The aim of this study was to identify the prevalence of cat and dog semi-ownership in Thailand and factors that predict sterilisation. Semi-ownership was defined as interacting/caring for a companion animal that the respondent does not own, such as a stray cat or dog. A randomised telephone survey recruited 494 Thai nationals residing in Thailand. The findings revealed that 14% of respondents (n = 71) engaged in dog semi-ownership and only 17% of these dogs had been sterilised. Similarly, 11% of respondents (n = 55) engaged in cat semi-ownership and only 7% were known to be sterilised. Using Hierarchical Multiple Regression, the findings showed that 62% and 75% of the variance in intentions to sterilise semi-owned dogs and cats, respectively, was predicted by religious beliefs, and psychosocial factors such as attitudes, perceived pressure from others, and perceived behavioural control. Community awareness campaigns that approach the issue of sterilisation in a way that is consistent with cultural and religious traditions using Thai role models, such as veterinarians, may go some way in reducing stray animal population growth.
Keywords: Thailand; attitudes; beliefs; culture; religion; semi-ownership; sterilise; stray companion animal.