Cats can breed their first litter as early as four months of age and produce three or more litters per year! No wonder there's an estimated 500,000 unowned and semi-owned (stray) cats in Victoria.
There is a misconception that cats are self-sufficient and can look after themselves. This just isn't true.
Stray cats are likely to suffer terrible health problems like cat flu, flea and worm infestations, skin cancers and other diseases. They are also at higher risk of famine, fighting and road trauma injuries.
By contrast, owned cats are happier, healthier and live longer. A pet cat kept safe at home can live up to four times longer than a cat left to roam.
RSPCA Victoria wants to work with communities to “Think CATS!”
We are piloting our Think CATS program with Glenelg Shire Council, to improve cat welfare and reduce stray cat numbers. This involves offering low-cost desexing programs and engaging with the community on responsible cat ownership to make sure all cats are owned, safe and happy.
Contain cats at home
Treat cats well
Stop unwanted litters
You are also giving a rescued (stray) cat a loving forever home.
What can you do:
Adopt from an RSPCA Victoria Animal Care Centre or other reputable rescue group and follow the RSPCA smart kitten and cat buyers guide.
If you want to help stray cats, don't feed them. You are only making them strong enough to breed more unwanted litters. Instead, take responsible ownership of that cat, including having it desexed, registered and microchipped.
If you can't take ownership, take the stray cat to your local RSPCA Victoria Animal Care Centre or other rescue group for adoption.
Cats make great pets. Yet cats are far less likely than dogs to be desexed, registered, microchipped, reclaimed if lost, and taken to the vet for a health check – despite having similar needs.
There’s also a general lack of awareness about what cats need to be happy and healthy. When cat behaviour is misunderstood or misinterpreted, it can lead to poor welfare.