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CPSV Champions Cat Desexing & Containment

Prolong nine lives: The Cat Protection Society of Victoria champions desexing and cat containment

The Cat Protection Society of Victoria (CPSV) is urging Victorians to prioritise desexing and cat containment as key aspects of responsible cat ownership during this National Desexing Month.

As a not-for-profit animal welfare organisation that has been operating for over 75 years, CPSV took in 1,441 cats and kittens seeking refuge and care at their adoption shelter in 2023 alone. More than 70% of these cats were not desexed on arrival, highlighting the widespread issue of owners neglecting to desex their cats.

CPSV Senior Shelter Veterinarian Dr Sarah Mitchell said that desexing and containing your cat are two important steps that benefit not only the individual cat but also the broader community and environment.

“While desexing your cat is primarily about preventing unwanted litters, cats that are desexed and safely contained to their owners’ premises also benefit from living longer, healthier lives. In addition, desexing can reduce some undesirable behaviours such as roaming, fighting and urine spraying,” Sarah said.

“Containing a cat to their owner’s property not only improves the safety and well-being of the cat but also keeps wildlife safe from feline predation and avoids unwelcome behaviour on neighbouring properties. Despite this, many owners remain unaware of the benefits of containment to their cat, our native wildlife, and the community in general.”

Securing pet cats indoors and in enclosures extends their lifespan by reducing hazards such as cars, other animals, and human-related risks. It also decreases the likelihood of cats getting lost, thus alleviating the burden on shelters and rescue organisations by reducing the number of lost and abandoned cats.

There are 79 councils in Victoria and currently, just over half (42 councils) have introduced some form of cat curfew and desexing regulations vary. The Cat Protection Society of Victoria is the pound for Nillumbik and Banyule Councils and attract many adoption and vet clinic customers from nearby Whittlesea Councils.

In Whittlesea, all cats in the city must be contained to their owner’s property or under effective control when outside. Additionally, all newly registered cats must be desexed. In Nillumbik, cats must be desexed and there is a night curfew in place, meaning cats must be contained from dusk to dawn. However, Banyule currently has no regulations concerning the containment and desexing of cats registered within the council, leading to inconsistency across the board and confusion from cat owners.

CPSV Vet Clinic Manager Caitlyn Corrigan explained that the 2020/21 lockdowns significantly impacted pet ownership in Victoria.

“Many Victorians adopted cats, but due to restrictions, those not acquired from shelters were often not desexed. Additionally, local council initiatives offering low-cost desexing to residents in financial need were halted during the pandemic, but they are now up and running,” Caitlyn said.

"Cats are prolific breeders. Females can start breeding from 4 months old, having up to three litters a year, with an average of four kittens per litter. 

Desexing cats before they can reproduce is important to stop unplanned litters and reduce the issues caused by cat overpopulation.”

In 2023, The Cat Protection Society of Victoria saw 741 kittens seeking refuge. This intake also complicates rehoming efforts for older cats.

“We believe that desexing should be mandated and initiatives such as low cost desexing should be targeted to problem areas.

At CPSV we’ve established a community desexing program to assist cat owners facing financial constraints. These procedures allow cats to receive a microchip along with a spaying or neutering procedure at a reduced cost” Caitlyn added.

“Alongside desexing, cat containment also needs to be ensured for the safety of cats, the protection of wildlife and fostering peaceful communities. Education is the key to changing attitudes and behaviours. It’s pretty straightforward – if you love your cat, you’d keep them contained and desexed so that they can live a long and healthy life.”

Benefits of desexing and cat containment

✔️ Containment can prevent cats from being injured, killed by a car, getting lost and being stolen.

✔️ Containment prevents trespassing on neighbours’ property.

✔️ Combined, desexing and containment leads to a longer and healthier life for the cat.

✔️ Reduces the number of unwanted kittens and stray cats.

✔️ Desexing helps decrease the risk of certain cancers and infections.

✔️ Reduces territorial marking, aggression, and roaming behaviours.

✔️ Reduces the risk of fights with other animals.

✔️ Helps control feral cat populations and reduces the burden on animal shelters.

✔️ Lowers the long-term costs of veterinary care by preventing health issues.

✔️ Contributes to better management of cat populations.

✔️ Protects native wildlife and habitats.

CPSV welcome the opportunity to further discuss why desexing and cat containment are imperative for responsible pet ownership. 

To learn more about CPSV, visit

Lead image: Meet adoptable Munchkin & Pumpkin, a bonded brother and sister duo:

MEDIA RELEASE, 9th July 2024

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