In Belgium, cat sterilization has been compulsory since the end of 2017 in Wallonia and since 2018 in Brussels and Flanders to counter feline overcrowding.
Out of 1,321,116 domestic cats in Wallonia, 90% of them are sterilized, according to a new survey carried out by Ipsos at the request Gaia, a Belgian animal rights association.
In Wallonia, 89% of male cats are neutered and 92% of females are sterilized, according to the survey. The owners of cats do it mainly for health reasons or to make the cats calmer.
In Flanders, 90% of cats are also sterilized and in the Brussels-Capital Region the number is 83%.
According to Ann De Greef, director of Gaia, this figure is encouraging but says that there are “unfortunately still too many unsterilized cats in Belgium.”
“Since most stray cats come from non-sterilized domestic cats and sterilized cats are healthier, we will continue to educate people about mandatory sterilization,” the animal rights association states.
Those having not sterilized their cats, the main reasons mentioned in the survey were the cost, lack of time to go to the veterinarian, the age of the cat or the fact that the cat stays inside.
In addition, 8% of respondents say they have not sterilized their cat on the advice of their veterinarian.