• 1.

    2007–2008 national pet owners survey. American Pet Products Manufacturers Association Inc Web site. Available at: www.appma.org/press_industrytrends.asp. Accessed Aug 25, 2007.

  • 2.

    Patronek GJ. Free-roaming and feral cats—their impact on wildlife and human beings. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1998;212:218226.

  • 3.

    Levy JK, Gale DW, Gale LA. Evaluation of the effect of a longterm trap-neuter-return and adoption program on a free-roaming cat population. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;222:4246.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Hughes KL, Slater MR, Haller L. The effects of implementing a feral cat spay/neuter program in a Florida county animal control service. J Appl Anim Welf Sci 2002;5:285298.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Foley P, Foley JE, Levy JK, et al. Analysis of the impact of trapneuter-return programs on populations of feral cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2005;227:17751781.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Centonze LA, Levy JK. Characteristics of free-roaming cats and their caretakers. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2002;220:16271633.

  • 7.

    Winter L. Trap-neuter-release programs: the reality and the impacts. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:13691376.

  • 8.

    Jessup DA. The welfare of feral cats and wildlife. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:13771383.

  • 9.

    Barrows PL. Professional, ethical, and legal dilemmas of trapneuter-release. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004;225:13651369.

  • 10.

    Lord LK, Wittum TE, Ferketich AK, et al. Demographic trends for animal care and control agencies in Ohio from 1996 to 2004. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2006;229:4854.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11.

    Waksberg J. Sampling method for random digit dialing. J Am Stat Assoc 1978;73:4046.

  • 12.

    Aday LA. Designing and conducting health surveys. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1996;148.

  • 13.

    Levy JK, Woods JE, Turick SL, et al. Number of unowned free-roaming cats in a college community in the southern United States and characteristics of community residents who feed them. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2003;223:202205.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14.

    Johnson KJ, Lewellen L, Lewellen J. National Pet Alliance survey report on Santa Clara County's pet population. Cat Fanciers' Almanac 1994;Jan:7177.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15.

    Johnson K, Lewellen L. San Diego County survey and analysis of the pet population. Available at: www.fanciers.com/npa/. Accessed Sep 8, 2007.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16.

    Manning AM, Rowan AN. Companion animal demographics and sterilization status: results from a survey in four Massachusetts towns. Anthrozoos 1992;5:192201.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17.

    Dabritz HA, Atwill ER, Gardner IA, et al. Outdoor fecal deposition by free-roaming cats and attitudes of cat owners and nonowners toward stray pets, wildlife, and water pollution. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2006;229:7481.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18.

    USDA accepting comments on microchipping standards. Humane Society of the United States Web site. Available at: www.animalsheltering.org/resource_library/magazine_articles/the_scoop/microchip_standards_usda.html. Accessed Jul 7, 2007.

  • 19.

    Lord LK, Wittum TE, Ferketich AK, et al. Search and identification methods that owners use to find a lost cat. J Am Vet Med Assoc 2007;230:217220.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20.

    State rankings, resident population, July 2005. US Census Bureau Web site. Available at: www.census.gov/statab/ranks/rank01.html. Accessed Aug 25, 2007.

Advertisement

Attitudes toward and perceptions of free-roaming cats among individuals living in Ohio

Linda K. Lord DVM, PhD1
View More View Less
  • 1 Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210.

Abstract

Objective—To characterize attitudes toward and perceptions of free-roaming cats among individuals living in Ohio.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Sample Population—Households in Ohio.

Procedures—A random-digit–dial telephone survey was performed, and 1,250 households were contacted.

Results—703 of the 1,250 (56.2%) households completed interviews. Five hundred fifty-three (78.7%) participants reported seeing free-roaming cats at least occasionally, and 184 (26.2%) reported having fed free-roaming cats during the previous year. However, only 42 (22.8%) participants who fed free-roaming cats had ever taken one to a veterinarian, and 43 (23.4%) participants who fed free-roaming cats reported that at least one of the free-roaming cats had produced a litter in the preceding year. Differences existed between cat owners and other participants and among urban, suburban, and rural residents in regard to their attitudes toward free-roaming cats and the need for government regulations.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that free-roaming cats were common in Ohio, but that attitudes toward and perceptions of free-roaming cats differed between cat owners and other participants and among participants grouped on the basis of residential area. Thus, developing statewide approaches for regulating free-roaming cats may be challenging or unrealistic.

Abstract

Objective—To characterize attitudes toward and perceptions of free-roaming cats among individuals living in Ohio.

Design—Cross-sectional study.

Sample Population—Households in Ohio.

Procedures—A random-digit–dial telephone survey was performed, and 1,250 households were contacted.

Results—703 of the 1,250 (56.2%) households completed interviews. Five hundred fifty-three (78.7%) participants reported seeing free-roaming cats at least occasionally, and 184 (26.2%) reported having fed free-roaming cats during the previous year. However, only 42 (22.8%) participants who fed free-roaming cats had ever taken one to a veterinarian, and 43 (23.4%) participants who fed free-roaming cats reported that at least one of the free-roaming cats had produced a litter in the preceding year. Differences existed between cat owners and other participants and among urban, suburban, and rural residents in regard to their attitudes toward free-roaming cats and the need for government regulations.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that free-roaming cats were common in Ohio, but that attitudes toward and perceptions of free-roaming cats differed between cat owners and other participants and among participants grouped on the basis of residential area. Thus, developing statewide approaches for regulating free-roaming cats may be challenging or unrealistic.

Contributor Notes

Supported by the Kenneth A. Scott Charitable Trust, a KeyBank Trust.

Presented in part at the Conference of Research Workers in Animal Diseases Annual Meeting, Chicago, December 2007, and at the Midwest Veterinary Conference, February 2008.

The author thanks Tina Kassebaum for assistance with statistical analyses.