In light of recent discussions about the controversial outdoor cat ban that the town of Akureyri aims to put into effect in January 2025, RÚV reports that taken as a whole, those responding to a new poll from Prósent showed more Icelanders support outdoor cats than oppose them, but there were some distinct regional differences.
Of those who responded to the question “how supportive or against are you to have outdoor cats in your municipality?”, the largest portion—35.9%—said they were very support, with 13.8% saying they were rather supportive. 24% said they were very against it, with 14.7% said they were rather against it. 11.4% had no opinion on the matter, and 0.2% either decline to answer or were undecided.
Taken by region, the most supportive of outdoor cats are those who live in Hafnarfjörður, with 60% very or rather supportive, while the most opposed live in East Iceland, with 55% very or rather opposed.
Furthermore, younger people—those aged 18 to 24—were most supportive of outdoor cats, and those 65 or older were most against them. Women were also more likely than men to support outdoor cats.
As reported, the measure to ban all outdoor cats by 2025 in Akureyri has been met with both support and criticism.
Amongst the dissenting voices is the Veterinary Society of Iceland, who contend that holding cats indoors can lead to physical and psychological problems for cats. To protect bird life from cats, they recommend putting bells on cat collars, having them wear large, brightly coloured collars, and limiting cats’ outdoor times during nesting season instead of an outright ban.
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