To: Roseanna Cunningham MSP Cabinet Secretary for Environment Climate Change and Land Reform at the Scottish Parliament

Ban keeping un-neutered cats in Scotland

Ban keeping un-neutered cats in Scotland

Introduce additional measures urgently to ensure responsible ownership and control of cats, which include compulsory neutering*, micro-chipping and registration of all owned cats.

* a licensed exemption to keep un-neutered cats would promote and develop responsible breeding.

Why is this important?

Many awful things happen to cats and kittens living rough. Few of us witness their suffering and deaths. This kitten was one of the lucky ones! Many others have no one to help them. Together we can stop the suffering but it needs a new approach now!

The voluntary approach to owned cat neutering has been admirable but has now reached the limits of what it can do. 100's of thousands of cats endure atrocious conditions because owned cats still produce far more kittens than there are homes available.

The 13% of owners in Scotland who keep un-neutered cats are producing enough new cats to more than double the cat population every four years, at a time when available homes are n the decline.

7 in 10 kittens born each year CAN EXPECT TO BE HOMELESS during their lifespan.

Hero's kittens were caught by the baler and crushed. Bonnie weakened by serial pregnancies was shot and took 2 days to crawl back to her kittens which had died. 15 homeless cats 'in the wrong place' were wiped out by poisoning.

If new measures aren't taken urgently to stop the rising tide produced by owned cats, then the already huge stray and feral cat populations will swell catastrophically.

Now is Scotland's last chance to avoid the disasters suffered by Australia and the USA where cat population controls were introduced too little and too late. In places, keeping pets is banned and in others cats have to be kept indoors.

Stray and feral cats and their offspring suffer disease, starvation, persecution and unspeakable deaths in dangerous environments. While a lucky minority are helped by Trap Neuter Return programs, for the most part their suffering is invisible, unattended and extreme.

Scotland is in the unique position of having the endangered Scottish wildcat to consider. Before the current wildcat conservation project comes to an end we must have effective measures in place to protect it from hybridization with un-neutered domestic cats. Studies have shown that Trap Neuter Return programs are pointless unless accompanied by turning off the flow that keeps them going. There is no doubt - Scotland needs to achieve a neutering rate of 100 % of owned cats, the length and breadth of the land.

Thank You - by SIGNING and SHARING you are helping to alleviate the suffering of Scotland's most vulnerable cats and kittens, and to save the Scottish wildcat for future generations to enjoy.

Wouldn't this ban people from breeding cats?
No. On the contrary, there would be improved opportunities for responsible 'high welfare' breeders through education and inspection.

What's the legal position?
There's no need for new legislation. Measures could be introduced through the Code of Practice associated with the Wildlife and Natural Environment Scotland Act of 2011.

What's the impact on human rights?
Positive. The public would be protected from the heart-break and costs of buying or adopting sick kittens.

What's the economic impact?
Some subsidy is likely to be needed at first to get compulsory neutering going. In the long term costs will go down permanently.

Won't people just refuse to cooperate?
There were similar worries about the ban on smoking in public places. Some people refused, but most complied, resulting in permanent widespread changes in attitudes and behaviour.

When you sign here that will be counted as support for the same Petition at present before the Petitions Committee in the Scottish Parliament.


Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


Reasons for signing

  • To stop the suffering of stray cats and kittens. To stop indiscriminate breeding of cats purely for profit.
  • Safer for cats
  • Impact on natural ecology


2018-08-16 23:44:34 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2018-08-16 10:00:14 +0100

The vet organisations support a mandatory microchipping and registration scheme for pet cats.
The cat and pet organisations agree with my statistics and with my goals.
The conservation organisations are asking for legal backing for neutering of all pet cats in Scotland by 2025, for welfare reasons as well as conservation.
Eminent veterinary professionals support my proposal.

The whole story can be seen here:

The Petitions Committee at the Scottish Parliament are still considering all the evidence submitted to them as a result of my petition. We hope that they will decide to ask the government to review their current position in the light of the evidence now avaialble and the fast approaching alternative - which is apocalyptic for our precious moggies and for the wildcat.

2017-12-28 15:12:13 +0000

The petition was discussed at the SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT'S PUBLIC PETITIONS COMMITTEE on Thurs 7th December 2017. Here is their decision.

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.

The video lasts 30 minutes. Starts at 10.13.36 and finishes at 10.50.

2017-08-28 13:44:49 +0100

500 signatures reached

2017-06-25 11:38:07 +0100

100 signatures reached

2017-06-14 12:45:33 +0100

50 signatures reached

2017-06-13 12:21:41 +0100

25 signatures reached

2017-06-12 22:50:41 +0100

10 signatures reached