How to Say “Spay”: BC SPCA Rural and Semi-Rural Cat Spay/ Neuter Program Messaging Research Project

Canada is currently experiencing a cat overpopulation crisis, fed in large part by the uncontrolled breeding of domestic animals. While homeless and feral cats may add to the problem, much of the population explosion is being driven by unsterilized cats, whose owners have chosen to leave them intact. A single unaltered female cat and her offspring, can produce up to 420,000 cats over a 7- year period, an unneutered male cat can father hundreds of kittens each year of his life. These rising cat numbers represents not only a pressing animal welfare concern but also a serious drain on the resources of local municipal departments and humane societies such as the BC SPCA. This research aims to significantly reduce the problem by persuading more cat owners to fix their cats through a targeted pro-social messaging campaign that will draw on recent work in the fields of consumer behaviour and sustainability marketing. The goal of the research is to develop a messaging toolkit that is able to work across a variety of real-world situations. TO BE CONT’D

Faculty Supervisor:

Katherine White


Cluny South


British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals




Life sciences


University of British Columbia



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