Sunday 5 December 2021

What is the population of stray cats and dogs in India?

NEWS AND COMMENT: What is the population of stray cats and dogs in India?  Despite the report I mention, we don't know. If we are being honest. In the India language there are 6.2 core stray dogs and 91 lakh stray cats according to a fresh report recently published by the State of Pet Homelessness Index. How accurate are these numbers? How did they count them? Is it possible to count them? No. They are estimates. It took Washington DC a long time and a lot of effort to count their cats in a landmark survey.

Stray cat India
Stray cat India. Photo: Pixabay.

A 'core' denotes ten million (10,000,000) and is equal to 100 lakh in the Indian numbering system. A 'lakh' is equal to one hundred thousand (100,000).

Therefore 6.2 core is 62 million. 91 lakh is 9.1 million. I can't believe the cat numbers. Far too low. Perhaps it depends on how you define 'stray'. In India there are community cats. Are these stray cats?

There appears to be an index of stray animal populations called the 'All Pets Wanted' index. India scores 2.4 out of 10.

I think India is known for its stray cats and dogs. Isn't it? There is only one unhappy reason: carelessness and apathy about companion animal welfare. Yes, there is also a lot of the same in developed countries. It is a worldwide phenomenon. But in India and Pakistan for example the problem is more severe.

RELATED: 6 reasons for the 90% drop in pound killings of US dogs and cats since the 1970s

The same kind of carelessness which causes so much environmental pollution in India. A great nation let down by these weakness. This is supported by the finding - as reported in One India - that 61 percent of dog owners don't visit the vet (ever!). Is that true? I find that hard to believe too.

The reasons might sound justified: distance and poor reputations or facilities, but ultimately it is down to cat and dog caregivers to find a way. And if these reasons are true there is a failure at government level.

7 in 10 citizens of India see stray cats and dogs weekly.

Clearly a huge percentage of domestic or semi-domestic cats and dogs are not sterilised. They breed and generate a greater stray animal problem. It seems to be out of control. Is anyone doing anything about it?

Let's compare the 85% homeless companion animals in India with the United States (26%), Germany (7%), Greece (51%), China (29%), Mexico (20%), UK (5%), South Africa (27%) and Russia (6%). India is at the bottom by a long way. I can't vouch for these figures. You make up your own mind as to whether they are accurate. I am always dubious about counting stray cats. How do you do it? Where are they? 

In the table below please use the slider below the spreadsheet to read the data on the RHS.

RELATED: 85 percent of companion animals in India are homeless

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