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Assessing the impact of a regional UK feline neutering campaign

Abstract

Neutering is key to feline population control. Neutering campaigns provide education and/or financial assistance to encourage neutering. This study assessed the impact of the Cats Protection East Midlands Neutering Campaign (CPEMNC) on the proportion and ages of cats neutered. The CPEMNC, comprising of an outreach programme and voucher-based subsidised neutering scheme, began in June 2014. A convenience sample of owners who had attended 12 regional veterinary practices to complete a cat vaccination course in June/July 2014, or to have their cat neutered in October 2014 (CAMPAIGN) were compared with an equivalent control period in 2013 (CONTROL). Data collected by postal questionnaire revealed that the proportion of cats neutered by six months of age was significantly higher and the age at neutering significantly lower in the CAMPAIGN (n=134) versus the CONTROL groups (n=100). Results of multivariable logistic regression indicated cats were significantly more likely to be neutered by six months of age if they were in the CAMPAIGN group (OR 2.44) and male (OR 2.17), compared with in the CONTROL group and female. Further work is needed to evaluate factors important for campaign success and to explore the effectiveness of campaigns within the wider community and across the UK.

  • cats
  • population dynamics
  • reproduction
  • owner attitudes to pets
  • welfare
  • surveys

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