Maui estimated to have 40,000+ free-roaming cats

HONOLULU (KHON2) — Maui is estimated to have 40,000 or more free-roaming cats according to Maui Humane Society.

Maui Humane Society (MHS) is trying to crack down on free-roaming cats by announcing plans to implement an island-wide “Community Cat Count” they plan to start in August.

MHS wants to better understand and effectively manage the cat population as humanely as possible and is hoping this new survey will help them.

This new project will use tools developed by DC Cat Count, an organization dedicated to collecting data and combatting problems with too many free-roaming cats, to help assist the tens of thousands of cats on the island of Maui.

DC Cat Count was launched in 2018 in Washington, DC by collaboration between animal welfare organizations and conservation scientists. It is led by groups: the Humane Society of the United States, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the Humane Rescue Alliance and the Great Basin Bird Observatory.

This was the first project ever to comprehensively estimate population size using cat counting data and advanced statistical methods. MHS hopes DC Cat Count survey results will provide a more reliant baseline and will produce helpful information-based policy on how to address the concerns of the community.

Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is a humane approach to addressing community cat populations.  MHS established their TNR program in November 2017 and has since increased the Live-Release-Rate of cats from 33.5% (2016) to 80.2% (2022).

MHS said they will be the first location outside of Washington, DC to utilize these research tools for a survey. It’s estimated to take four months to complete.

This study is funded through a grant of $77,000 from the Dave and Cheryl Duffield Foundation.

MHS is actively recruiting volunteers to assist with the count. For more information on how to become a volunteer head to their website.