According to a recent study by the ‘Threatened Species Research Hub’ our moggies in urban areas are killing up to 30 times more wildlife than feral cats in the bush. Apparently owners only ever see 15 per cent of kills! A single domestic cat is thought to kill, on average, 75 small animals per year. That’s 3.7 million Australian pet cats killing a staggering 53 million reptiles and 61 million birds each year; a key factor in species decline and even extinction.
So, who wouldn’t want to do something about that? Most thinking cat owners, as well as a green council would of course want to address this (one would hope!).
Anyone interested in having a say (cat owner or not) can access and complete a survey on Byron Council’s website.
It seems that some councils are successfully introducing 12 and 24-hour cat curfews to keep cats safe indoors, with public support alongside educational action. Keeping a cat inside the house isn’t as cruel or wrong as it may first seem. The RSPCA even recommends this for a healthier cat – no injuries from fights, no road kills, fewer diseases etc! Fences, enclosures, training cats for ‘walkies’ and ‘climbies’ on a lead and bell collars can help.
There are many long-suffering neighbours who would also welcome restrictions, with gardens routinely dug up, defecated upon, night-time yowling and spraying.
Byron Shire is one of the 11 cat projects with the RSPCA to reduce cat impacts on native wildlife, to encourage cat owners to keep their cats safe at their homes, and do their bit to help to save what is left of our precious wildlife!
Further information can be found at Australian National University, ABC and Byron Council websites.
Don’t forget to complete the survey!