adoption, or population control will not be effective.
A long-term commitment to the program (on the order to five years or more, depending on the population) is essential to produce a decline in the population – the ultimate goal of TNR. As a result, continued funding is essential for lasting success. All of this requires many volunteers, including caretakers and vets and, of course, funding sources.
Relocation of cats or colonies is not an easy process and should not be undertaken lightly. Cats are very strongly bonded to their territories. Any attempt to relocate them will mean confining them in their new home for weeks while they build confidence that resources will be sufficiently provided by the caretaker. Otherwise, they are likely to leave in search of their previous home. Relocation may be necessary to protect important wildlife habitats.
Readers interested in learning more about TNR can find online resources from organizations with fantastic expertise in the area, such as PetSmart Charities.
If you want to learn more about advocating for accessible spay/neuter services in Canada, please explore our Accessible Spay/Neuter toolkit here.
Happy International Cat Day – the day dedicated to celebrating our extraordinary feline friends! There is no denying that cats are endearing and playful companions with whom we share the most special of bonds. Today is a day to revel in the specialness of that human-cat bond and the distinct place these animals hold in our lives.
To celebrate, we want to help you to gain a better understanding of cats! Here are 4 things you might not know.
You’re already well aware that kittens and cats purr when they’re content, but did you know that a cat’s purr serves more than just one purpose?
Purring is a way for cats to communicate their emotional state.
Like how humans smile for a variety of reasons, including happiness, nervousness or because we’re trying to make another person feel more comfortable, cats use purring in the same manner. Cats purr when they’re happy, but they also use it to soothe themselves or other cats when they’re nervous, sick or in pain.
Purring releases endorphins in cats, and many use their purr for self-healing. According to Pam Johnson-Bennett, a cat behaviour expert and owner of a private veterinarian-referred behaviour practice Cat Behaviour Associate, “purrs vibrate at 25-150HZ, which is the frequency that assists in physical healing and bone mending. It may also be that purring during resting is a form of physical therapy to keep the cat’s bones strong since the frequency range of 25 to 150HZ increases bone density. So even as a cat is napping or resting, he might be keeping his bones strong and healthy.”
Unlike their canine counter-parts, panting is rare for cats. While, in some cases, cat panting is normal and not a reason to be concerned, especially if your feline friend has been outside in overly warm weather or just finished up an intense play session, panting can also signal a more serious condition.
Cats pant for a variety of reasons, including anxiety, fear or excitement, but if your cat’s panting is excessive or they appear to be in distress, it is important to investigate the underlying cause. Cat panting has been known to be an indicator of asthma, heartworm disease, neurological disorders or respiratory infections.
No matter the cause of your cat’s panting, it is always a good idea to consult your veterinarian about whether there is a need for further evaluation or treatment.
For years cat owners have set out food and water side-by-side for their feline companions. But, did you know that cats actually prefer to keep their food and water in different areas?
This is because cats are natural hunters. Historically, the action of catching prey can often times be messy. While our indoor cats are not typically out catching prey, the instinct of the hunter is still strong. Cats prefer to keep contaminants like blood, flesh, or dirt away from their drinking water.
If your cat doesn’t seem to be drinking from a water dish that’s near his food, try separating them. Keep food in their “core areas”, places where they often sleep or play, and water in another, easily accessible location.
And, speaking of water…
Everything but the Bowl
Have you ever noticed that your cat might actually prefer to take a long cool drink from the leaky tap, or even favours drinking out of the toilet bowl instead of their personalized, spotlessly clean bowl you’ve set out for them?
This is due to two reasons, the first being that, like their desert dwelling ancestors, cats lack a strong thirst drive. In the wild, big typically get their water from their diet of small prey animals, due to the lack of water found in their natural habitats.
The second being, in the wild, cats are highly sensitive to predators. If a cat’s water bowl is placed in an area they may feel vulnerable in, like placed in a corner with little visibility to their surroundings, cats may be averted to a different drinking source, thinking household predators might sneak up behind them.
Feeding your cat food that has high moisture content is essential to their wellbeing. And, to keep your cat healthy and hydrated, offer water in a safe and accessible area, away from their food.
We hope that these four facts about cats have brought you a better understanding of your feline friend! Happy International Cat Day!
For decades, cat people and bird people have been at odds with each other. But the welfare of one does not need to be sacrificed in order to protect the other. We have a responsibility to all of this country’s animals and need to work to improve the situation for both cats and birds. Pitting them against each other fails to address the perils facing both. Solutions for our embattled birds are necessary, but we can’t lose sight of how dire the situation is for Canada’s cats.
That’s why Humane Canada is partnering with Nature Canada on the Keep Cats Safe and Save Bird Lives program, an initiative that brings together cat people and bird people and encourages them to work together to better protect both groups of animals. By bringing together Canada’s oldest conservation charity and Canada’s largest animal welfare community, we’re increasing knowledge and education on the benefits to cats, birds and others when owned cats are prevented from roaming unsupervised outdoors. And we’re ensuring that broad-based strategies and actions initiated to help one group don’t cause harm to the other.
We know that both cats and birds are facing very difficult odds in Canada. Twice as many cats are brought to shelters as dogs and, in 2015, approximately five times more cats were euthanized than dogs. Generally, about 70 per cent of stray dogs taken in to shelters are reclaimed by their guardians, compared to 10 per cent of stray cats. In the outdoors, cats are exposed to a variety of threats, including diseases, vehicle collisions and fights with wildlife and other cats. While a cat’s independent nature might lead some people to treat them like something between a pet and wildlife, we owe cats the same level of care we give our dogs.
While cats are facing a number of different threats, so are our birds. The official list of bird species at risk increased from 47 to 86 between 2001 and 2014, and some bird populations have declined by more than 90 per cent. Predation by free-roaming cats only adds to the much more significant risks that birds face due to habitat destruction and climate change.
For the welfare of cats and birds, we need to change how we care for our feline friends. It’s counter-productive to malign cats in the hopes of protecting birds, which is why we’ve chosen to get involved in a unified campaign that aims to educate the public and transform assumptions about how to approach cat and bird protection. Let’s curb the vitriol between these two camps. Together, we can – and will – do better.
How you can keep your cat safe and save bird lives at the same time:
Consider harness training
Training your cat to walk on a harness is a fantastic way to give your cat access to the great outdoors without risking their safety or that of other local wildlife. Just remember to let your cat take the lead in the process and don’t push them to do anything they’re resisting. For tips on how to go about humane leash training, check out this blog post.
Build a safe outdoor space
Cat enclosures, catios and cat fences can be built by you or bought from a manufacturer. These enclosed spaces allow your cat to enjoy all the perks of the outdoors without risking their safety.
Enrich the indoor environment
Many cats can easily transition to the indoors when given the proper stimuli. Enrich their indoor environment by providing a window perch next to a properly screened and secured window that will allow them to view the outdoors. Cats also enjoy stable and safe play spaces to climb, like cat trees, gyms or condos. Ensure play spaces are fit with a variety of both interactive and simple toys. Spaces that include a scratching post are the most enjoyable and allow cats to exhibit natural behaviours.
In 2012, Humane Canada published a ground-breaking report about the crisis faced by Canadians and our most popular companion animal: cats. The report, Cats in Canada: A Comprehensive Report on the Cat Overpopulation Crisis, raised national awareness about one of the most pressing animal welfare issues in Canada.
Each year, hundreds of thousands of animals enter our shelters and, by far, the majority of these are cats. Some are pets surrendered by owners who can no longer care for them. Others are found roaming as strays or abandoned by irresponsible guardians. Cats are less likely to be reunited with their owners than dogs and, once in shelter care, it typically takes longer to adopt out cats than it does dogs. Some are never adopted. Cats in shelters may be euthanized when they become ill – a development that can be hastened by stress. Many shelters struggle each year with the unending stream of new feline arrivals.
The first report of its kind, Cats in Canada investigated this overwhelming situation of cat overpopulation and presented data regarding the extent of homelessness, overburdened animal shelters and euthanasia. It provided the first Canadian estimates on the scale of the issue, based on 478 responses from veterinarians, municipal shelters, humane societies and SPCAs, rescue organizations, trap-neuter-return groups, spay/neuter groups and other organizations that help house or care for stray, abandoned and feral cats in Canada.
The report looked at the extent of Canada’s cat overpopulation problem and identified potential solutions. It also addressed the important contribution that veterinarians make to address the issue. Both animal welfare organizations and veterinarians widely agree that a key solution to this overpopulation crisis is accessible spay/neuter surgery (i.e.: available to as many pet guardians as possible). Accessible services remove barriers to spay/neuter surgery, like the cost of the procedure and geography.
As a result of the study, stakeholders across Canada launched a number of initiatives to reduce and address cat overpopulation. These initiatives included hosting community discussions about local and regional cat overpopulation, celebrating the human-cat bond while raising public awareness about cat welfare, advocating for accessible spay/neuter services and advancing knowledge about best practices to improve outcomes for shelter cats.
Five years later, we want to track the effectiveness of what’s been done so far to tackle the overpopulation crisis. Which is where you come in. Humane Canada is currently conducting a follow-up study to measure where we are with cat overpopulation in Canada after five years of dedicated work on the issue. Recent statistics suggest the number of homeless cats in Canada is decreasing, but we need this five-year follow-up data to reach a more conclusive answer.
If you are a veterinarian or work with a municipal shelter, humane society or SPCA, rescue, trap-neuter-return or spay/neuter group – or any other organization that helps to house or care for stray, abandoned and feral cats in Canada – we need your data!
Please take the time to complete our national survey, which is open until July 31. Your input is critical to the success of this study! Click here to take part: catsincanada.ipsosinteractive.com.
If you have any questions or need more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (613) 224-8072 ext. 21.
Humane Canada gratefully acknowledges the financial support of The Summerlee Foundation, BC SPCA, Edmonton Humane Society, Toronto Humane Society and Winnipeg Humane Society in helping to fund our Cats in Canada research.
Animal welfare organizations and veterinarians widely agree that a key solution to the crisis of overpopulation and homelessness of companion animals is accessible, affordable spay/neuter surgery. Furthermore, accessible spay/neuter initiatives have positive outcomes for public health and safety, which translates to reduced public spending.
Read the Humane Canada position statement on spay/neuter here.
Humane Canada's report, The Case for Accessible Spay/Neuter in Canada, lays out the evidence for these benefits and savings, and provides examples of successful initiatives that can be modeled in other communities. The report also makes recommendations for how animal welfare organizations, the veterinary community and governments to advance accessible spay/neuter.
Click on a heading to download each document:
"The invaluable information gathered in this report provides the foundation for all stakeholders to move forward working together to reduce the number of homeless and stray pets and, ultimately, end the need for euthanasia as a means of population control. By working in partnership, veterinarians, municipalities and animal welfare groups can spearhead efforts through accessible spay/neuter programs to create communities that are safe for everyone – both animals and people.” -Lisa Koch, Executive Director, Regina Humane Society
Take action to advocate for accessible spay/neuter in your community
This section provides tools for you to advocate for accessible spay/neuter initiatives in your community by raising awareness of this critical animal welfare issue with local media and politicians. Key messages for meetings and interviews are provided, along with templates for letters and presentations to decision-makers.
Click on a heading to download each document:
This section provides tools to help you implement accessible spay/neuter initiatives in your community.
"We experience the reality of pet overpopulation every day at our shelter. We firmly believe the key solution that will end the cycle of shelter overcrowding and unnecessary euthanasia will be providing greater opportunities for more pet owners to spay and neuter their pets. We intend to use this report to help ensure that becomes a reality in our province in the very near future.” - Kelly Mullaly, Former Executive Director, PEI Humane Society
Below are some inspiring public service announcements and documentary videos about spay/neuter.
Alberta Spay/Neuter Task Force
Cote Saint-Luc Cats Committee
Community Collaborations for the Advancement of Accessible Spay/Neuter
Presented by Kathy Innocente, Animal Care Manager, and LeeAnn Sealey, Clinic Director
This session will focus on the challenges and successes that shelters may face in collaborating with community veterinarians and rescue organizations. The webinar will share perspectives from both an animal welfare organization and veterinary point of view. Learn what worked and what didn’t, and what they are still learning today.
The Alberta Spay/Neuter Task Force: A Community-Based Solution for Managing Companion Animal Populations
Presented by: Nancy Larsen, President and Co-founder and R.J. Bailot, Executive Director and Co-founder of the Alberta Spay/Neuter Task Force
The Alberta Spay/Neuter Task Force (ASNTF) is a dedicated and compassionate team of volunteer veterinarians, animal health technologists and general volunteers that provide pro-active, community based pet wellness clinics for areas that are experiencing pet overpopulation issues, including First Nation communities. ASNTF’s primary goal is to improve the health and well-being of the dogs and cats in the community and to reduce human health issues that have resulted from this pet overpopulation. The Task Force has the ability to set up a MASH-type surgical unit in a school gym, community centre or other venue within the community to spay and neuter up to 420 animals over one weekend.
Saving Lives Through Prevention: Getting Serious about Cat Spay/Neuter
Presented by: Amy Morris, Manager, Public Policy and Outreach, BC SPCA
This session for sheltering organizations focuses on making an effective transition to a prevention model, specifically around spaying and neutering. It reviews the importance of partnership, technology and data, and effective messaging to create long-term societal change. The webinar uses concrete examples to help you take your spay/neuter program from feeling like a drop in a bucket towards an empty shelter!
Funding for this project was generously provided by PetSmart Charities of Canada.
Special thanks to Lisa Koch of Regina Humane Society for her extraordinary contribution to this project.
We would also like to thank the following individuals and organizations for their contributions:
AASAO; Airport Animal Hospital, Regina SK; Alberta Animal Services; Alberta Spay/Neuter Task Force; ASPCA; BC SPCA; Dr. Johanna Booth, Toronto Animal Services / Toronto Street Cats; Calgary Humane Society; Kelly Campbell, PetSmart Charities; Lorne Chow, City of Regina; City of Ottawa Spay/Neuter Clinic; City of Regina; Canadian Veterinary Medical Association; Edmonton Humane Society; Sandra Flemming, Nova Scotia SPCA; Fredericton SPCA; Guelph Humane Society; Humane Alliance; Kelly Mullaly; Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society; Meow Foundation; Montreal SPCA; Newfoundland Department of Natural Resources; Ontario SPCA; Stephanie Rigby, Prince Edward Island Humane Society; Saskatoon SPCA; SpayAid PEI; Spay Day HRM; University of Guelph Library; Winnipeg Humane Society.
Finally, thank you to our celebrity spokescats Tiny (Fredericton SPCA) and Earl Grey (Spay Day HRM).
Project documents were translated by Pierre René de Cotret.
Design work for this project was provided by: Lola Design and Phil Communications.
Support Humane Canada today so we can create more critical resources like this toolkit!
Capacity for Care (C4C) is a management model that helps shelters better meet the needs of the animals in their facility. It creates the conditions necessary to provide shelter animals with the Five Freedoms, thereby improving the welfare of individual animals.
Through a generous grant from the Summerlee Foundation, Humane Canada™ (also known as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies) brought together the C4C Expert Team from the UC Davis Koret Shelter Medicine Program to implement this innovative, ground-breaking program in Canadian shelters.
Below, you will find our final report on the pilot program, which showcases the results from our six pilot sites across Canada. Humane Canada™ member organizations Prince Edward Island Humane Society, Guelph Humane Society, Kitchener-Waterloo Humane Society, SPCA Montreal, Calgary Humane Society and Edmonton Humane Society have each implemented C4C in their shelters, and what they've been able to achieve is inspiring.
The case studies below describe the experience of each pilot shelter in putting the new model in place.
Click on the English or French image below to download the document in your language of choice:
To learn more about the installation and use of portals in animal shelters, please go here and search the term "portal".
Canada’s Cat Overpopulation Crisis
The biggest problem that threatens cats in Canada is homelessness.
Cats are a domesticated species that need human care to survive and stay healthy - especially during cold Canadian winters. But every year, the population of homeless cats grows, and more and more cats flow into already crowded animal shelters. It is estimated that less than half of cats admitted to shelters are adopted. The majority are euthanized. Many never make it to a shelter and, instead, die painful deaths outside.
The homeless cat crisis affects nearly every community in Canada, urban and rural. Want to learn more?
Click the image below to download the 2017 Cats in Canada Report
Click the images below to read the original 2012 Cats in Canada Report
What is Humane Canada™ doing about cat overpopulation?
Shelters in your neighborhood are overwhelmed with the number of cats in crisis – just like every other SPCA and humane society across the country. And they need the help of Humane Canada™ today, more than ever.
While our members deal with these issues in their local communities, they need Humane Canada™ to work at the national level, developing new and innovative programs to help them get more cats off the streets and into loving homes. But, we can’t do it alone. We need YOUR HELP.
More than one way to SAVE a cat
The good news is that every Canadian can take action to save cat lives. To re-phrase an old anti-feline saying, there is more than one way to save a cat.
Here are six ways you can help right now:
- ADOPT. Adopt a cat from an animal shelter or animal rescue group. Remember: kittens are cute, but adult cats are the ones whose lives are most at risk.
- FOSTER. Give a temporary home to a cat in need by volunteering to foster cats or kittens for your local humane society, SPCA or cat rescue group. By fostering, you save two lives: the cat you foster (who might not have survived in the stressful shelter environment), and the cat who benefits from an extra space freed up in the shelter.
- SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR CAT. Help cut off cat overpopulation at the source. If your cat isn’t spayed or neutered, ask yourself: can you guarantee that each and every kitten your cat might produce in his or her lifetime will end up in a secure, permanent home?
- I.D. YOUR CAT. Even indoor cats can escape and end up lost. By giving your cat permanent identification, like a microchip and a tag with your address and contact information on it, you dramatically decrease the risk that she could become lost and never found.
- DONATE.The problem we face is complicated. By taking action TODAY and supporting Humane Canada's homeless cat crisis response, you are helping us put solutions into the hands of shelters across the country.
- ADVOCATE FOR CATS by writing letters to your local government representatives. Ask them to pass by-laws that encourage or require residents to register, I.D. and spay or neuter their cats. Local governments can also prohibit residents from letting cats roam outdoors, which keeps cats (and birds) much safer.