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A Canadian Solution to Stray Cats

January 10th, 2011, 08:08 PM
I remember when Calgary's Cat bi-law changes were first introduced. A friend and his wife were so against it. They wanted their kitten to have roaming rights. I had no opinion one way or the other. I didn't really understand the ins and outs so had no side to park my opinion.

Then I saw the CBC documentary Cat Crazed on DocZone but was distracted by a sick dog and family responsibilities. I was able to re-watch the documentary online so I made a summary of some major points to the programme Calgary is now following for stray cats. Looks like a win win situation to me and may bring animal rights groups closer together.

Thought I would post the points for interested members.


Canadian Solution Cat Crazed DocZone CBC documentary
Thanks to luckyPenny for the following url to view original documentary courtesy CBC
Originally noted on “Cat Crazed”, a documentary on CBC tonight; posted by sugarcatmom

I have been wondering for some time now how Calgary’s programme to licensing cats worked and missed parts of the CBC documentary, Car Crazed on the Doc Zone that outlined it. I was able to view the documentary on line and have made a general outline of the major points. I included a few specific points on the problems of feral, stranded and free range cats. I knew their could be a positive solution to the problem of stray cats so here is the outline of a Canadian Solution. It will be interesting to see if this concept catches on over the years. It is wonderful what people can achieve when they come together to find solutions.

Basic Summation of some facts from Cat Crazed on Doc Zones

¶ 50 million feral, stranded, free range cats (conservative estimate)
¶ Most popular pet in the world
¶ Most disposable pet in the world
¶ May be second most successful predator (humans, #1)
¶ Very fertile; Up to four litters a year
¶ Animal Humane shelters often euthanize cats
¶ Though domesticated, can survive outside relatively easily on their own
¶ Feral cats live an average of 3 years
¶ Domestic indoor cats live longest (13 years)
¶ Trap, neuter, return: the usual alternative to euthanasia
¶ Bird groups estimate that cats kill 1 billion birds annually
¶ In LA, no longer can fixed cats be returned to the wilds

Mad in Canada Solution: Calgary & Bill Bruce

1. Cats are not the problem.
2. The problem is irresponsible pet ownership.
3. The solution is for humans to change.
4. Bill Bruce runs Calgary Animal Services and has a plan.
5. All cats & dogs, 3 months & older, must be licensed.
6. All cats & dogs must be kept indoors unless on a lead & supervised.
7. Found animals go the Calgary Animal Services.
8. Bi-law officers devote as much energy to returning cats home as they do dogs.
9. All money collected for cat licensing goes to support a cat spay and neutering centre for low income pet owners.
10. With cats now being licensed and kept indoors, there’s a dramatic decrease in cats put down and a huge increase of strays being returned home.
11. At the peak season for stray cats, the cat shelter was half full when normally it would be full (to the brim).
11. Those who licence their cats get incentives through Calgary’s Pet Reward Card.
12. An important incentive is the return of a found cat to the licensed owner.
13. Stray cats are spayed or neutered and put up for adoption.
14 The humane society has gone hundreds of days without having to euthanize a single cat—a first in the agencies 88 year history.

To this day my friend's cat is unlicensed and allowed out to roam. Friend says he has no worries as the neighbourhood knows and loves his cat. I don't believe he knows of point 12, but I should think it would give a little piece of mind and will inform him when next we meet. Sadly, his wife passed away and the kitten (she's small and adorable) is his most cherished little reminder of her.

January 11th, 2011, 07:19 AM
Calgary's program is certainly a model program that all cities should strive to meet.

It is too bad your Friend doesn't realize the risk he is putting is adored kitty at by allowing her to roam :(. All it takes is one speeding driver, a loose dog, or a dripping car radiator :(.

January 11th, 2011, 11:05 AM
C It is too bad your Friend doesn't realize the risk he is putting his adored kitty . . . (.

Namaste, Love4himies

You are so right Love4himies. There are people who just know they are right and can't see beyond the mountains they build. Such are the people who refuse to see the potential danger their animals can pose to a child or the potential danger a car can pose to their pets in situations that were of their making.

We all must seek out the mountains we build and the solution is to take them down. I know how hard that can be. I am always so surprised when I find another one standing in my way to clear sight.

Mindfulness is not an easy skill to learn and live by.