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Survey of the characteristics of cats owned by households in the UK and factors affecting their neutered status
  1. J. K. Murray, BScEcon, MSc, PhD1,
  2. M. A. Roberts, BVM&S, MRCVS2,
  3. A. Whitmars1 and
  4. T. J. Gruffydd-Jones, BVetMed, Centre PhD, MRCVS1
  1. 1 Department of Clinical Veterinary Science, University of Bristol, Langford House, Langford, North Somerset BS40 5DU
  2. 2 Cats Protection, National Cat Centre, Chelwood Gate, Haywards Heath, West Sussex RH17 7TT
  1. E-mail for correspondence: jane.murray{at}


Data were collected on 1260 cats owned by a random sample of UK households in 2007, by means of telephone questionnaires, which were completed by 33 per cent of the households contacted. Cats were owned by 26 per cent of these households, 42 per cent of which owned more than one cat. The owners of 622 female cats reported a total of 110 unplanned litters of kittens. Excluding cats with an unknown neutered status 92 per cent of the cats aged six months or more were neutered, but only 66 per cent of the cats aged six to 12 months were neutered. Multivariable logistic regression, based on data collected for one randomly selected cat aged four months or more in each cat-owning household, was used to identify factors affecting the cats' neutered status. Analysis of 48 sexually entire cats and 501 neutered cats showed that cats aged 10 months or more, with indoor access, that had been vaccinated within the last year or were currently registered with a veterinary practice, were more likely to be neutered than cats aged less than 10 months, without indoor access, that had been vaccinated more than one year ago or were not registered with a veterinary practice.

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