Reproductive capacity of free-roaming domestic cats and kitten survival rate. [Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov’t]
ABSTRACT To determine reproductive capacity of naturally breeding free-roaming domestic cats and kitten survival rate.
Prospective cohort and retrospective cross-sectional study.
2,332 female cats brought to a trap-neuter-return clinic for neutering and 71 female cats and 171 kittens comprising 50 litters from a cohort study of feral cats in managed colonies.
Data collected for all cats included pregnancy, lactation, and estrus status and number of fetuses for pregnant cats. Additional data collected for feral cats in managed colonies included numbers of litters per year and kittens per litter, date of birth, kitten survival rate, and causes of death.
Pregnant cats were observed in all months of the year, but the percentage of cats found to be pregnant was highest in March, April, and May. Cats produced a mean of 1.4 litters/y, with a median of 3 kittens/litter (range, 1 to 6). Overall, 127 of 169 (75%) kittens died or disappeared before 6 months of age. Trauma was the most common cause of death.
Results illustrate the high reproductive capacity of free-roaming domestic cats. Realistic estimates of the reproductive capacity of female cats may be useful in assessing the effectiveness of population control strategies.
Full-textDOI: · Available from: Michael K Stoskopf, Aug 29, 2015
- SourceAvailable from: Philip H Kass
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
- "Preventing such input defies simplistic solutions, because although 93% of cat owners were willing to have their own pets surgically sterilized, it is unrealistic to expect the 7% of the population that feeds an average of 3 stray cats to assume the hundreds of dollars necessary to surgically alter these cats. Conversely, the cost of not altering the cats is to add 3.5 kittens per year (Nutter, Levine & Stoskopf, 2004; Pedersen, 1991) for each stray female, which at the cost to a shelter of approximately $250 per cat would cost a shelter almost $900 in husbandry expenses for those 3.5 kittens; were they not sheltered, the kittens would be expected to have 75% mortality (Table 1). The underscores why low-cost spay and neuter programs directed to reducing the un-owned and feral cat populations continue to be integral to not only reducing cat mortality at the shelters, but also to managing the cost to the various municipalities to handle and house the stray cats. "
ABSTRACT: The measurable benefits of animal control programs are unknown and the aim of this study was to determine the impact of these programs on pet population changes. A prospective cross-sectional study of 1000 households was implemented in 2005 to evaluate characteristics of the owned and unowned population of dogs and cats in Santa Clara County, California. The same population was previously studied 12 years earlier. During this time period, the county instituted in 1994 and then subsequently disestablished a municipal spay/neuter voucher program for cats. Dog intakes declined from 1992-2005, as they similarly did for an adjacent county (San Mateo). However, cat intakes declined significantly more in Santa Clara County than San Mateo, with an average annual decline of approximately 700 cats for the 12 year period. Time series analysis showed a greater than expected decline in the number of cats surrendered to shelters in Santa Clara County during the years the voucher program was in effect (1994-2005). The net savings to the county by reducing the number of cat shelter intakes was estimated at approximately $1.5 million. The measurable benefits of animal control programs are unknown and the aim of this study was to determine the impact of these programs on pet population changes.PeerJ 02/2013; 1:e18. DOI:10.7717/peerj.18 · 2.10 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
- "rate of kittens born to colony cats was set at 50% (Nutter et al. 2004). At least 40% of kittens born needed to be adopted for trap-neuter-release to extirpate the modeled cat colony (Table 1). "
ABSTRACT: Our goal was to determine whether it is more cost-effective to control feral cat abundance with trap-neuter-release programs or trap and euthanize programs. Using STELLA 7, systems modeling software, we modeled changes over 30 years in abundance of cats in a feral colony in response to each management method and the costs and benefits associated with each method . We included costs associated with providing food, veterinary care, and microchips to the colony cats and the cost of euthanasia, wages, and trapping equipment in the model. Due to a lack of data on predation rates and disease transmission by feral cats the only benefits incorporated into the analyses were reduced predation on Wedge-tailed Shearwaters (Puffinus pacificus). When no additional domestic cats were abandoned by owners and the trap and euthanize program removed 30,000 cats in the first year, the colony was extirpated in at least 75% of model simulations within the second year. It took 30 years for trap-neuter-release to extirpate the colony. When the cat population was supplemented with 10% of the initial population size per year, the colony returned to carrying capacity within 6 years and the trap and euthanize program had to be repeated, whereas trap-neuter-release never reduced the number of cats to near zero within the 30-year time frame of the model. The abandonment of domestic cats reduced the cost effectiveness of both trap-neuter-release and trap and euthanize. Trap-neuter-release was approximately twice as expensive to implement as a trap and euthanize program. Results of sensitivity analyses suggested trap-neuter-release programs that employ volunteers are still less cost-effective than trap and euthanize programs that employ paid professionals and that trap-neuter-release was only effective when the total number of colony cats in an area was below 1000. Reducing the rate of abandonment of domestic cats appears to be a more effective solution for reducing the abundance of feral cats. Costos y Beneficios de Captura-Esterilización-Liberación y Eutanasia para la Remoción de Gatos Urbanos en Oahu, Hawaii Nuestra meta fue determinar si es más rentable controlar la abundancia de gatos ferales con programas de captura-esterilización-liberación o con programas de captura y eutanasia. Utilizando STELLA 7, software para modelar sistemas, modelamos cambios a lo largo de 30 años en la abundancia de gatos en una colonia feral en respuesta a cada método de manejo, así como de los costos y beneficios asociados con cada uno. En el modelo incluimos los costos asociados con la alimentación, el cuidado veterinario y los microchips para la colonia de gatos y el costo de la eutanasia, los salarios y el equipo de captura. Debido a la falta de datos sobre las tasas de depredación y de transmisión de enfermedades por gatos ferales, la reducción de la depredación sobre Puffinus pacificus fueron los únicos beneficios incorporados en el análisis. Cuando no hubo abandono adicional de gatos por sus dueños y el programa de captura y eutanasia removió 30,000 gatos en el primer año, la colonia fue extirpada en por lo menos 75% de las simulaciones del modelo en el segundo año. Tomó 30 años para que la captura-esterilización-liberación extirpara la colonia. Cuando la población de gatos fue suplementada con 10% del tamaño poblacional inicial por año, la colonia regresó a la capacidad de carga en 6 años y se tenía que repetir el programa de captura y eutanasia, mientras que la captura-esterilización-liberación nunca redujo el número de gatos a casi cero en los 30 años del marco de tiempo del modelo. El abandono de gatos domésticos redujo la rentabilidad tanto de la captura-esterilización-liberación como de la captura y eutanasia. La implementación de la captura-esterilización-liberación costó casi el doble que el programa de captura y eutanasia. Los resultados de los análisis de sensibilidad sugirieron que los programas de captura-esterilización-liberación que emplean voluntarios son aun menos rentables que los programas de captura y eutanasia que emplean profesionales pagados y que la captura-esterilización-liberación solo fue efectiva cuando el número total de gatos en un área era menor a 1000. La reducción de la tasa de abandono de gatos domésticos parece ser una solución más efectiva para reducir la abundancia de gatos ferales.Conservation Biology 09/2012; 27(1). DOI:10.1111/j.1523-1739.2012.01935.x · 4.32 Impact Factor
[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
- "Pregnancies were mainly observed between January and September, peaking in February and March, similar to previous reports (Nutter, Levine and Stoskopf 2004; Wallace and Levy 2006). Lower rates of pregnancies were observed in the fall months, between October and December, similar to other studies (Nutter, Levine and Stoskopf 2004; Wallace and Levy 2006). A greater number of females than males was found in the current study, which was also reported by Wallace and Levy (2006) and in a survey in England of 192 feeding groups (Rees 1981; Remfry 1981). "
ABSTRACT: Context: Free-roaming cat populations are abundant in many urban ecosystems worldwide. Their management is necessary for reasons of public health, risk of wildlife predation and cat welfare related to their high densities. Trap–neuter–return (TNR) programs are now the main cat population control strategy in urban areas. However, the efficacy of such strategies is difficult to evaluate without more precise estimates of cat numbers and a better knowledge of anthropogenic influences on cat densities.Wildlife Research 01/2011; 38(3):235-243. DOI:10.1071/WR10215 · 1.49 Impact Factor