Keeping Cats At Home Saves Native Species

A cat in a Port Stephens Council Cat Trap.

 

WHILE cats prowling around Port Stephens is an issue, our LGA has missed out on a new initiative to help curb the toll on native wildlife caused by domestic cats across the state, announced recently by Environment Minister Matt Kean.

“The Keeping Cats Safe at Home program will help protect our unique wildlife, with domestic cats estimated to kill around 67 million native mammals, 83 million native reptiles and 80 million native birds in Australia each year,” Mr Kean said.

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“We all love living close to bushland and even though we love our pets, we know native species and domestic cats don’t coexist well, so we need to make sure our native wildlife is protected.”

Minister for Local Government Shelley Hancock said all pet owners need to be made aware of best practice when it comes to keeping animals and native wildlife safe.

RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman said the mammoth four-year project was designed to change attitudes and behaviours in the community towards responsible cat ownership.

“We are excited to be working with our council partners and communities closely over the next four years to initiate real change in the way people care for cats as companion animals,” Mr Coleman said.

Cats are instinctive killers and incredibly efficient predators who will hunt even when they are well-fed at home.

Each roaming pet cat in Australia is estimated to kill on average 115 native prey animals each year, including mammals, birds and reptiles.

Marc Goodall, Environmental Health and Compliance Coordinator, Port Stephens Council told News Of The Area, “There are many good reasons to keep your pet cat contained within your property.

“Cats kept at home are less likely to be injured by other cats, animals or traffic; less likely to catch transferable disease; less likely to add to the feral cat population; and less likely to prey on our native species.

“If you are having issues with problem cats, Port Stephens Council have traps available for hire to residents.

“If you happen to catch a stray or feral cat, please call Council on 4988 0255 and a Ranger will be able to assist you,” he said.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

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