Domestic cats are often overlooked in a One Health context, but when cats are allowed to roam freely, they may be harmed by many things such as wild animals, cars, or disease; they hunt and kill native wild animals and can even transmit diseases to humans. This means that there are many stakeholders who want to reduce the number of free-roaming cats, including animal welfare organizations, animal and human health professionals, municipalities, pet owners, wildlife conservation organizations and non-pet owning community members. However, often these stakeholders work in isolation. Solving complex issues such as this requires incorporating a One Health framework involving stakeholders working together using a more holistic approach. In Vancouver, British Columbia, we have fostered collaborative relationships using a strategy called “Translational Ecology,” which is a set of principles to help facilitate working with diverse interest groups. Applying these principles has helped us increase our capacity for change by helping to build strong relationships, reduce conflict, direct future research objectives, and inform policy.
This presentation showcases how we have applied the principles of Translational Ecology to develop collaborative partnerships among stakeholders and how we have begun to make a positive change to reducing outdoor cat populations and societal change in British Columbia. Speakers from four stakeholder groups will discuss the value of this collaborative process, lessons learned, challenges, opportunities, and an organizational perspective on translational ecology as a tool to help solve complex One Health issues such as free-roaming cats.