Cyprus is an island nation in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. With 3,572 square miles of land, Cyprus is not a large country, which makes its population of 1.2 million people all the more surprising. What’s even more surprising than the human population is Cyprus’ cat population. Cyprus’ cat population is a staggering 1.5 million; there are more cats in Cyprus than there are people.
But how did it get this way? What happened in Cyprus to give it 300,000 more cats than it has actual citizens? If these are questions you’ve asked, then you’re in luck. Below we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how Cyprus wound up with more cats than people.
Why Are There So Many Cats in Cyprus?
First, Cyprus doesn’t have a small population, at least not relative to its size. Cyprus is the 78th most densely populated nation on earth, so it has a large population which makes the number of cats even more baffling. So, the question is. How has Cyprus gotten to this point? Well, it would appear the blame lies with the government of Cyprus.
Cyprus’s government has done nothing to make it easy for cats to be spayed and neutered. It’s terribly difficult to neuter and spay all the domestic and feral cats in the tiny country. While the government has promised time and time again to delegate more funds to the issue, they’ve failed to deliver on these promises in any meaningful way.
You may now be thinking, “why is it such a big deal that cats aren’t neutered and spayed?” The answer to that question is that cats reproduce incredibly quickly. Female cats can become pregnant at just 4–5 months old and have much shorter pregnancies than humans. Cats can become pregnant three times within a year and have one to 12 kittens in a litter. That means, at the maximum, one cat could have 36 kittens in a year.
What is Cyprus Doing About the Cat Population?
At one point, the government of Cyprus released $50,000 for neutering cats annually, split across five districts, meaning $10,000 per district. This funding ceased during the nation’s economic crisis between 2012–2013 and resumed in 2015, with one significant difference. The government reduced the amount to $10,000, not per district but altogether. This meant each district got $2,000 to neuter its ever-growing cat population.
The cat colony in Cyprus continues to be a cause for concern for the residents. With few dollars spent on controlling the population, it’s no wonder that Cyprus continues to have a problem with the cats in their districts.
That’s why it’s vital that cats are spayed and neutered, even in our country. Stray felines and domesticated cats reproduce quickly, and before you know it, you have more cats than people in your country.
Featured Image Credit: Galyna Andrushko, Shutterstock