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JOURNAL ARTICLE

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

Linda K Lord
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 2008 April 15, 232 (8): 1159-67
18412526

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.

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