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PE01674: Managing the Cat Population in Scotland

Rural Affairs

Petitioner: Ellie Stirling


Date Lodged: 18 October 2017

Calling on the Scottish Parliament to urge the Scottish Government to review the Code of Practice under the Wildlife and Natural Environment (Scotland) Act 2011 and to identify measures which could be introduced to control the soaring domestic cat population and protect the existence of the Scottish wildcat.

Petition History:

611 off-line signatures have been collected 


7 December 2017: The Committee agreed to write to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, SSPCA, the Cat Population Control Group, veterinary bodies, and relevant conservation bodies. Link to the Official Report 7 December 2017

10 May 2018: The Committee also agreed to write to the partner organisations of the Scottish Wildcat Action Plan and Professor Anna Mereditt. Link to Official Report 10 May 2018

22 November 2018: The Committee agreed to invite the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform to give evidence at a future meeting, after the publication of the findings of the Scottish Government’s current consultation. Link to Official Report 22 November 2018

Written submissions:

What do you think about the proposal to help cat owners ensure that their cats are chipped and neutered?

What opportunities do you think this could open up for breeders, in terms of training and licensing?

What potential benefits do you think this can provide to animal welfare charities, if they are able to redistribute time and resources from cat neutering?


There are more than enough cats, those that are already here deserve care and attention. It is irresponsible as a career to allow your male to procreate willy-nilly or female to have a succession of unplanned pregnancies.

Marion Smith

15:41 on 18 Oct 2017

As a cat rescuer formally in Scotland for many years and now here, this programmer needs to start as soon as possible.

Lynne Ellis

10:06 on 18 Oct 2017

Although not living in Scotland I have lived there many years and have family there. It's similar problems here. People do not take responsibility for the welfare of other species. Cats are left to breed and this is unfair, kittens and cats abandoned. breeders need to take more care and all animals licensed for breeding, a large program to help get neutering done. To prevent cruelty. Chipping and neutering is something which needs to be addressed and forced, and help for those animals in poor families. Ignorance is a problem here too. Charities would have more to spare on helping cats in need. The wild cat needs protecting. I was a cat rescuer in Scotland and remain one here now. Regards L. ellis

Lynne Ellis

10:03 on 18 Oct 2017

As a Scottish cat rescue charity (Fife Cat Shelter) we spend most of our time rescuing and neutering cats and raising money to do so. We offer a much discounted price to owners on low incomes to have their cats neutered to try to reduce the number of cats , there are too many cats and too few potential owners. If we did not have to divert the majority of our time and funds to neutering, we would hope to have time to inform people of the importance of neutering and the potential spread of life threatening disease through un neutered males . Micro chipping is a valuable resource for reuniting cars and owners and part of the responsibility of ownership. Neutered cats are healthier cats and we desperately try to stop annual abandonment of pregnant cats or cats with kittens. Encouraging people to have their cats neutered and not to see litters of kittens as potential money earners , is essential.

Rhona Gordon

19:45 on 17 Oct 2017

These very special puss cats deserve the beet in life like our Scottish wild cat. They have no voice themselves so it is up to us to put their case forward for the powers that be to listen. Which I really hope they do this time. Purrs


1:13 on 17 Oct 2017

This has to do with animal welfare and conservation. It is a sadness when those who want to help families who can not or do not neuter their cats are constrained by the lack of powers to enable those agencies to enforce neutering. SSPCA cant help, apparently, as they consider it's not "cruelty" to allow cats to reproduce without regard to welfare. For those who DO have neutered cats, it is terrifying to witness the territorial fighting with impostors. And for those who do not keep cats, it is a challenge when scavenging ferals raid their kitchens and join in their al fresco dining uninvited! Farm animals have more protection that domestic cats do, as neglect, lack of feeding, and failure to manage husbandry can see a farmer prosecuted. I would not seek to criminalise, but if there were legisllation in place to empower those such as Cat Protection organisations and SSPCA to remove, treat, neuter and re-home ferals without a consent, it would alleviate the unnecessary suffering to the unwanted and un-cared-for cats, and the actual nuisance that their uncontrolled and unmanaged breeding causes to other animals and neighbours


22:15 on 16 Oct 2017

Essential program for ecological and humanitarian reasons.

Maggi Allan

19:57 on 16 Oct 2017

Last week we picked up four 4-week old kittens found under a bush. Someone left them there to fend for themselves. Tomorrow we are getting a three day old kitten, the young mother killed the rest of the litter because she was confused and frightened all because people did not have their cat neutered. Also last week picked up a 8 year-old unneutered male with a large wound , think how many kittens he has been responsible for over a period of 8 years. We need to act now before its to late.

Neil Kirkland

11:21 on 16 Oct 2017

Recently I had two pregnant cats that visited daily at first I didn't feed them. But soon realized that they were in fact pregnant and would still visit daily or they stayed hidden under the decking and felt safe. I have a two year old daughter and didn't feel right about leaving these mums out to have their kittens. So I contacted west fife cats protection. And they took them in. They each had four kittens each. Now the same situation could very easily have had a totally different outcome had I not been able to get the help needed for the stray mums. I am now a foster mum for cats. And shocked at how much cats protection and organisation's like them have to deal with on a daily basis.

Donna Moran

18:41 on 15 Oct 2017

I think its a good idea it keeps cat population under control & stops your going missing .

David Sequin

18:27 on 15 Oct 2017

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