Indiscriminate and backyard breeding causes several serious animal welfare issues. Often this is due to ignorance or neglect where a dog or cat accidentally becomes pregnant because the owner has failed to have them desexed. Backyard breeding contributes to the overpopulation of animals in the community. Uncontrolled breeding and overpopulation ultimately leads to the euthanasia of fit and healthy unwanted animals every year.

The issue


Thousands of cats and kittens lose their lives in Queensland every year, the innocent victims of irresponsible and uninformed pet owners. That’s more than one every hour. And the problem grows bigger every year.

Thousands upon thousands of unwanted kittens are born each year across the state, simply because their owners have failed to desex their cats. Thousands of these kittens are dumped at the RSPCA, Council Pounds, Animal Rescue groups, on unsuspecting door steps, or in the bush.

While we do our best to find homes for all the animals that come into our shelters, there simply are not enough people willing to adopt all these cats and kittens. Our staff then face the trauma of euthanasing hundreds of cats and kittens every day – many only just a few days old.

Female cats can potentially produce three litters of six kittens each year. Even more staggering, over the course of her breeding life, a female cat (and her offspring) may be responsible for the birth of 420,000 kittens.


Numerous puppies are intentionally and accidentally bred each year. Complications during birth can see both the families companion pet suffer and even die to puppies born still or with health problems. Puppies require several expensive vaccinations, microchipping and vet checks prior to being rehomed. Accidental backyard breeding is costly. Then there is the task of rehoming the puppies, and if they are not rehoused they often end up in council pounds to be euthanised.

Small Animals / Pocket Pets & Birds

Mice, Rats and Guinea pigs can quickly become a pocket pet that gets out of control. Find a specialised Vet in small animal desexing and desex your pocket pets or keep the same gender of the pet type to avoid incidental and uncontrollable breeding.

Desex your pet

  • Desex your pet (female or male). Be a responsible pet owner and do not contribute to the ever increasing overpopulation of cats and kittens by allowing your cat to breed.
  • Encourage friends and family to have their pets desexed.
  • If considering adopting a cat or kitten, please visit one of RSPCA Qld’s Animal Care Centres, Pet Rescue or other re-homing groups, where all pets are desexed before adoption.
  • Show your support for mandatory desexing – a long-term solution to companion pet overpopulation problems. In 2009 RSPCA Qld prepared detailed submissions when the State Government called for feedback in regard to proposed changes to cat and dog legislation. A unanimous decision amongst welfare advocates was made: compulsory desexing at point of sale was a must for all but registered breeders. This recommendation has not yet come into effect. Request that mandatory desexing at point of sale is introduced to Queensland. Please write to:
    Qld Minister for Primary Industries and Fisheries,
    GPO Box 46,
    Brisbane QLD 4001
  • Help to raise awareness of the tragedy of pet overpopulation by writing a letter to the editor of major and local newspapers.