Use of matrix population models to estimate the efficacy of euthanasia versus trap-neuter-return for management of free-roaming cats

Mark C. Andersen Department of Fishery and Wildlife Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003-0003.

Search for other papers by Mark C. Andersen in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 PhD
,
Brent J. Martin Division of Laboratory Animal Medicine, Medical College of Ohio, Toledo, OH 43614-5806.

Search for other papers by Brent J. Martin in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, DACLAM
, and
Gary W. Roemer Department of Fishery and Wildlife Sciences, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003-0003.

Search for other papers by Gary W. Roemer in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 PhD

Click on author name to view affiliation information

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the efficacy of trap-neuterreturn and trap-euthanatize management strategies for controlling urban free-roaming cat populations by use of matrix population models.

Design—Prospective study.

Sample Population—Estimates of free-roaming cat populations in urban environments.

Procedure—Data from the literature describing the biology of free-roaming cat populations in urban environments were gathered. A matrix population model was developed with a range of high and low survival and fecundity values and all combinations of those values. The response of population growth rate to a range of management actions was assessed with an elasticity analysis.

Results—All possible combinations of survival and fecundity values of free-roaming cats led to predictions of rapid, exponential population growth. The model predicted effective cat population control by use of annual euthanasia of ≥ 50% of the population or by annual neutering of > 75% of the fertile population. Elasticity analyses revealed that the modeled population was most susceptible to control through euthanasia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Free-roaming cat populations have a high intrinsic growth rate, and euthanasia is estimated to be more effective at reducing cat populations than trap-neuter-return programs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1871–1876)

Abstract

Objective—To evaluate the efficacy of trap-neuterreturn and trap-euthanatize management strategies for controlling urban free-roaming cat populations by use of matrix population models.

Design—Prospective study.

Sample Population—Estimates of free-roaming cat populations in urban environments.

Procedure—Data from the literature describing the biology of free-roaming cat populations in urban environments were gathered. A matrix population model was developed with a range of high and low survival and fecundity values and all combinations of those values. The response of population growth rate to a range of management actions was assessed with an elasticity analysis.

Results—All possible combinations of survival and fecundity values of free-roaming cats led to predictions of rapid, exponential population growth. The model predicted effective cat population control by use of annual euthanasia of ≥ 50% of the population or by annual neutering of > 75% of the fertile population. Elasticity analyses revealed that the modeled population was most susceptible to control through euthanasia.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Free-roaming cat populations have a high intrinsic growth rate, and euthanasia is estimated to be more effective at reducing cat populations than trap-neuter-return programs. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:1871–1876)

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1217 0 0
Full Text Views 1820 1290 150
PDF Downloads 901 536 40
Advertisement