Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



A study of the ecology and public health impact of urban cats in two neighborhoods in Baltimore (Childs, 1982) indicated that the frequency of cat ownership varied from 20.1% of households to 7.4% of households in the two contrasting areas. It is interesting to note that the low percentage of cats occurred in the low income and predominately Black neighborhood. Information obtained for this study on the age structure of animals in the community varies slightly, depending upon the data source. The polling of 18 veterinary hospitals in Baltimore indicates that animals examined were generally between the ages of 6 weeks and 7 years of age. The veterinary survey further indicated that the average age of dogs and cats was 5 and 4 years respectively. A telephone survey of 200 pet owners was conducted from a random sample taken from the 1983/84 rabies certificates issued by the Baltimore City Bureau of Animal Control (City Ordinance requires that cats and dogs be at least four months of age to be vaccinated against rabies). Data obtained from this study was consistent with estimates obtained from veterinary hospitals polled. The survey identified 161 dogs ranging from three months to 15 years, with an average of age of 5, and 39 cats from three months to 18 years with an average age of 3.9. Over 50% of all the dogs and cats were between 0-4 years of age (see Table II). By contrast, the ages of dogs and cats acquired by the Municipal Animal Shelter during 1983 averaged 1.6 years for dogs and 1.3 years for cats, indicating that the shelter population is considerably younger than that in the community.


Proceedings of a workshop on Animal Control, held by the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine in May 1984.

The workshop and the publication of the proceedings was supported by a grant from the Edith J. Goode Residuary Trust.