August 01, 2009


 Feral cat policy amended for consistency

Posted July 18, 2009

Wording about mandatory spaying or neutering of cats was taken out of the AVMA policy "Free-Roaming Abandoned and Feral Cats" on Executive Board approval during its June 4-6 meeting.

CatsThe provision that state and local agencies should adopt and enforce ordinances that "Require mandatory spay/neuter of cats unless the owner purchases an intact permit or breeder permit" was struck.

The Animal Welfare Committee had examined the policy in accordance with the directive that all AVMA policies be reviewed every five years. Meanwhile, during the board's April 2009 meeting, it approved revisions to the AVMA policy "Dog and Cat Population Control" to indicate nonsupport for mandatory spay/neuter proposals. The AWC recommended the deletion in the feral cat policy to ensure consistency among policies referencing mandatory spay/neuter.

Background information provided with the recommendation stated that "Because the results of research regarding the effect of managed cat colonies remain ambiguous, and because the profession is so philosophically divided on this issue, the AWC continues to believe that a policy neither opposing nor supporting managed colonies is the most appropriate one at this time."

For the full position statement, visit