Science Daily reports on a UK based study whose authors “calculate that if this belief [that a female cat should have a litter before being neutered] were dispelled, there could be around 213,000 fewer litters and more than 851,000 fewer kittens born in the UK every year.” The figures are staggering.
Points of note from the study include:
- unplanned litters were more than twice as likely in households owning more than one cat;
- unplanned litters were more than four times as likely if the owner mistakenly believed a female cat should have a litter before being neutered;
- men were more than twice as likely as women to hold point two’s belief;
- 23% of 682 cat owners surveyed believed cats should have a litter before being neutered (there is no evidence this benefits feline health);
- 83.5% mistakenly believed the youngest age at which a cat could get pregnant was five months; and
- 26% believed an unneutered female cat could not get pregnant before the age of 12 months.