How Spaying or Neutering Your Cat Helps Overpopulation

Have you ever wondered if spay and neuter works to reduce pet overpopulation? The answer is a resounding yes, and we have the numbers to prove it! That’s right, we’re talking about math!




Now before you press the back button on your browser. bear with us here! An un-spayed female cat who roams and breeds regularly can have kittens approximately three times per year and will usually have between two and six kittens. For this example, let’s assume that our feline couple in this example have kittens three times per year and have four kittens per litter (the middle of the average litter range).

This means that just one pair of cats, in just one year, turn into 14 breeding cats! The next year, these 14 breeding cats each have three litters of four kittens and turn into 182 cats. The year after that, those 182 cats turn into 2366 cats. The year after that, we see an astonishing 30,758 cats… then 399,854… etc.


That, my friends, is a lot of homeless cats.


Now let’s run the same numbers, but assume half of the cats are spayed or neutered by responsible pet owners. Those numbers in the previous example now drop to: 1, 7, 49, 392 and 2744.

Now, we know that the example above is pretty simplified, and it also doesn’t take into account the high mortality rates for outdoor cats and kittens (the average lifespan for an outdoor cat is only 2-4 years and, in some locations, kitten mortality will approach 50-75%). But the question remains… how on earth does spay or neuter do so much to reduce cat overpopulation?

Well this is the wonder of exponents. By spaying or neutering one cat, you not only help protect the health of that cat (spayed or neutered cats are less likely to roam or develop cancer of their reproductive organs) but you also prevent future generations of cats who would otherwise be out and breeding. In just a few generations you can see a significant reduction in the number of unwanted felines, and the same can be shown for dogs.



Does Spay and Neuter work?


You bet it does! In Calgary, we have seen first hand how well spay and neuter works. In the 1990s, Calgary Humane Society saw the height of our animal admissions peak at over 13,000 animals per year, a majority of which were stray cats. Today? That number has fallen significantly to less than 7,500 animals per year. We have also seen a huge change in where these animals are coming from. In the 1990s, a vast majority of the animals received by CHS were stray or homeless animals found on the streets of Calgary whereas today the balance of stray vs. owner surrender is closer to 50/50. We are also seeing a lot more animals come in already spayed or neutered, which is an exciting trend!

An Open Letter to our Supporters

There has been some recent discussion suggesting Calgary Humane Society should not be allowed to care for the animals it seizes. That we are not empowered to alleviate an animal’s suffering. That we should not be taking animals who have been neglected.

Some have even gone so far as to suggest people shouldn’t donate to our organization. While people are certainly entitled to their opinions, we think people should be able to make up their own minds.

While we did seize 40 animals from a southwest property in January and as the investigation remains active we are limited in what we can say, we can tell you we do not hold animals for “ransom” and we do not provide unnecessary treatment.

Our job as authorized by the Government of Alberta is to protect animals under the Animal Protection Act. Whether that means providing necessary medical treatment to alleviate suffering, finding them a home where they can live safely or seizing an animal whose owner has failed to help them.

This case is far from over and charges are pending against several people in relation to the property in which animals were seized. While some claim they were merely “caught up” in this case, we can confirm that claim is false. As our investigation progresses, we promise to update you with as many details as possible.

In the meantime we ask you to remember, we are a not for profit organization with almost 5,000 animals a year who rely on donor dollars to fund their care, medical treatment, behaviour support and protection.

While we can’t share specifics on this case as it would directly jeopardize the animals in our care, we can tell you for 95 years we have been helping animals in this community and we have no plans to stop.




Calgary Humane Society Seizes 40 Animals in Distress

On Tuesday January 23, 2018, Calgary Humane Society’s Protection and Investigations team executed an Animal Protection Act warrant on a large rural property in southwest Calgary. With the assistance of Calgary Police Service as well as a number of supporting agencies, the warrant did culminate in the seizure of 40 animals in distress including dogs, cats, birds and reptiles. As this remains an active investigation, details of the operation are limited.


Pop-up Cat Cafe

Want to find out how a cup of coffee can make a difference in the life of a homeless animal?


You could almost say that the shelter runs on coffee… which is why we are so happy to be partnering with the good folks over at Rosso Coffee Roasters to bring you our first ever Pop-up Cat Cafe Event! Rosso will be bringing their mobile coffee shop on Saturday January 13th, 2018. They will be serving up fresh brewed lattes and drip coffee for a donation, with all proceeds going towards the animals in our care. (more…)

Help us find homes for all the good boys and girls!

This year we want to see if we can find homes for all the shelter animals so they have somewhere special to enjoy the holidays!

If you’ve been thinking of adopting a new pet… now is the time. For the month of December we’re offering reduced adoption fees on all animals. Spin the wheel of deals and discover what your reduced adoption fee will be. You can help make a tremendous difference in an animal’s life by opening your home to an animal in need!


In 2016, Calgary Humane Society was successful in finding homes for 3,493 animals. During last years Home for the Holidays campaign we saw an incredible 262 animals placed in loving forever homes! This year we are hoping to find loving homes for over 300 animals and we cannot accomplish such a feat without your help and generosity.


Let us help you find your new best friend!

Click here to see all of the animals we have available for adoption today



Join us from December 2nd to December 31st 

Spin the wheel of deals to earn a discount on your adoption fee and receive a pet gift basket while supplies last.




Appeal for Help in Identifying Owner of Neglected Dog (Warning Graphic Content)

November 27, 2017

Calgary, AB — Immediate Release

On October 27, 2017, at approximately 3:00pm, a deceased, neutered, male Boston Terrier was left in a travel carrier behind a dumpster at a hotel in Vista Heights in NE Calgary.

Surveillance video shows an unidentified person driving into the hotel parking lot, taking a kennel out of the vehicle’s trunk, and placing it behind a large dumpster. The vehicle is described as an older model four-door sedan, light tan or gold in colour.

On examination, it was determined the senior dog suffered from severe chronic medical problems that could not have gone unnoticed by anyone regularly near the dog. The investigation has hit a dead end and investigators are seeking public information on the identity of the dog and its owner.

Brad Nichols, Senior Manager, Cruelty Investigations said, “The degree of neglect suffered by this dog prior to its death is criminal in nature. The manner in which this dog was disposed of speaks to the owner’s knowledge and intent. We are hopeful someone recognizes the dog and/or the vehicle and can provide us with information that can lead to justice for this poor dog.”



Winter Dog Walking Safety

winter dog walking


Well, it appears winter has arrived. Burr!!!

Each year when the first dusting of snow arrives we start getting a lot of questions at the shelter about winter dog walking safety. How cold is too cold? Does my dog need boots? For the answers to these questions and many more, keep reading! (more…)

Meow-ga and Wine! 

A new fitness experience is taking the world by storm. It’s called MEOW-GA (it’s like regular yoga but with cats!). We decided to take two incredible things like kittens and yoga to create the ultimate exercise and relaxation experience. But that’s not all! This unique spin on meow-ga will offer complimentary wine and cheese after the class is finished and a shelter tour to add a little splash to your weekend.


  • Did you know that Western science is starting to provide some concrete clues as to how yoga works to improve health, heal aches and pains, and keep sickness at bay.
  • Did you know that when conducting a task that’s stressful, people actually experienced less stress when their pets were with them than when a supportive friend or even their spouse was present!


The class itself will be a 60 minute All-Level Restorative yoga class taught by Allison Smithdorf followed by an hour to enjoy wine, snacks and a tour of Calgary Humane Society. 100% of proceeds will go to the animals! 

Classes will be limited to 15 people. Due to the high level of interest, it is suggested that you register immediately to avoid F.O.M.O. (fear of missing out).


Look at how much fun we had when we hosted Calgary Stampeders Wide Receiver, Reggie Begelton, for a meow-ga session!


Cat yoga will be held on….

Upcoming Meow-ga sessions

February 16th (SOLD OUT) 

March 16th (SOLD OUT) 

April 13th (SOLD OUT) 

Additional Information:

  • Participants must bring their own mats
  • Participants must be 16 or older to attend class
  • Must be 18 or older to consume alcohol (with valid ID)
  • Long pants are strongly recommended (those claws are sharp!)