Is there a standard formula to calculate the lives saved from spaying and neutering cats? For example, if we were to sterilize 4,000 cats, how many lives were actually saved? Do you just guestimate that half are female and if they were to have a litter, it would be an average of 4 kittens? We are putting a proposal together and want to use this info but also utilize best practices to give the best estimate. Thanks!
Here is a realistic calculation of the overpopulation of kittens. It is easy for people to understand how it was calculated. We found many of the graphics and calculations and they do not show how the figures were calculated and the numbers are so outrageous to the general public that they just don't believe it.
Great infographic! Is it ok to share this? Thank you!
Thank you. This is perfect.
I think this graphic downplays the horrific reality. And, I do not agree that because the public finds it unbelievable, the truth should be softened. I much prefer the Northshore Animal League graphic, although I do wish it had a short explanation of exponential growth vs linear growth.
Thank you! Great information and very easy to understand.
Great question for sure. I am not sure "lives saved" is the best language here. Unwanted births is more accurate for s/n programs. Many of the cats you are talking about aren't going to even make it to the shelter to "be saved".
I think reduced intake is a more accurate representation. With high volume spay/neuter in the community that will happen. Below is some cat math(part of my community cat calculator)
Town human population is 100,000
Owned Cat population is: 1/2.4 people= 41,666(only 80% s/n'd)=8,333.2
Tribal Knowledge says for every owned cat there is an un-owned cat: 41,666(this figure adjusts up and down by season)
-Community Adjust to the Community Cat Number: If a past TNR Program has been in place this number will be MUCH lower. In most of the communities I have worked with the s/n target number is much lower on an annual basis. However, if you have a high transient population that is also important to know.
If I were advising this community I would say a good s/n target goal is about: 20,000 a year. This is for all clinics private and non profit. So you need to reach out and collaborate on information from the local veterinary community. Again with more info. this might be able to be lower, based on tribal knowledge.
If you follow this course your organizations won't see kittens coming into your facilities within 2-3 years maybe even sooner.
Attached are some documents that help tell the story for Lowell, MA(population 125,000-diverse-with poverty).
The Catmobile(www.catmobile.org) offered free s/n to all owned and un-owned cats for about 2-3 years and the issue was resolved. Lowell didn't have many private practice vets in the area and one main shelter so stats/impact were all pretty easy to track. When I first went into Lowell I was told that there were a million community cats. The shelter was overwhelmed!
Funding came from PetSmart Charities.
I hope to one day have this story in a "pretty package".
Sorry I went down a bit of a rabbit hole here... but I think it is important to show that s/n can be the cause of reduced intake vs other avenues.
Happy to continue this conversation as it is extremely important and even willing to do a zoom call with a group of folks interested in this.
This is all great information and helpful. For the proposal we just submitted, we assumed that half of the cats would be female and that each litter would have approximately 3 surviving kittens. But you're right, I was looking more for the number of cats / kittens that wouldn't be born and in turn, not enter a shelter.
It also sounds like we are trying to do something very similar to the catmobile- glad to hear that it worked. :)
Great info in your post, thank you. We characterize ours as a reduction in strays and potential reduction in shelter intake (since a lot of strays remain stray).
We use a conservative "lives saved in the following year" calculation, using the average number of kittens and puppies per litter and average litters per year. . The reason we limit it to the next year is that when they are born stray/unhoused, there is so much attrition (we are in a rural county). Attached are the assumptions we use.
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