Malaga was hailed as an example to other cities that humans and street cats can happily coexist at a congress held at the Unicaja Banco conference room in the city last week. Recognised animal welfare experts praised Malaga's "political will" to manage the problem of street cats "within the regulatory and legal framework".
With a budget of 40,000 euros provided by Malaga's city council, volunteers from the Asociación Amigo Animal manage 126 stable cat colonies spread throughout the city. These volunteers are currently looking after 2,707 different cats.
At the conference, Agnès Dufau, an international consultant on animal welfare, spoke out in support of the CER principle (Capture, Sterilise, Return) to avoid "abuse". The key to controlling cat population growth in cities is to ensure that 70 per cent of cats are neutered, she said.
Neutering is considered more efficient and less cruel than unnecessarily slaughtering the cats.
Sixty per cent of Malaga's street cats are neutered with 39 colonies where all cats are castrated or spayed.